Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all!  May 2015 be a good year and may everyone find peace and joy in this new year. 

Please read the following tips from Hamilton Police Services, before you proceed with festivities tonight.  Click here and stay safe. 

Teresa DiFalco, Publisher, The Hamiltonian and the staff of The Hamiltonian. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cold Weather Alert

HAMILTON ON – December 30, 2014 -The Medical Officer of Health for the City of Hamilton is issuing a Cold Weather Alert effective overnight tonight. A Cold Alert is issued when current or anticipated weather conditions are at or below minus 15 degrees Celsius or minus 20 with wind chill.

This alert will remain in effect until a cancellation notice is issued.

The City of Hamilton has notified community agencies who work with vulnerable and homeless people. Each of those agencies, including Salvation Army, will implement their policies and procedures with regards to cold weather.

Members of the public can report the location of a person in need of shelter to the Salvation Army at 905-527-1444 Ext. 0.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Santucci Says HWDSB Will Not Cut Admin Costs

HWDSB Administration Costs Not On The Table

Former HWDSB Chair Jessica Brennan (now under contract to train new trustees) made the following statement in the Board minutes of December 9, 2013 with regards to the Ministry directive to right size schools and eliminate empty space;

"HWDSB supports increased transparency and accountability to the public it serves and applauds the Ministry for those changes. That said, HWDSB would like to remind the Ministry that those improvements are costly in terms of non-instructional administration time and reporting requirements. A reduction in board administration is not consistent with the initiatives currently underway."

In other words; In order to comply with the Ministry directives we can't cut administration costs.

Gary Santucci
Hamilton, Ontario

The Board minutes can be found here

Here are some of the big ticket items in the 2014 HWDSB Budget

1,294,713 Rentals (space not in schools)
5,184,895 Fees & Contractual Services
13,529,405 Transportation (Buses)
13,165,235 Board Administration & Governance (Includes 12 superintendents & exec.assistants)
34,430,698 School Administration

The entire Budget can be found here

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mayor Eisenberger Injured in Fire at Home- but is Okay

Mayor Eisenberger treated for burns to hand following fire at home

December 21, 2014 Hamilton, ON - Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger sustained injuries to his right hand following a fire at his east end home Saturday evening. The fire originated in the clothes dryer.

The fire department arrived shortly after 5:00pm, removing the dryer and assessing for safety while dealing with a significant amount of smoke.

Paramedics transported Mayor Eisenberger to Hamilton General Hospital where he was treated for possible smoke inhalation while his hand was bandaged. "I want to offer my sincere thanks to the Hamilton Fire Department, Paramedics and Hamilton Police Service for their response and good care for us and our home and hospital staff who provided excellent treatment," said Mayor Eisenberger.

"The Mayor was released from the hospital shortly after 10:00pm and will return today to have the dressing changed on his hand," said spokesperson Amanda Kinnaird. "We're grateful to everyone for their words of support."

Mayor Eisenberger's wife, Diane, and family were not injured. The Mayor will visit the burn unit on Monday for further evaluation.

The Mayor reminds everyone about the importance of having a fire extinguisher in your home and how to properly use it.

For more information and safety tips, please visit Hamilton Fire Services:


Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Basse Dilemma

No reasonable person would take issue with Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse citing ongoing serious health issues as the reason why he has been late with outstanding investigations. 

However, given that timeliness is a key factor in investigations and that Mr. Basse is not only paid hourly for his investigations, but also a monthly retainer, one begins to wonder about the appropriateness of Mr. Basse continuing to receive a monthly payment and his failure to step down, given that he seemingly cannot fulfill the requirements of his position due to his health challenges.

Hamiltonians would emphasize with Mr. Basse's health challenges, but at what point would the onus be on him, or city council to end this relationship. given that it does not seem to be working? 

Your thoughts? 

The Hamiltonian wishes Mr. Basse all the best on the health front. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Police Services' Budget Ask

The Hamiltonian asked Chief DeCaire to provide our readers with information pertaining to the police budget ask. The following document was provided (click here to see it). It is the report provided to the Police Services Board requesting approval for the operating budget. 

The ask represents a 2.95% increase over the 2014 budget and is said to be the lowest budget request in the last 16 years.

The Hamiltonian welcomes comments but asks that comments be geared toward whether you support the budget request and your reasons for or against. 

The Hamiltonian will not publish any comments that seek to demonize the Chief or any of the politicians or board members involved. 

A Chat with New Councillor for Ward 3- Matthew Green

1. What will your top three priorities be for the ward in this first year of your term? Why are these most important?

Safety concerns are a top priority moving forward. What I heard from Ward 3 residents again and again at the door were concerns with neighbourhood safety. There are a broad number of safety concerns in our community from addictions and mental health, to violence, petty theft and vandalism to unsafe traffic and street level sex trade work. All residents deserve to feel safe in their own neighbourhoods.

The Pan Am games in Ward 3 present a unique opportunity to see investment in infrastructure, security, and community programming. My second priority as a councillor is to ensure that the legacy of the games go beyond the two weeks of events and remain as ongoing improvements to enrich Ward 3.

My third priority is the continued support of neighbourhood level resident engagement and asset

Monday, December 15, 2014

Four years of......?

In a political system where 16 Councillors (including the Mayor), each have an equal vote, the  Bus Lane debate may serve as a metaphor as to how council will get issues through, as much as how traffic will get through on King Street. 

On the one hand, Clr. Chad Collins, proposed to preempt the staff report on this issue altogether, and end the bus lane as, as he described it, an early Christmas gift to those who find the lane objectionable.

On the other hand, Mayor Eisenberger countered with the need to engage in evidence-based decision making, deeming the staff report an essential component of that. The Mayor also proposed some operational revisions in advance of the staff report, which would see the bus lane optimized rather than canceled.

There are likely compelling arguments for each of these perspectives, and assuming the staff report is objective and balanced, it could be a useful tool to add clarity that would aid in the decision-making process.

But it seems that both Mayor Eisenberger and Clr, Collins have seemingly missed an important step; the need to be collegial and consult. On The Bill Kelly show the Mayor conceded that he did not really consult with the other Councillors on his ideas for operational improvements. Equally as troubling is Collins' recent positioning of this matter in the public realm (obviously counter to what the Mayor has in mind) , and his willingness to forgo the staff report.

The Hamiltonian is hopeful that the maneuvering around this issue is not indicative of what's to come over the next four years.  

Note: The Hamiltonian posed the  following questions to Clr. Collins prior to the Mayor releasing his press release on the Bus Lane issue.  We have not received an answer from Clr. Collins.  

In today’s Spectator there is a suggestion that perhaps you are acting prematurely to ask council to end the transit lane on King Street, prior to receiving the staff report.  Is this purely a calculated risk and if so, what prompted you to see this as a prudent move at this juncture, or did you have some idea of what the staff report may conclude, and thus decided to move forward sooner than later?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak-We three Cookbooks for Christmas are…

We three Cookbooks for Christmas are… 

Before we get to three books you might want to put, or find, under the Christmas tree this year, a word or two of appreciation.

