Ward 6 election debate to be held September 24 at Hayden High - 7 pm.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 31, 2014



People get the government they deserve.

If voters do their homework and read the election material they can arrive at a conclusion and decide who they want to vote for. The voters usually get it right.

However, the voters need information – and they are entitled to quite a bit more than what appears on the handouts candidates give people at the door.

Burlington doesn’t have much in the way of a tradition of pulling candidates together and letting them debate each other.

Given that it looks as if the Mayor is going to be acclaimed – because he has done such a great job? – some of the steam has gone out of our municipal election.

Most people don’t fully appreciate that the men and women they elect to council are also our Regional representatives. Given the disastrous flood damage August 4th – there are people in this city wondering just what the Region has done and what they are doing now about the consistent flooding in wards 4 and 5. Many in ward 6 also wonder what the Region has in mind for the Air Park.

Gazette logo Black and redThere are some good races. Ward 6 is perhaps the best example – with seven people having declared themselves for the seat held by Blair Lancaster – which she won by just a couple of hundred votes

The Burlington Gazette will be hosting a debate amongst the ward 6 candidates.


The following invitation was sent to all the candidates who have declared their candidacy.

TO: Burlington Ward 6 City and Regional Councillor Candidates:

It appears that the current battle for Ward 6 Councillor may be the most contentious in many years—and rightly so. There are many serious issues in this Ward and each of you has a pressing need to make your positions on these understood.
After numerous requests and a great deal of consideration, The Burlington Gazette has agreed to host a Ward 6 – All Candidates Debate.

We have secured the beautiful theatre at Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School on Wednesday, September 24th from 7pm. to 10 pm., for this event.

I will be moderating the debate; the format is quite simple. Each candidate will be provided two minutes for opening remarks and two minutes for closing remarks – the order of these will be determined by a random drawing of your names, in your presence, immediately prior to the debate at 6:45 pm.

I have recruited a panel of experienced journalists who will create and direct questions to each candidate. You will be given a limited amount of time for a direct response to the question asked of you. That will be followed by a period of time for an all-candidate debate on the question.

The debate itself will conclude at 9:15pm., after which we will take questions from the audience until 10 pm. I will direct and monitor the questions from the floor to maintain a civil and respectful evening for all participants.

You are encouraged to bring your supporters – as well as your marketing material, which you may wish to distribute before and after the event. The Gazette will be promoting this event and we anticipate that each of you will want to do the same.

I’m certain you’ll agree that this debate will provide you with an unsurpassed opportunity to reach the critical mass of concerned constituents and active voters, in the most efficient and powerful manner.

In order to set up the theatre to accommodate everyone, we need to know that you will be participating and the estimated number in your group of supporters who might attend. If you choose not to attend please advise us – no later than Friday, September 12, 2014.

I wish each of you success in your campaign endeavours.

Pepper Parr
Burlington Gazette

The Hayden High School theatre will hold 220 people – the debate just might turn out to be the primo event in this election cycle. Several of the candidates are excellent speakers.



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8 comments to Ward 6 election debate to be held September 24 at Hayden High – 7 pm.

  • Maggie

    Good to see you back. I wish I had known sooner. Will you only be running a debate in ward 6 or are you considering other wards. Ward 1 has 5 candidates and there just might be a sixth this week.

  • Pat

    No Bob, I see no issue with a candidate organizing a debate – in fact, there are no rules that I am aware of preventing such an endeavour. Do you know of any?

    Would it cross any ethical lines? In my opinion, absolutely not.

    Indeed, it would be a fantastic opportunity for Jane to invite her opponents to be purely transparent on the issues, to the voters in a public setting — it would also indicate how confident she is that her voice is worth hearing and that it would rise above her challengers (in the quality of her answers on matters, not decibels of course.

    Go for it Pat – be different and make a difference.

  • Bob

    Pat – you’re suggesting a candidate organize a debate? I trust you see the issue with your suggestion?

  • Pat

    It sounds like this debate follows the excellent format of the other political debates I’ve witnessed recently in Toronto.

    I am sure Mr. Parr will make a terrific moderator – and as that, his role will be to provide an equitable platform for all candidates to be heard.

    As for the School Board trustees candidates: Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe they are facing different issues from the Councillor candidates and there simply wouldn’t be enough time to address these in addition to the matters facing the next Councillor?

    They could have their own debate – perhaps Jane, you might organize this?

  • Dianna Bower

    I think it’s a great idea to have an All Candidates’ Meeting. However, could you please advise where the other journalists are from? What news media will be invited over and above your representation of the Burlington Gazette?

    Could you also please advise if you will be asking each candidate the same questions? In order to ensure that voters can make an informed decision, it would be beneficial for voters to hear the views of each candidate on each and every question.

    Editor’s note: We are waiting for the return from vacation of one of the journalists. All the panelists have more than 20 years of individual experience and both are familiar with Burlington and its issues.

    A question put to a candidate is answered by that candidate. After the candidate has answered the other candidates have the opportunity to give their views on the question asked. There will be time limits.
    Each candidate will have 2 minutes to give a summation.

    Then the meeting is opened to people from the floor.

  • I don’t think the Councillors alone should have an “all candidates meeting”. What about all the candidates registered for the 2 different School Boards? Do many know the Role of a School Trustee?

    • Dianna Bower

      I totally agree that there should be “All Candidates’ Meetings” for school board trustees. There are currently 4 candidates running for Burlington Wards 3 & 6 for the Halton District School Board and 3 candidates for the Halton Catholic District School Board. This is the first time that Wards 3 & 6 are together for the HDSB; which just happens to be consistent with the HCDSB.

      It would be a good opportunity for voters to hear the role of the trustee and an opportunity for trustee candidates to answer questions on why they should be voted to represent the constituents at their respective Board tables.

  • Cliff

    If all 8 candidates participate, which they should if they genuinely care about accountability and transparency to their constituents — and if each candidate brings as many as supporters as they can muster, which they should if they understand the value and optics of having a high profile in a crowded race — this could be a standing room only event.

    It’s not my Ward, but I’ve now marked it on my calendar. I suspect this is going to be a highly informative and entertaining evening.