Monday, September 28, 2015

Integrity Commissioner 2.0?

It is a matter of irony that Mayor Eisenberger, who was an initiator of the idea of having an Integrity Commissioner during his first term as mayor, is now serving as mayor in the second installation of an Integrity Commissioner.

The first attempt at  having an Integrity Commissioner serve Hamiltonians, by many accounts and on various levels proved dissapointing and some might say, a failure. Marked by late reports and the quality of some reports deemed unsatisfactory, combined with some of the elements of the contract being left unmet, Hamiltonians appeared miffed by the manner in which the position was allowed to play out. At one point, the Ombudsman of Ontario went as far as condemming one of the reports produced by then I.C. Earl Basse, vowing to use it as an example of how not to write a report.

Our initial chat with Hamilton's new I.C. and Lobbyist Registrar, George Rust D' Eye can be found here.  

A copy of his contract can be viewed by clicking here. A copy of the job description for the Integrity Commissioner position can be found by clicking here.

The webpage for the Integrity Commissioner can be found here.

A copy of the Code of Conduct can be found by clicking here.(Starting at page 40)

The Lobbyist Registry page can be found here.  and the by-law can be found hereA copy of the job description for the Lobbysist Registrar  position can be found by clicking here.

It will be interesting to see how Mr. Rust D'Eye handles complaints that may come forward and whether he is able to gain the confidence of Hamiltonians  

The Hamiltonian continues to wish Mr. Rust D'Eye well in his new duties. 

Media Release- Free Veteran Parking at City-Owned Lots & Meters With Permit Starts October 1

Hamilton, ON – September 28, 2015 – Effective October 1, 2015, all Veterans who have been issued Ontario Veteran licence plates (excluding RCMP officers) will receive free parking in Hamilton at municipal parking lots and meters with the use of a special City-issued permit.

The veterans parking fee exemption is a 12-month pilot program offering veterans the ability to park for free in any municipal parking lot or on-street parking meter (for the duration of the parking meter).

Veterans currently participating in the City of Hamilton Veteran parking program will receive a parking permit for the pilot parking program in the mail. If not currently participating, veterans may apply for this permit through the Hamilton Municipal Parking System offices, 80 Main Street West at Summers Lane.

In addition to the veteran’s parking permit, the City of Hamilton offers all veterans exhibiting an Ontario veteran license plate free parking on Remembrance Day, November 11th of each year.

For more details please visit www.Hamilton.ca/parking, call the City of Hamilton’s Municipal Parking System at 905-540-6000 or e-mail parking@hamilton.ca.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak - Sips and Bites – early fall 2015 edition, with bonus giveaway

Sips and Bites – early fall 2015 edition, with bonus giveaway 

There are a couple events, beginning TOMORROW, that merit mention. I’m also pleased to: share some breaking news about an exciting new premier bash that is being developed to launch next May; report on the recent Flamborough Chili Fest; and point you to a couple of tasty, quick reads.

The ever-popular Chef Michael Smith is at Springridge Farm tomorrow, Sunday 27th September, between 10:30 and 12:30. He will be speaking about his new Cookbook, ‘Make Ahead Meals’. You’ll see from a previous Food for Thought, he’s a genuine and funny presenter well worth hearing from. When I first met him at Springridge he stayed until every single copy of his last book (Family Meals - which recently won a Gold Medal at the Taste Canada Food Writing Awards) had been signed. He’s not perfunctory in the least, engaging with the crowds of folk who clearly adore him. It will be crowded, so get there early and take in some of the other offerings at this family and foodie-oriented destination.

The very enjoyable Harvest Halton takes place on Sunday, October 4, from noon - 4:00 p.m. at Country Heritage Park in Milton. Local farmers pair with area chefs to create dishes, and all food and drink tastings are included. A WagJag discount offer of up to 54% off of regular priced tickets makes the event even more affordable, with prices going down the more you buy. Kids 12 and under are just $5.00 at the door. Readers can win two tickets (valued at $60) simply by leaving a comment below, or tweeting to me @AlexBielak and using the hashtag #harvesthalton. I will draw from among entrants toward the end of the week.

