Monday, September 1, 2014

Meet Ward 4 Contender Lorna Moreau

Hello, I'm Lorna Moreau, Ward 4 City Council Candidate. I have been living in the Ward 4 community for 35 years. During that time I have always been a vocal advocate for our constituency and Hamilton as a whole. I must be doing something right; the city has recognized me with The Lifetime Achievement Award, The Innovation Award, and The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

I settled and stayed in Ward 4 because I love the people. They are hardworking, kind and resilient. But over the past 15 years, I can't begin to express my disappointment at the steady and rapid decline in our representation. This situation and recent events have shown me that WE ARE NOT HEARD, nor are we represented or respected.

It is a fact that Ward 4 is in bad shape, and it's getting worse. Ward 4 leads, infamously, the entire city in unemployment, high school dropouts, single parent families and social service recipients. And from what I see daily, we are close to leading with the most Temp-Agencies and cash-lending storefronts. These are all disturbing indicators of what Ward 4 has become. The last thing we need is 4 more years of political grand-standing, taking credit where credit is not due, and empty promises.

We need real, full-time jobs and to attract more businesses that want to partner and invest in our community, engaged and realistic education, re-tasking unused schools and city properties as community and training centres for youth AND seniors, better transit, walkability, accountability for all future development and city planning, and most importantly, to get our community involved in a meaningful way; not just giving us the appearance of doing so.

All I've worked for in our community, and Hamilton as a whole, was not only to make things better for the people here now, but for the future; our children, grandchildren, and anyone else that will make Ward 4 their home. Over the years I've made it a point to attend or watch council meetings regularly. What I've seen is disturbing. Our council is dysfunctional. As a consequence, many Hamiltonians have given up.

I am aware that I alone cannot change city hall, but I can and will meaningfully represent the people of Ward 4. I will NOT accept any contributions from corporations or other interests council regulates. I never have nor will I ever owe anyone favours or special consideration. I will listen, connect, and work with whom ever to create a solid base on which to build. I do not waste my money and I will not waste yours. TOGETHER we can make Ward 4, and by extension Hamilton, a truly great place to work, live, and call home.

I'm making my way through all the neighbourhoods in our community, speaking with residents and business owners. And it is FANTASTIC meeting everyone! I encourage all Ward 4 residents to speak up and SHAKE IT UP! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns, good or bad, by email at: Lorna4Ward4@gmail.com on Twitter @Lorna4Ward4, or 905-545-9533. You can also check in on the Lorna4Ward4.ca website.

But most of all, regardless of who you vote for, PLEASE get out and vote on October 27th. Your opinions do matter!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tony Fallis Clarifies

With respect to the following story, (click here), Tony Fallis Manager of Elections/Print & Mail, provided The Hamiltonian with the following clarification through our Q/A with him:

Q. With reference to this story, http://www.thehamiltonian.net/2014/08/bad-brad.html a claim was made that you advised that the signs in question were “ok” according to the municipal election rules. Can you confirm as to what you advised and what the city’s position is on this matter?

A. I did not advise that the signs were ok. That decision would be made by the Municipal Law Enforcement office of the City of Hamilton.

Candidates are responsible for the interpretation of the Municipal Elections Act. On legislation they are not comfortable with they are advised by the Elections Office to seek advice either from their attorney or an accountant dependent upon the sections of the Act they are concerned about.

The Elections Office does not give advice on the interpretation of the MEA. Interestingly the Province of Ontario, the legislative body that writes the Act, will also not interpret the Act.

Hope this helps,
Tony Fallis
Manager of Elections/Print & Mail

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bad Brad?

The Winona Peach Festival is a signature festival in Winona. A place where community members gather and people travel to from far and wide. Festival attendees are there for the peaches, the rides, the food, the vendors and the fun.

Controversy sparked when Mayoral candidate Brad Clark had flags installed on a prime property fronting the path to the festival, which advertised his mayoral intentions.

Hamilton's by-law requires that election signs, as defined in the by-law, are not permissible on properties until 28 days prior to the October 27th election. Further rules exist that define campaign offices and allowances for such offices.

Clark's flags which, according to his campaign manager, were placed on a property that was serving as a temporary satellite office, prompted at least one official complaint. Some might interpret Clark's actions as an attempt to skirt election sign by-laws and take advantage of the dense foot and vehicle traffic en route to the Peach Festival. His campaign manager however maintains that he was told by city staff that the signs were okay. See Spec coverage by clicking here or obtaining a printed copy.

Do you accept that explanation?

Mayoral Battle- Ringside Seats

The Hamiltonian will not be endorsing any mayoral candidates. Rather, our focus is to provide each registered mayoral candidate with an equal opportunity to share their thoughts on a variety of topics that are of importance to the role of mayor.

We thus used the metaphor of a boxing match, in which contenders step into the ring and respond to a series of questions that we have grouped into rounds.

Round 1 asked the candidates what their views are on several issues- from light rail to what they would do in their first ninety days in office.