This is the last column till 2015, so, many happy returns to readers. I hope we can all take a moment to reflect on how blessed we are, and to remember those who might need a bit of a boost at this time of year. I also want to give a huge shout-out to The Hamiltonian’s publisher, Teresa DiFalco, for providing such a great platform for Food for Thought, not to mention far more weighty content.

We’re at more than seventy columns to date and I also want to offer a truly sincere thank you to Diane, my principal contact, who has done wonders in getting up copy and photos, sometimes in record time. It is a pleasure to work with such great folk.

Three books caught my eye recently. I’m sure any one of them would be a welcome addition under the tree for the cook, traveller or tea lover in your life.

The most straight-forward book is perhaps “The Dirty Apron” cookbook, with a short foreword by Vancouver’s ubiquitous Vikram Vij. It’s a quick read, one that made me feel warm inside. I’d love to meet author David Robertson and visit the west coast cooking school where he’s taught about 8,000 students a year since 2009.

The recipes are clear, enticing, and simple to follow. I particularly appreciated a couple of baking and pasta tips that I’ve not seen as well illustrated or described before, and know others will like the well-presented section on brining, an essential technique to ensure moist roast meat. As it should, given the author’s home base, the book shines when it deals with fish. I was hugely taken with the Cinnamon-smoked and ginger-soy poke tuna recipes, as well as the one for pan-roasted halibut. A

Friday, December 12, 2014

Media Release: Mayor Proposes Adjustment to Bus Lane Pilot Project

December 12, 2014 Hamilton, ON –Today, Mayor Eisenberger is proposing some helpful adjustments to the Transit Only Lane (TOL) for staff to report back on along with their report to council on the pluses and minuses of the trial period.

The motion will be formally introduced at the December 17th meeting of council. A report will be available to all members of council, as well released publically on Jan 7th, 2015.

“Before any further discussion around eliminating the bus lane, there is merit in waiting for the release of the report, examining the benefits and making adjustments to improve implementation,” said Mayor Eisenberger. 

Giving consideration to alternatives to the current design and operation, Mayor Eisenberger is proposing:

a) Restricting hours of operation of the Transit Only Lane, to weekday morning and afternoon rush hours only and unrestricted use on weekends;

b) Modification to allow the use of the Transit Only Lane to other High Occupancy Vehicles;

c) Alternative design to relocate the Transit Only Lane to the second lane from the north curb lane and to restore parking back to the north curb land while eliminating parking in the south lane, in the area west of Bay Street.

This is an effort to address and improve upon the challenges during the bus lane trial process.

Further, Mayor Eisenberger noted, "We need to ensure we make evidence based decisions and that council have all necessary options before them in advance of making a decision on the future of transit in the downtown."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Chat with New Councillor for Ward 1 - Aidan Johnson

The Hamiltonian reached out to newly elected Councillor for Ward 1, Aidan Johnson. Enjoy our chat with Aidan.

1. What will your top three priorities be for the ward in this first year of your term? Why are these most important?

In no particular order:
  • Economic development of Hamilton.
  • Environmental protection.
  • Fighting poverty.
These three priorities are my “top three” because each one is an essential pillar of sustainable development, and of the creation of safe, complete streets for Ward 1 and the City.

2. Voter turn out in this past election was low, prompting some to suggest that we have fallen in an oligarchy (please see this article for reference.

Regardless of whether you subscribe to this view or not, what might you do to ensure that the views and perspectives you carry forward, are , in fact, reflective of the people that you are representing? Given the low voter turn out, is there anything in particular you might do to ensure you remain sensitive to the issues of all Hamiltonians.

Constant, regular consultation with the community is key to making sure that my work on Council is democratic. That is, broad consultation is key to making sure that my work is reflective of a broad cross-section of the best, thoughtful views within Ward 1 and Hamilton.

Our ongoing Participatory Budget process is one key means by which I intend to engage, stay

Monday, December 8, 2014

To B.I.A. or not to B.I.A.- Glen Norton's response.

In response to the article  To B.I.A. or not to B.I.A., The Hamiltonian has received the following response from Glen Norton of the City of Hamilton. Glen's reply is posted verbatim:

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify and correct misinformation that has been circulating on the proposed formation of a business improvement area (BIA) in the James St. South area of downtown Hamilton.

We are aware of several individuals objecting to the BIA being formed in the James St. South neighbourhood. In response, allow us to address some of the key areas of concern outlined in the group’s document. It is not unusual that some property owners and merchants are opposed to the formation of a BIA. It should first be noted that efforts to have a BIA in this area have been ongoing for over two years, initially as an extension of the Downtown BIA, then more recently by a group of local businesses who felt the area would be better served by having their own, distinct, BIA.

The numbered statements are extracted and condensed from the document submitted by Mr. Oldfield and Mr. Czarnogoski:

1. “A BIA is exponentially more difficult to dismantle once it has been formed.”

Incorrect. Property owners choose to dissolve the BIA using the same provincially legislated process

To B. I.A. or Not to B.I.A.?

The Hamiltonian has been made aware of a group of people who are objecting to a B.I.A. being formed in their James St. neighbourhood. The group has released information (see it by clicking here), alleging that the formation of a BIA was done improperly and in an undemocratic fashion.

Further, the group argues that a BIA will increase taxes unduly, does not have a sunset date and thus will continue perhaps needlessly, and is not the right solution. Alternatively, they are proposing the formation of a Merchant and Business Association (MBA) as a more effective, cost saving entity.

The Hamiltonian has contacted Clr. Farr and Glen Norton for comment. Should we hear from Clr. Farr and/or Mr. Norton, we will publish their responses. In the interim, the group's rationale for a M.B.A rather than a B.I.A,, can be found by clicking on the document link above.

Picture of the Moment- Santa Clause Came to Town

Teresa DiFalco, Laurie Raudnask & Mayor Fred Eisenberger
I was honoured to ride in the Stoney Creek Santa Claus Parade this past weekend as Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

The parade also welcomed Mayor Fred Eisenberger, as well as other  municipal, provincial, and federal politicians, many local talents, clubs, organizations, and of course,  the star for the parade - Santa Clause.

Many are calling the parade the best in the long time. The weather was perfect, but even more perfect was the turn out, with the streets packed with people; especially children.

It was a perfect day to bundle up, get comfy along the curb, and enjoy an afternoon with family and friends. The array of colourful floats, marching bands, dancers, Christmas music, candy canes, and a joyful atmosphere, made the wait to see Santa well worth the visit to the parade.

I rode in a stunning 1973 cherry red convertible, owned by Gordon Mason of Mason Construction.

At the end of the parade Mayor Fred Eisenberger hitched a ride with us  back to his vehicle. It was a fun day for all, and certainly brought the Christmas spirit to the Creek.

