Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Media Release- Would the Real Port Fuels Please Stand Up?

Hamilton Councillor Matthew Green (Ward 3) is disgusted by the process that allows “interpretations to switch from what Port Fuels Corp. initially submitted to the province as a renewable energy project so that they could be fast tracked under the Liberal Green energy program. This is classic bait and switch scheme that “Green washes” their project asenvironmental, for what it really is… a garbage incinerator.”

“This company has failed to convince the vast majority of our community of its projects merits. Instead,many including myself feel mislead by this company and this entire process. 

Having spent the better part of a year working on this file, the best way to sum it up is

Not this company: Port Fuels have no experience in this scale of project or industry.

Not this process: It is unproven and experimental at best and counter to our vast investments in the waterfront and seriously disruptive and potentially dangerous to our community at it’s worst.

Not this location: Ward’s 3-4 have carried the environmental and health burden for the industrial
development of our city of decades. The importation of garbage, industrial waste and potentially toxicwaste into our community is not an acceptable vision for our future waterfront.

Given the recent change in project scope and classification to waste management from renewable energy generation, I will be demanding an individual environmental assessment from the Ontario Government immediately and calling on the Port Authority to do the right thing and cancel their lease with Port Fuels Corp. ” said Councillor Green.

City staff announced they will be forced to approve zoning for the proposed garbage incinerator plant as a waste management facility.

The community coalition to “Trash the Garbage Plant” in partnership with Environment Hamilton will be hosting a public forum with guest expert speaker Dr. Paul Connett international Environmentalist and author of “The Zero Waste Solution” Friday April 10th 7pm in Council Chambers located at 71 Main St West Hamilton Ont.

Monday, March 30, 2015

McMeekin Mum on LRT Questions

Recently in this Spectator article (click here to see it), M.P.P. Ted McMeekin ventured into Hamilton's LRT debate saying, among other things that he interprets Hamilton's additional 302 million ask, as a willingness of Hamilton to delay LRT.

This prompted The Hamiltonian to ask the following questions of Mr. McMeekin:

1. It has been recently reported that the additional ask of 302 million for local transit improvement in Hamilton, while purportedly seen as an integrated ask as part of the greater LRT sum, may nonetheless cause a delay in LRT. Do you believe this to be the case and if so, how is it that an integral part of the ask, would cause any delay whatsoever. Would it not be considered part of what it takes to move forward?

2. It is no secret that Hamilton city council has been struggling with the LRT issue and while wavering from time to time, continues to be supportive of it. Many Hamiltonians are exhausted by the conversation and are looking for clarity. As a M.P.P., they are likely looking to you to help the city shepherd this ask, and to ensure that there is a successful outcome that is right for Hamilton. In other words, they are looking for answers and not more conversation and questions. Can Hamiltonians count on you to play an active part is assisting Hamilton City Council to navigate through this issue and secure the needed funds, while avoiding the spin cycle of more uncertainty?

Initially, we were told that we would receive a reply from Mr. McKeekin within days. Later, a restatement of what Mr. McMeekin said to the Spec was offered - we declined, as that would not satisfy the questions asked above.

McMeekin's office then referred the questions to the Minister of Transportation, whose spokesperson responded as follows:

Public Transit is a priority for our government. We continue to work closely with Metrolinx and the City of Hamilton to move forward with a rapid transit plan that makes sense for the people of Hamilton and the entire Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). We have been very clear that we remain committed to fully funding the capital costs of a Hamilton rapid transit project, and currently Metrolinx and the City of Hamilton are working closely together on outstanding technical questions. In order to Move Ontario Forward we must build a seamless and integrated transportation network across the province. To achieve this we have two dedicated Funds: $15 billion for the GTHA; $14 billion for the rest of the province. Over the coming weeks, our government will unveil the phasing and implementation schedule of all projects as part of the Moving Ontario Forward plan. We’ll have more to say then.

Should we receive an answer to the questions posed, we will publish them.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Motion Commotion- Duvall and Merulla at one another

What started as an intended motion to examine whether the Public Works department ought to be restructured, has turned ugly.

