Wednesday, April 30, 2014

National Day of Honour Ceremony

Please join Mayor Bob Bratina and Members of City Council
City of Hamilton

National Day of Honour Ceremony
Commemorating the End of Canada’s Military Commitment
In Afghanistan

7:00 PM
Friday, 9 May 2014
Afghanistan Veterans serving and retired are welcome to join the ceremony and are requested to wear medals. They should rendezvous with RSM Grant Lawson in the forecourt no later than 6:45 PM. with him on the east side of City Hall by 6:45PM on the date of the event.

Media are requested to be in place by 6:50 PM. Inquiries to:
Office of the Mayor
Phone: 905-546-4200
Email: mayor@hamilton.ca

McHattie ready to be 'New Mayor for a New Hamilton'


Mayoral candidate Brian McHattie says he is Hamilton’s best choice for the new Hamilton, with the actions to prove it, in the current field of mayoral hopefuls.

“Hamilton is on the move. We’re seeing real progress at many levels including business, the environment, transit, development, new jobs, stronger neighbourhoods, innovation. Now is the time to push even harder than we have in the past. We need even more new ideas and new actions to take advantage of our new circumstances,” says McHattie.

In response to the announcement of ex-Mayor Larry Di Ianni endorsing mayoral candidate, and ex-Mayor, Fred Eisenberger, McHattie responded, “I know both of them well. I’ve worked with both of them when they were once Mayors, but I think it’s time for a newer, fresher approach to leadership in the Mayor’s chair in Hamilton. Instead of revisiting the past, we need a new mayor for a new Hamilton. We’ve been missing a boldness of thinking and boldness of action for too many years. I plan to change that situation.”

Details of McHattie’s proposed platform will be released over the next few months. He has already identified 5 key themes for his platform: Stronger Neighbourhoods, Smarter Growth, Healthier Environment, More Open Government, More Jobs. In addition, an online survey called Together We Can Do More has received ideas for a better Hamilton from all parts of the city.

McHattie adds, “People are excited. People want fresh and innovative changes to be implemented. I really do think I’m the guy to deliver new ideas for a new Hamilton. My track record for innovation and progressive ideas speaks for itself. Now it’s time for me and all residents to do more together.”

Monday, April 28, 2014

Round Two Winners- on Accountability

As mentioned, Accountability can be a thorny topic. It's not for the meek. The Hamiltonian chose accountability as our round two topic, because we  believe that it is a critical aspect of good governance and an area that Hamiltonians have the right to know where candidates stand.

Candidates Michael Baldasaro, Ejaz Butt and Crystal Lavigne stepped into the ring for round two and gave us their best (click on their names above, to see their responses). Each of them has been declared round two winners for stepping in and answering the questions on Accountability.

The Hamiltonian invited each candidate and sent out a reminder. A healthy amount of time was allotted for the return of responses. We did not hear from Fred Eisenberger or Brad Clark.  Brian McHattie responded after having missed the deadline, expressing regret for missing it. We offered to receive his submission provided it was submitted as soon as possible, respecting the fact that others had met the deadline. However, we did not receive answers to the questions. Mr. McHattie advised that he will catch us on the next set of questions. 

The Hamiltonian has been unable to reach Mr. Iamonico and thus he has not been part of this round. 

The Hamiltonian will continue with this series, asking fair questions, and will  invite each candidate to a future Round Three. If you would like to suggest a topic for a future round, email us at admin@thehamiltonian.info

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Then there were six...

With Don Ross dropping out of the mayoral race, and Nick Iamonico (picture unavailable at the moment)  entering, the line up has changed. 

Round 2 - Crystal Lavigne - on Accountability

The Hamiltonian welcomes mayoral candidate Crystal Lavigne, as she addresses the topic of Accountability . 

1. Please explain what the concept of accountability means to you.

Accountability to me means to accept responsibility for one’s own actions and/or activities. With accountability comes transparency. To be accountable to others requires that all parties are aware of the accountability factors. One cannot be held accountable for their actions and/or activities if the parties they are accountable to are unaware of the circumstances. This lack of knowledge could be intentional or unintentional and all efforts by the party accountable should be stated and documented in a concise and thorough manner, taking into consideration contributing factors affecting communication. An example would be demographics or language variables.

2. In the current term of council, Hamiltonians have been subject to some egregious examples of

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Round 2- Ejaz Butt- On Accountability

The Hamiltonian welcomes mayoral candidate Ejaz Butt, as he addresses the topic of Accountability .