Congratulations to the parade organizers, and the many people that donated their time and efforts in participating this year and making the parade a huge success.

Also, a special personal thank you to the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce, Mason Construction, and Karma Candy.

Teresa DiFalco
Publisher, The Hamiltonian

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lost Dog

Female dog found on Fruitland Road this morning. If anyone in the Fruitland, Winona, or Stoney Creek area has lost this dog or knows of someone who has, please contact The Hamiltonian at admin@thehamiltonian.info

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak - Sips and Bites – Holiday 2014 edition

SB Prime Chef, Sidney Brandt (r) 
and Ampersand Catering Chef, 
Christina Christiansen
Photo by A. Bielak
Sips and Bites – Holiday 2014 edition

I know how busy folks are in the lead-up to the holidays, so this column will be a short, sweet roundup of food and drink news and opportunities.

But first, last time around I wrote about a new book on gluten-free artisan bread. We’ve had the chance to test several of the recipes and chat with one of the authors, Jeff Hertzberg, and I hope to report more fully in the future along with pictures of some of the results. Bottom line is the book is a recommended “Buy” for those who have to deal with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

I also hope to offer reflections sparked by a tasting organized by Tourism Burlington in conjunction with SB Prime. The restaurant is, I’m given to understand (please correct me if I’m wrong), the only one in the area headed by a female Chef. It was good to visit for the first time and watch Chef Sidney Brandt, assisted by her colleague, Chef Christina Christiansen (she leads SB Prime’s parent group’s catering division) in action. The space was convivial, with lots of food and cocktails for the assembled bloggers and food writers to photograph, sample and tweet about (in that order). All in all it was a lively and fun event. A bonus was that I learned appetizers at SB Prime are ½ price from 4 to 6 pm every day. Go on a Monday and bottles of wine are half price as well!

Looking for a quick, easy advance Christmas present for your sweetie? The indefatigable Dave Hanley, owner of Popup Hamilton continues to grow his enterprise. His Holiday High Jinks event at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market this Tuesday (December 3rd) still has tickets available. This time around, Hanley has enlisted some star power: Proud advocate of aboriginal cuisine and third-place finisher in the last season of Top Chef Canada, Chef Rich Francis will be doing his thing along with Chefs Mark Farruggia of La Piazza Allegra, and Shane McCartney of McCartney and Son. There will be wines from Ridge Road Winery, live entertainment and more.

Or you could put tickets for “Pop Up Speakeasy” under the tree. The Valentine’s Day 2015 event sounds like a ton of fun: A prohibition-era Speakeasy will be the venue, with “authentic period cuisine, wine, beer, bawdy entertainment.” Tickets go on sale December 15th.

On the wine front I can recommend the excellent Tawse Winery Sketches 2013 Riesling ($17.95 LCBO Vintages # 89029): it was an excellent match for a spicy Singapore Prawn dish I prepared recently. I also had the opportunity to crack a 2011 Pillitteri Estates Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine ($34.95 LCBO Vintages # 674812) and have it with a chocolate terrine with berry coulis. It was a fantastic match. (Thanks to my daughter’s friends for this generous house gift incidentally. Come back any time!)

Want to stock up for the holidays? I was recently informed by an impeccable, knowledgeable and trusted source that Niagara College Teaching Winery has some great deals on currently “like Dean's list 2009 & 10 Pinots and 2011 Chardonnay $20, DL 2010 Meritage $30, and 2010 Merlot, Cab Sauv and Cab Franc $15 by the case (can be mixed).”

In closing, sincere kudos to local restaurateurs Matt Kershaw and Erin Dunham. Their following have such regard for them that 174 of them stumped up over $100,000 in a crowd-sourced funding campaign to fund a new restaurant to add to their existing stable (The Alex, in Burlington, and Rapscallion and Two Black Sheep, both in Hamilton. For more on the story that can only be good news for the food scene in our area see this CBC report. Bravo both on pulling this off.

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, November 25, 2014

Mayor Declares This Friday 'Black & Gold' Day

Residents Encouraged To Show Their Hometown Pride & Support The Ticats

HAMILTON, ON – November 25, 2014 – Today the Mayor of Hamilton, Bob Bratina, announced that this Friday, November 28 is 'black and gold' day across the city. All residents are encouraged to show their hometown pride by wearing the colours in support of the Hamilton Tiger Cats, bound for the Grey Cup for the second consecutive year.

"The sold-out Eastern semi-final game this past Sunday was a testament to the enormous spirit and excitement our community has for its CFL football club," says Mayor Bratina. "To help boost our Ticats as they head to Vancouver for this Sunday's final against Calgary, I hope to see as many Hamiltonians displaying the team's colours."

“Our fans at Tim Hortons Field have made a huge difference for us,” says Ticats CEO Scott Mitchell. “While we know they can’t all be there in Vancouver with us wearing our colours on Friday will further demonstrate how much they are behind our team on our journey to bring the Grey Cup to Hamilton.”

Black and gold day was declared as the Mayor, along with council members, Tiger Cats management and residents of Hamilton gathered at the team's headquarters this afternoon on Jarvis St. to help send the team off. The Ticats boarded a bus at approximately 3:15 p.m. to depart for their flight from the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport to Vancouver.

Mayor Elect Eisenberger will be heading west to represent Hamiltonians and join Tiger Cat fans in cheering our home town favorites in the 102nd Grey Cup game. "Hometown pride is running high as we make our second consecutive trip to the big game," said Eisenberger. “In keeping with the betting tradition between mayors, I will be connecting with Calgary Mayor Nenshi to make a friendly wager on Sunday’s game. We're going to ask the online Hamilton community for their ideas and determine a wager that is meaningful for our respective cities."

Mayor Bratina's Message re: the Passing of Pat Quinn

On behalf of myself and City Council I want to express our deepest sympathy on the sad passing of Pat Quinn to wife Sandra, the Quinn family and Pat's friends everywhere. Pat always maintained a strong relationship and love for his hometown, and the East End neighbourhood where he was raised. As kids we were team mates on the Mahoney Park Dodgers baseball team and on meeting up with Pat through the years our conversations would start with memories of team-mates, neighbours,
war-time houses, the old Barton Street arena and all the things he cherished from his growing-up years. 

 Thankfully his city acknowledged him during his lifetime with the arena and street-naming of which he was very proud. In view of Pat's remarkable life which emphasized education in addition to sport I would suggest that some thought be put by Council and others to a further tribute to Pat involving his passion for education that could inspire our youth to follow his example of life-long learning. As Pat assisted me in becoming mayor I would be pleased and honoured to participate in such an initiative.
Mayor Bob Bratina

Monday, November 24, 2014

Media Release: Crews prepare for winter maintenance on Cannon cycle track

HAMILTON, ON – November 24, 2014 – As we brace for winter conditions and more snowfall, City crews are preparing to replace the planter boxes in the Cannon cycle track with flexible bollards (knockdown sticks) for the winter season.

