Three in the ring for the office of Mayor? Goldring, McKeown and Meed Ward? Stranger things have happened. .

By Pepper Parr

February 13, 2014


Thursday morning – the 13th – it is going to be an exciting day. Canadians are cleaning up at the Olympics, the hockey team will be on the ice at noon and expectations are high.

Burlington’s Standing Committee on Community and Corporate Services will make their Current Budget  recommendations which will set the tax rate for 2014 – will it come in at under 10% for the term of this Council?  That’s what was promise, rather foolishly made by the Mayor back in 2011.

The residents of two risings in the province go to the polls today – Thornhill and Niagara Falls will vote in by-elections which will determine to some degree when the Premier calls a provincial election.  She told this reporter that the provincial election would be “sooner rather than later”.

Move down the food chain into Burlington and where are we?  Well the city council incumbents aren’t exactly rushing to the Clerk’s office to file nomination papers.  Of the seven to be elected the Mayor is the only person to file papers.

So – what’s going on under the surface?  There is some carrier level thinking going on.

The focus is on wards 2 and ward 4.  Does Frank McKeown decide to run for office?   If he does what office does he run for?

Some early thinking was that he would run in ward 4, perhaps have Jack Dennison, the incumbent, going door to door with him.  McKeown would serve four years as a council member and then run against Goldring for the office of Mayor.  McKeown had served as Mayor Goldring’s chief of staff for just under two years.

If that scenario were to play out ward 2 councillor Meed Ward would have a very tough go of becoming Mayor in 2018 if she had to run against McKeown.

Well, what if McKeown decided he really didn’t want to serve as a council member for four years and decides to go for the office of Mayor now?   He is as qualified as the current Mayor Rick Goldring and he has an excellent working relationship with city manager Jeff Fielding.  They both think along the same lines.  Not that Goldring doesn’t get along with Fielding – they work well together.  McKeown just works better with Fielding.

What would Meed Ward do in that scenario?  Well she could decide to run as Mayor now as well and give the city a three-way race for the office of Mayor: Goldring, McKeown and Meed Ward in the ring at the same time.

Meed Ward has very high name recognition – she could give McKeown a run for his money whereas in 2018 McKeown would be well-known.

Were she to lose – and that isn’t a certainty, all she has to do is sit it out for a year and get herself the federal Liberal nomination for the 2015 federal election for Burlington and take out current MP Mike Wallace.

And if you don’t think that’s possible  see it this way.  A Justin Trudeau sweep, not as big as his Fathers in 1968 but a sweep nevertheless.  That would get Marianne Meed Ward into federal politics which I don’t think she would mind at all.

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