Amidst confusion about why council was told 18 months ago that the Public Works department wasn't in need of any structural changes, and yet that now that appears to have changed,  Clr. Scott Duvall and Clr. Sam Merulla got into a sparring match. Here is a sample of how the conversation derailed:

From Chad Coilins:

This whole issue is an absolute farce in light of the in camera discussion we had nearly 18months ago. Intersecting how opinions have changed of late. Wasn't council advised that the size of Public Works was just fine after the asphalt issue came to light? Interesting how some on Council observed and pressed the issue only to be told the department and organizational chart were just fine. Now we hear a different story! Absolutely remarkable.

Maybe it's time to have an in camera personnel discussion at the same time.

Respectfully. CC

From Merulla

Agreed and many thanks for your input Clr Collins. We now can move forward from a position of

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak- “Get out of Jail Free” Edition

Winter Roots
“Get out of Jail Free” Edition

It’s in the columnist’s Constitution: every writer has a “Get out of Jail Free” card they are entitled to use. As readers know I have been in an intensive Digital Media course for the past six months and when it began, I said some columns might be shorter as a result of time pressures.

While I’ve generally kept to my usual column length, last week saw both an exam and a major project presentation, so this is the time I need to use that card! So, I’m deferring the promised piece on judging food events (see part 1 here) till a bit later this year.

Instead I thought I’d direct you to some other recent pieces I’ve published in BCity Magazine and elsewhere, that I hope are of interest to readers in our region.

First off is my double-barrelled piece for the Food Bloggers of Canada about “Essential Eats” in Hamilton and Burlington here and here.

Next see my BCity piece on Burlington’s Chocolate trail. Three stunningly-good chocolate makers are featured, and I’m proud to say the piece has also been featured on the splash page for the trail online. I’d love to explore Hamilton’s chocolatiers this summer and would appreciate suggestions from readers.

Also, read my piece on Molecular (aka Modernist) Cuisine, its origins and some of the outstanding practitioners in our region. It also features the equipment you might wish to acquire if you want to give it a go yourselves.

Finally, even if I do say so myself, the cover photo today is a visual feast. Taken with my Christmas present from my beloved wife of 24 years (Happy Anniversary Darling) it was featured in the National Post’s Gastropost to which I have become a regular contributor.

As always you can access all past Food for Thought Columns, and other writing via the Food for Thought Archive. Do browse and please like the page!

Bon Appetit.

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)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Motions in Motion

As Chair of the Public Works Committee, I would like to provide the following direction or motion and will be moving this accordingly.

This comes after speaking with our City Manager Chris Murray. I would like to move that the City Manager be directed to explore and report back on the opportunities and various options associated with the size and scope of the Public Works department in an effort to ensure service delivery is optimized, and;

That this report focus on various options for Council consideration, including, but not limited to the creation of two separate departments, or other service delivery models.

Thank you,
Councillor Sam Merulla,
Ward 4, East Hamilton

Perfect Sam. I was heading in the same direction. Will you take that to Public Works first or straight to council. I always thought that public works was too big to report and be managed effectively through one director‎. Supervision and strong oversight matters and even though I believe that Gerry Davis is one of the best we have, it is too big a load for any one person. I support this direction and know that there are various options all of which will serve our city well.
Well done Sam!
Cheers Fred

Fred Eisenberger
City of Hamilton

Yes, and am happy to second it if you want me to.

Arlene VanderBeek
Hamilton City Councillor

Thanks Mr Mayor, I think it would be best to pursue this at our Special Council meeting early this week?
Thank you,

Thanks Arlene. Sure.
Thank you,

Councillor Sam Merulla,
Ward 4, East Hamilton

Thursday, March 26, 2015

With Chief Glenn DeCaire- At the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce

Chief Glenn DeCaire Provides an Overview
Hamilton Police Chief Glenn DeCaire was warmly received as he took members of the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce through an informative slide deck (click here to see it), summarizing the accomplishments, challenges and other aspects of providing police services in Hamilton.

The Chief began by recognizing front line officers and the community, and the importance of working together toward crime prevention. The Chief emphasized that "we police our community".

The Chief also spoke about how the police budget has remained at 19% of the city's budget, bringing a sense of historical relativity. Other highlights included:

  • from 2009 - 3013 crime rates in Hamilton have decreased consistently.
  • from 2004 - 2007 crime was on a steady incline in Hamilton
  • the Chief said the steady decline is a result of gun controls and prevention strategies that have been put into place
  • a key component is visibility of police presence in the community. The stats have shown this as being an effective means of decreasing and preventing crime. 
  • The goal is to have a ratio of 60/40 with 60% reactive (police responding to calls), and 40% proactive (police being visible in the community and interacting).
  •  In 2012, Hamilton's Violent Crime dropped by 19%, which was the largest Violent Crime decline across Canada.
  • the Chief emphasized that police relentlessly pursue cases- he referred to one case that was thirty years old. 
  • he stressed the importance of the need to keep the dialogue open with young people and to train his officers in crisis prevention, which he hopes to have completed within the next two years.
  • the police investigate an average of 700 deaths a year. The Chief explained that not all of these end up being crime related, but the police give every situation the same attention and  in order to make that determination.
  • the connection between addictions and crime is very high and this is something the service is working on addressing.
  • another area of increased concern is fraud against seniors and abuse in relation to power of attorneys.
  • the Hamilton Police service has recently embarked on a mental health partnership when responding to calls regarding people suffering with mental illnesses. An officer and a trained mental health worker responds to the call together, making the response responsible, helpful and successful. The response ensures the person receives the services needed. 
The Chief also provided a very informative visual which depicted the decrease in crime, according to different types of crime, specific to the geographical layout of our city.

Among the attendees was The Hamiltonian Publisher Teresa DiFalco and Ward 9 Councillor Doug Conley. The Hamiltonian encourages our readers to read the slide deck that the Chief presented.

Media Release: 2015 Hamilton Music Award Nominees Announced!!

2015 Hamilton Music Award
Nominees Announced!!
2015 Hamilton Music Awards,
Festival & Conference

May 21-24, 2015

Dofasco Centre for the Arts ∙ Various Venues

HAMILTON, CANADA(March 26, 2015): September Seventh Entertainment Limited announced today the nominees for the 2015 Hamilton Music Awards which take place at 6PM on Sunday May 24th at the Dofasco Centre for the Arts. Leading the nominations are Laura Cole(5), Jeremy Fisher(4) Arkells(3), Blackie and the Rodeo Kings(3), Elliott Brood(3), Ash & Bloom(2), Bianca Bernardi(2), Diana Panton(2), Dirty Jeans(2), Ginger St. James(2), Hachey the MouthPEACE(2), Harrison Kennedy(2), Jacob Moon(2), Katie Bulley(2), Mimi Shaw(2), Mississippi Bends(2), Steve Strongman(2), The Dinner Belles(2) and Tongue Fu(2). A complete list of nominees is included below.

The Industry Award nominees, Rising Star Search, Festival & Conference schedules as well as ticket information will be announced in early April.

Fans, artists and industry are reminded to cast their votes in seven People’s Choice categories at www.hamiltonmusicawards.com. The deadline has been extended to midnight on Friday April 24th.

2015 marks a 20-year journey for the Hamilton Music Awards, Festival and Conference which began as Hamilton Music Scene, an unofficial pre-JUNO Festival, when the JUNO’S hit the road and landed in Hamilton, in March 1995.

The Hamilton Music Awards and Industry Awards were established in 2004 to promote and recognize Hamilton’s vibrant music community. The Music Awards are broadcast nationally each year and have featured appearances by Monster Truck, Daniel Lanois, Arkells, The Reason, Ian Thomas, Lighthouse, Eugene Levy, Crowbar, Jackie Washington, Garth Hudson, Teenage Head, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Whitehorse and many more. To date, over 600 awards have been given to local artists and industry. The conference is attended by over 700 students and artists annually and features guest speakers from all walks of the Canadian music industry. The festival takes place over two nights in venues

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Art of Funding

Click here to see a copy of the funding commitment of the Hamilton Community Foundation to help the city fund the Arts in Hamilton. Congrats to all who have supported arts funding in Hamilton.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Media Release: Hamilton Kids Walk for Kids in Haiti

HAMILTON, ON – March 23, 2015 – More than 100 Hamilton children will don their mittens, grab their pails and walk five kilometres to raise money so children in Haiti can have clean water and sanitation. They walk to bring awareness to the plight of children in Haiti who walk hours a day for drinking water that’s actually contaminated.

