What has ward 4 Councillor Stolte managed to do during her first term; does she deserve to be returned to office ?

By Pepper Parr

October 19th, 2022



There are two Shawna’s.

The social worker who wants to make things better and help people and the woman who finds herself realizing that something isn’t right and has the courage of her convictions to do what she thinks is a matter or principal

I will write about Shawna Stolte and her problems with the Integrity Commissioner before the end of the week.

Today I want to focus on Stolte as a member of council serving the people in ward 4

Stolte isn’t a fast talking person – at times she stumbles and has to look to the Standing Committee Clerk for direction.

She is a people person, she isn’t comfortable putting herself out there to have her picture taken. She tends not to lead a parade but she is like a drummer setting the beat to which those in the parade can keep in step and get to where they want to go.

While she might appear a little on the soft side and tends towards caution in most situations which fits in well with her fiscally conservative point of view.  You don’t spend what you don’t have.

Stolte asked her colleagues to agree to require staff to use a climate lens whenever they were writing a report. While it may seem like small matter, its impact was profound.    She wanted reports that set out what impact any decision would have on the climate.

When the city was looking at the cost of what was described as an Enterprise level software set of programs commitment that was going to cost $12 million Stolte wanted as much detail as they could give her . No one else asked for detail.

The price $39 million just wasn’t right: Stolte wanted some cuts.

When the Skyway Arena rebuild was being voted on Stolte took the position that the city was going to borrow money that would take 15 years to repay at a time when everyone knew there would be strains on the budget. She voted against the project – the only ember of Council to do so.

When affordable housing was top of mind for council she wanted to take a different approach and pushed staff to go along with the creation of a committee that council did not control and had membership that came from people who volunteered and wasn’t going to work from an agenda given to them.

One of the marvellous things to come out of that experiment was the committee realizing they were going in the wrong direction and changed.

The membership had people from the Region, from the development industry and from people we had never heard of before who had informed views and made a difference.

The community level work Stolte has done is hard to appreciate or evaluate. She has consistently held meetings at a local food store where there was a coffee section; people could just show up and talk about an issue. She at times shared the event with the school board trustee.

Getting out into the community and helping people help other people.

When there was a desperate need for food at the Food Banks she told her constituents that she would pick up bags or boxes of whatever they wanted to get to the food bank. She filled her can on a number of occasions.

In the early days of the Covid19 lock owns she was distributing handmade face masks at a time where there wasn’t much commercially available.

She has yet to learn how to work effectively with media, seldom makes statements, seldom makes a position known.  She realizes that it is difficult to use media with a small council and a communication department that insists on controlling everything.

Mistakes there certainly some. Did they leave a dent; not really.

She is reported to have been approached by a group that wanted her to run for Mayor; after thinking it through and some anguished consideration she decided that this wasn’t the way she wanted to help shape the direction the city should go in.

She had her run ins with the Mayor, she had her run ins with the Councillors Nisan and Galbraith and was deeply hurt when the two of them, decided to take a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner about a decision she made to pass along some information that came out of a Closed meeting.

The real Shawna Stolte was evident at the end of the ward 4 all candidate Q&A that took place in Roseland Stole said:

Shawna Stolte

I don’t lie, I don’t pander and I don’t pretend.

I’m a straight shooter, I’m a hard worker, I’m willing to dig deep and represent the good of the community even when the going gets tough.

I treat everyone with equal consideration and respect and I am not swayed by lobbying for self-serving interests.

If you are looking for a representative who is real, genuine, honest, hard working and has proven their commitment to the residents of Burlington then you need not look any further.

If you are looking for something other than that…then your choices are here before you tonight.


That is who she is – she left it for the voters to decide if this is what they want.

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7 comments to What has ward 4 Councillor Stolte managed to do during her first term; does she deserve to be returned to office ?

  • Jim Thomson

    She also championed the tree bylaw which has been an absolute disaster. I am surprised that it hasn’t been a bigger issue in the election.

  • Jim Barnett

    While I disagree with some of Shawna’s positions, transit for example, I know she is genuinely working to make Burlington a better place for all of us to live. She believes that the electorate needs to be fully informed and that secret meetings should be kept to an absolute minimum. We need her style and commitment on council.

  • Mitch

    Best Councillor in Burlington. She was right about Skyway Plaza Arena. Don’t spend money you don’t have.

  • Lydia Fletcher

    Lynn Crosby ….THIS is laughable ……her bad behaviour is overlooked by the poor Shawna always being portrayed….…Ward 4 needs a new councillor who has integrity and a voice that will be heard,,,,,,,

    • Lydia Fletcher we have to agree with you. Shawna Stolte was the only candidate we endorsed last election. It was mainly due to her position pre November 2018 that the Urban Growth Centre could be moved. She was the only person saying this at the time. Once elected she dropped the idea leaving it to the community (spear headed by several people) to fight for it to be moved and the bus stop delisted as an MTSA which it eventually was but far too late.

      I am on the record as believing Shawna was badly treated and there needed to be further investigation Further research, Shawna’s failure to return calls or respond to her campaign emails and supporting MMW”s identical position on the Committee of Adjustment issues her constituents are experiencing at the Roseland debate and several other factors saw us endorse a different candidate this time around.

      She has been a fully engaged councillor in the removal of rights of her constituents to appear at the lectern. Yes she talked to the Clerk, to show she thought it was wrong that Demoe could not delegate, too late to make a difference, but she approved the by-;law that allowed this to happen to any of her constituents not wanted to be heard at the lectern, without batting an eye lid. What a disappointment she has been to us. Dave in particular right up to her failing to respond kept on saying he is the nly one who should be returned. Not any more. .

  • Penny Hersh

    Councillor Stolte, in my opinion, has stood up for her principles and represented the residents of her ward in a very positive way. She has done the job she was elected to do and will continue to do her best moving forward.

    The last 4 council years have been filled with toxicity and drama. Let’s hope that there will be some changes after this election and these changes will result in a council that will work together.

  • Lynn Crosby

    “I don’t lie, I don’t pander and I don’t pretend.” Well said Shawna!

    Ward 4 and all of Burlington is lucky to have you and your straight shooting voice on council. And not having a constant need for endless media attention is something many of us admire and appreciate. In my opinion, you were treated horribly by colleagues and many of us won’t ever forget it.