Wallace and Meed Ward respond to Mayor Goldring's plan to annex parts of Waterdown.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 18th, 2018



Earlier in the day the Office of the Mayor released a news media that said the Mayor had taken part in a meeting at Queen’s Park with the Mayor of Aurora to ask that the provincial government take another look at the Place to Grow legislation.  Goldring said that he wanted to see part of Waterdown annexed by Burlington.

Mayoralty candidate Mike Wallace said later in the day that: “An amalgamation debate occurred while I was on council, and at the time, I supported Waterdown becoming part of Burlington.

Waterdown map

Wallace H&S

Mike Wallace – candidate for Mayor

“However, that was a much different time. Now, Waterdown is experiencing much of the same density issues as Burlington, and has dealt with them from a Hamilton perspective. While the idea may still have some merit, Burlington may end up taking on more problems than any boundary expansion may solve. I believe there are more urgent concerns regarding the provincial planning requirements of Burlington – such as congestion and changes to the Places to Grow Act.

“As Mayor, this is where I will focus my political capital with the Ontario government.

Meed WArd at PARC

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward – a candidate for the Office of Mayor.

Marianne Meed Ward sees the idea of annexing Waterdown, which is now a part of Hamilton quite a bit differently and has quite a bit more to say about the idea which was put forward by Mayor Goldring today during a meeting with the provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

“The idea of annexing Waterdown to Burlington is a diversion from the central concern of residents this election, which is over-development of Burlington, due to the decisions by the current mayor and council.

“Before annexing another community, that hasn’t asked for this, we need to clean up our own back yard by amending the Official Plan, advocating reasonable growth not over-development, and respecting residents enough to include them in decision-making before the fact.

“Burlington residents have not been consulted on annexing Waterdown, nor have they asked for this. The people of Waterdown and Hamilton have not been consulted. Burlington city council, Halton Regional council and Hamilton city council have not been consulted. So much for collaboration.

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring: she is more comfortable with herself as a speaker.

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring

“Enough of “Hail Mary” ideas cobbled together in a political back room and launched on an unsuspecting public for political gain, upending the democratic process in the middle of an election.

“Residents deserve better from their elected officials.

“Regarding amending the Places to Grow Act, the province has already given Burlington city council the tools to control growth – but this council isn’t using the tools we already have.

“Over development in Burlington is the direct result of decisions by the current mayor and council to go beyond provincial growth requirements and approve developments at 2, 3 or 4 times Official Plan provisions.

“Burlington’s share of growth from the province is 185,000 by 2031; as of the 2016 Census we were at 183,00. We have met or surpassed our growth – 13 years early. And yet, the current mayor and majority of council approved a new Official Plan that takes Burlington well beyond provincial targets, including adding up to 30 more downtown high-rises.

high profile 421

A 24 story structure opposite city hall on the north east corner of James and Brant has been approved.

“I’m the only Councillor who voted against this new plan.

“I’m the only candidate who is committed to amending the Official Plan, which this mayor supported.

“I’m the only candidate committed to working with the province to remove the Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub designations from downtown which would have relieved growth pressure. The current mayor did not support those motions, leaving the downtown at risk.

“I’m the only candidate committed to taking only as much growth as Burlington infrastructure will allow, when new growth targets are assigned by Halton Region to 2041.

“We need a strong voice and advocate in the mayor’s office to take action using the tools we already have for reasonable growth, not over development.

That’s why I’m running for mayor of Burlington: to listen to residents before announcing decisions, and take action on their concerns – over development, not annexing neighbouring communities.

We have an unprecedented opportunity for change this election to forge a new direction for Burlington and regain control of growth, with at least three new members of council to be elected (Ward 1 and 3 retiring, my Ward 2 seat open)

The public won’t be fooled by 11th hour declarations and promises, when the current mayor had 12 years to act – 4 as a Councillor and 8 as mayor.

“The time for talk is over. It’s time for action on the issues that matter to Burlington residents.”

Related news story:

Where is the justification:

Mike Wallace website

Meed Ward website

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11 comments to Wallace and Meed Ward respond to Mayor Goldring’s plan to annex parts of Waterdown.

  • Jim Young

    Rick Goldring was Mayor when council was crafting the Strategic Plan 2015-2040. Not a word about Waterdown in that document. In all the debate and rancour on the New Official Plan. Not a word from him on Waterdown. This idea has the distinct smell of desperation. Perhaps he’s counting Meed Ward Lawn Signs. For those of you who like really bad puns, can I suggest this is his “Hail Ma(yo)ry.”

  • Michael Hribljan

    There are so many issues with what Mayor Goldring is suggesting, I’ll touch on a few that may have not been mentioned.

    The reality is there is ample flexibility in the Province’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2017) policy document to manage growth. We have been mis-lead by the current Mayor and a number of those on council (except Councilor Meed Ward) that population densities in this document must be surpassed and are mandated by the Province. Digging in to this issue as part of my research regarding our draft Official Plan I submitted the following question through the Municipal Affairs website on July 17th, 2018:
    “In section 2.2.3 and 2.2.4 of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe the Province specifies “minimum target” densities for urban growth centers and transit corridors. Is it correct to interpret a “minimum target” as a target to be achieved, not being less than, but also not significant higher?”
    On August 28th I received a call from a Senior Planner with Municipal Affairs, Dawn Seetaram, who was very helpful. The bottom line, “Municipalities are not required to go beyond the minimum density targets”. There is also provision in policy document to approach the Province if these densities cannot be achieved. So this begs the question, if we are already at or close to the target of 200 residents and jobs combined per hectare in Downtown Burlington, why does our draft Official plan add 30 more high rise condo driving this density towards 300?

    The same needs to be asked about the lands around the Aldershot, Fairview and Appleby GO stations which are only required to be 150 residents and jobs combined per hectare.

    Our draft Official Plan is ambiguous in this regard, cross referencing Provincial policy but does not clearly state the current population/job densities for these areas; and what the densities will be at full build out of the plan. To who’s benefit is this ambiguity?

    So our Mayor wants to amalgamate with Waterdown and drive intensification there. Firstly, intensification needs to occur around rail corridors or mobility hubs, we cannot check that box for Waterdown.

    Do we really need to take on the complexity and cost of untangling regional services between Hamilton and Halton like water, sewer, police, social services, public health in addition to all the city services? I struggle to see and cost/benefit in this.

    Does the Mayor not know that perhaps the biggest constraint to further growth in Waterdown is water and sewer? It’s extremely expensive to get that infrastructure up and down the escarpment and to address the environmental assessments associated with Hamilton Harbour and Cootes Paradise that are required. Perhaps he should talk to the planners at Halton Region to get their take before floating this balloon?

    From my observation I see little to no logic in this suggestion, only a colossal waste of resources, time and money when we have many complex issues to deal with right here in Burlington.

  • Susan L.

    This article did answer the one question I had and that was, what do the people of Waterdown think? Looks like Waterdown’s opinion doesn’t matter nor does Burlington’s or Hamilton’s.

    Mayor Goldring went straight to Queen’s Park, not caring what the people in Burlington, Waterdown or Hamilton had to say. It seems the only opinion that mattered to him was his own. The man’s obviously not a team player.

    • D Walker

      Yeah, it’s a pretty ridiculous statement that is not concerned with community consultation (surprise, surprise). As a Waterdown resident who works in Burlington, I know that myself and my family would have rather been amalgamated with Burlington back in the 2000’s, but with the present City of Burlington development goals and council, I’d rather stay part of Hamilton. The only benefits I’ve seen mentioned by people are lower property taxes (not a small thing), but if Burlington’s current sensibilities re: high-rises etc. would come into Waterdown, no thanks.

      Goldring should work on fixing his current issues before taking on a greater load.

      Besides, people keep saying that Waterdown is isolated from Hamilton already. If Burlington takes Waterdown, and not all of Flamborough, then Flamborough is left even more isolated from Hamilton.

  • Stephen White

    Annexation! Really? The latest bright, shiny object in the Mayor’s cute bag of election goodies!

    I guess if you can’t deal effectively with the myriad of real and substantive problems confronting Burlington residents (e.g. traffic congestion; lousy public transit; opposition to redevelopment proposals; anger at the Official Plan; dismay with the Mobility Hubs; deteriorating infrastructure; public safety; etc., etc.) then the next best strategy is to pull a pet rabbit out of the hat in hopes that voters will be impressed with your chicanery.

    Glad to see that both Mike Wallace and Marianne Meed Ward have more smarts and a better grip on local priorities.

  • No serious intelligent person would give this a moments attention. Mayor Goldring voted for the Official Plan, and then pulls a John Tory with his version of a “little boy going up to Queen’s Park in short pants” to ask Doug Ford to back off on, “Places to Grow”.
    Come on Burlington, really, we want to annex Waterdown? The curtain on Act 1 of our Official Plan is in the hands of the region. Why not amalgamate with Oakville while we are at it?
    What a Circus,andwhere is Clarabell and Howdy Doody when you need them?? Notwithstanding the quixotic and detracting musings of our current mayor, the rest of us need to get on with the real and present issues facing the city of Burlington.

  • Tom Muir

    I agree with MMW – this is a diversion. Desperate measures indeed.

    What a waste of indefinite time with no relevant hope it will make any difference at all. Mr. Ford is unlikely to give on this in meaningful manner.

    It means nothing in this election. And it will do nothing to address the issues and concerns leading up to this election.

    Mayor Goldring owns these issues – he created and supported them.

    I remember his speech at the Theater telling us all about the Grow Bold to come, congratulating Craven for leading the way in Aldershot.

    He told us about how great it will be. What a joke. Just look around at how happy people affected are.

    MMW appears more and more the right choice in this contest.

    In her response to this Goldring distraction she provides detailed and definite ideas and practical things she will do to get to the truth of the issues, and to solutions to the rampant loss of control of city development matters that has been delivered by the present Mayor and Council.

    I support what she says here and suggest people look and study again what she says.

    It’s a great plan and I will not add to it here.

  • SteveW

    Logically and geographically it makes more sense for Waterdown to be part of Burlington.

  • Hans

    Re: “Goldring said that he wanted to see part of Waterdown annexed by Burlington.”
    And what will he say when Hamilton wants Aldershot in return?

  • Walter Mulkewich

    We had that conversation in the nineties, Maybe it would be good to have that conversation, consultation, and study in the next year.