The Gazette's take on council seat election choices - ward by ward.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 21st,  2018



With 63 candidates, 11 in one ward and 10 in another, it is a challenge to cover them all.

The Gazette interviewed many, attended most of the debates and read the web sites with candidate platforms.  Here is out take on a ward by ward basis.

Marty Staz with Mak Carr

Marty Staz with Mark Carr on Cegoeco’s The Issue

In ward 1 there are two contenders for the seat vacated by Councillor Craven.  Marty Staz will serve that ward very well were he to be elected.  Judy Worsley is a contender but does not seem to have captured the imagination of the Aldershot residents.  If Burlington wanted one of the best environmentalists in the city Vince Fiorito is available.  Among the others there are several that are far from ready for municipal politics.  The democracy we have lets them run for office and they deserved to be heard.

Tanner standing

Roland Tanner

Lisa Kearns Election PhotoIn ward 2 there are two that have the potential to become good council members.  Lisa Kearns who first got noticed when she was involved in ECoB and Roland Tanner who served the city well when he was part of the Shape Burlington committee.

Ward 2 has been the most politically active for the past eight years.  The current Councillor Marianne Meed Ward kept citizens informed and created a culture that has served the city well.  Can Lisa Kearns or Roland Tanner continue that tradition?  Of the candidates nominated in the ward these two have the capacity to maintain that tradition.


Rory - glancing

Rory Nisan

Gareth Williams looking sidewaysIn ward 3 there is one of the worst candidates the city has ever seen.  Peter Rusin used his ward campaign to reach out and smear Marianne Meed Ward who was running for Mayor.  Rusin has been gunning for Meed Ward for the past seven years.  Rory Nisan and Gareth Williams are the leading candidates. If Darcy Hutzel had started earlier he could have become a serious contender.

Image 3

Shawna Stolte

In ward 4 we see the only one-on- one race for the Council seat.  Shawna Stolte is what city council needs – Councillor Dennison should have followed the path Councillors Craven and Taylor took and resigned.

The ward 5 voters have an opportunity to remove the most disruptive member of council the city has seen in some time.  Councillor Sharman has little in the way of achievements to point to – he has managed to alienate far too many people in his ward.  Collaboration and consensus are not his strong points.  We are pressed to figure out just what the strengths are..

Mary Alice with micMary Alice St. James has served the people of the east end ward 5 very well.  Her not living inside the ward boundary is not an issue –she is a football field outside the boundary.

Daniel Roukema brings far too much baggage to the campaign.  His legal problems and approach to communicating with people are serious concerns.  Claim against Daniel Roukema

The Roukena defence     Disturbing Roukema email

Wendy Moraghan served as a police officer for 30 years – that experience brings a police xx to most of the solutions she puts forward.


Blair Lancaster

In ward 6 the residents have to decide if they want to return two term council member Blair Lancaster. Some of her ideas a very good – her approach to getting something done for people that will need long term care in the future are worth additional debate – she is certainly going in the right direction

Her ability to communicate with people in an acceptable manner is questionable.  The Gazette filed a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner that will get heard sometime after the election.


Angelo Bentivegna

Is Angelo  Bentivegna ready for a council seat?  He has delegated on two occasions and brought about changes in policy.

Ken white is not yet ready for a council seat.

There are hundreds of pages of reporting on the candidates.  Use the search engine on the top right of the home page for additional information on any of the candidates. Inform yourselves and then vote – take a neighbour with you.  This is the most critical election Burlington has faced in a couple of decades.

Salt with Pepper are the opinions, reflections, observations and musings of the Gazette publisher.

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27 comments to The Gazette’s take on council seat election choices – ward by ward.

  • Kalvin

    Funny how since I put the link on here this morning regarding Daniel Roukema’s affiliation with the Oakville North-Burlington Liberal Riding Association the web page has now been altered so that his name no longer shows up. I do have screenshots still.

  • Jason Boelhouwer

    I always find it interesting to view opinion pieces with track records on similar opinions…. Let’s see if the Gazette gets any better at it than the last time..

    Editor’s note: Jason is right – we missed the 2014 vote results by more than a mile.