It’s been five years since a massive earthquake ripped through Haiti, one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. Haiti is widely considered to have the poorest water quality in the world. And the children in Hamilton are doing something about this.

Hamilton’s Public Works Department invites all media and the community to the 11th Annual World Water Day Walkathon which raises funds for the Haiti Water for Life project. Back in 2005, the

Friday, March 20, 2015

Media Release: Poets invited to submit original poems for the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge

Hamilton, ON March 19, 2015 – As part of the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge, Mayor Eisenberger invites Hamilton residents to submit works of unpublished, original poetry with the winning poem to be read at the municipal Council meeting on April 22 at City Hall.

The nationwide poetry challenge was issued by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi offering the challenge to his fellow Canadian mayors. This year’s initiative is a collaboration between the League of Canadian Poets, the City of Calgary, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and Loft 112 in celebration of

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Joanna Chapman- On Integrity Commissioner and I.C. Model

Joanna Chapman, engaged Hamiltonian, former Dundas bookseller and former town councillor shares her views on Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse, the process of hiring the I.C. and moving forward. Enjoy our chat with Joanna:

You were on the committee that hired Mr. Basse as Hamilton’s Integrity Commissioner. Can you describe the process the committee went through and how you arrived at the decision to hire Mr. Basse.

A number of members of the A & T Committee were selected to form a subcommittee to review applications, interview applicants, and make a recommendation to Council for the new position of Integrity Commissioner (IC) At least two members of the subcommittee were members of the public.

The City Human Resources (HR) Department received a surprising number of applications for the position of IC. The HR Department reviewed the applications, and reduced them to a manageable number. Several candidates were selected for interviews and some were interviewed twice by the subcommittee A representative of the City HR department participated in the interview process. I felt that the interviews were thorough and fair.

Mr Basse was the the person ultimately selected. He had an excellent resume, with 25 years on the RCMP, experience in investigative techniques, plus municipal experience as mayor of a town in BC. He was sure of himself and interviewed extremely well. He seemed to be the ideal candidate for the new position as IC for the City of Hamilton. However what he claimed to be able to achieve was much more than he actually delivered. I feel the candidate was more at fault than the process.

Do you think the role of Integrity Commissioner has been effective? Why or why not?

 No first incumbent in the role of Integrity Commissioner has not been effective.

One reason was a general lack of oversight and follow-up when deadlines were consistently missed. City staff even covered for Mr. Basse's seeming inadequacies by doing part of the job that he was hired perform; such things as the web site, and likely the annual reports to Council. The A & T committee was unable to take any action because it was outside our jurisdiction.

The issue of Basse's apparent poor health should have been confronted and he should have been asked to resign if unable to do the job; or the monthly stipend withdrawn until his health improved.

The contract to hire Mr. Basse should have made clearer exactly what was expected for the monthly stipend and have set clearer limits on the amount that could be charged for an investigation. In a single year in which there appear to have been 3 investigations, the city seems to have been charged a total of $45,975.00. In my view this was too much for too little.

3. The City of Hamilton will be hiring a replacement for Mr. Basse once his contract expiries in the near future. What changes, if any, would you recommend to the way the city recruits a new I.C. and to the model itself?

There is an inherent problem with the Integrity Commissioner role as it now defined. The main task of the IC is to make sure that Councillors adhere to their codes of conduct and do not overstep any boundaries. However, the final oversight of the person holding the office is Council. If an Integrity Commissioner wants to keep the job, she/he will serve Council with what they want to hear, and tread gently.

What is forgotten is that the IC is there to serve the public. The only way to ensure that an IC performs the job independently, is to have independent oversight. Ideally it would be best if the job were performed by the Ombudsman for Ontario, that way the oversight would be totally removed from Hamilton politics. However, I believe this may be outside the current mandate of the Ombudsman.

If the oversight is to be performed locally, it should be performed by a committee of senior staff from the City. Similarly City staff should be responsible for the hiring of the next IC. There is a built-in conflict if citizen complaints against Councillors are investigated by a person who answers directly to Council.

Is there anything else you would like to add? 

4. There have certainly been problems, but the past couple of years has deepened my conviction that Hamilton needs an Integrity Commissioner.

Thanks Joanna for your submission to The Hamiltonian. A note to our readers. Please take our survey and share your ideas regarding our service. You can complete the survey by clicking here. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The "Thin Blue Line" or Lack thereof

The "thin blue line" often refers to the camaraderie of police officers or others who are ordinarily in the line of law enforcement or corrections.

In its unhealthy form, it refers to those who hold these positions, protecting their own by overlooking rules , allowing members of the group to break laws or rules with impunity or otherwise failing to bring colleagues to justice. 

Through the actions of Hamilton City Councillor Sam Merulla, it appears that no such line exists as it pertains to the actions of fellow Councillor Lloyd Ferguson. And to the extent that the unhealthy form of that thin blue line,  does not exist in Hamilton City Council or in other organizations, the Hamiltonian applauds that. 

The efforts of Clr. Merulla calling out the lack of appropriate remedy for the assault by Clr. Ferguson on independent journalist Joey Coleman, has now led to an assault investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police. Given the fact that Clr. Fergsuon sits on the Police Services Board, the matter has been picked up by the O.P.P. to avoid a conflict of interest.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak- Judging SoupFest – Part 1

Judging SoupFest – Part 1

A couple of weeks back I had the pleasure of joining some other distinguished gastronomes in judging Soupfest, the wildly-successful, and exceptionally organized, fundraiser run by Living Rock Ministries in support for youth-at-risk. Julie Conway, Development Director for the Rock told me they raised $70,000 net over the course of the day and had 5,150 in attendance.

That’s remarkable and I’d take a bet Soupfest, this year’s edition having been #13 – has grown into one of the most-heavily attended one-day food-related fundraisers in the Golden Horseshoe. (A tip of the hat obviously to the multi-day Rotary Rib-Fest in Burlington: It’s the biggest in Canada.)

The “Foodie Choice” award was new this year. It was a blind tasting adjudicated by Karen Aquino (GoCooking Co-ordinator at the Spec), Pop-up Hamilton’s Dave Hanley, Food Blogger Chanry Thatch, Amanda Kinnaird of Inspire Hamilton and myself.

The soups came to us in small containers identified only by a descriptor from A-Z. We had no idea

With Todd Green, assistant professor of Marketing at the Goodman School of Business

Enjoy our interview with Todd Green, assistant professor of Marketing at the Goodman School of Business about "Music Matters and other music related issues, including social responsibility. 

I thought it might help if I explained my research in the area a bit. One paper I just had accepted at an academic journal looks at the consumer response to social responsibility in the music industry.

This included the consumer response to when musicians promote on behalf of charities or include discussions of causes at live music events, ‘green’ their tour or live music venues that include recycling and so on. A few of the surprising findings that emerged from my research is that when thinking of how consumers can be socially responsible or ethical as it relates to their musical consumption, consumers gave themselves a pat on the back as being ethical when they actually pay for music versus stealing it. There was also some discussion of the importance of the authenticity of artists: an artist should only be involved in social causes by digging into the cause and being directly involved or promoting a cause they have been directly influenced by. Another interesting finding is that some people wanted to escape from their daily routine so the inclusion of a social responsibility or ‘green’ message sometime took away from their enjoyment –so the notion of a time and place for it socially responsible behavior came out of the interviews.

