Two strong female candidates in ward 5 are going to give the incumbent a real run for his money.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 9th, 2019



It was the second public information session on the proposal to upgrade the plaza in the east end of the city.

This one had even better attendance than the first.

The event was put on by MBHC Planning, the planners hired by the developer Glanelm Property Management.

Site with phases

A total of eleven structures are proposed for the site to be built in five phases.

The issue was – there is just too much – those attending didn’t want the level of intensification that was being proposed.

Wendy M on Paul in group setting

Wendy M in an exchange of views during the public presentation of architecural renderings.

The space that was used for people to look at the data and architectural renderings the planners for the developer had prepared was small. It was seldom empty.

Adding to the interest was the October election. The four candidates seeking the ward 5 city council seat and Paul Sharman the incumbent seeking to keep his seat made for some interesting dynamics.

Two very strong minded women are making life difficult for Sharman. The scope and scale of the development aren’t helping him

St James outside with bd

Ward 5 candidate Mary Alice St James stationed herself outside the office the presentations were on display. She was greeting people, getting contact information and telling her story.

Mary Alice St. James, a retired elementary school teacher and Wendy Moraghan, a retired police officer are not easily brushed aside.

The are in Paul Sharman’s face and he is struggling. There are those that say Sharman cannot be beaten – time will tell.

Wendy M up against Paul 2

Wendy Moraghan smiles and beguiles during a conversation wit ward 5 incumbent Paul Sharman

Wendy up against Paul 1

Wendy Moraghan appears to be taken aback by a comment from ward 5 incumbent Paul Sharman

For the immediate future there is an opportunity for the candidates to make political hay while the incumbent looks for every opportunity to show that he is worth keeping for a third term. With four new faces for the voters to get to know an incumbent can often slip up the middle.

The winner is going to have to come up with 2500 votes: where they come from is what the election will be about. October 22nd is going to be a long day for Paul Sharman and an exciting evening for at least two of the four new candidates.

The development is the front issue in ward 5 at this point. Once the presentations are over the development application moves forward and into the hands of the city planners.

The candidates will find new ground to work over.

South west view of existing towers

The high rise towers already in place to the south west of the plaza.

The sheer size of the development and the length of time the community will experience considerable disruption is an issue – it always is when something is changed.

The number of housing units that are proposed is more than many in the community want to see.

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24 comments to Two strong female candidates in ward 5 are going to give the incumbent a real run for his money.

  • Alfred

    Lucy. Thanks for the link showing the private and corporate donations made to the councilors, It makes for interesting reading. Mayor Goldring and councilor Sharman as well as all the councilors except for 1 properly disclosed their private donations received as required. Guess who didn’t ?

  • Lucy

    Here is a useful link to the public Financial Statements for the 2014 Election:

    Very, very interesting. At least check out the Mayor’s and your own Ward Councillor’s contributors. If you have the time, check out all present Councillors’ contributors.

  • Bonnie

    I believe it is a matter of public record as to which current council members received large donations from developers, construction firms etc. in 2014. There is no reason to believe that these donations will not come in the form of private donations in 2018. Specific questions must be asked of all candidates.

  • Definitely a time for change in Burlington Council. In my opinion, the city planning staff take their direction from the culture of the Council. For the past four years this culture has been developer friendly. Planning staff have acted accordingly. There must be change in Wards 4 and 5 if Burlington is to progress. In Ward 5, Mary Alice St. James has the knowledge and background to make this change. She has followed and tried to work with the city planning department for several years and knows were the culture must change.
    The citizens of Burlington deserve a Council that will listen to them and respect their positions.

    • Stu Parr


      I agree. My only comment is that I would add ward 6 to the list of necessary changes. Ms. Lancaster has been no value added. Unfortunately, she may ‘creep’ up the middle again with the possibility of another vote-splitting situation. If so, she will be rudderless without Mr. Sharman.

  • Wendy Moraghan

    I reviewed the Developers Proposal and found some interesting things.
    -page 20 – they refer to Lakeshore Road as being a Minor Arterial Road, not sure what their definition of a MINOR Arterial Road is, last time I checked, Lakeshore Road is Highway 2
    -page 23 – in the Traffic Impact Study it states “in the PM peak period. It is expected that the southbound left turn trips will divert to the other four accesses during the peak hours and that operations will return to acceptable levels during off peak hours” so is all the overflow of traffic going to go down Hampton Heath, Kenwood, White Pines, Pineland ??? how is that “SAFE for our communities” is the solution to put in more speed bumps ??? replacing the yellow sticks every time someone drives over them ??
    -if the developer “knows the community” why do they twice refer to PINELAND School as being PINEDALE school (pages 7 and 15)
    -I reviewed the November 24 2015 Lakeside Community Visioning Session I don’t read anywhere where people want 18 stories, I read “low density residential”, “attractive to look at”, “3-5 stories with underground parking”, “green it up”, “library” and the list goes on. Where they asked WHAT ARE YOUR FEARS FOR A REDEVELOPED LAKESIDE PLAZA, I read ” high density”, “no more condos/apt”, “high traffic”, “high rise buildings” etc etc…. Obviously no-one listened to the residents. NOT ONE asked for what is proposed. It’s time to LISTEN to the community. It’s time for a shake up at City Council !!!

