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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.

Thanks,
Ken

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.
http://www.chch.com/many-election-issues-ward-3/

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Media Release from Mayoral Candidate Crystal Lavigne

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


REAL LEADER DOESN’T “PLAY” POLITICS

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Meet Neil Bos- Contender for Ward 15

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

The reason many citizens asked me to run this election, since I ran in 2010, is to represent the people of Ward 15 and to create a better interaction with their Councillor and local government. I hope to represent all of the citizens of Ward 15 because they are the tax payers.

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

I have 45 years of business experience. I have eight years as a Commissioner of the Waterdowns Hydro Commission and two years at the Flamborough Council. I feel I am qualified to represent my constituents in Ward 15 and I am ready to serve.

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

They can visit www.neilbos.ca where they can learn more about me and to contact me.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak- Family Meals - An interview with Chef Michael Smith

Family Meals - An interview with Chef Michael Smith

Michael Smith. You may know him as the Inn Chef, Chef at Home, Chef Abroad, Lentil Hunter or Prince Edward Island’s food ambassador. Or as a challenger to Bobby Flay on Iron Chef, judge on Chopped Canada, or author of eight cookbooks. Perhaps even as "World's Tallest Freestanding Chef", a description he’s coined in acknowledgement of his 6 feet 7 inches frame.

I remember him from the late nineties when I lived in Halifax. My wife and I went to his top notch restaurant, Maple, for date night. The only table available was one overlooking the kitchen, directly where he was expediting. Though he’s not a “shouty” chef (think Gordon Ramsay), the instant responses from his brigade of “Yes Chef,” acknowledging his every call, showed that he certainly had their respect and attention. So instead of spending the evening gazing soulfully into each other’s eyes, we were mesmerized by the ballet of the kitchen and the careful


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Media Release- A Community Conversation with Mayoral Candidates

For Immediate Release

A Community Conversation with Mayoral Candidates will take place at the Central Library on Monday September 22nd at 4:30 p.m.

The candidates for Mayor of Hamilton will meet with residents in a unique format designed so that the candidates can interact closely with community members.

The event is co-hosted by the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction (HRPR) and Hamilton Community Legal Clinic/Clinique juridique communautaire de Hamilton (HCLC). The following candidates have confirmed their participation: Michael Baldasaro, Ejaz Butt, Brad Clark, Fred Eisenberger, Crystal Lavigne and Brian McHattie.

“The candidates will make introductory remarks and then move into small Conversation Circles,” says Tom Cooper, Director of the HRPR.

The co-hosts are interested in promoting dialogue on poverty issues and how the municipality can address them. In the Conversation Circles, facilitators will direct the discussion into five identified areas.

Hugh Tye, Executive Director of the Community Legal Clinic identified the five issues:

“We are particularly interested in exploring the Living Wage concept, finding ways to promote Inclusive Communities, enhancing housing stability benefits, improving and making our public transit system more accessible and generating ideas on how to build much needed affordable housing.”

The meeting is open to the public. Registration is requested at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-conversation-with-mayoral-candidates-tickets-12932380097

Why is a Rental Housing Licence so important? by Ira Rosen

Several years ago, I was watching, with concern, the neighbourhood where I live rapidly change from a family-rich environment to a predominantly student-based area. If you have lived in the area your entire life you would know that although there have been some rewards with the increase in student population there have also been some unfortunate outcomes including behavior related issues like noise disturbances, visual degradation to many properties as well as safety related concerns.

Instead of just filing complaints and expecting someone else to do the work, I took action and became more engaged in my community by taking my first step into the public arena almost a decade ago as a founding member of the “Westdale Heritage Housing Action Committee." This group’s mission was to determine if there was value in having “Westdale proper” designated as a heritage site, thereby stemming the growth of “monster” student houses in the area. After a year, this group presented their recommendation to the Ward 1 Councillor; there was no clear mandate to move forward and therefore the committee disbanded.

My next step was to join the AWWCA (Ainslie Wood Westdale Community Association). We have focused our attention on trying different ways to deal with the issues around rental conversions. I worked closely with Bylaw representatives as well as the Hamilton Police Services and we carefully monitored other communities who were also trying to find ways to deal with similar issues. During my time with the AWWCA, there have been many improvements. Both Bylaw and Police became more proactive when dealing with unwanted behavior and McMaster University hired two additional Police Officers to monitor the area during peak times.

Upon the request of our Ward 1 Councillor, I was asked to participate as a member of the Liaison Committee for a Rental Housing Licence Bylaw. I learned a great deal from that experience, including that there are many subtle nuances that must be addressed when creating such a bylaw.

We learned that several communities were working on similar bylaws and they were invited to our Committee to share their ideas and proposals. Each community ended up with a slightly different version of a rental licence; some specific to certain areas and some city-wide. In 2008 the City of Oshawa enacted their version of a Rental Housing Licence Bylaw followed by the City of Waterloo in 2012 and the City of London in 2013, to name a few.

One of the concerns when dealing with such a licence is to ensure that you are not targeting one specific group, e.g. students, because this could be seen as a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code - which is a provincial law that gives everybody equal rights and opportunities without discrimination in specific social areas such as jobs, housing, services, facilities, and contracts or agreements - and this was one of the primary reasons why the City of Hamilton Rental Housing licence proposal was city-wide.