I am currently doing interviews with members of the music industry to look at social responsibility and ethics but also to examine the issues and challenges facing the industry. Just think of all the transition and turbulence the industry is facing right now- one participant called it dealing with the mp3 generation versus the MTV generation. The members includemusicians, journalists, broadcasters, producers, tour managers, studio managers and label owners across Canada. I can’t provide names due to my confidentiality and anonymity provided to the participants.

1. With the advent of the internet, mp3 files and the like, we imagine that “making it in the music industry” requires a very different approach than the pre-internet age. How do musicians generate revenue these days, and how has that changed?

One common suggestion from several of the people I have interviewed from the music industry is

Friday, March 13, 2015

Media Release: Dr. Roberta Bondar to be Patron for Canadian International Military Tattoo in 2015

Dr. Roberta Bondar to be Patron for Canadian International Military Tattoo in 2015

Hamilton, Ontario – February 2nd, 2015

Date: Saturday / Sunday May 30th & 31st 2015

Location: First Ontario Center

The Canadian International Tattoo Association Inc. is proud to announce Dr. Roberta Bondar as Patron of our 24th annual Military Tattoo. The Canadian International Military Tattoo is an annual event celebrating Canada's rich cultural heritage of "Connecting Canadians to Their Military through Music.” Each year the performances include a vast array of military and civilian music and pageantry. These acts are based on the military tradition of magnificent music, dancing, and pipes & drums. Dr. Bondar shares her enthusiasm with these words:

Our hearts beat proudly to the stirring music of the Canadian International Military Tattoo which embodies the passion of service and commitment to Canada. Under our flag and through the words of Flanders Field, we are stronger together.

Roberta L. Bondar

Dr. Roberta Bondar became the first Canadian female astronaut in 1992, that very same year The Canadian International Military Tattoo held its first show and we are excited to celebrate the 24th anniversary of these accomplishments together! This year's show will be held May 30th & 31st 2015 at the First Ontario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario. Please visit our website

www.canadianmilitarytattoo.ca for more information on how you can purchase your tickets.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Retainer No-Brainer- Part 2

Earl Basse
When The Hamiltonian asked the City of Hamilton whether they sought a reimbursement of Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse's monthly retainer fee in whole or in part, the City advised they had not because, in their view, Basse had satisfied the section of his contract which outlines what deliverables he was to provide to earn the retainer. 

In parallel, we asked Basse himself whether he plans to return the retainer in whole or part, who, to date, has not answered our questions. If he does, we will provide his response here.

In keeping with the City's response, we had a look at the list of deliverables as provided for in Basse's contract beginning with the first item on this list ; that being, a web page. According to the contract, it appears that Basse was to provide a web page. Specifically, it is described as follows:

Web paqe -  Further information to aid Members of Council and the public in their understanding of the role of the Integrity Commission and the ethical obligations and responsibilities of Member of Council 

We thus searched for an I.C. web page , and found only the following page: 

The page also appears to be a City of Hamilton web page and not a page independently created.

Making a web page available usually incurs the following basic expenses:

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Retainer No-Brainer?

There are two components to the amount of money that is being paid to Earl Basse, Hamilton's Integrity Commissioner. 

1. $150.00 per hour for investigations and the work surrounding the investigations (report writing etc).

2. A monthly retainer of $1,500.00 per month.

The $1,500.00 per month retainer is paid in consideration of delivering to the City the services set out in the table entitled Ongoing Services -not including an inquiry under Bylaw 08-154, as amended without further charge or remuneration. Please see Mr. Basse's contract here, for further details.

If the Integrity Commissioner is getting a monthly retainer in exchange for certain services specified in his contract, any reasonable person may question whether a retainer amount should be paid if the

Friday, March 6, 2015

Ferguson Falls on His Own Sword- But is it Enough?

It appears that Clr. Ferguson has chosen to fall on his own sword, or perhaps some may suggest that Clr. Merulla pushed him into it, by calling out the perceived injustice of Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse's failure to penalize Ferguson. Ferguson will be voluntarily donating $1000.00 to an Ancaster charity as a way of trying to make amends.

