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Guidelines for Respectful Dialogue

keep calm and be polite

keep calm and be politeThe following guidelines have been developed to encourage respectful dialogue in our community and through the mayor’s office on the issues that matter. The guidelines apply to all public communication (online via social media, newsletter or website and at public meetings) as well as private communication via emails, phone calls or correspondence to the mayor’s office.

Diversity of perspective, raising issues and suggestions are all welcome; we don’t all have to agree. We do need to be respectful of each other.

PLEASE NOTE that during a public emergency, commenting may be turned off on posts to this website to avoid the spread of misinformation and due to limited resources focused on keeping the public informed and updated. Any comments and/or concerns can always be emailed to mayor@burlington.ca.

We welcome intelligent and respectful dialogue on all of our platforms. However, please be advised that profanity, personal attacks, racism and other forms of discrimination via comments on my social media channels will be deleted without warning. Messages viewed to be spam or trolling will also be removed. Any social media user who violates these guidelines may be temporarily banned from my social media platforms without warning. If that does occur, you can always still share your feedback and concerns with me and my office through the appropriate channels including email at mayor@burlington.ca (you can also request to have your ban lifted by emailing my office).

  • Be civil and respectful to all users. Would you speak this way to a good friend? If not, rewrite.
  • Comments containing false allegations or rumours will be removed.
  • Focus on the issues. Build your argument and make your case in support of your opinion from facts, research or other sources. That way we can all learn. “I disagree with so-and-so because…” is fine; “So-and-so is naïve/stupid  for thinking the way he/she does and here’s why…” is not acceptable.
  • Make sure your comments are related to the specific post. Do not use it as a way to make a comment about an unrelated issue or event.
  • Be concise. Comments should be as concise and to the point as possible, and add to the conversation/issue in the post and/or offer another side. Comments on the website are limited to 500 words. If you have more to say, please email mayor@burlington.camayor@burlington.ca.
  • Don’t post links to unrelated/outside content.
  • Don’t post content that is offensive, inflammatory or provocative. That includes swearing, obscene or vulgar comments.
  • Don’t make personal attacks. Don’t assume motives of those you disagree with, make unfounded allegations, spread rumours, or engage in any other behaviours that would discourage you from participating if someone said this to, or about, you. The Golden Rule applies: Do unto others as you would have done to you. We will edit or not post comments with this type of content.
  • Don’t use language that is discriminatory, hateful or violent towards identifiable groups. Or language that incites others to discriminate, practise hate or violence.
  • Don’t post personal contact information, factually incorrect information or unauthorized business promotions. This platform, or any related social media platforms, cannot be used in furtherance of a personal cause and/or agenda.
  • Say it once: When comments from the same individual or individuals become repetitive, going over ground already stated, we reserve the right to close commenting.
  • Use your full, and real, name — don’t impersonate or falsely claim to represent a person or organization. If wish to make a comment in public, we expect you will publicly stand behind it with your name. If you don’t want to publicly reveal your name, that’s fine; you are always welcome to share your thoughts with me privately via my email below. I welcome and consider all feedback in making decisions for the community.
  • Comments that are suspected to be a bot, using a pseudonym or fake identity, or are anonymous will be blocked and/or deleted.
  • Have fun, consider and learn. Share your views and read those of others. May we all benefit from a healthy exchange of ideas, and learn a little more about the people in our community, what you think, and what’s important to each of you. You may end up changing your mind about an issue; even if you don’t, we hope everyone will gain a greater understanding of why people have different perspectives.

These guidelines are effective as of Jan. 30, 2016 and are not retroactive. As new comments come in, they are expected to conform to the guidelines above to be posted.

Got questions or comments? Contact me directly at mayor@burlington.ca.

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Here are guidelines before you comment, and our expectations before we will post:

  • Be civil. Would you speak this way to a good friend? If not, rewrite.
  • Focus on the issues. Build your argument and make your case in support of your opinion from facts, research or other sources. That way we can all learn. “I disagree with so-and-so because…” is fine; “So-and-so is naïve/stupid  for thinking the way he/she does and here’s why…” is not acceptable.
  • Don’t make personal attacks. Don’t assume motives of those you disagree with, make unfounded allegations, spread rumours, or engage in any other behaviours that would discourage you from participating if someone said this to, or about, you. The Golden Rule applies: Do unto others as you would have done to you. We will edit or not post comments with this type of content.
  • Say it once: When comments from the same individual or individuals become repetitive, going over ground already stated, we reserve the right to close commenting.
  • Use your full, and real, name. If wish to make a comment in public, we expect you will publicly stand behind it with your name. If you don’t want to publicly reveal your name, that’s fine; you are always welcome to share your thoughts with me privately via my email below. I welcome and consider all feedback in making decisions for the community.
  • Have fun, consider and learn. Share your views and read those of others. May we all benefit from a healthy exchange of ideas, and learn a little more about the people in our community, what you think, and what’s important to each of you. You may end up changing your mind about an issue; even if you don’t, we hope everyone will gain a greater understanding of why people have different perspectives.
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Administrator

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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Phone: 905-335-7777
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca