Burlington mayoral candidates discuss the biggest issues for voters

Burlington mayoral candidates discuss the biggest issues for voters

Its the night before the municipal election.Mayoral candidates in Burlington were busy campaigning one last time today before the polls open tomorrow and development in the city is the focus.Marianne Meed Ward says the people of Burlington want change.“Residents are saying this is not my vision this is not what I want for the future.”Meed Ward as well as candidates Mike Wallace and incumbent Rick Goldring all say their number one priority is pacing the development and growth of Burlington’s core.“The downtown should belong to everybody. Not just those who can afford to live downtown.”Earlier this year the city of Burlington released its official plan; a document required by the province that outlines what a city needs to grow. It could be anything from new housing to anticipated needs for infrastructure and shops.Meed Ward says the official plan gives developers too much lee way and fears the downtown core will become saturated with condos.“There are up to 30 more high rises that would be allowed in the downtown according to our new official plan and that’s the first thing I’d like to work with a new council to change.”Goldring, who suggested annexing Waterdown, says if re-elected he wants to work with the province so that municipalities can have more control over growth policy and implementation. He says his plan differs from Meed Ward’s and Wallace’s.“I suggest we need to create a Burlington community lands corporation to buy strategic land of interest in the downtown and other areas of the city to make sure we can protect certain cites and facilitate development the way the community wants.”Wallace says his background in federal politics has helped him build relationships that could help change the official plan with the province.“The places to grow act to be changed to allow us to control our own vision of the growth of Burlington. Which means working with the province to change the urban growth centre out of downtown Burlington and the mobility hub that is designated for downtown Burlington.The other Burlington mayoral candidate, Greg Woodruff did not return our calls for an interview.Other hot topics the mayoral candidates say are top of mind include better transit and reducing traffic in the city, as well as affordable housing.

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