  • Lynn Crosby

    Wonderful to see “two strong women” candidates running in Ward 5. I recall Councillor Sharman’s remarks last winter where he referenced “drawing the gender card” when complaints of gender inequality and poor culture at city council were raised, and then he threw in the old “I have daughters” line. You’d think that would be all the more reason he should support calling out gender-based discrimination at every turn, and support those who do, rather than dismissing it.

    Good luck to the candidates. Their attitudes are a breath of fresh air.

  • Lucy

    I feel it is important to note that the area on the lake side of Lakeshore across from Lakeside Plaza has always been zoned residential high density and there is ONLY ONE 19 storey (Admiral’s Walk built in 1978) and ONLY ONE 12 storey (Royal Vista built in 1983). All the rest in that strip are 11 and under with the most current builds being 8 (2006) and 5 (2000) storey. There are 12 buildings spread out well and set back across a length that is double that of the Lakeside Plaza frontage where 13 buildings are planned/jammed on 3.84 hectares.

    The Lakeside Village Plaza proposal will guarantee a restricted sky view whose impact will be visually oppressive and overwhelming. The number, spacing, and proportion of the buildings must be decreased to avoid this physical and visual overcrowding. It is important to have the right types of intensification and building heights. Greater consideration must be given to the impacts on this neighbourhood that is zoned Residential Medium Density, not Residential High Density. Contrary to the planner’s embellished, redundant justifications within the proposal, along with the fancy posters meant to deceive us, this level of redevelopment is NOT COMPATIBLE with the existing neighbourhood and NOT SENSITIVE to its character. Increasing the tax base and developer’s profits must not blind city hall staff and decision makers and destroy our neighbourhoods.

  • Diane Gaudaur

    Wendy is very bright. I knew her through community Board work. She was very caring, engaged and familiar with the community. Seemed to be a very capable person on a number of levels.

  • Elizabeth Hamidbasha

    I worked with Mary-Alice when she was in education. As a teacher she was super-organized, respected by her students and fellow teachers alike. She would be an excellent councillor and I wish her the very best. Her ideas and dedication will be outstanding.

  • Lucy

    Upon further examination of city documents and the Developer’s proposal, I discovered this information:

    The PRECONSULTATION MEETING with 5 City Staff reps, 2 Halton Region reps, the MHBC planners for this proposal, and 2 architects was held on January 25th, 2018. Within the document of February 2018 that tracked changes from the old Official Plan to the newly adopted plan in April 2018, it becomes very clear that the changes that occurred for the Land Use policies section regarding Neighbourhood Centre designation were made to specifically accommodate the Developer Proposal for Lakeside Village Plaza. This indicates that the city staff and subsequently the Council who adopted the changes were giving their approval to this massive project that alters and does not conform to the current current character of this east end Lakeshore Rd. community. There no longer exists a distinction between the previously designated Neighbourhood Commercial Centre (Appleby Village land on New Street) and the Neighbourhood Centre designation (the Lakeside Plaza) which in the old plan accommodated the less excessive development. Both are considered equal despite the differences in land size. All the changes made from old to new Official Plans allows for rezoning and amendments that will make this project a reality as it is proposed. That is why the planner has stated that they conform to all the requirements of the city’s Official Plan. That is why Paul Sharman told me at the second open house that for this proposal, he will follow what the new Official Plan allows. He knows that all is put in place in the new Official Plan to allow for this overintensification monstrosity. In other words he approves of this project as it is. The Developer wins once again and the Council betrays the residents once again. The Developer says “Jump!” and the Council says “How high?”. All the beautiful language that points to the importance of citizen engagement in all levels of government documents is meaningless—a total sham. SEE PAGE 83 OF PROPOSAL APPENDICES SECTION: Preconsultation Meeting Notes (Appendices) SEE PAGE 70 IN CHAPTER 8 LAND USE SECTION shows changes to Neighbourhood Centre designation.

  • Joe

    Lesson to all, what happens in, or should I say to, another ward may soon come to your ward. This is what EcoB was all about folks.

    • Stephen White

      Right you are Joe! It’s funny how disinterested some residents were when the first spate of redevelopment proposals emerged. Some perceived it as a “downtown” or Ward 2 issue not deserving of their attention, believing naively that somehow their neighbourhood was immune. When these redevelopment proposals suddenly start popping up all across the City the stark reality is brought closer to home.

