When we looked at the campaign expenditures of Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith things changed

By Pepper Parr

May 8, 2023


Part 1 of a series

It happens every so often that something that you’re reporting on, expecting nothing but to close out a series that you started, suddenly reveals some surprising results, and what seemed innocuous or merely interesting in one light, becomes rather startling when other facts are considered, other context added and subtle background “noise” is amplified. This is one of those times.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith serving as Chair of a Standing Committee.

Recently, we looked at the audited campaign financial statements of Councillors Nisan, Kearns and the Mayor. We highlighted some noteworthy things but there wasn’t much that was too out of the ordinary. But then we looked at the campaign expenditures of Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith and things changed.

Remember that Galbraith was one of 11 candidates for the ward in 2018, and basically came up the middle and out of nowhere to win (by 437 votes). Four years later and easily re-elected to a second term, the picture is much different.

Kelvin Galbraith as a member of a Chamber of Commerce Symposium on Red Tape Reduction. Josie Tavares, with CLV – the developers of the 8 tower project on Fairview next to the GO station has a questioning look.

Here are basic facts about Galbraith’s 2022 campaign financial statements:

• Galbraith contributed $0 to his own campaign, other than a nominal amount for signs, $270 actually contributed in 2018. The other council members who did not contribute to their own campaigns were Rory Nisan and Paul Sharman.

• Galbraith’s only Ward 1 competitor, Robert Radway, contributed $7,002.25 of his own money to his campaign.

• Galbraith received the highest dollar amount ($22,350.00) from donations over $100 of any member of council, including the Mayor ($17,907.00).

• Galbraith had 25 donors who donated over $100. He did not hold a fundraiser.

• Ten of these 25 donors donated the maximum, $1200 (double the number who donated the maximum to the mayor). Eight more donated $1,000.

Looking at those total 25 donors, we note the following:

Kelvin Galbraith at a council meeting.

• 11 of them that we were able to identify are either developers, employees/family members of developers or connected in some way to the home building/development industry. Those eleven collectively contributed $11,100.00.

• 7 are from outside Burlington, 2 more used Burlington business addresses, so it’s not clear whether they are Burlington residents.

• The two who used Burlington business addresses were: Burlington resident and developer Jeff Paikin ($1000) and Ken Szekely ($1200), who used the address on the North Service Road which is the Mercedes-Benz dealership.

• Szekely is the President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Burlington. He also donated the maximum $1200 to Paul Sharman.

• A different donor, using the same North Service Road Mercedes business address, donated the maximum $1200 to Marianne Meed Ward. The seven donors outside Burlington collectively donated $8,000.

We will continue our review on Thursday with part 2 of this article and some surprising facts about who these developer donors are and where their development projects are located.

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