1. Please explain what the concept of accountability means to you.

Accountability simply put is being responsible for one's actions, words, and/or behaviours. It is maintaining the great trust that the public places upon you and being ready to face the consequences of any decisions you make and actions you take, especially when the outcome is one that is not desired or expected. It is holding yourself above all others to a high standard of moral, ethical, and legal conduct.

2. In the current term of council, Hamiltonians have been subject to some egregious examples of

Monday, April 21, 2014

Round 2- Michael Baldasaro- on Accountability

Opening up round two of our series of questions we are asking registered Mayoral candidates, is Rev. Michael Baldasaro. The topic for round two is Accountability. 

1. Please explain what the concept of accountability means to you.

The concept of Accountability requires that I be open and honest with all Citizens of the G.H.A., The Greater Hamilton Area. There can be no room for back door discussions and/or secret deals.

Wikipedia “Accountability cannot exist without proper accounting practices; in other words, an absence of accounting means an absence of accountability.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accountability

2. In the current term of council, Hamiltonians have been subject to some egregious examples of

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ring Side for Round 2

Our second round of questions we are posing to registered mayoral candidates, is on the topic of Accountability. We chose this as our round two topic, as it is one of the cornerstones of good governance. And while accountability should rest throughout an organization, it arrives on the laps of our representatives who are ultimately accountable to the public.

It can be a thorny topic and thus an opportunity for would-be leaders to demonstrate that they can step up to the tough questions. We will be publishing each submission in the order of which we have received them.

Stepping into the ring first is Mayoral candidate Rev. Michael Baldasaro who will be featured on Tuesday morning. The series will continue from there.

So get ready to pull up a chair, grab a drink and a snack. You've got ring side tickets to round two here on The Hamiltonian.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak - Come @EatWith Us

Come @EatWith Us

Many people like dining in some-one else’s home. They like to do so either in person or, perhaps vicariously, by watching some of the popular shows on television. Some go to more extreme lengths: A fellow member of my cooking club, ate at four strangers’ houses in the course of a week, and then invited them all to his place for supper!

He won the popular, if bitchy, TV program “Come Dine With Me”. (Brad’s 15 minutes of fame were well deserved; his recipes blew the competition away, and included one for a delicious maple miso glazed sea bass that I’ve cooked a variant of.)

So I was interested to get an invitation via Facebook to join a friend “and other interesting dinner guests for an Exotic Journey to the Past - a British Raj dinner in downtown Burlington.” It would be $35 a head and

Public Art or Political Art? By Santo Barbieri, Hamilton,

Update: The Hamiltonian asked Clr. McHattie for a comment on the issue of the statue. The Clr. advised that he will be speaking to this issue this evening at a public meeting, 7:30PM at Zion United Church at Napier and Pearl St N. He assured us that he will issue a statement to The Hamiltonian the following week, once he has had a chance to consider the comments from tonight. We'll publish the Clr.'s statement  when it is received.

On November 19, 2013, Councillor McHattie and City staff presented a project for a statue in Victoria Park to the Strathcona Community Council (SCC). The proposed art piece has a budget of $200,000 which was set aside for a Public Art project in Victoria Park in 2011 by Councillor McHattie as part of Ward 1 area rating monies. The project is named The Frankie Venom Art Project after the late singer of Teenage Head. Die-hard fans may not believe this but many in this city don't know who Frankie "Venom" Kerr is. Tom Wilson (the musician) and his daughter Madeline Wilson (his tour manager) presented the idea for the project to Councillor McHattie. Madeline Wilson is also the daughter of Ward 1 candidate Sandie Shaw. Councillor McHattie was kind enough to attend Madeline's stag and doe earlier this year.

According to the SCC president Jonathan Therien there is strong support from the community according to his research as an employee at Rolly Rockets bar/grill. Ken Coit (City of Hamilton, Art in Public Places Coordinator) wrote, "based on my work so far and the comments of the Focus Group he (Frankie) had a meaningful connection with many Strathcona residents and the park is at the Centre of the neighbourhood." My first thought was, "Does that include the large number of Italians, Portuguese, Greeks and Asians who live in the area and who are also tax payers?" I asked Mr. Coit to show me the research he used to support

Helping Anita....a thank-you

Nancy Kos (left) with Hamiltonian Publisher Teresa DiFalco (right) at a recent fundraiser to help Nancy's daughter Anita, who is suffering from Lyme Disease. To learn more about Anita's struggle, click here

Nancy would like to acknowledge all those who contributed to this worthy cause. To see the list of contributors, click here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Round 2- soon to begin

Our series, in which we ask all registered Mayoral candidates a series of questions to help Hamiltonians decide whom they might vote for, for mayor, is soon approaching round two. Round two promises to be an exciting one, as the topic assigned to it is sure to help further identify those who have what it takes to lead. Stay tuned......