The proposal was turned down as not all of the wards were having the same issues and many were concerned that a citywide bylaw could add to renters’ costs, and this could affect many low income families; and, due to the idea of limiting the amount of room in a residence, this could affect many existing rentals, possibly leaving some renters with reduced options.

Although in the past we did have issues regarding a small percentage of students, my primary issue and those of many of the permanent residents of the Ward is with absentee landlords, i.e. property owners who don’t even live in the community and negligent property management firms who have no investment in our communities.

To address such situations, a rental licence can be designed to include a wide variety of conditions like a yard maintenance plan, a waste management plan, a snow removal plan and most importantly, access to the home by City Inspectors to ensure safety and building standards are being adhered to.


Clearly, the need to create a licence is of paramount importance; however, we must be very careful how we go about it. By proposing a pilot project, we have the opportunity to determine all the resulting factors and nothing is permanently affected. Targeting the area most affected by the issue will give us the best results to work with, e.g. targeting an area where the rentals are being used by a cross-section of renters other than students only; we eliminate the possibility of violating the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Moving forward I believe we will have the greatest success by proposing a two-year pilot project focused on the Ainslie Wood community. In targeting this area, we will not require a high volume of staff - perhaps one full-time Inspector - and there are many who rent in the area who are not students, ensuring a non-targeted market segment.

Finally, the importance of a rental licence lies in that it provides the City with a tool which, if used correctly, will not penalize responsible property owners but will ensure that there is a level playing field for renters and neighbourhoods in that all properties will meet the same standards. By doing so permanent residence will feel a sense of fairness and students will not be forced to live in sub standard conditions.

Ira Rosen
Candidate Ward 1 Councillor

Do you have an article you would like to send to The Hamiltonian for publication consideration? Send it to admin@thehamiltonian.info

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Baldasaro Releases Platform Planks


PLANKS OF THE 2014 PLATFORM

I entered the 2014 G.H.A. “Greater Hamilton Area”, Municipal Election because of what
my fellow Plebeians/Common Folk tell me they want done:

austerity. As Mayor I’ll cut my salary by 1/3. Hamilton has a 6 million dollar infrastructure deficit. CAD $1.2 trillion across federal and provincial governments. Take note: we’re broke!

Plebiscites on the Ballot on issues such as Fluoride, LRT;

RIGHT TO VOTE Section 3 of the Municipal Elections Act discriminates by reason of age by excluding those under the age of 19 from voting. We never get too old to vote! Can't remember your name, no problem, your vote is counted via PROXY by your children. So why not the other way around, they vote for you? Note: Alcohol should not be a youths coming of age rite, voting should.

BRT Transit. No further than 30 minutes apart, throughout the G.H.A., Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook, Hamilton, Mount Hope and Stoney Creek;

Street Signs Easy to read over-sized on ALL major intersections;


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Meet Carlos Pinho- Contender Ward 3

While running a $0 campaign, I prefer to meet each and everyone of you in ward three in person. Would rather see corporate sponsorship go to our parks or feed the less fortunate. I have always believed in public service and volunteering my time to make this community a better place. born and raised in Hamilton for 44 years and have raised our three children in this community.

As your elected Councillor I will be vigilant and considerate of all the issues while handling them responsibly. I am ready to work in a change driven environment in order to respond in a timely manner. I will be part of a team, which believes in transparency and integrity in governing Hamilton. My focus will be to make Ward 3 a better place to live for your family and for generations to come.

Fixing our roads & stopping backed up sewer flooding by investing in long term and innovative solutions to fix pot holes and to repair the obsolete drainage system. I plan to be an advocate for Ward 3 in City council to ensure road maintenance and snow removal is a top priority for the City. I am in favour of ideas such as conducting more blading in the winter months and using less salt because it undermines the integrity of our roads.

Please vote Carlos Pinho for City Councillor, for Ward 3 Hamilton on Monday October 27, 2014

Thank you.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak -What’s on the Menu?

What’s on the Menu?

People think it would be nice to go back in time sometimes, perhaps in pursuit of a more genteel era, where the food was slower, if not necessarily more sustainable. Well now one can. Literally.

The New York Public Library has a “What’s on the Menu” site where over 17,000 (and counting) historic menus are archived. It’s well worth a few minutes to scan, and visitors to the site can even take on some reviewing functions if they’d like to contribute to the ongoing transcription process.

It’s fascinating to see what patrons at clubs like the Bohemian, Banker’s, Chemist’s, Cotillion, Gridiron or Papyrus clubs, among many others, were partaking of in the late 1800s, or having for breakfast on the high seas as the SS America steamed on and 1953 drew to a close. For instance diners at the Boston-based Papyrus Club tackled an imposing repast that included Fried Soft Shell Crabs, Fillet of Beef, and Loin of Spring lamb. Refreshed by “Roman Punch” they went on to


Monday, September 1, 2014

Meet Ward 4 Contender Lorna Moreau

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

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

It is a fact that Ward 4 is in bad shape, and it's getting worse. Ward 4 leads, infamously, the entire city in unemployment, high school dropouts, single parent families and social service recipients. And from what I see daily, we are close to leading with the most Temp-Agencies and cash-lending storefronts. These are all disturbing indicators of what Ward 4 has become. The last thing we need is