Thursday, April 30, 2015

Basse's Bill

Earl Basse, who is transitioning out of the role of Integrity Commissioner and being replaced by George Rust D'Eye, has been the subject of controversy for some of his investigation reports and their conclusions. The result of those reports earned him the harsh criticism, (among others) by Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin. 

Two of Basse's more recent reports, one concerning Clr, Ferguson and journalist Joey Coleman, and the other concerning Clr., Maria Pearson have been billed as follows:

Investigation of Clr. Lloyd Ferguson:  $2,400.00 plus H.S.T.
Investigation of Clr. Maria Pearson: $19,725.00 plus H.S.T.

Museum Month- Attractions

Click here for further details. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Link of the Moment

From our friends down the way, the following is Burlington Mayor Goldring's April 2015 progress report. Click here to see it

Monday, April 27, 2015

Checking in with Mayor Eisenberger

Given the Mayor has been in office for over 90 days, we decided to circle back with him on the following:

Mr. Mayor: Shortly after your election, The Hamiltonian posed the following question to you (your reply is included)
What will your focus be in the first 3 months of your term?

Of course connecting with each ward councilor to begin a dialogue on their main issues, priorities and ideas for moving forward will be a primary focus of the early days in office. The first few months will include our efforts to frame the LRT discussion and look at establishing the citizens panel and its mandate. Another focus will be understanding the latest status surrounding US Steel, in particular pensioners, and formulating a plan for how the city can advocate in support of the steel industry. City staff has been working very hard in the last four years and I want to ensure my office continues to support that momentum.

Can you provide our readers with an update on all these fronts?

Mayor Eisenberger responded as follows:

“At the Chamber of Commerce Mayor’s Breakfast last week, I highlighted progress on the LRT front. We’ve had four meetings with the Premier and secured a commitment from the Province for capital funding. The terms of reference for the Citizens Panel are being developed now and my hope is that process is underway within the next couple of months. US Steel continues to be a prominent file, we’re hearing more about the process of the sale of the land and there is interest from the Hamilton Port Authority to acquire it. In the first four months of the term, we’ve developed a positive momentum around the council table; ward Councillors are championing a range of projects and priorities and we are working well together, while continuing to look at a long term view for the City. I’m continuing to focus on 4 major areas; economic development, transit, homelessness, poverty and affordable housing.”

For our readers who would like to view the PowerPoint presentation that Mayor Eisenberger delivered, click here

LRT- A Leadership Issue

"It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly". ~ Isaac Asimov

While some may wish that circumstances were different, Spec columnist Andrew Dreschel's article in today's paper (see it here or purchase the print copy), which outlines possible reasons why LRT funding may not be forthcoming any time soon, appears painfully true.

And for all the reasons that Andrew lists, including,

- local councillors wavering
-an approved citizen panel to recommend LRT vs. BRT
-the request for additional 302 million  to the province to grow the current system
- overtones by Minister McMeeken suggesting later rather than sooner

in the end, it comes down to leadership. Any initiative of this magnitude requires the ability to push through barriers and challenges and to bring others along.

Whether Hamilton gets LRT , assuming that its business case continues to be sound, will rest on the ability to lead and the ability to align. Your thoughts? 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

From the Lens of Ron Ogulin

Click on pic to enlarge

Ron Ogulin is a talented local photographer. From time to time, The Hamiltonian features local artists and photographers. 

If you are a photographer who would like to submit a picture for consideration, please send to admin@thehamiltonian.info

Friday, April 24, 2015

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak- The this just in Edition – Knitted Meat, and Films on Food

The this just in Edition – Knitted Meat, and Films on Food

Every so often an email pops up via the email address at the end of the column informing me of a food-related event. This week I got a doozy featuring “knitted meat”, and it is so out there I had to share it and the photos that came with it.

But before I do, and since we now have easier access to the Great Metropolis down the Go, readers might appreciate knowing TIFF’s “Food on Film” is underway until June 24th. Hosted by CBC’s Matt Galloway, the series features films related to food, followed by discussion on a variety of related topics.