And while you are waiting, have a look at Round 1 by clicking here

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Spec, the Sting and a Simple Question

You may recall that our friends at The Hamilton Spectator did a story on the work hours of Waste Collectors and after, a sting-like operation, alleged that waste collectors were working part time hours for full time pay. Click here for our reference. 

The Spec followed up with a story that queried whether The City of Hamilton was capable of answering a simple question related to the issue. 

We decided to take The Spec's assertions to a test, and find out whether the city can in fact provide an answer to a simple question of our own. We see our question as simple, as it goes to a fundamental aspect of work: hours of work and related pay. 

Here is the question we asked, addressed to City Manager, Chris Murray:

Dear Mr. Murray:

This question may have some play as it pertains to the issues with respect to waste collectors and their hours/pay, but it is being asked in a more universal manner. We believe that the city must have a default position on this question in order for its employees to fully understand the expectations of them, as it relates to work hours.

The question is as follows:

What is the default understanding and expectation of city workers, where a working day and pay is concerned? Is the default understanding and expectation of city workers that they are to work a full day according to the hours specified in their job position, regardless of whether their work gets done earlier in the day? Is it that they are permitted to leave work earlier in the day if their work is complete, while still being paid for the full day’s work? Does it vary by position? If so, what is the criteria that is used to make the determination? We understand and respect that the city is in the process of getting a report on the Waste Collectors issue, but our question is a universal one.

To date, we have yet to receive a reply, although we received an acknowledgment of the question. Should we receive an answer, we will post it.

Which begs the question that our friends at The Spec previously asked: Can the city answer a simple question?

Dear Hamiltonian......

Hello Hamiltonian,

I just received your latest email regarding the garbage scandal, excellent job in this continued coverage.

As a Ward 3 Candidate, I recently did a twenty five minutes interview on the Garbage Scandal regarding my opinions as a small business owner, taxpayer and Ward 3 Candidate. I offered some very strong comments on possible solutions to this city issue.

I just posted a comment on your site with a link leading to my Garbage Scandal interview. I apologize for this, as I just realized that I should have first asked your permission at the Hamiltonian.......my passion got the best of of me. As this issue of the city wasting our tax dollars really bothers me.

I would hope that you would allow my comment and video link to be posted on the Hamiltonian and you should also allow all other Candidates to post comments that include a video which best illustrates their position, as long as the video link is of good taste. Video comment links would be an excellent way to for the Hamiltonian to expand it comment post.

Thank you.

Here is the video link I posted;


Best Regards,

Candidate for Ward 3
Bob Assadourian

Bobby...we obviously agree with your suggestion and welcome others to submit. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Teresa DiFalco named Citizen of the Year by Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce

Teresa DiFalco
The staff of The Hamiltonian would like to express our heartfelt congratulations to our Publisher, Teresa DiFalco for being named Citizen of the Year by the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce. (click here to go there) 

We are thrilled that Teresa's decades of community service and her dedication, devotion and efforts have been recognized with this prestigious award!

Congratulations Teresa and thank-you for your leadership and ongoing commitment to helping others!!!!!

Staff of The Hamiltonian.

Please feel free to help us congratulate Teresa by leaving your comments here.

Di Ianni announces decision not to run in the 2014 municipal election

Di Ianni announces decision not to run in the 2014 municipal election

“After careful consideration and consultation with family and friends, I have decided not to run in the 2014 municipal election. As a proud Hamiltonian and a strong believer in what this city has to offer, I believe that I still have a lot to give in making this great city of ours even better. I will continue to play an active role in

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mayor Bratina's statement on the Passing of The Honourable Jim Flaherty

The Honourable Jim Flaherty was a friend of Hamilton. Throughout my term Mr. Flaherty’s office was always accessible, and he had a good understanding of our city’s finances, providing guidance that assisted us in establishing sustainable budgets. Needless to say we are shocked and saddened by his passing, and extend our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.
Bob Bratina
Mayor of Hamilton

Herman Turkstra- on Proposed Plans for the West Harbour

Last week, the Hamilton City Manager's office presented Council with an updated report on proposed plans for the West Harbour. The plans included spending something in the area of $147,000,000.00 on approximately six blocks of harbour shoreline. The plans proposed several blocks of commercial and retail stores on the open space where boats are now stored in the winter.