      One clear and unequivocal question that needs to be asked at every candidates’ meeting this election is: can you tell us how much money you have received, either in cash or in kind, from donors associated with or employed by real estate developers, construction firms, real estate sales organizations, or anyone connected with the development applications in the City of Burlington? If the answer coming back is anything other than “None” then it’s pretty clear who not to vote for.

      • Good point Stephen, and happy to state on the record that I will not accept any donations from people I know to be related to, employed by or otherwise associated with developers, whether currently involved in applications or otherwise. Any donation that I subsequently find to have been donated by someone associated with a developer will be refunded.

        It needs to be stated, of course, that since corporate donations are no longer allowed, all donations are personal, and therefore saying “I will not accept money from developers” alone does not answer the question. Nobody can accept donations directly from developers, and developers can’t directly donate. But people sympathetic to developers, employees and others in a personal capacity can and I am sure are seeking to fund candidates across the city to support developer-friendly candidates. Who is receiving those donations will only be known after the election. It’s therefore important that candidates’ positions on this issue are on the record.

        I look forward to hearing the other candidate’s positions on accepting donations from developers.

    • Mary Alice St. James

      Mary Alice, Candiate for Councillor who selected Ward 5 due to my 20 plus years working respectfully with all Development and Infrastructure stakeholders (Citizens/Neighbourhoods; City Planning Department; City Council; All Wards (and now Ward 5 which is the latest overintensification target) and Owner/Builders). Years of research, dialogue, collaboration and delegations went into the community engagement processes for the Tree Arbour/Shoreacres Study that was initiated by a neighbour and myself. Blue Water/ Avondale’s recent LPAT win sending the Builder back to the drawing board was another collaboration story where citizens voices were heard resoundingly at first a Public Meeting of local citizens where yes, a team of us hit the pavement with flyers and conversational skills that brought citizens out. Success stories have occurred. Our M.A. Team delivered over 2500 flyers to get citizens out to the Lakeside Plaza Meetings mid-week in the middle of a hot summer. It made a positive difference and I want to thank you. Our shared voice of concern – our shared vision of wanting to have BURLINGTON AT OUR BEST … now and moving forward is a slogan promoting respect at a time when many have told me they have felt ignored, talked down to and disenfranchised by Municipal POLITICS. I have lived in Burlington for 36 years and I have never met one citizen whose voice should not count. I delegated against the recent 17 storey “optimization” build on Brant Street. As a retired Principal with 25 years of local school experiences, I know, respect and appreciate how smart you are, how much you care about your livability and that of those in years to come. My leadership has always been based on teamwork. I will and our team will continue to do the “homework” and legwork required to ensure that each of us feels and experiences that together we can make a positive difference.
      For the record, my Campaign is personally funded. Kind citizen donations have been much appreciated. Most importantly though is citizen turnout throughout the Campaign and for our October 22nd Municipal Election! Municipal Elections determine our daily life experiences!

  • Marnie Mellish

    Mary Alice St. James is a retired “principal”, a position requiring more education and experience in areas of engagement and planning and management. Quite the “political dance” & multi-tasking at this level.

    • Lucy

      I do agree with you, Marnie. Mary Alice is the obvious choice for Ward 5. She recognizes the flaws of this proposed project and how it will damage the neighbourhood. She is clearly prepared to do and has already done the ‘leg work’ required to defend and promote the Ward 5 residents’ concerns. For those opposed to the rezoning and subsequent amendments requested by this developer, it is important to note that Paul Sharman has voted in favour of almost every single application for variance to the Official Plan, including both highrises across from City Hall (18 and 24 storeys) and the new Official Plan – with the potential for up to 30 more highrises downtown.

      I also spoke to Marianne Meed Ward at this second open house. She too is the sure bet for the mayor’s position for the residents who are sick and tired of having their growth issues cast aside as insignificant. She recognizes that the intensity and density of the Lakeshore Plaza project does not conform to the character of this neighbourhood.

    • Louise F.

      Marnie, am I to assume you are supporting Mary Alice St. James? She is not now and never has been a resident of Ward 5. I was a Ward 5 resident when you ran for council in 2006 and you emphatically stated the importance of candidates living in the Ward. While I didn’t vote for you, I also didn’t vote for Rick Goldring for that very reason. Doesn’t matter if the candidate lives 1, 10 or 20 kilometers outside the Ward, the fact remains the candidate is not a resident of the Ward.
      Ward 5 needs and deserves to be represented by a resident of the Ward.

      • Lucy

        Louise, sorry, but I strongly disagree. If a candidate lives very nearby the ward boundary, is extremely familiar with the people in Ward 5 and knows the area very well, it is so foolish not to choose that candidate to represent the ward. You want the most experienced person–that’s what is important! Mary Alice St. James is far more qualified with her extensive experience delegating at city hall and fighting against over-development already–none of the other candidates can match her in that regard. We must get rid of Sharman who is all for the over-intensification that residents are fed up with. Just look at how hard Mary Alice worked already to help us oppose the Lakeside Village Plaza ridiculous proposal. She was out front with her charts to make residents aware of the problems with that proposal. Her team delivered flyers in the area to get residents to those meetings. She is ready to fight the over-development in all corners of Ward 5. We need her to be our Councillor. She also has business sense because she has dealt with completing budgets for the schools where she has been principal. I believe in being well informed before making a decision. I researched ALL the candidates thoroughly–visited all their sites, gathered information about them. Yes, Mary Alice is our best hope in Ward 5! Yes, Marianne Meed-Ward is our best hope for mayor! For your information, I have no prior personal attachment to either of these candidates before this election period started.

  • Stephen White

    You only have to look at the faces of the residents in the above pictures to know they aren’t pleased. And you only had to look at all the politicians on hand at yesterday’s meeting to know they are worried…really, really worried! Hell hath no fury like a voter’s scorn!

    By whatever criteria one applies this is an appalling development. It is far too big, will generate too much traffic and congestion along Lakeshore Road, is far too high, provides insufficient parking, has huge shadowing over the property, has insufficient landscaping, provides no visibility to retailers in the mall, etc.,etc.

    Residents provided detailed input on what type of development they wanted on this site in a large public meeting in November 2015. What came back in the way of a development proposal was a nightmare! So much for the value of public engagement! When you see farce played out in the form of public consultations that turn out to be nothing more than a public relations sham and a mockery it’s no wonder residents are cynical…and angry!

    Paul Sharman told us at his Ward 5 Town Hall Meeting on April 19th that the owner and developer really wanted to work with the local residents to create a mutually beneficial redevelopment that was vibrant and attractive. Sorry Paul, but this is definitely not what we had in mind.

    If there is a sad and ironic twist of fate to all of this it might well be this: the very Councillors who passively sat back while supporting the Official Plan and the Mobility Hubs, are now stunned at the pace of redevelopment proposals, and shocked by a public increasingly militant, angry and fed up with their acquiescence…the very same people who are now weighing their options and preparing to vote their displeasure on October 22nd.

    When you open Pandora’s Box you had better be prepared for what’s inside!

    • Stu Parr

      Well said Stephen! I think that for Burlington Council to attempt to move forward and mitigate the mess that has been created over the last four years (in particular), it is critical that Mr. Sharman not be a member of ‘the group of seven’. From my perspective, he has arrogantly held to a view of the City with which many/most residents do not agree. He has been dismissive of contrary opinions, disrespectful of citizen delegates and far too cozy with both planning staff and the developer cohort. NIMBY Mr. Sharman – hah!

    • Marnie Mellish

      Well said.

    • David

      Stephen – well written – well – the research shows that staff worked with the developer – Paul Sharman promised community engagement and community involvement with respectful development – this is neither an example of community engagement and respectful development – Councilor Sharman has shown that he is predevelopment and only engages the community when it assists his agenda – time for a change in Ward 5

    • Carie DeMunck, with the MaryAlice Team

      Yes, Stephen , well said. As I have become more engaged in proceedings of City Hall over the last few months, studying the minutes of the Emergency Planning Meeting of April 24th and the 26th, and the subsequent Council meeting of April 26th, it is evident to me that the current Councillors have been working to open up wording on the New OP to make it open to developers to request easy amendments for increased density on any of their proposals.
      One only has to view the videos and read the minutes of these meetings to see what motions Councillor Sharman pushes through in order to ease the application process for Developers.
      Marianne Meed Ward is unwavering in her support for trying to maintain low density status in established neighbourhoods, and also in maintaining mid density zoning as such. Her voting at city meetings is proof of that. Unfortunately, she is constantly outnumbered, as the rest of the Councillors continue to vote in favour of over intensification.

      Too many loopholes in the New OP that speak to developers.

      My burning question: Why did the majority of the Current Council vote to NOT make the New OP a question on the ballot for Oct 22? It is a legal to have a referendum question on a ballot as well as candidates names. They chose not to. They do not want the citizens to have a voice regarding the stance of the New OP. Public collaboration and engagement on the new OP means nothing when certain Councillors can introduce motions at the 11th hour prior to adoption in order to change the wording in certain paragraphs that open up opportunities for zoning amendments and density applications.

      Watch and read the minutes of the Planning Meeting of April 24 and 26, and also the Special Council Meeting of April 26 to know who voted for what and why. It is obvious that Marianne Meed Ward is the only Councillor who wants to bring balance to the city. It can all be found on the City of Burlington website.