Due to limited space restrictions there is a risk of the snow removal equipment damaging the planters or knocking them into the traffic or bike lanes, causing a potential safety hazard. The planters will be removed and flexible bollards will be added to maintain the buffer between traffic and the bike lanes during the winter season. The planters will be added back to the cycle track in the spring.

“Roads crews are making every effort to assist with this pilot project and are committed to accommodating cyclists and motorists during the winter season,” said Bob Paul, Manager of Winter Control. “We appreciate the patience and cooperation of both cyclists and drivers this winter as we strive to provide efficient and reliable snow clearing service.”

In the area of the Cannon cycle track, crews will plow the road and the bike lanes so they are clear and safe for travel. Crews will then use a blower, as required, to remove the accumulated snow from the bike lanes. This removal is expected to take place during overnight hours.

The City’s operational experiences and community feedback over the winter season will be documented as part of the evaluation of this three-year pilot project.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

From Democracy to Oligarchy? - Our Perspectives Virtual Panel Weighs In

The Hamiltonian posed the following questions to our Perspectives Virtual Panel. Their responses follow.

The following chart  represents the percentage of voters who voted the new city council, as per the October 27th 2014 city-reported election results. Click here to see chart.

The chart presents the candidates in order of lowest to highest percentage of voter support. For example, the Ward 9 candidate won with the lowest amount of % of Voter turn out, with 8.95% of the vote. Even the winner with the highest amount of voter turn out (Ward 14) only won with 28.53%.

Representative government rests on the concept that elected officials represent the people who elect them. The results suggest that the new council will in effect, not have a mandate supported by a healthy degree of people who they are to represent.

What do you believe led to the very poor voter turnout, what does this say about the state of affairs in Hamilton and how could this new council hope to be effective in a representative model, when the majority of people to be represented did not provide their support or endorsement?

Herman Turkstra wrote....

One solution is really simple. If one candidate does not get 51% or more, a run-off happens between the first and second place candidates. Premier Wynne has told Ted McMeekin, as Minister of Municipal Affairs to make that happen in 2018. It will make a big difference in turnout. I'm not sure it will make any difference in the depth of voter analysis.

M Adrian Brassington  wrote.....

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Reader's Den - In The Company of Educated Men by Leonce Gaiter

In the Company of Educated Men is quick but interesting read. At 177 pages, it's an ideal read for those who want something new to read, but something not as voluminous as your average paperback or hardcover.

Author Leonece Gaiter takes us through the misadventure of three recent Harvard graduates who take to the open road as an escape of sorts from the world of the mundane in search for an undefined outlet or calling.

Instead, they find themselves entangled in a unexpected encounter, which leads to being on the run from police, with an armed thief and young girl who happens to sneak her way into their vehicle.

The stress and tensions that result, pull at loyalty, strain relationships and impact lives forever. 

Find this book by clicking here.

Are you a published author, or a publisher who would like your works considered for review in The Hamiltonian's Reader's Den? Contact us at admin@thehamiltonian.info with your request. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Media Release- Preliminary report on The People’s Platform

Key Achievements

19 town halls were held
10 community partnerships were built
47 proposals for a better Hamilton were put forth
7 mayoral candidates endorsed the process
6 mayoral candidates went on record supporting citywide participatory budgeting
70 candidates completed the People’s Platform questionnaire
544 residents voted on the proposals
44 proposals were approved
9 of the 16 members of the newly elected Council endorse some or all of the 44 approved proposals
30 focused media impressions were made, including news articles, op-eds, radio interviews, and television spots

Campaign Overview

A kick-off event was held in July, four regional forums were held in August, and 15 ward forums

Friday, November 14, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak- Artisan Bread – Gluten Free?

Gluten-free Artisan Bread
Artisan Bread – Gluten Free? 

One of the pleasures of this gig is getting to see some neat cookbooks. Danielle Johnson, Senior Publicist At BC’s Raincoast Books very kindly sent me several titles recently, and I am looking forward to perusing, and sharing thoughts about, them with readers in the coming months.

The one that first caught my eye was “Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg (an MD), and Zoe Francois (a Pastry Chef). It seems more and more people say they can’t handle wheat or gluten, but their options for truly great fresh, crusty bread appear pretty limited. I’d also like guests at my table to be able to indulge in one of life’s pleasures, without concern

The front cover attracted me because of the beautiful loaves featured. The resident baker was instantly sceptical saying something to the effect “there is no way those are gluten-free”. After an expensive trip to the health food store to acquire the various ingredients (which are going to see us thru about ten loaves) the yeast is doing its magic and the dough is rising.

The aforementioned baker is an adept of the Jim Lahey, ‘no-knead’, method of making bread popularised in a seminal New York Times Article. She learned the techniques from Marc Albanese at Pane Fresco when he himself was still actually baking his fantastic breads in the Burlington Store. The method is close to foolproof and we immediately ditched our bread machine as our ‘no-knead’ bread proved far superior in taste and texture, and was not appreciably more work. (We also reduced the frequency of visits to Pane Fresco, except for a few items they excelled in, but which were beyond us!)

Hertzberg and Francois previously authored “Healthy Bread”, “Artisan Bread,” “the New Artisan Bread” and “Artisan Pizza and Flatbread” (all “in 5-minutes a day”), none of which I was previously familiar with. Point is they seem to know what they are about: The family baker found plenty to give her comfort as she read through the key bits before acknowledging gluten-free could well work, and heading out on her shopping expedition.

The results of the first experiment (a standard white made following the basic recipe) won’t be in till tomorrow and, after that is mastered, there are plenty of great-sounding recipes to try. (Pumpernickel, date and walnut for one.) I’m encouraged too, enough to share the details with readers who might wish to acquire the book without delay. I will report later on how things turned out and also point readers to a coming cookbook giveaway (including this one), in the winter edition of BCity Magazine, where I also get to write about food and drink.

For 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)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ontario Ombudsman Comments on The Hamiltonian's Question to Earl Basse

Double click on picture above to enlarge it. 

Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin applauds Hamilton for having the position of Integrity Commissioner but wonders why  Hamilton Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse believes our question to Mr. Basse for stats related to how many investigations he has submitted late, was deemed by Mr. Basse to be an inappropriate question.

Thanks Mr. Marin for tweeting out your view on this! 


The Hamiltonian recently attempted to quantify some facts related to the work of Earl Basse, Hamilton's Integrity Commissioner.

We were interested in determining how many investigations he has undertaken to date, how much he has been paid to date and, of the investigations that he has received and deemed worthy of investigation, in how many of those has he missed the time frames that he was expected to deliver within.

By our contacting the city, we have been able to determine the following:

The number of complaints filed to date has been 17.

The total amount paid to Mr. Basse to date, has been $200,474.25

Our query about how many investigations were submitted late, was referred back to Mr. Basse. Mr. Basse advised us that he is preparing a report that he will be submitting to council; thus, in effect, not answering our question. The Hamiltonian contacted Mr. Basse reminding him that we have no affiliation to the relationship he has with council, and our questions are being asked of him independent of that.

Mr. Basse's final reply was as follows:

"My report to Council covers that area and it would be inappropriate to inform the media prior to Council."

As The Hamiltonian has not asked for any specific information pertaining to any cases that are or were investigated, and requested aggregate data only related to the number of cases that were submitted late, we see no reason why Mr. Basse saw this request as inappropriate. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Checking in with Mayor Bob Bratina

Prior to the new term of council commencing, we thought we would check in with Mayor Bob Bratina and ask him to share some thoughts with our readers. Enjoy the Mayor's comments.

My sincere thanks to the Hamiltonian for presenting a dignified and respectful forum in which city matters could be discussed in as neutral and non-partisan a manner as is possible. Had all such local forums approached the issues in a similar fashion we may well have had a much higher voter turnout in the recent municipal election. The “why bother” attitude came in part because of the four year long LRT debate, spurred by a very small advocacy group. The broader public and prominent business leaders had long ago dismissed the B-line proposal as an unnecessary waste of money. I know this because I asked people in scores of direct conversations in every part of the city and in every walk of life. This was not a “wedge” issue for the vast majority who demonstrated their indifference on October 27th.

My reluctant entry into the 2010 mayoral campaign was related to my indifference to the slate of candidates, and as in 2014, the failure of a galvanizing figure to step forward who was not associated

Chat with Ward 9's Doug Conley

Enjoy our chat with new Ward 9 Councillor -elect, Doug Conley.

As a new councillor, what will your focus be in the first 90 days of your term?

  • To get to know the staff and who is responsible for what.
  • Review the King street proposal and follow through with some of my concerns
  • Follow up on several issues in the ward
  • Be interactive with the other councillors

What impression do you hope to make at council and for Hamiltonians?

I am not trying to make any impression but do my job and ask the right questions at council.

How will you go about making this impression and what might Hamiltonians notice about your style and approach?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Election Afterthoughts with Ejaz Butt

The Hamiltonian reached out to all Mayoral contenders, and asked them if they cared to share their views post election. The following is Ejaz Butt's submission:

First of all ,I would like to extend my whole hearted greeting to Fred for his great success in Municipals elections as Mayor of Hamilton. I hope after taking over his Mayor office , he will not repeat the same mistakes , which he did during his last term. He will move forward. to take the city toward prosperity and overcome the poverty issue in our city .His funding toward economic development plan is a great visionary idea to move the city forward economically. Once again I congratulate Fred for his success.

Now I ask a question to myself and I am sure everybody would be interested to know,why I participated in this election ,in spite of that I knew , I will not be able to win this election at any cost and even then I joined this Mayoral race.

a. Wanted to know the process of election and compare the election process between developed and under developed countries democratic system.

b. Role of print and and electronic media. ( fair or unfair )

c. Encouraging the youth specifically the youth from ethnic back ground to be more proactive in

Media Release: Mayor-elect Fred Eisenberger names his Chief of Staff and six-member Transition Team.


November 4, 2014

Mayor-elect Fred Eisenberger names his Chief of Staff and six-member Transition Team.

Drina Omazic, who served as Chief of Staff to Eisenberger 2008 -2010, will resume this role in addition to managing the transition team. Drina brings extensive experience to the Mayor’s Office, having served as Chief of Staff to former MPP, Dr . Marie Bountrogianni at the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs and Democratic Renewal, and the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. As well as direct federal and community experience having served as Special Assistant, Community Outreach to former Deputy Prime Minister and MP Sheila Copps.

Mayor-elect Fred Eisenberger is pleased to have the support of the other members of the team which include; Christopher Cutler, Eisenberger’s 2014 campaign manager, former Mayor’s Larry Di Ianni and Robert Morrow, lawyer, Scott Smith and Senior Human Resources leader, Mary Nagle.

The transition team has begun preliminary meetings and framework to move forward, including finalizing the operational makeup of the office and preparations for the swearing in on December 3, 2014. For inquiries: transition@Fred2014.ca.

“I am looking forward to getting to work and appreciate the support of the team and their expertise during my transition into Office,” said Mayor-elect Eisenberger.

We Need better Candidates- by M Adrian Brassington

There are so many valid criticisms of our municipal governance. Confidence in City Council is habitually low. Over the last seven weeks of the election campaign, I attended more than a half-dozen ‘candidates’ evenings’, as well as watched all the available debates online, courtesy of Joey Coleman and Cable 14. As a result, it’s my belief that we need to take a good look at the other side of the formula. That is, what’s being offered up from the constituents: the candidates. After all, election campaigns are extended job interviews. But you wouldn't know it, based on the behaviour of so many, this time through.

So here are some observations and suggestions for new candidates and incumbents alike when out on the hustings.

Monday, November 3, 2014

With Mayor Eisenberger

Hamilton Mayor-Elect
Fred Eisenberger
The Hamiltonian welcomes Mayor Elect Fred Eisenberger and will check in with Mr. Eisenberger from time to time on issues facing Hamilton.

In this first edition we talk to the Mayor Elect about the major issues that will face Hamilton, his plans in the first 3 months of his term and his thoughts on low voter turn out. Enjoy our chat with Fred.

1. Looking forward to the next four years, what are the major issues/ decisions that Hamilton must absolutely get right in order to prosper and move forward. How will you prepare for these issues, as mayor?

We need to continue providing our Economic Development department with budget to advance their business attraction and retention work as well as promote the city’s transportation infrastructure as a key benefit to doing business in Hamilton. Our commercial port along with the road and rail infrastructure is ideal to support a number of sectors including manufacturing. The steel industry remains a critical part of our economy and we cannot underestimate the importance of the future use of these lands as it relates to steel production as well as port activity. Urban development and a focus on our downtowns across all parts of the city are vital to improving quality of life, attracting more small business. The discussion about how LRT may support city building will remain an important

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Election Afterthoughts with Michael Baldasaro

The Hamiltonian reached out to all Mayoral contenders, and asked them if they cared to share their views post election. The following is Michael Baldasaro's submission:

Dear Hamiltonian and Hamiltonians,

Thank you for this opportunity to express my after thoughts regards Hamilton’s 2014 Municipal Election.

It’s impossible for me to fathom why soldiers would give life and limb to their Country in 2 Great Wars for democracy sake, in light of the voter apathy displayed in this Election. They must be rolling over in their graves. We are continually told how our Armed Services Personnel gave life and limb so we could vote in a “free and democratic society” and we claim to be grateful? We sure have a funny way of showing it. 64% of eligible voters abstained and a new Mayor was elected by 39.93% of the tally, taken from only 34% of the electorate. Shameful. That’s a whopping 13% representation of 366,124 eligible voters, over the next 4 years. And we wonder why we are in financial straits? Citizens obviously fail to realize the importance of Municipal Government and the By-Laws it creates, the authority it holds over the judiciary, local policing and emergency services. Municipal Government is the entry point for all levels of government. It ascertains our true needs for governance from whimsical wants and desires. If our so-called leaders actually wanted us to vote, all that needs done is issue an electronic Citizen Card, based upon our S.I.N. Card which every Citizen has. Those who do not wish to become a Citizen, ”When in Rome do as the Romans do”, by their abstinence from voting, municipally, provincially and federally, have no right to access government services. No O.H.I.P., Welfare and/or Pensions etc. Don’t call 911 expecting service, unless it’s in the Governments interest to intervene. In other words “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”.

In closing, thank you, all the Citizens of the G.H.A., who exercised their constitutional right and voted, for me and/or any of the other Candidates. Voter apathy, being the record setting high it was, 64% of 366,124 Municipally eligible voters didn’t vote, we can proudly say it wasn't our apathy that set a record low turn-out of 34% at the Polls. Congratulations Citizens! Because of your vote our soldiers did not fight in vain. To those who didn’t vote, you have no right to wear a Poppy on Veterans Day and/or to any of the privileges Members of our Society won. Thank you, one and all, for standing up for your rights. We looked good, bless us all!


Be well and prosper,
In peace, bless us all.
Rev. Bro. Michael Baldasaro
2014 Hamilton Mayoral Candidate

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak - Cooking with Maharajas - Dining with Princes

Geeta preparing food at the tour launch event
Cooking with Maharajas - Dining with Princes

Diwali, the Indian festival of lights - marking the victory of light over darkness and good over evil - just came to an end. Given tragic recent events, culminating in the funerals of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent this week, one can only wish the gods are paying attention.

I’ve had occasion to mention Burlington-based Chef, Geeta Maini, before: she’s the author of a fine cookbook (An Affair with Indian Cooking) with another in the works. I’ve had the privilege of cooking with her on a couple of occasions and her recipes are delicious and practical.

She is a bit of a stickler for detail, but in a good way. This will serve her well as she co-leads a

Picture of the Moment-In Honour of a Fallen Canadian Hero

Visitors continue to pay tribute to Canadian hero Cpl. Nathan Cirillo; a young man, in the prime of his life who died for his country. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Thanking Mayor Bratina

The Hamiltonian would like to recognize and thank Mayor Bratina for his service to Hamilton as Mayor of our city. Mr. Bratina served as our 56th Mayor. We wish him well in his future pursuits. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

City of Hamilton hires new Director of Transit


City of Hamilton hires new Director of Transit

HAMILTON, ON – October 28, 2014 – The City of Hamilton is pleased to announce that David Dixon is the successful candidate for the Director of Transit position with the City of Hamilton. David spent over 25 years with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), most recently in the role of General Manager/Chief Operating Officer, until the organization restructured in 2013. 

David was responsible for all subway, streetcar and bus operations at Canada’s largest transit authority with an annual operating budget of $825 million, a multi-billion dollar 10-year capital budget and 11,000 employees. David will join the City on Monday, November 3rd.

“I am pleased to welcome David to our team,” said Gerry Davis, General Manager of Public Works. “I am confident that his leadership qualities and related experience will continue to build upon Hamilton’s modern, reliable, and service-orientated public transportation program.”

David will be leading the transit group through a progressive transition towards achievement of the City’s corporate culture goals. This includes a number of important initiatives including a dedicated Human Resources Organizational Development Specialist to support senior staff as they work through culture changes within HSR.

The current Director of Transportation, Don Hull, will assist with the transition of the leadership role until he retires on November 14th, 2014. “We wish Don a very happy retirement after 18 years of dedicated service to the City of Hamilton,” Davis said.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Meet Ed Pecyna- Contender for Catholic School Trustee in Ward 6

Ward 6 Will Not Be Left Behind

Ward 6 Catholic schools are the “middle child” of the board. And that is not always a good thing. As a middle child myself, I want to prevent Ward 6 schools from suffering the “middle child syndrome”.

In my family, the joke was that my older brother got everything shiny and new - clothes, toys, etc. When he was done with them, I got his hand-me-downs. By the time I was through with these items, they were too worn out for my younger brother, so he got everything shiny and new!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Death of a Soldier of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Today a member of Hamilton’s own Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was killed while performing the duties of a sentry at the National War Memorial.

His name has not been released at this time pending notification of next of kin.

The death of this young citizen-soldier and the act of terror that took his life in Ottawa today give us all cause to reflect on dangers that young men and women can face at any time when they don the uniforms of the military and protective services to serve their fellow Canadians at home and abroad.

At this time I join all Hamiltonians in offering our sincere condolences and prayers to the members of his family and his Regiment at the loss of their son and comrade.

Bob Bratina, Mayor

"The particulars of your plans I neither know or seek to know You are vigilant and self-reliant; and pleased with this, I wish not to intrude any constraints or restraints upon you. — If there is anything wanting which is within my power to give, do not fail to let me know it. And now with a brave Army, and a just cause, may God sustain you.
Yours very truly, A. Lincoln" .... to Lt Gen US Grant , 1864

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Picture of the Moment

Click on picture to enlargen
Click on picture on left to make bigger. 

To the left of picture- election signs shown destroyed and dumped in a field, while another is left untouched.

There is a history of this in Ward 10. Click here for last election tactics. 

Meet Ward 2 Contender Terri Wallis

Hi, my name is Terri Wallis and I am running for City Council in Ward 2. I have lived in the Central neighbourhood of the Ward for over fourteen years and believe that it is important for a Councillor to live in the Ward they represent. You can better represent your Ward when it is your home too. I have extensive experience in all three levels of politics and find Municipal politics to be the most personal and rewarding.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak - Bit and Byte – the back to school edition

Food for Thought has gone back to school, for the next six months! And I must say being a student again is quite taxing, so the column is going to a somewhat new format for the upcoming months. Every second one will be a short snippet, or perhaps just a photo. Intervening columns will aim for the feature length that has proven so popular with readers. We’ll see how it goes…

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Michael Baldasaro- on Schools, Construction Projects and on Media Treatment of Candidates

On behalf of The Hamiltonian, Catherine (Katie) Chisholm asked a few questions of our mayoral hopefuls. Not many of them replied, but Michael Baldasaro's answers are featured here:

In response to recent school closures throughout the City of Hamilton, do you support the decision to close smaller schools and create mega-schools out of the remaining ones? In your opinion, are the financial savings worth the social costs to communities? Some people (for example, Sean Hurley at
http://raisethehammer.org/article/2269) have pointed out that the closures will also lead to changes in housing prices. What is your opinion on how these closures will affect your community and
the city in general?

Michael Baldasaro replied as follows: 

No. I do not support closing small schools. Super Schools will prepare our children for Super Jails

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak-Chili Times in Flamborough

Chili Times in Flamborough

It was hot, hot, and hotter at the Legion in Waterdown as folks sampled chili from a dozen restaurants during the 2nd Annual Flamborough Chili Festival. The beneficiaries of the September 21st fund raiser were the women and their families served by the Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre. Councillor Judi Partridge honoured me by asking me to again help in adjudicating the contest. I was much impressed by the uniformly high standards of the chilies served this year. It was clear returning competitors had upped their game and were in it to win it.

There were awards aplenty to be had, and I’m glad to report the Celebrity Judges recognised Roseto Culinary and Catering Services as winners in their category. I first introduced readers to the owners of the Waterdown-based business, Anna Hansen and her mother Elizabeth, in this column in July 2012: their second attempt at Chipotle Blonde Chicken Chili (it included charred peaches and cream corn and a mini-cornbread garnish) had been lightly porked-up over last year’s offering, improving flavour and winning them top honours.

The People disagreed, awarding Flamborough Downs their award for a chili based on over 25 pounds of deboned and de-fatted Prime Rib. They also took the “Most Creative Garnish Award” for a somewhat overwhelming add-on to the Chili, as well as the “Hot n Spicy Award”. Their armful of

Friday, October 3, 2014

Video of the Moment

The following video was produced by Alex Djordjevic, a local filmmaker and advocate for community revitalization in crown point. Alex is currently  producing a documentary about Kenilworth Avenue. Click here to see it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

LRT: Failure to Communicate? by M Adrian Brassington

Right off the bat, I need to say that I am neither for nor against LRT. Nor am I for or against BRT. What I am for, is good transit. Transit that is appropriate for the parts of the city it services using the resources available.

I commend those who are stridently in favour of LRT. Their passion is admirable, as is their determination and their endurance. They’ve done their homework; into any ‘conversation’ about LRT, they always come well-equipped with studies references, with proof of benefits in other cities around the world (most notably Portland, Oregon), and reasons why both BRT supporters and anti-LRT/BRT residents are misinformed, backward-thinking, and most certainly are not to be taken seriously.

I also salute those who present factual arguments on the other side of the coin…despite being told there are no ‘factual arguments’.

Finally, I have to acknowledge the vast majority of Hamiltonians who are either opposed to any spending attached to bringing LRT to the city or who really don’t care either way…so long as it’s not going to turn into a boondoggle such as the one we’ve seen unfold around the PanAm Games stadium construction.

Meet Frank Ciotti- Contender for Ward 3 and 4 School Trustee- English Separate School Board

The 2014 Catholic school board election promises to be very interesting and possible fodder for a conspiracy theory. There are at least six people (including Me) who are former educators running for a seat at the board table. Is there a possible “rumoured” slate? Not that I know of. For anyone to say that we all have the same agenda is a mighty big stretch but it is very likely that we all do share certain things in common. For the record, I am very independent in my thinking and actions and in order to remain so I have declined the offer to be endorsed by others.

Our board has spent a huge amount of money trying to improve student scores on the EQAO provincial assessment tests, with very mixed results for Ward 3 and 4 schools. There are parts in these Wards that are socio-economically disadvantaged and the children face many greater challenges than children from other areas of the city.

As school Trustee I would like to have the best principals and master teachers hand selected for our schools, especially for Math, Science and English. (Teacher suitability – any teacher can teach the curriculum but can they teach these children?) We also need to supply these teachers with the best possible “tools” to do their job, whether it be text books, technology or adequate supports and

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Media Release: Eisenberger receives two major endorsements

Fred Eisenberger receives two major endorsements in bid to become Hamilton Mayor

HAMILTON, ON - More than 350 supporters celebrated at the campaign headquarters of the Fred Eisenberger Campaign during a community BBQ in support of his bid to become Hamilton’s next mayor.

Friends, family and supporters from all parts of Hamilton enjoyed “Fries n’ Burgers” while new supporters gave formal campaign endorsements and committed to help in getting Fred Eisenberger elected as mayor in the October 27th municipal election.

Former long time mayor of Hamilton, Bob Morrow, officially announced his support for the Fred 2014 Campaign. “Having known Fred for more than 20 years and working side by side on Council, I can attest to his leadership and clear focus. Hamiltonians want open transparency and democracy, and having Fred as Mayor gives us that,” Morrow said.

Well-known media personality Connie Smith, who is one of Eisenberger’s campaign co-chairs, also pledged her support. “I’m so proud to endorse Fred to be Hamilton’s next Mayor,” she said. “His honesty, passion for Hamilton and unwavering vision are needed to lead our city towards continued prosperity.”

“This is a campaign of ideas, integrity and trust,” said Eisenberger. “Growing our city together, collaboratively with members of council and leaders in the community are what we need to achiever opportunity and prosperity for everyone in Hamilton.”

Eisenberger’s philosophy for his mayoral campaign is focused on collaboration and hard work, the same approach he intends to bring to the Mayor’s office.

Eisenberger thanked his numerous community volunteers and supporters for their hard work to date, and invited others to become involved in the 2014 municipal election campaign.

For more information on how you can become involved, please visit fred2014.ca.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Eisenberger Pulls Ahead

From our friends at The Hamilton Spectator. Click here or purchase the print copy to read more. 

Brad Clark- Linked In Controversy

The photo above was shared with media sources yesterday and depicts a Linked In profile for Councillor Brad Clark, who is also a mayoral contender. The email that introduced the picture, reads as follows:

How can we trust Brad Clark when he has a lack of integrity. Attached is his Linked In profile. He advertisies that he owns a company called Brad Clark and Associates who are a Independant Government Relations and Association Management Consulting company. This is a conflict of interest. As a councilor he is privy to confidential information about this municipality, other municipalities and other levels of government. So how can he be a Independant Government Relations and Association Management Consulting company?

This prompted a response from Ken Audziss, Brad Clark's Campaign Manager that reads as follows:

Good morning,

I just received an email forward of the message below sent last evening at 6:40pm regarding a “Brad Clark” LinkedIn profile. It’s unfortunate the sender did not contact our office directly for response…must be election season.

If you view the LinkedIn account (ca.linkedin.com/pub/brad-clark/7/999/503) you will see that it is not being utilized and in fact only has one contact. Let me be clear, Brad has never been a paid consultant in government relations at the municipal level. Brad’s specialty is international, national and provincial government relations and his client was the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association. This information is common knowledge and included in Brad’s public bio.

Given that we have no ability to access, remove or delete this old account, I contacted LinkedIn this morning to request that they immediately disable the account. I was provided a reference number.


Media Release- from Mayoral Candidate Michael A Pattison

For Immediate Release

Michael A Pattison has joined the mayoral race in Hamilton, Ontario!

