Ward 5 candidate comments on the debate kerfuffle - she will be attending.

opinionred 100x100By Mary Alice St. James

September 8th, 2018



I am proud of the courage, time, energy, skills and the monetary commitment that every Candidate across the City of Burlington has put into running in the only non-partisan election, a Municipal Election. It is a comprehensive and full time endeavour to run an effective Campaign. Incumbents though have a huge advantage which makes the playing field unequal even before they each declined participation in their only Ward Designated All Candidates Meetings.

I put my name forward as a Candidate for Councillor in Ward 5 knowing that this and likely much more can happen during this campaign. I could not sleep at night though without giving voters an alternative, without being a part of the solution instead of being part of the problem. My extensive experiences with City Council over the past six years in the areas of: development and infrastructure (what many are now aware of as over-intensification or “my gosh, when was it decided that building could happen?”), congested corridors of traffic, transit challenges, affordability and environmental protections and solutions.

Research shows that incumbents have an advantage due to their paid years of service and their work with various staffs within the City of Burlington and the Halton Region. Nonetheless and despite research statistics, I pulled together an amazing group of volunteers to assist me in running my personally funded campaign. I have received a few donations … thank you! A reason though that I put my unique skill sets (25 years as a local principal) and teamwork into the foray of public scrutiny is because I could not sleep at night thinking about what Burlington will look like in four years if this continues.

Cropped sharman FB material

Taken from the Paul Sharman candidate Facebook page.

Cropped part 1 The current course of non-action, discourse and disrespectful treatment of citizens and citizens groups such as the Engaged Citizens of Burlington (ECoB) are but a few samplings of why citizens I have spoken with this summer are disillusioned and feel betrayed by their Municipal Councillor. Burlington’s citizens are exceptionally smart. I know this. People I talk with know this. It is an extremely important election. I will continue and my team will continue with our campaign as we always have intended. Every day we enter uncharted territory but for me, this is exactly why I am running a competitive campaign. I am saddened by political inaction by incumbents.

I will be at the September 19th Ward 5 All Candidates Meeting because I know that Burlington citizens are smart and they do care about the next four years. Remember to vote on October 22nd or better yet, vote early or even on line this year.

Mary Alice - speakingMary Alice St. James is a candidate for the ward 5 city council seat.  She is a retired elementary school teacher and a consistent advocate for better development in the city.


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4 comments to Ward 5 candidate comments on the debate kerfuffle – she will be attending.

  • steven craig gardner

    I still ask why don’t ECoB answer Paul Sharman’s questions then he will have no excuse instead they come across as havin something to hide. They did go a little overboard in some of their remarks towards city staff that did lessen the view some people had of them.

  • We have no other group e.g. Burlington Chamber or Burlington Green that can set this up?

    Because if they make a debate – well then we get all the participants in the room and can hear what they have to say.

    That’s the goal.

  • Elaine O'Brien

    Thank you Ms St James for having the courage to display the kind of values we are looking for in City Counsellors. Why are the incumbents afraid of debate ?

  • Jim Young

    Well said Ms. St. James. Your comments on the feelings of exclusion are exactly why so many activist groups have sprung up accross the city. The incumbents had the opportunity to pay attention and were warned by many delegations of the dangers of not heeding those voices. Now they may well reap as they have sown.