As the West Harbour shoreline is part of the North End Neighbourhood, local residents have thought a lot about these developments. As a North End resident, I mulled over the new plans while sitting on a park bench donated by a local neighbour. The bench faces the water and is angled so that you can watch the sun set in the summer over the high level bridge. It gives a perfect vantage point on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon of people using the West Harbour. The view demonstrates why Councillors should visit Toronto Island to start to understand how people relate to a water's edge. The Editorial Board of the Spectator, a continuous booster of rampant shoreline development might usefully tag along. All summery, hundreds of thousands of Torontonians walk and bus and cycle past miles of retail to take a ferry to get to an island with virtually no retail and no commercial. We don't have an island. We have the West Harbour shoreline and our Lake Ontario shoreline.

The West Harbour functions absolutely perfectly today. On Sunday afternoons people arrived on foot, on bike, on skate boards, on scooters, on motorized wheel chairs, holding dogs, pushing baby carriages, bringing lunches, probably a tote or two, a few balls, children, babies, parents, grandparents, families, couples, solitaries, all out in the open. They come by the thousands. No retail. No commercial. Not even

Media Release- City preparing to repaint bus lane markings

HAMILTON, ON – April 10, 2014 – As the temperatures start to get warmer, City crews are preparing to refresh the pavement markings in the transit-only lane that runs on the north side of King Street from Mary to New Streets. The original markings were painted last October and the extreme conditions we experienced this winter caused the markings to fade earlier than expected.

The markings are expected to be reapplied within the next several weeks when weather conditions are favourable. Other improvements that are being made to the bus lane include: 

More diamond markings painted in the lane (three in each block instead of two)
More overhead signage to better identify the transit-only lane
Increased frequency of text painted onto the asphalt that reads “BUS ONLY”
Improved accommodation for cyclists (John St. to Bay St.) by making the north curb lane a through lane for cyclists

The lane operates as transit-only 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a one-year trial period. The lane is dedicated for exclusive use by buses operated by the HSR, GO Transit, Coach Canada, etc., as well as emergency vehicles. Only taxis and DARTS vehicles are permitted to stop briefly in the lane for passengers. It is illegal for other vehicles to use the lane with the exception of accessing driveways or turning at intersections. Fines will apply.

The purpose of the pilot project is to evaluate the success, acceptance, and function of a transit-only lane to help assess the viability of rapid transit along this route in the future. If the pilot is extended or becomes a permanent project staff may consider applying a more durable material to mark the lane that would last much longer and stand up to harsh winter conditions.

For more details about the transit-only lane project please visit www.hamilton.ca/TransitOnlyLane

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Media Release- City Council approves 2014 budget

City Council approves 2014 budget

April 9, 2014 - Hamilton, ON – Hamilton City Council has just given unanimous final approval to the 2014 Tax Supported operating budget. This year’s budget achieves a 1.5 per cent tax increase, or approximately $53 for the average residential property assessed at $275,700.

The 2014 Tax Operating Budget supports the City’s Strategic Plan and Business Plans as well as external Boards and Agencies including Police and Library. For the past four years the budget has protected services while holding the total tax increase at a competitive level in the face of continued assessment growth challenges in the industrial sector. The average total tax increase for the past 4 years is 1.3 per cent while assessment growth has averaged 1.0 per cent.

Monday, April 7, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE- Ward 12 is home as Lloyd Ferguson seeks re-election to City Council


Ward 12 is home as Lloyd Ferguson seeks re-election to City Council

April 4, 2014 (ANCASTER) – Councillor Lloyd Ferguson today announced his intention to seek re-election in the suburban-rural ward of Ancaster in the October 27th Municipal Election.

“I have decided to seek re-election in Ward 12 and to serve the residents of Ancaster on Hamilton City Council,” Mr. Ferguson said in formally launching his bid for a third term in the municipal arena. “I feel that I represent the best ward in the City and I still have a lot of work to complete over the next four years in office.”