Native Hamiltonian and local businessman Michael A Pattison will be on the ballot October 2014. Well known for his entrepreneurial success and creative approach to problem solving, Michael is available for in-person and telephone interviews.

Michael A Pattison: The Right Direction for Hamilton.

Using his business experience and innovative ideas Michael will bring Hamilton together, positioning our great city as a leader in economic development, environmental policy and civic engagement.

A large part of Michael’s platform is to encourage informed civic engagement. All voices deserve to be heard. Michael A Pattison understands and appreciates that above all.

“I will take this city past its current divisions; resolve the issues we are struggling with today, and position Hamilton as a destination for businesses of all sizes.”

Michael brings a fresh approach to all issues facing Hamilton

“Michael’s reason for vying for a public position and his aspirations for what he will bring to our hometown, are from the heart, from the experience of a life lived within our municipal borders, and from a great seeker of knowledge and sense of community.” Larry Pattison, Ward 3 Candidate Public School Trustee

Michael will be participating in all debates. Call today if you would like to talk one-on-one with Michael. Please check his website frequently for updates on events and appearances.

Michael A Pattison: The Right Direction for Hamilton.

Campaign: mapformayor@gmail.com
Twitter: @mapformayor
Phone: 289 921-6785

Media Release- Ward 3 Candidate Bob Assadourian Alleges Inequitable Coverage by CHCH


Protest CHCH and Vote for any Candidate other than the “CHCH Favourite 4 for Ward 3”.

I wish to draw everyone’s attention to the special Election coverage CHCH gave to Ward 3 on September 16, 2014. http://www.chch.com/many-election-issues-ward-3

CHCH stated “15 Candidates for one council seat too many? And how will Ward 3 voters ever choose, between all of them”........then CHCH went on to allow air time to only four of the fifteen Candidates, violating the CRTC mandate that they provide equitable coverage to all Candidates.....CHCH position is that allowing four out of fifteen on air “is equitable coverage”............

They have now made it much easier for the Ward 3 voters by narrowing down their choices to only four out of the fifteen Candidates. CHCH Superstation has acted irresponsibly as a Hamilton Media outlet and has tainted the election and has damaged the October 27th results by their favouritism of what I now refer to as the “CHCH “favourite 4 for Ward 3”.

As a free and educated public living in a democratic society we cannot stand for this and must protest CHCH and ask them to revisit the Ward 3 race and provide equitable and fair coverage to the remaining eleven Candidates. Other media outlets such as the Hamilton Spectator must be commended on their fair and equal coverage where they gave free Spectator space for a column to each and every Ward 3 Candidate, The Hamiltonian which has offered equal and fair space to all Candidates, Cable 14 which hosted the Ward 3 debate and gave equal and fair coverage to each and every Candidate and the CBC Hamilton, once again allowing equal coverage to all Candidates.

Only CHCH showed favouritism to its “favourite 4 for Ward 3”, damaging the integrity of the Electoral Process! The line must be drawn here and now. CHCH must be publicly shamed and protested! They have no right to mislead and to attempt to control the voters minds by making it easier in narrowing down the legal list of fifteen Candidates to four. We live in Canada, where anyone is welcomed and allowed to register in a municipal election, steelworker, baker, cashier or contractor......we are all equal. This is not Ukraine or Russia where the media can control the outcome of a democratic election.

I ask everyone reading this email to show me Bob Assadourian, your friend, your Contractor, your passionate advocate, your TV and Radio host and your proud Ward 3 Candidate the ultimate in respect and help by submitting your comments in favour of CHCH revisiting the Ward 3 Special coverage and to interview the remaining eleven Candidates, in order to balance the scale of equality and justice. If not, then we the people will hold a Peaceful Public Protest outside the CHCH building, lead by me, Bob Assadourian.

Visit the link and watch the six o’clock news broadcast for yourself.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Media Release from Mayoral Candidate Crystal Lavigne



Brad Clark, Fred Eisenberger and Brian McHattie are showing all Hamiltonians why they need to vote against them in this upcoming election and showing each and every one of us why a fresh, brand new face is needed to take over the leadership at City Hall.

Dirty campaigning is just that- dirty! At a time when leadership is critical in Hamilton, we are seeing three of Hamilton’s mayoral hopefuls show us that they have nothing more to offer us than their excess baggage that they already carry, or have previously carried at City Hall.

Can we truly trust anyone to be our leader who likes to play dirty? All three of them are culprits!

Hamilton is in a crisis situation and we have the choice of staying stagnant (voting in one of the above three) or moving forward.

To move forward, we need leadership that is not afraid to take a sharp, stark contrast to the rest of them.

I’ve said no to the LRT from day one. The debate is over. Let’s increase our bus service, get it working in all corners of our city and immediately alleviate our most urgent public transportation woes. Install gondola’s for fast, efficient north/south transportation in the central/east area. This will also prove to be a powerful way to exploit our beautifully landscaped city which will only double over as a tourist attraction. The money for this would come out of the provincial money proposed for

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Media Release: Six mayoral candidates pledge support for citywide participatory budgeting


Last month, we called for citywide participatory budgeting – a process for residents to regularly and directly determine how a portion of the City’s budget is spent.

On Monday, we attended a community conversation with the mayoral candidates. The event was co-hosted by the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic and the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction. We asked the six candidates in attendance if they would support citywide participatory budgeting. Here are their responses:

Candidate Would you support citywide participatory budgeting? Specifically, do you support the principle of residents having a say in how the City’s budget is spent?
Michael Baldasaro Yes, says he supports “plebiscites on major issues”, as well
Brad Clark Yes, says it must be “fair, equal, and reasonable”
Fred Eisenberger Yes, says he supports “proactive civic engagement on the budget (participatory budgeting)”
Crystal Lavigne Yes
Brian McHattie Yes, says he supports it for portions of both the capital and the operating budgets
Michael Pattison Yes, says he supports initiatives that “increase everyone’s awareness and involvement”

Through the leadership of one of these candidates, Hamilton could become a continental leader in inclusive city governance. Participatory budgeting is practiced in more than one thousand cities around the world, but there is only one city in North America (Vallejo, California) with a citywide participatory budget. In Hamilton, there are small participatory budgets in Wards 1 and 2, but they are restricted to infrastructure spending and exist at the pleasure of the councillor.

Citywide participatory budgeting would extend residents’ control over the future of their communities. The combination of The People’s Platform (a visioning process) and citywide participatory budgeting (a decision-making process) would transform the political landscape of Hamilton. With the support of six mayoral candidates, the time is right for citywide participatory budgeting in Hamilton.

At the community conversation we also presented highlights from Sunday’s People’s Platform community forums and asked the candidates if they support our process. All six candidates pledged support for The People’s Platform process and committed to indicating which of residents’ proposals they support.

Residents will vote on their proposals at the next and final round of community forums on October 8th from 7pm to 9pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Questionnaires will be sent to the candidates on October 9th, and their responses will be released on October 19th.