I’ve heard the Royal Botanical Gardens is looking at introducing a major annual signature event that will be run “in tandem with the opening of their newly renovated and beloved Rock Garden.” It will feature local celebrity chefs, entertainment, and an “incredible finale” that is being kept under wraps for now. I’ll be happy to share more as I am able.

The 3rd Annual Flamborough Chili Fest was held earlier this week. I was sorry not to be able to accept the invitation to be a judge again this year, and hear I missed some great offerings. All the funds raised benefitted the Flamborough Women's Resource Centre: it provides support services for all women in the community including information and community referrals, individual counselling, legal advocacy and support, women's groups, transitional housing support for victims of abuse, and teen peer support groups. A worthy cause indeed.

Flamborough Downs carried off the majority of the accolades, repeating in three categories. They were again the Overall People's Choice winners, and took Best Garnish/Presentation and Hot and Spicy classes again as well, adding Best Booth to their haul this year. The lovely ladies at Roseto Culinary and Catering Services were also repeat winners carrying off the Celebrity Judge Favourite title. The Chili Fest will be back in 2016, and I hope to return as a judge too.

Finally, fancy a really good, fast, tasty read? Taste Canada in partnership with the Food Bloggers of Canada (of which I’m a proud member) recently celebrated the first-ever winners for best French and English-language posts on food blogs. The winner in the Category for Best English Post was "Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Hazelnut, Orange, and Saffron." The French gold laureate was "Pizza 3 minutes: saucisses italiennes, épinards, tomates cerise, coeurs d'artichauts et mozzarella.” Congratulations Allison Day from ‘Yummy Beet’ and Christelle Tanielian from ‘Christelle is Flabbergasting’.

To close, I’d mention this is the 90th Food for Thought. Stay with me to the centenary folks!

To see more pictures, click here.

To see all past columns please see (and “like”) the Food for Thought Archives

Alex (Alex can be reached at fft@thehamiltonian.info or on twitter @AlexBielak)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Motions in Motion

Moved by: Councillor Sam Merulla

Whereas, the recent announcement from Metrolinx for LRT and GO will be transformative to the City of Hamilton; and

Whereas, the construction of LRT along the B-Line and A-Line will have significant impacts to stakeholders including local businesses; and

Whereas, the scope of this project is unprecedented in recent history; and

Whereas, to ensure the project is successful, a high-level of communication and engagement will be required; and

Whereas, Metrolinx and the City of Hamilton are beginning to establish a communications protocol to see the project through;

Therefore be it resolved:

1. That City communications staff be directed to develop a robust communications and community outreach strategy in partnership with Metrolinx; and

2. That the communications strategy be presented to the LRT Sub-Committee for approval.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Motions in Motion

The following noticeof motion was issued by Clr. Merulla this morning, followed by commentary from other councillors and Clr. Merulla:

Grey Cup Notice of Motion
Moved by Councillor Sam Merulla

Whereas the City of Hamilton is home to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats football club; and

Whereas Tim Horton’s Field is a new stadium and capable of hosting large sporting and entertainment events; and

Whereas the last time Hamilton hosted a Grey Cup was in 1996; and

Whereas hosting events at the new Tim Horton’s Field is an opportunity to showcase the stadium and community; and

Whereas there has been a commitment at the time of the stadium negotiations that Hamilton would host two Grey Cups within a 10 year timeframe upon substantial completion;

Therefore be it resolved that:

The City Manager and staff meet with the CFL and Hamilton Tiger-Cat’s Football club in an effort to

Monday, September 14, 2015

First Hearing at Ontario Court of Justice re: Election Finances

Update from The Spec. Click here

The Hamiltonian has been advised that two hours have been allotted on Thursday September 17th at 2:15pm, for the first hearing related to Vivian Saunders' action at the Ontario Court of Justice against several councillors concerning Ms. Saunders' assertions that compliance audits ought to have been ordered on these cases. We are also advised that the city will be bringing a motion to dismiss the matters. The hearing will be held in Courtroom 208 at the John Sopinka courthouse.