For full details and ticket info click here. Three films remain to be screened and if I had to pick just one to see it would probably be the one on May 13th featuring innovative America Chef, Wylie Dufresne. He will discuss his inventive approach to cooking and introduce the 1991 French “post-

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Statement from Minister Del Duca

Minister of Transportation Del Duca has sent the following statement to The Hamiltonian:

Ontario’s commitment to full capital funding for rapid transit in Hamilton is steadfast and unwavering, and in the coming weeks, I look forward to being in a position to share more details about how our plan will help build up all of Ontario – including Hamilton.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Media Release: Ontario's Big City Mayors Meet With Premier To Discuss Issues Facing Majority of Ontarians

The Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) met with Premier Kathleen Wynne at Queen’s Park on Monday, April 20 to discuss key issues facing communities across the Province. 19 Mayors of Ontario’s largest cities attended the meeting to speak to the Premier about LUMCO’s 2015 priorities of gridlock & transportation, job creation, affordable housing and emergency services costs.

“This is an important step in LUMCO’s efforts to advance the issues facing Ontario’s largest cities, which represent 67% of Ontario’s population. These are complex problems that require all levels of government to come to the table. We thank the Premier for taking the time to meet with us to discuss

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On Re-Drawing Ward Boundaries- M Adrian Brassington

Click on graphic to enlarge it
The issue of ‘ward boundary review’ is back on the City’s table once again. Three years ago, after an unsuccessful petition was generated (I use the word ‘unsuccessful’ advisedly; it did not attain its goal, the reasons for which were pretty straightforward, but I won’t go into them here), the 2010-2014 Council faffed about, wrung its hands and, while begrudgingly ordering a Staff study of the issue, essentially kicked the issue down the road. To the current 2014-2018 Council. The recent vote for rescinding the study was an 8-8 tie, so Council will still be receiving it. It then voted 8-8 to wait until it had 2016 census information in hand. Also defeated. Oy vey.

The current boundary lines were essentially transposed onto the Old Hamilton map at amalgamation. To me, as amalgamation was such a contentious issue, this was a conciliatory gesture. But at some point down the line from amalgamation, ‘effective representation’ was bound to become an issue. Well, it’s now 14 years later. Time to man-up and deal with it.

There are in fact legislated requirements regarding the relationships of populations of wards within a city. There’s supposed to be a certain degree of parity, if at all possible. So for example, strictly for the sake of this discussion, if one ward had 15,000 residents while another had 60,000, wouldn’t you

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Nicholson and Turkstra- Q/A

In response to a recent article entitled Assault by Planning Initiatives ( to read the article, click here), one of our readers (Gabriel Nicholson), asked us to facilitate and Q/A exchange with Herman Turkstra. Both gentlemen agreed. Gabriel asked the questions, and Herman responded. Here is the exchange.

1. Nicholson:   In your 13 challenges list for 2015 you reference the city being the 'owner/developer/regulator'.  Would it more receptive to HWN if/when the city sells the parcel to developers thereby only the being the regulator?  

Turkstra: The report to Council in 2014 on the Pier development was entirely focussed on financial return to the City.  It did not look at how that development would comply with the approved Secondary Plan, did not look at how the development as propossed it would impact the adjacent housing, nor what it would do to traffic.  It was a developer's financial analysis.  

Given the huge conflict of interest between the City's financial interest as landowner and developer and its duties as a regulator of land uses under the Planning Act, what is desperately needed is an independent planning view that scrutinizes the City's work as developer in the same way that the City would scrutinize a development put forward on Pier 8 if a major Toronto developer were the applicant.  

The current situation, with the City selling the Pier 8 project in Europe,  makes it clear that we need an independent planning analysis.  

But there is more to be concerned about.  The Phillips plan for Piers 7 and was developed inside City Hall with no participation by the people who will be impacted.  The North End neighbourhood is clearly under attack. The City has launched 6 planning initiatives, including the Phillips Plan, in the North End neighbourhood in one year.  The total participation by the impacted population was about six hours in one of those initiatives.  The Pier 7 and 8 proposal had no community consultation. This  illustrates how important it is to radically change the role of the neighbourhood to become an involved stakeholder as well as to obain an independent planning review.  

Public participation has been abysmal, largely because the City is the owner and the developer as well as the regulator and is not really interested in talking to the impacted neighbours about their projected financial returns.  

The triple role of the City as regulator, owner and developer makes change very important.  