    • Louise F.

      Hey Jason. I quoted you from your website on a comment I made on a post a few days ago about the Ward 5 race. It was about the importance of living in the Ward. Obviously more than a few candidates got lost and don’t seem to know where they reside.
      Good luck to you!

  • Kalvin

    This is the website associated with my previous post.

  • Kalvin

    @ C.David… a simple Google search can find the items posted on Daniel Roukema, there is no mischief there. I do not have a law or investigative background at all, I just Googled all of the candidates in our Ward to make an educated decision for my vote. It is definitely a bit distasteful for you to insinuate that another candidate was involved in this just because they have a law enforcement background.

    In my simple Google search I was amazed at how much came up on Daniel including that he tried to legalize prostitution in Halifax as part of Stepping Stones, and he has definitely fluffed up his resume with some questionable experience.

    My biggest concern though is that he is not non-partisan as he claims. His wife Melissa Peneycad ran for a Liberal seat in the Provincial election and he and his wife are directors for the association (he was in fact president earlier this year). Oakville North-Burlington voted overwhelmingly to elect PC government with the Liberals finishing a distant 3rd place. I’m sorry I don’t want to elect a Liberal to local council, affiliation is ok but active involvement… not a chance. This is the role of the board of directors for the association. Funny enough I went to post a link to the website and it has been revamped and the roles are all blank now, maybe a reaction to someone else that posted this info on Friday?

    Our objectives are:

    To promote Liberal principles and policies
    To provide a forum for communication with our MPPs, the Ontario Liberal Party, and the opinions of our members
    To elect, promote, and assist Liberal members of the Legislature
    To adhere to the Constitution of the Ontario Liberal Party
    To organize in the electoral district of Oakville North – Burlington for the Ontario Liberal Part

  • Brian Jones

    I suppose a digital paper can come out and indicate who it supports. However, I find it election tampering and not helpful in decisions that our voters need to educate themselves on the choices offered.. This Gazette is so partial to its opinions that there seems to be no one else running. In fact there are 6 in the most contentious ward of the city and this is Ward 2.
    It is interesting how voters have cast their ballot. Some say I looked at the Gazette. Some say, I did not know so I picked a name. Some say, I had to vote or I would not remember to vote on October.22. Some could or were influenced by emails sent from privacy emails from business. This election has been nasty as pointed out by several candidates.
    This city is due for a change-granted- . I just hope cohesiveness prevails and that we move FORWARD in making this city just a little better and a little more informed by all councilors than previous.
    There a huge tasks to be challenged in Burlington. Sure, there is the building concerns but just as important is the infrastructure of the smaller than large capital outlays (as in the past years). Let us get back to “basics”.

    Yes, I am the father of Candidate Michael Jones and am proud that he has stepped out and offered his service to Burlington as he has for several years. Just not as known as some others but just so very effective

  • Wendy Moraghan

    Is C. David the same as C. David Minshall who posted on a previous Gazette article, who obviously supports Mary Alice St.James, perhaps under a pseudonym ? I take offence to someone making this statement “The only kind of person that could gain access to such private confidential documents would have to have some kind of law or investigative background. Is there not someone in the election with a police background” If you have any knowledge of how Freedom of Information works, you’d know that anyone can obtain public Court documents. I have better things to do with my time, like run a clean, TRANSPARENT campaign. Perhaps Mr. Roukema should have done the same, run a transparent campaign.

    Editor’s note: Wendy M had absolutely nothing to do with how or where the GAzette got the information about legal issues Mr Roukema faces.

  • C. David

    I find it disturbing and confusing that the Gazette could obtain private documents relating to Mr. Roukema’s personal past and would end up being published as a free for all. Seems to me that those kind of documents would not be able to be accessed through a public FOI. The only kind of person that could gain access to such private confidential documents would have to have some kind of law or investigative background. Is there not someone in the election with a police background? And why of all times, would the Gazette choose to publish this stuff on the eve of a municipal election. What difference does it make to Mr. Roukema’s supporters.
    I have seen on social media questionable behaviour from several candidates in all Wards and it is not the candidates that the Gazette is trying to single out.