While he’s flattered that so many residents have been encouraging him over the past several months to run for the Office of Mayor, Mr. Ferguson admits the vast majority of Ancaster residents want him to stay as

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ding Ding Ding...that concludes Round 1

Round one of our questions for registered mayoral candidates is over.

The Hamiltonian is planning several rounds of questions. For the moment, round one responses are summarized below.

To read Brian McHattie's responses, click here.
To read Crystal Lavigne's responses, click here.
To read Michael Baldasaro's s responses, click here.
To read Don Ross's responses, click here.
To Read Fred Eisenberger's responses, click here

Please note that both Brad Clark and Ejaz 
Butt have been emailed the round one questions. We have yet to receive their submissions. 

The Hamiltonian will be moving on to round two. Stay tuned.....

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Bad Sign?

The picture to the left was sent to The Hamiltonian. It suggests that signs ( or at least, a sign) for the Brian McHattie for mayor campaign has already been posted, in contravention of a city by-law.

We asked Mr. McHattie  and his 
Campaign Manager about this. Campaign Manager Todd White responded to our inquiry:

Q. The Hamiltonian has been sent the attached picture which appears to display a campaign sign, which appears to violate election rules where signage is concerned. Are you aware of this sign, are there others out there and are you or your campaign team in any way responsible for this sign? Do you have any other comment that will help to explain this?

A. It looks like a paper hand sign from the campaign launch. The campaign hasn't produced any other type of signage in this style, nor have we erected any signage whatsoever. I wish that I could provide further info, but aside from the image, we have no info either.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Newly Registered Mayoral Candidate Makes Jimmy Kimmel

Newly registered mayoral candidate Ejaz Butt was picked up by the Jimmy Kimmel show, after the show reportedly learned of Mr. Butt from CHCH TV.

The comedian focused on Ejaz's name. Footage on CHCH showing Ejaz's reaction found the candidate taking it in good humour and in stride.

See the story by clicking here

Note: The Hamiltonian has invited Ejaz to take part on our series of questions to mayoral candidates. We hope to feature Ejaz going forward. 

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak - Marmalade! Near and Far

Marmalade! Near and Far

I suppose it may be the British upbringing, but I love Marmalade. I love the associated rituals: Toast in a toast rack (or toast cooler as my wife refers to it), the butter melting, spooning out and spreading the wonderful preserve, the aroma, crunch and mouth feel, and scooping up the last escaped crumbs with sticky fingers.

Since this is the season home canners are active turning Seville oranges into tawny gold, I wanted to share some old and new favourites with readers.

My sister-in-law is known in the family as a premier source of a tangy marmalade she issues in small jars on special occasions to those deemed deserving. She vies with her Mother (my Mother in Law) in this respect, something I should probably try to put to my advantage.

Adrienne’s marmalade is a delightfully tangy and chewy three citrus blend with hits of lime and lemon rind

Helping Kris

Kris Agron
A fund raiser will be held on April 9th at the Hamilton Marketplace to benefit a young man by the name of Kris Agron. Kris was recently in a near fatal car accident that left him badly injured on February 28th. He is undergoing physical therapy and has a long road to recovery, He is surrounded with love and support from friends and family. Chick-fil-A will be donating 20% of their sales toward anything Kris may need. Please mention Prayers for Agron when ordering. There will also be T Shirts for sale will all proceeds going to Kris and his family.

The Hamiltonian wishes Kris and his family all the best. To see the details of the fundraiser to be held in the Hamilton marketplace on April 9th,  click here

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Fred Eisenberger- On His Mayoral Bid

The Hamiltonian is committed to remaining neutral in our coverage of the race for mayor. Our goal is to provide Hamiltonians with good information direct from the candidates, so that our readers can form their own opinions. Thus, we will be reaching out, as much as possible, to all registered candidates, at various times.

The following is our chat with mayoral contender, Fred Eisenberger.

What is your position on the following issues:

De-Amalgamation: Should we? Shouldn’t we? Is it feasible? Why? Why not?

Considering that amalgamation is a creation of the provincial government and remains under provincial jurisdiction, the municipality will remain an amalgamated city. Since amalgamation, Hamilton has been able to plan and organize more efficiently as one city, and we are stronger together than we are apart.

As a past member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Big City Mayors’ Caucus, (Mayors from cities larger the 500k) the bottom line is: size does matter. Larger cities have a stronger voice and more influence with other levels of government along with organizations such as FCM and the Association of