On the flip-side, members of the Stinson Cormmunity are against the Charlton buildings where the developer (owner) and city (regulator) are on the same side at the OMB appeal and your firm represents the developer.  Are there differences from this project compared to the waterfront projects?

I have no significant knowledge of that project other than what I glanced at in a Spectator article on the actions of the NEC.  As in the case of all law firms, my law firm has strict rules that protect the privacy and the interests of clients. I have no access to any information or perspective on that project other than the Spec article which clearly indicates that the local neighbourhood association opposes the project.

2. Nicholson: Can you provide an example of an 'area of future change' that the city has enlarged and an example of the impact on the neighbourhood?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Musical Notes: The Vaudevillian – 1920’s Rock Stars

Enjoy this installment of Musical Notes, with Angelo Noto Campanella as he reviews The Vaudevillian

I was in N'Awlins(New Orleans) back in September walking down Frenchman Street where the locals go to hear music (not Bourbon Street where all the tourists go). In a staired doorway were five young people playing old time jazz/blues. The instruments included an old guitar, banjo, washtub bass with one string, a glass gallon jug and a guy with a washboard and a kazoo in his mouth. The song they were singing was about the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and a dog surfing down the street on his doghouse. I wondered if the dog sleeping in the guitar case full of money was the one they were singing about. This was a Jug Band popularized in the teens and 1920's. This style of music with based on home made instruments inspired many genres of music : Jass(Jazz), Blues, Country & Western, Blue Grass, Roots, Ragtime and even Rock. Many of the great Jazz players got their start in Jug Bands Like Louie Armstrong, King Oliver(cornet), Willie "The Lion" Smith(piano), and Lonnie Johnson(guitar). This is the style of music being done by Brendan J Stephens and Willow Walker of The Vaudevillian. 

I first heard Brendan playing in a parking lot on James street during July 2014 Artcrawl. I couldn’t believe my ears. Here was this young man playing music that was written almost 100yrs ago. I knew Willow was missing because I had seen photographs on Facebook by Cyndi Ingle, Willow had an old washboard hanging from her neck and a Black Bird Studio designed dress. I later heard them both play at their cd release for their latest album “Salty Dog”. Their performance is electrifying; they

Friday, April 17, 2015

Media Release: New Funding for Transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

New Funding for Transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

A group of transportation leaders released the following statement today

April 17th, 2015 – The congestion in the GTHA has reached a breaking point and with our region growing quickly, the need to implement Metrolinx’s Big Move transportation plan is more urgent than ever. The Ontario Government’s 2014 Budget announcement of $15 billion in new dedicated funding to this plan was a great step forward for residents and businesses of the region.

We applaud the Government’s announcement yesterday of more than a billion dollars in new dedicated funding for transit service and new capital projects in the GTHA. We look forward to hearing specifics in the coming weeks around how it will be invested and the basis for those decisions.

These commitments are a helpful step towards building the regional transportation system we need, but our work is far from done. Full implementation of the Big Move, with construction, operating and maintenance expenses, is estimated to cost around $80 billion, leaving roughly $50 billion still unfunded. We also need to make sure projects are planned and prioritized in a smart and transparent way and that planned and approved projects stay on schedule and can be easily monitored and tracked by the public.

We look forward to seeing the government move forward on the implementation of this important initiative and support their commitment to building an integrated regional transportation system for the GTHA.


“It's great to see an additional injection of funding towards our regional transportation network,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction. "We look forward to more projects and improvements getting off the ground in the near future for the sake of our region's residents and business."

“Building public support for new revenue sources to build our region’s needed transportation infrastructure has been at the forefront of our advocacy for many years,” said Jan De Silva, President & CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade “This funding will create good jobs while improving our region’s productivity by modernizing our infrastructure to reduce congestion.”

“There is no shortage of areas that the government could have chosen to invest in with the proceeds of an asset sale,” said John Brodhead, Executive Director of Evergreen CityWorks. “It is a strong signal of the government’s support of public transit and transportation infrastructure that they chose this as their priority.”

Signed by:
David Suzuki Foundation
Evergreen CityWorks
The Pembina Institute
Toronto Region Board of Trade

Media Release: Hamilton takes up Mayor’s Poetry Challenge

Hamilton takes up Mayor’s Poetry Challenge

Local poet to perform at April 22 Council meeting

Hamilton, ON, April 17, 2015 – Earlier this year Mayor Fred Eisenberger took up the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge issued by Calgary Mayor, Naheed Nenshi. The “Challenge” is to have a local poet read aloud at a council meeting to mark National Poetry Month in April, celebrating poetry, writing, small presses and the contribution of poets and all writers. Hamilton is one of 70 participating municipalities.