    The citizens of Burlington will have their say on Monday October 22nd, and hopefully, the choices will be rightful.

    Editor’s note. The documents are part of the public record – you just have to know how to find them.

  • Elle Woods

    Hey Etts! Are you talking about the plan where Judy announced that a grocery store isn’t in the cards for Aldershot because she thinks we all will order our groceries online and have them delivered? I’ll take a hard pass thanks.

    • Tom Muir

      Thanks for bringing this up. I had almost forgotten this March meeting as I was away and not there to actually hear this said and react. I did send a comment from afar but missed this somehow.

      But this was in March before the election got going and she signed up to run, so I just took it as a piece of information but not as her policy, and let it go.

      During the election campaign however, we met with her and this grocery store thing came up, but she only said that Fortinos had a sign offering email orders and pickup, and that Shoppers now had groceries.

      My point is that how would this ever work for all the people who need to eat? And how would you ever fit this function of pickup at the Go station?

      This is just another example of what passes for thinking in this City planning dept, and now in her campaign that she picked up from Craven.

      Or rather I should say, unthinking.

      It’s stupid.

      Should she get elected in Ward 1 beware.

  • Etts

    I have 2 questions for Marty Staz in Ward 1. Please tell me exactly where the 8 projects that will be 8 stories or over are located in Ward 1, which you refer to in your own article on this site. As far as I have been able to find out from City Hall there is only one building currently approved in Ward 1 for 8 stories. That’s at 35 Plains Road East and it hasn’t been built yet! Yes the proposed development at the Bingo plaza is for 8 stories, and the proposed new apartment buildings at the Solid Gold site would be 11 stories, but these are still being reviewed by the City and have NOT been approved. So, Marty, where are these 8 projects that you say are “proposed or underway” AND, are they not exactly the “middle housing” you say are needed in your diagram? Just as Plains Rd. has been redeveloped so far, after consultation between the City, the Plains Rd. Village Vision Committee, the Aldershot BIA and Community Meetings. What you say is needed, is exactly what has been the plan by the community itself and is being build for several years now. How can you claim it as your idea?
    Question 2 – You say the proposed development at 2100 Brant Street “ignores” proper planning standards but you fail to mention that at the request of neighbours, the developer has added a parkette, reduced the number of units, altered the design of the townhouses, negotiated an improved traffic scenario with the Region and increased setbacks from existing homes. They seem to be listening to the people, so what’s your issue?

  • Ken

    Dear Editor; I wish you had of called me because you are out of touch. This is in part why the Gazette readership in Ward 6 is only 17% of your following.

    In my travels throughout Ward 6 and in speaking to about 1200 people my empirical evidence would suggest Ms. Lancaster not being returned. She’s nice and her volunteer work earns my respect but the Blair story on Monday will be people want change.

    My technical and finance background will be a huge asset to this Council which isn’t shaping up to be very savvy in this respect. The real battle in Ward 6 is between me and Blair 2.0 (Angelo).

  • Melissa Peneycad

    Dear Pepper and readers of the Burlington Gazette,

    My name is Melissa Peneycad. I am the wife of Daniel Roukema (Ward 5) and would like to use this opportunity to provide my perspective on the matter you raised in this article.

    The issue that you brought forth in this article lacks necessary context, and I am deeply disappointed about the continued negative news you have put forth about him.

    For the record: Daniel sued his former employer for constructive dismissal and racism, the details of which are publicly available. The employer provided a defence to Daniel’s Statement of Claim, which is typical and in fact required—this is also publicly available information. Therefore, it is factually incorrect to state that Daniel is being sued by his former employer. Furthermore, the action against the former employer concluded more than 6 months ago. Due to a non-disclosure agreement, I am unable to discuss any further details, however I can say that he and his family have moved past the issue. The fact that you are now bringing it up in an attempt to discredit him hours before an election is troubling and highly unprofessional. I have great confidence, however, that the electorate will see this for what it is.

