Mike Wallace wants to be Burlington’s next mayor.
No, not the renowned TV personality who passed away in 2012. The former city councillor and Conservative MP from 2006 to 2015 made the announcement in front of Burlington City Hall alongside his wife Caroline, with whom he currently operates a real estate business.
While never having been appointed to cabinet, Wallace did serve as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and was on the executive of the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Association as well as on the board of the Canada-Ukraine Friendship group.
Wallace lost his federal seat in 2015 to Liberal Karina Gould.
During his remarks on his political comeback, Wallace said as mayor he wants to bring back ‘vibrancy’ to the downtown core by attracting a younger generation through career and housing options. He also suggested land at Upper Middle Road and Appleby Line currently zoned as industrial use could be rezoned into a “Liberty Village West” of mixed use development to attract more young people and jobs.
As a former city councillor for Burlington for 12 years prior to his election to the House of Commons in 2006, Wallace also said he has the experience to build collaboration around the council table and getting people to work together.
Current Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring already announced his intentions last October to seek a third consecutive term, having won the top job back in 2010.
The political dynamics would be somewhat unique in having a former Conservative politician facing off against an incumbent mayor who once ran for the Green Party, with growth and development issues taking centre stage in Burlington as they have. There is no doubt those issues will factor into the respective candidates’ platforms as they offer themselves to the will of voters later this year.
Municipal elections in Burlington and the rest of Ontario take place on Oct. 22.
Follow me on Twitter @thekantastic