“The Mayor’s Poetry Challenge is a great opportunity to provide a forum for poets to share their talents and for Hamilton to celebrate the contribution of poetry to cultural life in our community.” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

To select the poet, Mayor Eisenberger invited Hamilton residents to submit works of original poetry through an open competition. Published or unpublished poems submitted could be any style, but had to have a connection to the theme “Hamilton”. The poetry competition received over 40 entries and the jury was composed of poets Amanda Jernigan, Paul Lisson and J.S Porter and Kerry Cranston-Reimer, co-owner of Bryan Prince Bookseller.

Hamilton will complete the challenge on Wednesday, April 22, where poet John Terpstra will read his winning poems "The Highway That Became a Footpath” and “Giants” in Council Chambers starting at 5:00pm. In addition, Council will be recognizing the challenge’s Honourable Mentions: “Night Slides” by Chris Pannell, "Eight stanzas for Radial Trail" by Ryan Pratt and “Burlington Heights” by Paddy Chitty. Members of the public are welcome to attend the Council meeting which takes place at City Hall, 71 Main Street West.

For more information about the Mayor’s Poetry Challenge and to read the winning and honourable mention poems, please visit www.hamilton.ca/loveyourcity

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Media Release- City of Hamilton Issues Full Occupancy Permit for Tim Hortons Field

HAMILTON, ON - April 16, 2015 - The City of Hamilton today announced that a full occupancy permit has been issued for Tim Hortons Field.

This week, City of Hamilton building inspectors walked through the entire building to examine hundreds of components and to conduct safety checks in all areas. This safety check is the most critical aspect of the building inspection process. Chief Building Officials (CBOs) act as a regulatory agent for a municipality to ensure that construction projects meets very specific safety obligations under the Ontario Building Code Act. This includes properly installed and functioning fire separations, emergency lighting and safe exits.

It was previously reported that the building permit was conditional on the completion of caulking work in the east stands of the stadium; however, it has been determined that this element does not impact public safety and from the City of Hamilton CBO's perspective, its incompletion does not prevent the permit's issuance. The caulking work is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.

In addition to the full inspection, the City of Hamilton also confirmed it reviewed the Letters of Assurance from all engineers and architects involved in the project. Letters of Assurance are uniform, mandatory documents intended to clearly identify the responsibilities of key individuals in a building project, i.e. electrical, mechanical, structural, fire systems. They are an accountability mechanism to provide assurance to municipalities that building design and construction are substantially in compliance with the Code.

"My staff have conducted a thorough inspection and can confirm that Tim Hortons Field meets all of the safety requirements for occupancy under Ontario Building Code," says City of Hamilton Chief Building Official and Director of Building, Ed VanderWindt. "I want to acknowledge the hard work of everyone involved, including the TiCats organization, the contractor (ONSS), Infrastructure Ontario, all of the tradespeople, and our own City staff."

Notwithstanding the full occupancy permit, which guarantees public safety, Tim Hortons Field is not in a state of substantial completion from an overall facility perspective. This is the final phase for City of Hamilton to receive stadium ownership and for the contract to be considered fulfilled. As such, and until the additional facility requirements are met, Tim Hortons Field remains unavailable for public events or tours.

Motions in Motion

From: Merulla, Sam
Sent: April-16-15 9:28 AM
Subject: Councillor Sam Merulla Motion: Hamilton Utilities Corporation.

Whereas the City is sole shareholder of Hamilton Utilities Corporation (HUC);

And whereas the City, through HUC is the ultimate majority owner of Horizon Utilities;

And whereas it is in the City’s interest to maintain its majority interest in Horizon Utilities, and it is in the public interest to maintain Horizon Utilities in public control;

Now therefore be it resolved

That Council, not support any merger or other dilution which would result in the City of Hamilton losing its majority ownership of Horizon Utilities, or any other transaction which would result in Horizon Utilities being controlled by private ownership;

And that staff be directed to take all necessary steps to implement this resolution;

And that the Mayor and Clerk be authorized to execute any documentation required.