    The link to the email you provided in your article is a personal email Daniel sent to a man who is attempting once again to sue the former employer for other reasons. This man, who has harassed Daniel, and most of the current and former senior staff at the ICCRC for many years, is now asking Daniel to provide testimony against his former employer, which Daniel is not inclined to do. I should note that this man has unsuccessfully sued the ICCRC a number of previous times. I would also like readers to know that 8 other former employees of the same organization have been subpoenaed by this same man to testify against the organization. Daniel worked for regulatory bodies and lawsuits against current and former staff are rare, but not uncommon.

    As his wife, I am deeply hurt that we have to once again endure the pain that we previously experienced. Daniel is a leader unlike many others and the residents of Ward 5 will be well served by him. It is clear that your insistent attacks against him demonstrate the success of his campaign and what Ward 5 residents are seeing in Daniel is what I have seen in him for years: tremendous compassion for others, intelligence, and amazing leadership qualities.

    • Carie DeMunck

      Daniel and Melissa are excellent campaigners and we have enjoyed many laughs and adventures on this campaign trail. Daniel has many supporters and this will be seen in the results tomorrow evening.
      On behalf of MaryAlice and the St. James team
      Carie DeMunck

  • Micheal Jones, I wholeheartedly agree with you. When calling this a news paper I would have hoped for a little more fact and less opinion.
    If you were in touch with the community Pepper, you would know Darcy Hutzel is a very much a contender.
    Your treatment of Lisa Cooper is shameful, she is a lovely person and she is running a clean campaign. To out right not mention her is tacky.

  • Sheera Sangha

    Fake news, Mr. Parr!

    I’m not sure why all of your reporting on Daniel Roukema in Ward 5 has been so negative. I’ve known him for quite some time, and all he has ever committed himself to has been to helping others by improving the quality of life of people who need help.

    Daniel sued his employer because for years he was mistreated because of his race. He endured racist comments and treatment that shocked many of us, and his lawsuit was justified. The way you presented the situation is that they sued him; they didn’t. Though I don’t have any details, I’ve been told that the case was settled about 6 months ago and both sides have moved on. For you not to report this is disappointing.

    I also witnessed Mr. Watto’s hostile interaction against Mr. Roukema. I was made aware that this man has harassed Daniel for a number of years and this man’s actions have frightened his family. For Daniel to send him a less than flowery email when Watto wanted Mr. Roukema’s help for something is quite justified. Personally, I’m impressed with Daniel’s politeness while telling him off.

    Daniel is an upstanding citizen and I regret that your unconditional support for Mary-Alice St. James makes you think you need to destroy his family, reputation, and career. Daniel and Mary-Alice get along quite well and I’m sure that even she would be disappointed in you.

  • Amy Peterson

    While you publish opinions, not news, that doesn’t give you a free pass on publishing information that is inaccurate and misleading. When I clicked on the documents you published re. Daniel Roukema, it took two seconds for me to see they relate to a lawsuit he initiated against a former employer – you’ve implied there is a lawsuit against Daniel. Also interesting that you have chosen to publish these, the day before the election, with apparently no mention of having offered Daniel an opportunity to comment. Then again, not a complete surprise, considering you cannot correctly spell his name (see “The Roukena Defence) or take two seconds to accurately label documents.

  • Lisa Cooper, Ward 3 Candidate

    Well it seems that you have heeded your mother’s advice, “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.”

  • Tom Muir

    On Ward 1, I have had a lot of interest, activity and comment to make. My wife and I sent this to candidate Judy Worsley, who you mention here, a few days ago.

    The subject heading was; What is your platform on development? It says the following:


    I have looked at material dropped off at my house by you. We attended the candidates meeting. My wife and I talked to you at the BIA office. We read your answers to the survey questions to all Ward 1 candidates.

    There is not a single mention in any of this of the resident issues surrounding growth and development and how you have formed a platform to meet these issues.

    The last door post card of this week only said; “With a voice on Council I will work to make a better community for Ward 1” There was only this and your campaign sign photo on the other side. No email or other contact information. This is a meaningless message in terms of specifics.

    The door knob card left before that one also had absolutely no discussion of the issues, how you understood them, or what you were going to provide in terms of representing resident issues and concerns. All you talked about is a vague personal history of where you worked.

