Friday, July 31, 2015

Media Release: George Hamilton Day (Civic) Holiday – August 3, 2015

George Hamilton Day (Civic) Holiday – August 3, 2015 What's Open and What's Closed?

Hamilton, ON – July 31, 2015 - All City of Hamilton administrative offices will be closed on Civic Holiday Monday, August 3 and will reopen Tuesday, August 4.

For emergencies involving roads, water mains, sewer systems, public health and safety issues, please call 905-546-CITY (2489).

A complete list of holiday schedules and closures is available on the City of Hamilton website.

Media Advisory- City of Hamilton to hold Lobbyist Registry information sessions

HAMILTON, ON – July 29, 2015 – On Thursday, July 30, the City of Hamilton will be holding two public information sessions and lobbyists and members of the public are invited to attend. The second public information session will be held on August 17. The sessions will provide information about the launch of the City’s new Lobbyist Registry online tool.

WHAT: The Lobbyist Registry is an accountability and transparency tool. The Registry goal is to allow members of the public to clearly see who is lobbying the City of Hamilton’s public office

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Teresa DiFalco- On Compliance Committee Process

As many of you know, the compliance committee process has reached an end, with the decision of the compliance committee on a number of matters. One of these matters, became an application concerning my campaign finances when I ran for Ward 10 Councillor.

Throughout the time that this matter unfolded, I responded to each media request I received-the lion’s share of which came from The Hamilton Spectator. I thought it proper to allow other media to cover this and not to speak about it here on The Hamiltonian, given that I am the Publisher.

As the matter has now been decided, and the committee has concluded that a compliance audit is not warranted in my case, I am at ease with writing about this in The Hamiltonian.

I believe that the compliance committee ultimately arrived at the right decision, with regard to not proceeding to a compliance audit,  where my campaign finances are concerned but I had grave concerns with the process; both, in my case and in the other cases that went before them.

My concerns grew as I learned that during one of Ms. Viv Saunders' applications concerning a councillor, a committee member told the councillor that she need not speak because he already knew that she had done nothing wrong. This highly prejudicial statement did not belong in the proceedings and assails the integrity of the process. I also became concerned when Ms. Joanna Chapman was informed by a compliance committee member that because a candidate was not successful in their election bid, that they were not subject to penalties. That statement was blatantly wrong and it makes one wonder if the committee members were duly skilled and informed to be hearing these matters.

In my case, and briefly, I provided a complete Form 4 package and ticked off indicators on the Form 4, that signalled that an additional schedule and charts were attached. Somehow, one schedule and two charts were not scanned and uploaded to the city’s website. This was beyond my control and seemingly, a result of human error. I am not assigning blame, but certainly I would imagine that people are people and are not infallible, even if you work at City Hall. We all make mistakes. Further, it would be completely illogical for me to check off boxes on my Form 4 stating that materials were attached, reference the information in those attachments throughout my Form 4 submission and factor them in the calculations, and yet not provide them.

In terms of the matter of my campaign deficit, I calculated it correctly, in accordance with the guide and cited the references throughout the guide that supported my calculation. This calculation, and my entire Form 4 submission was verified by an independent Chartered Professional Accountant, who provided his report accordingly. Upon receipt of the application, I presented the application to the independent Chartered Professional Accountant, and had him re-review my Form 4 and supporting materials in light of the application. He again confirmed that I was in complete compliance and provided a letter stating so, that I provided to the committee.

I intend to inform the public of the proceedings in my case more thoroughly, but in short, I am glad we have the safeguard of an audit compliance committee in the system. However, I am disappointed in the manner in which these proceedings were executed. There is room for significant improvement. Stay tuned.

Teresa DiFalco
Publisher, The Hamiltonian

Monday, July 27, 2015

Media Release: M.P. David Sweet to announce Federal Grants for Ancaster Facilities

For Immediate Release

M.P. David Sweet to announce Federal Grants for Ancaster Facilities

July 24, 2015  Ancaster, ON –

Local dignitaries will gather on Monday in Ancaster at Ancaster Square to announce federal grants through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program for Ancaster facilities.

David Sweet, along with Councillor Lloyd Ferguson will be at the front entrance of Ancaster Square, 300 Wilson St. E., at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 27th, 2015 to make the announcement.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Picture of the Moment-Water Walk

Two women participants in the 2015 Sacred Water Walk, walk down the service roiad in Stoney Creek to relay the water. Click here for more info.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak - Gone Fishing

Pierre D'Amours cooks a shore lunch
on the banks of the Restigouche river -
 Iphone pic by Alex Bielak

The filing deadline for this column was inconveniently in the middle of Food for Thought's annual fishing trip to the Maritimes. I'm sending this photo - recording a remarkable lunch in a remarkable place - from a Timmies in Campbellton during a "supplies run." (The river is low, as are staples like nibblies and gin, so needs must, and we have ventured from camp to "civilization" to restore the larder.)

The joys of such a trip with good friends include not just the fishing and easy camaraderie, but also long discussions after dinner on esoteric subjects: thus far we've covered the recent discovery of the oldest ever published volume of fly patterns, fraternities, British sketch comedy, and what in life remains sacred. Not much beyond love, apparently.

The integral fuel for all of this is the fantastic camp food, wine assembled from all over the world and intermittent, copious refreshments. An additional bonus this year was a side trip a number of us arranged down much of the Restigouche River. Over the course of a sunny day we motored and floated about 100 Km of the river, including over 60 Km of stunning wilderness, punctuated by some of the most exclusive salmon camps in the world.

Our guide, Pierre D'Amours, a superlative woodsman, navigated the skinny waters, teaching us much about the ecosystem, and some about ourselves and our place in it. At midday, after we had seen a fisherman land a fine male salmon on the best pool on the river that can hold thousands of Atlantic salmon up to 40 pounds or more, Pierre made a fire over which he cooked a splendid shore lunch.

Salmon smoked according to his secret recipe, and fiddleheads were followed by the steaks in the photo, accompanied by fried potatoes, onions and mushrooms. His wife Lisa's fresh strawberry jam on rolls baked by his mother were dessert. And yes there were libations, chilled in the cool tributary that ran into the main river.

It has been said one fishes to feed one's soul rather than one's body. I put that into practice this morning as I released a small salmon back to the clear green waters of Camp Pool. Luckily our cook, June, had a light something ready for us to restore the balance between soul and body!