Will Burlington's seniors decide they don't want the kind of change city council is talking about and do something about it with their ballots?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 30th, 2016


Now that people have gotten over the shock – the British deciding they no longer want to be part of the European Union – what happens next?

The consequences of such a momentous decision are only beginning to be calculated – it will be some time before the complete cost is worked out and perhaps five years before the change to that society is fully felt.

The Bistro, the heart of the Seniors'entre and the focal point for many of the administrative problems. The new agreement with the city didn't resolve this problem but they have agreed to give it a year to come up with a solution that works for everyone.

The Bistro, the heart of the Seniors’ Centre. 

The political pundits have explained to us that the older population decided they didn’t want to give up what they thought they had and voted to leave the European Union – and given that there were older people voting in England – they won the day by an acceptable 4% of the votes cast.

Burlington has an aging population – and that part of our demographic is only going to increase. What are those seniors likely to want and how will they make their wishes known to people running for office?

At some point someone who wants to sit on city council badly enough or someone who truly believes he or she represents the interests of the seniors community will get themselves elected. On a city council the size of Burlington’s it wouldn’t take all that much to create a majority.

Transit - seniors with Gould

More political clout at this table than at city council.

Keep an eye on those who are interested in ward 2 and keep a keen eye on the seniors in Aldershot – they have a lifestyle they don’t want to see changed all that much.

Community Development Halton tells us that, based on Statistics Canada’s Taxfiler data, there were about 32,000 seniors living in Burlington in 2013 representing an increase of 28% from 2006. This increase was almost three times higher than the overall population increase.

2016 census data will be available soon and we will have a clearer picture of how many seniors there are in Burlington.

We are at a time when the baby boomers are now at the point where they will have much more influence. How is that influence likely to be expressed?

City manager Jeff Fielding doesn't win every time. Joe Lamb, negotiating for the Seniors' Centre basically took Fielding to the cleaners with the deal he talked the city into.

Former city manager Jeff Fielding, on the right with Joe Lamb, who negotiated on behalf of the Seniors’ Centre basically took Fielding to the cleaners with the deal he talked the city into.

We know this much – those seniors take the time to vote.

A number of years ago the Seniors’ Centre ran into some problems with the federal tax collectors and the then GST tax. They weren’t collecting what they should have been collecting.

The member of the centre started calling their council members – it didn’t take long for council members to cave in and send the then city manager over and work out a deal. The city gave them everything they asked for and then some.

getting new - yellowIt was a total rout on the part of the city. The city has this tag line: “Burlington is one of Canada’s best and most livable cities …” and the seniors want to ensure that it stays that way for them.

What are they going to tell us they want in the next five years?

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4 comments to Will Burlington’s seniors decide they don’t want the kind of change city council is talking about and do something about it with their ballots?

  • John

    Your right, the city has changed over the years.

    I lived here when Freeman Station was operational, Burlington Mall was Fisher farms, Fairview St.didn’t exist, Mapleview mall was some of the best farm land in Ontario, and city hall was a library.
    You should have heard what was said about the mayor’s and council’s during those times.

    Burlington of the 1980’s was built for us, I would have been a millennial then, but the term wasn’t used yet. Building todays Burlington for millennials is how it should be, the same as it was for us. Our Mayor is engaging this group, that’s important, they are the seniors of the future and should be helping to shape what they will inherit.

    We may complain, have want’s or are disappointed by councilors that promise and don’t deliver however, where else would you want to live ?
    I have stayed in Burlington all these years simply because, when compared to other cities of our size, there is nothing that provides a better quality of life, especially for us seniors.

  • Judy Gilbert

    John, I am referring to all the high rises and councilors saying the city will be built for the millenials. The city is no longer the quaint tree lined city I moved to in the 1980’s.

  • John

    I am a senior (old enough to join the seniors center) and have answered the same surveys, don’t feel ignored at all. In fact Burlington has become the destination for many seniors, mostly because the city offers so much.

    I must have missed something, could you be a little more specific ?

  • Judy

    The city has sent out surveys and the seniors have answered them. The city has ignored our responses so guess who is not going to be staying long on the city council? We the seniors (majority voters) have spoken!