Round 2 was on the topic of Accountability- an important aspect of good governance.

Round 3 asked about their thoughts on Leadership.

A summary of the rounds are as follows:

Round 1: To read Michael Baldasaro's views on issues, click here
               To read Fred Eisenberger's views on issues, click here
               To read Crystal Lavigne's views on issues, click here
               To read Brian McHattie's views on issues, click here

Round 2. To read Michael Baldasaro's views on Accountability, click here
               To read Ejaz Butt's views on Accountability, click here
               To read Crystal Lavigne's views on Accountability, click here

Round 3. To read Michael Baldasaro's views on Leadership, click here
               To read Crystal Lavigne's views on Leadership, click here
               To read Brian McHattie's views on Leadership, click here

Note: For each round, the questions were emailed to each registered mayoral candidate who has an email contact.

Who will win Hamiltonians over and emerge the winner? We'll see on October 27th.  In the interim, enjoy ringside seats as we move into the next rounds.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak-Cookbooks: Essential friends, new friends

In the last column I wrote about Chef Daniel Pascoa of Eatalia saying the cookbook “NOMA – Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine” was “one of his must-have references and inspirations.” I also alluded to the fact that although I have this hefty volume, I have not actually cooked anything from it, partially a reflection of the very specific Nordic ingredients Chef Rene Redzepi sources locally and partially because of the complexity of the preparations.

I don’t know how many cookbooks I have, but it is a lot. This was driven home when a house stager told us to cut the number of books on the shelves by half!  Some of these books are ones I’ve barely skimmed. Others I use for as little as a single recipe. And yet others I’ve read cover to cover, more than once, to the point the pages are loose or stained with sauce.

I pick cookbooks up for new ideas, time-tested recipes, inspirational photos, insights to the minds of exciting chefs, great writing, and techniques. If I strike the jackpot, a book might have most of those things. If I had to choose the best, my favourite, or the last one I’d let go, I’m not sure which I’d pick. And yet I put that

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ward 6 Contender Dan Rodrigues

Can you tell us why you chose to run in this election? What do you hope to accomplish?

Hamilton is poised to step out of the shadows. We have exciting opportunities ahead with a new stadium and the PanAm Games; our communities are growing in their passion to ensure that decisions made are done so with civic engagement, and we have an immediate need to build our commercial tax base. My goals are multiple, however the foundation will be based on better civic engagement (through a Ward Community Council) and business development (through a review of our existing business park areas to ensure zoning doesn't restrict new business opportunities, such as those experienced in the Nebo Road area). From these foundations, Ward Six will not only prosper...so too will the City of Hamilton.

Can you briefly describe your experience, and/or what you believe you have to offer as a candidate.

-I have Chaired multiple Community, City and Chamber Committees and Boards over the last 20-years in a volunteer capacity. I continue to be an active community volunteer today. This volunteer experience has raised my awareness of many of the intricacies of how City Hall operates. Through my work as an Advisor to the Restaurant Industry, I've been at the forefront of several policy papers, active on by-law preparation, and knowledgeable on Provincial and Federal matters. I remain current on changes on all three levels of Government, which provide me with the necessary tools to reach timely decisions.

Where of how can constituents learn more about you and/or contact you?

Website: www.voterodrigues.ca

Email: voterodrigues@gmail.com
Facebook: Serving Ward 6
Twitter: @voterodrigues
Cell: 905-966-0508
Traditional Mail: 11 Billington Cres, Hamilton L8T 4P9

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Mother’s Plea for Help.

You may recall that The Hamiltonian and many others in our community rallied to assist Anita in her battle against Lyme Disease. For more details about our coverage, please click here.  Anita's mother, Nancy Kos is requiring some support around finding accommodations for important treatment that Anita requires in Richmond BC. If you know of any resources out there, or people who can help, please let her know. The following are the specifics of her request. 

A mother’s desperate plea for help.  Daughter, Anita Kos suffers from Lyme Disease, Google  Lyme Disease Anita’s Journey Hamilton. Dr. Eric Chan in Richmond BC is helping, but we need to stay there for approx. 2 months.  Reasonable or near free accommodations are desperately needed.  If anyone can help or have ideas please email  nkos@cogeco.ca.
Sincerest thank you,

Nancy Kos (mom)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Round Three- Crystal Lavigne- on Leadership

As part of our series in which we ask all registered mayoral candidates questions on a variety of topics, please enjoy our chat with Crystal Lavigne on the topic of Leadership. Note: Due to an email glitch, Crystal just received the questions on August 2nd. . We had offered an extension to the deadline, but Ms. Lavigne opted to submit the following:

Having just received these questions on Saturday August, 2nd, I am very short pressed time-wise to answer in the same manner some of the other contenders may or may not have. My apologies to all that I will not be answering the questions individually due to this hiccup. Therefore, I am going to give a brief statement here:

A 6th century B.C. Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, once said, “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they say; We did it ourselves.”

This is what I define what true leadership looks like. A true leader works the same as everyone else. My