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

Sam – I would like to second this motion. Would you also consider a friendly amendment to add in the word “acquisition “ after “any merger, acquisition or other dilution etc.” if you are OK with that please confirm

Councillor Judi Partridge
Ward 15 East Flamborough
Waterdown, Carlisle, Millgrove

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Media Release: The Hamilton Farmers’ Market Call for Applications

The Hamilton Farmers’ Market

Call for Applications: Market Kitchen, Market Stalls & Market Carts

HAMILTON, ON – April 15th, 2015 – The Hamilton Farmers’ Market is inviting applicants interested in joining our community of vendors, to explore one of the following spaces:

(1) Market Kitchen – Equipped with appliances, sinks and ventilation

(2) Market Stalls – Located in prime locations throughout the Market

(3) Market Carts – Available for short or long-term leases

“We are pleased with the many recent positive changes to the Market and look forward to making further progress by exploring the different applications that we anticipate receiving" says John Hertel, Director of Finance, Administration and Revenue Generation.

All interested parties are encouraged to apply as the Market will consider a wide variety of proposals.

WHO: Hamilton Farmers’ Market

WHAT: Inviting applicants for (1) our Market Kitchen (2) Market stalls & (3) Market Carts.

WHEN: Beginning April 15th, 2015, Ending May 30th 2015

For more information on how to join our diverse group of vendors, please visit the Hamilton Farmers’ Website:


Assault by Planning Initiatives

"The North End neighbourhood faces an assault of planning initiatives by the City" 

It's a very captivating statement and a real phenomenon , as this particular neighbourhood association contends with the onslaught of what presents as city driven planning initiatives. 

The association states that the north end has been ":visioned to death". This avalanche of visions is said to be disruptive and leading nowhere, and it is claimed that these visions are usually conjured up in City Hall or in a Toronto consulting firm and shipped to Hamilton. 

This association's experience, has an eerie parallel to that experienced by the Fruitland-Winona-Stoney Creek Community Association Inc., who has also found itself under siege with city driven planning changes that are voluminous, disruptive and fly in the face of a secondary preferred plan that the community and other stakeholders, including the city, previously agreed to and yet the city unilaterally dismissed.

Bludgeoning residents with documents and  deadlines and entangling them in legal proceedings, often comes across as a tactic rather than an authentic interest in the well being of those who live in communities. It also calls to question any attempts by the city to position itself as an entity who is truly committed to citizen engagement., 

The Hamiltonian wishes the Harbour West Neighbours , and all other community associations well in protecting the interests of their communities and of Hamilton. To learn more about the Harbour West Neighbours, click here. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak - The top 4 ingredients for judging food fests

The top 4 ingredients for judging food fests (Judging Soupfest - Part 2)

A few weeks back I had the privilege to adjudicate a new award at Soupfest 13. Joining me in deciding who would win the “Foodie Choice” award were the Spec’s GoCooking Co-ordinator, Karen Aquino, Dave Hanley of Pop-up Hamilton, Food Blogger Amanda Kinnaird of Inspire Hamilton, and another busy Food Blogger around town, Chanry Thatch.

While largely informal, such competitions can be hotly-contested. As Nina Ruelens, Executive Chef of the 4th Course Bistro at Copetown Woods alluded to in the first part of this article, the results of being judged by peers, and others in the industry, matter.

We were there as individuals with both knowledge of, and great passion for food, rather than as “celebrity” judges or participants. (The latter often generously appear at such functions for publicity/promotional reasons, but might not have much relevant expertise beyond liking good food.) I’ve been personally involved in judging several such competitions now (ChilliFest, Battledish,

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Media Release: ATU and City reach tentative agreement

HAMILTON, ON – April 9, 2015 – On behalf of the ATU executive and the City of Hamilton we are pleased to announce that a tentative agreement has been reached and a work stoppage has been avoided.

The parties met into the early morning, and reached an agreement shortly after 5 a.m.

Both sides agreed that the deal reached is a fair and responsible agreement that respects the needs of all stakeholders.

The ATU negotiating ‎team will be bringing this agreement to its membership on Sunday, with a ratification vote coming early next week.