    There was again, no mention of issues and concerns. No mention of Tyandaga quarry, over-intensification on Plains Rd and 2100 Brant St, Georgian Court, downtown over-intensification and effects on Maple residents, on growth and development in general, rampant loss of commercial, retail and services (except hairdressers and tatto parlors) , traffic congestion, and so on and so on, which everyone seems to be aware of.

    Our conclusion from all of this is that you don’t have a platform on development except to support it, and your blanket of signs on Plains Rd on what looks like every possible development space, both active and potential appears to be the only sign that you have a platform.

    So our question here is to ask you; What is your platform on development?

    We look forward to an explanation.

    Thank you,

    Tom and Betty Muir

    We did not receive any reply, not even an acknowledgement.

    We support and endorse Marty Staz, along with Marianne Meed Ward, and have made this known to our circle. His campaign postcard, also received the same day as Judy’s, is where we got the issues and concerns paragraph we asked Judy about in the above paragraph 5. Marianne’s material says much the same thing. This kind of representation is what we want.

    Of course you have to decide for yourself. To be informed you can read his website, have a look at the Ward 1 candidates meeting video, and compare that to the others. Same with the Mayoral choices.

    This is the most important election for Ward 1 (and the City of course) in my recollection ever.

    So get out and vote.

  • Terry

    Your analysis was, in my opinion, lucid, fair, and objective. Just like any election, ” You pays your money and you takes your chances”

    BUT like any election sometimes change is GOOD and ESSENTIAL especially at this crucial time for the City of Burlington which seems to have ‘lost its way’ or at least lost a great deal of voter support when it comes to defining the best approach to growth – all out intensification (the status quo) versus a more gradual and rational approach which takes into account environmental (health and well-being) as well as lifestyle (uncontrolled City planning, gridlock, diminishing open space, transit accessibility, etc.) considerations

    The choice will be in the election booth!

  • Michael Jones

    Looking forward to you reporting news versus opinion pieces.

    • Fred Crockett

      Michael, you are a good person and a good candidate. I look forward to hearing more about you in the future, but I read the Burlington Post to find out who was caught for speeding, where the coyotes are, and what are the deals in the various grocery stores. I read quality journalism for opinion and analysis, not trivia. Cheers, FC

    • Gil

      Michael were you OK 2 days ago when the The Toronto Star Editorial Board wrote a piece endorsing John Tory? Point is, that newspapers will publish opinion pieces outside of basic reporting providing their views on an election.
      Whether you agree or disagree with what was written is another matter, but the basis for the opinion piece is not uncommon across major newspapers.

  • Stephen White

    If ever there were a time when Burlington needed new and fresh perspectives this election is it. This Mayor and this Council have totally squandered public trust and confidence. Putting aside the OP and the Mobility Hub proposals, both of which contain some serious design and policy flaws, the consultation process that preceded it was an exercise in public relations optics, badly organized and an utter sham. The manner in which citizens’ concerns were marginalized and ignored was shameful. The way in which citizens were derided while delegating at Council meetings was appalling. If this nonsense had occurred in any major private sector organization the Board of Directors would have terminated each and every executive who was involved.

    Burlington Council needs an overhaul, and when that is completed then we seriously need to turn attention to the composition of our municipal public service where major changes are long overdue. People need to be held accountable for their behaviour because ultimately actions have consequences.

    • Phllip Wooster

      Stephen, I couldn’t agree with you more. Not a single incumbent deserves reelection. They have acted to the benefit of special interest groups while marginalizing the residents of Burlington who they were elected to serve. I sincerely hope that by late Monday we are witnessing the dawn of a new era to preserve Burlington for ALL its residents.

    • Hans

      I agree completely.

    • LoverofLiberty

      I could not agree more with Mr. White. Not only is a complete new council needed, Some of the city staff need to adjust their attitudes and perceptions of the citizens of Burlington. They cannot discard, ignore and flat out call citizens liars, when the proof is on video, photo, and documentation that they created. They cannot call something a banana when indeed is red, round and made of rosy flesh. Time for a change Burlington.