But is this matter really over? With the  O.P.P. being called in to investigate the issue of assault against Coleman by Ferguson, it promises to live on. . In the interim. Coleman issued this statement (click here)

The issue of Basse's reports and their validity appears to be left unaddressed. Basse's recent reports filed in the matter of Clr. Lloyd Ferguson and a second report on the matter of Clr. Maria Pearson, continues to draw criticism from many, suggesting that Basse failed to properly investigate and failed to levy proportional consequences.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mayor Eisenberger - on Basse Investigations

Mayor Fred Eisenberger
The following is our Q/A with Mayor Eisenberger on the Basse investigations:

In The Hamiltonian as well as in other media outlets and in social media, there is a fair degree of outrage over the Integrity Commissioner’s recent reports on Clr. Ferguson and Clr. Pearson. In an informal poll conducted on The Hamiltonian, and we suspect beyond that, it is shown that Hamiltonians who responded to the poll do not believe that Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse is serving Hamiltonians well. The Ombudsman of Ontario harshly criticized Mr. Basse saying, among other things, that he will refer to Mr. Basse’s report as an example of how not to write a report. Clr. Merulla recently drafted a motion calling for a review of Mr. Basse’s report on the Ferguson matter. Still others are calling for a new model in which power over the I.C. position will rest in the hands of Hamilton citizens.

As Mayor of Hamilton, what are your intentions in this regard. Will you seeking changes to the

Debra Hughes- On Resources and Special Needs

 Back when I was in public and high school, words like “special needs” never came up. ADHD kids were simply very active, and I don’t remember a single EA in my entire school career. Times have changed.

My eldest daughter was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2007. She was deemed an Exceptional Student soon after, and her developmental delay made her need an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). She had no sense of danger, so she had to have a one on one helper while she was at school. From Day one resources were a problem.

When I say “resources” I mean EAs. There have never been enough to give my Katie the one on one attention she needs.

Lack of resources is nothing new. I’ve been wrestling with it since 2007. I have been frustrated because the school system is not addressing the need for more EAs due to the explosion of the special needs population. Just lately my frustration has reached new highs.

Katie’s main EA this year has taken quite a bit of time off. Her absence means the other EAs have to cover for her, or the school has to get in someone temporarily. I have gotten calls as early as 9:15 am from school saying that Katie is having a bad day and could I please come pick her up. Just lately I

Monday, March 2, 2015

Complainant in Pearson Matter Say Basse Report is Unacceptable

An Officer of the  Lakewood Beach Community, who is an incorporated association, filed the complaint against Clr. Maria Pearson with the Integrity Commissioner. The following statement is the complainant's reaction to Basse's report on the complaint against Maria Pearson.

At @ 1:23 of the city's webcast of the Planning Committee meeting held on February 5, 2013, (see it by clicking here)  Councillor Pearson advised her council collegues that during a telephone survey to the amended planning application only "1 was opposed"

During our due diligence process for the OMB appeal, we were advised by at least 6 constituents that they advised Councillor Pearson, during those phone calls, that they were still opposed.

Hence, a Complaint was filed in the Spring of 2013 with a list of the 6 individuals, along with another @ 30 people.

Mr. Basse's investigation was a simple case of determining whether or not Councillor Pearson knew more than 1 individual stated they were opposed during her calls to them.

It wasn't about the planning process
It wasn't about poor note taking
It wasn't about whether differing opinions existed within those households
It wasn't about whether the conduct was intentional or unintentional.

It was simply about did or didn't the person Councillor Pearson spoke to, advise her they were

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Merulla Says Basse Report Unsatisfactory- Says Ferguson Should Step Down as Chair of the Hamilton Police Services Board

Update: The Hamiltonian has asked Clr. Ferguson for his comments. If he responds, we will publish them.

The Hamiltonian has received the following revision to Clr. Merulla's motion:

Whereas Councillor Ferguson has admitted guilt and apologized for as outlined in the Criminal Code Of Canada. 


265. (1) A person commits an assault when

(a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;
(b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or
(c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.‎

And whereas, Councillor Ferguson's behaviour is unbecoming of an elected official and particularly,