Newsletter Signup

Burlington Mayor’s Letter to Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

STOCK_Mayor Office_Interior

Earlier this week, I sent the following letter addressed to the Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, as well as Premier Doug Ford, with copies sent to our local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPPs).

Given the advice of healthcare experts to employ strict social distancing, and avoid congregating in large crowds, I made the request on behalf of the City of Burlington for Provincial relief from the timelines established in the Planning Act, and flexibility in how we would hold  statutory public meetings as part of processing development applications.

Currently, the city is obligated to receive development applications, we are obligated to hold statutory public meetings as part of processing those applications, and we are required to complete our work within a legislated time frame (up to 120 days depending on the type of application). If we don’t complete our work within that time frame, we risk a “non-decision” appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. That takes the decision-making out of staff, the community and council’s hands, and limits public participation, and as such is not in our community’s best interest.

So we asked the Province to “stop the clock” on the processing of development applications by municipalities for an indefinite period, as we cope with this health emergency. We are also asking for flexibility in defining what constitutes a “public meeting” when we are unable to gather together for the foreseeable future. This flexibility would also apply to all required public meetings, including city standing committee and council meetings.

With the closure of City Hall and our efforts to maintain social distancing, public meetings of any kind are challenging.

I know that they are considering this issue and exploring solutions amidst many other pressing matters, and I look forward to hearing back soon.

You can read the full content of the letter here: Letter Mayor Meed Ward March 16 2020 – Premier and Minister.

– Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages (and subscribe) and that will be updated as new information becomes available.

Receive new post notifications by email

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.
Marianne Meed Ward

Marianne Meed Ward

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:

Newsletter Sign Up

Phone: 905-335-7607

Media Specialist: John Bkila