Ward 2 Councillor Kearns creates a loop for her commercial constituents - the Round Table meets weekly on line.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 21st, 2020



The COVID19 lockdown that hit the province in March was tough on everyone but devastating on the small business sector.

There were provincial supports and there was federal support as well but that small business person who did not have the resources the mid-size commercial operations had were sort of left to their own.

Kearns Lisa side view Mar 2019

Lisa Kearns – make her point – and usually has the facts to support what she is saying.

The city councillor for ward 2, Lisa Kearns, where a large part of the hospitality sector is located, created a Business Round Table and invited people to gather electronically to share their misery and look for whatever help there was.

There was a rent reduction program that required landlords to participate – many didn’t. The Kearns Round Table worked as advocates for the tenants.

The province put in a no evictions feature that may have helped some.

In the early stages there wasn’t much in the way of information. Everyone had gone to ground.

The participation in the Round Table wasn’t big – and it did involve a few commercial operations outside ward 2. Kearns described it as “small but mighty”; she does have a certain turn of phrase about her.

Kearns was the only Councillor to reach out to her business constituents in this way. The significant collection of hospitality venues in wards 5 and 6 got next to nothing.

The over-riding question for everyone was: What do you need to move into recovery?

Ensuring that the flow of information was consistent and accurate wasn’t so much a challenge but it ate up a lot of time.

Lisa Kearns is a first term municipal politician with the gift of being able to come back with some good quotes. She can at times leave you wondering what in heavens name she is talking about when she speaks of “walking the lived experience” which is how she described a walk along Brant Street with the Executive Director of the Downtown Burlington Business Association Brian Dean.

Kearns made mention of a PPE surcharge that some hospitality establishments felt they could levy.

Did she make a difference. Only those that took part can answer that question – she does deserve kudos for the effort.

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3 comments to Ward 2 Councillor Kearns creates a loop for her commercial constituents – the Round Table meets weekly on line.

  • Penny Hersh

    Kudos to Councillor Kearns. When residents feel comfortable with the steps being taken by the stores, restaurants, and bars to keep them safe they will return to the new kind of “norm”.

    There are signs that things might be improving for restaurants etc. as some of the restaurants that were providing ‘To Go” meals have cancelled this program. I am very happy that some people feel secure enough to go out, however, there is a large demographic in Burlington that are still in “the wait and see” phase.

    I for one will not be going out. I don’t think Burlington should be entering Stage 3 on Friday. The Covid 19 numbers are continuing to rise in our area.

    Seeing at what is happening around the world now that services are being opened is like looking into a crystal ball. The question that one needs to ask themselves – Is the risk worth the reward? This will be up to each individual to decide.

  • Perryb

    Good idea, good project for Council for the next few months. I’m in Aldershot, and while we wish the people East of QEW no ill, they’re in a different place. So are those on the beach.

  • Claudette Mancini

    I wish that Lisa Kearns would annex that part of Aldershot east of the QEW/403 to Maple Avenue that is cut off geographically from the western part of Aldershot’s Ward 1. We aren’t considered to be a part of Aldershot politically, it seems, yet we aren’t a part of Ward 2, either, and technically not a part of Downtown Burlington. Our welfare is constantly being threatened by competing interests with ideas totally in opposition to what we are quite happy and comfortable with, and no one seems willing to speak up for us. We are the municipality’s version of a classic “middle child,” not adored on the one hand and not considered on the other.
    This needs fixing!