Media Release: Hamilton City Council approves 2015 operating budget

HAMILTON, ON – April 8, 2015 – On April 8, Hamilton City Council has given final approval to the 2015 Operating Budget. The 2015 budget achieves a 2.7 per cent tax increase or approximately $99 for the average residential property assessed at $284,600.

The 2015 Operating Budget focuses on significant investment in economic growth related enhancements with less reliance on reserves.

“I am pleased that the 2015 budget continues to place emphasis on important City-wide programs and services, with high levels of service delivery, said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. "Thanks to City staff and Council for their hard work throughout the budget process; we will realize a low municipal tax impact while providing the community with many significant investments in ambulances, air quality and the waterfront development."

“The outcome of the 2015 budget proves that the City of Hamilton is focused on financial sustainability and improved budget practices”, said General Manager of Finance and Corporate Services, Mike Zegarac.

Highlights of the 2015 budget include:

$1,728,730 towards ambulances and additional paramedics
$1,245,000 for enhanced transit services
$890,000 for Accessible Transportation Services
$500,000 for the Strategic Municipal Investment in the Arts program
$100,560 for improved air quality

For more information on the 2015 budget or to learn more about the budget process, please visit, Hamilton.ca/budget.

Link of the Moment

How they voted in February (from our friends at C.A.T.C.H.). Click here to go there....

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Click here to find out more. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Motion by Clr Green- Formal Opposition to Port Fuels & Materials Services, Inc. – Energy-From-Waste Facility

The following is a motion that Clr. Green will be submitting. He has supplemented this motion with the following video statement expanding on his  rationale for opposing this project (click here to see it



GIC Date: April 15, 2015

MOVED BY COUNCILLOR M. GREEN ……………..………….…………….

SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR S. Merulla ……….…………………………

Formal Opposition to Port Fuels &; Materials Services, Inc. – Energy-From-Waste Facility

WHEREAS, the precautionary principle guides us to not engage in activities that can potentially cause health related risks or serious disruption to the enjoyment of our community;

AND WHEREAS Port Fuels & Materials Services, Inc., the proponents of the Energy-from-

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Integrity Matters- A Chat with New I.C. and Lobbyist Registrar George Rust D'Eye

The Hamiltonian welcomes our new Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar George Rust D'Eye and it is unfortunate that our first contact with Mr. Rust D'Eye was not under the best of circumstances. Here is our Q/A with George:

1. We note that you are being cited in the Toronto Star as allegedly being in a conflict of interest, in your role in investigating alleged misconduct by Bampton senior staff. A Toronto Star report states that your report is three months overdue, that you may have a conflict by virtue of your former firm’s links to the project you had been investigating, and that billings for the work you performed had ballooned. Further, there is a suggestion that you failed to respond to a direct question as to whether you were in conflict during a public meeting in March.

Understandly, Hamiltonians who are looking forward to a new Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar who can carry out the responsibilities of those rolesin a way that protects the interests of Hamiltonians, may be concerned about what they are reading in the Toronto Star’s story. How do you respond to Hamiltonians who may be concerned?

2. Is there anything else you would like Hamiltonians to know about this matter, or about anything pertaining to your appointment as Hamilton’s Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar?

Mr. Rust D'Eye responded as follows:

My apologies for the late, and absent, reply to your email of yesterday.

While I certainly have responses to the allegations in the Star article, and confirm that I am satisfied that I have no conflict of interest in the matters referred to in that article, I cannot give you an interview at this time. I confirm also that I look forward to working as Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar for the City of Hamilton, and serving the public interest of Hamiltonians I am precluded, however, by solicitor-client privilege, from commenting to the press about my Brampton investigation or Final Report. My responsibility is to report to the Brampton City Council.

The Hamiltonian will keep in touch with Mr. Rust D'Eye in his capacity of Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar  and extends a welcome to our city. 

Brit Floyd- at Hamilton Place

It's not easy being a Pink Floyd tribute band. Floyd's music was cutting edge and helped to introduce the era of album rock. Their music ranges from psychedelic and accessible primarily to die hard fans, to commercially viable masterpieces that stay true to their roots.

Brit Floyd, who played last night at Hamilton Place,  proved that no detail is too small. The dazzling light and laser show and stunning animations were only eclipsed by the superior musicianship by which they brought the music of Pink Floyd alive. 

There are many, if not all Floyd songs which will prove as a test for any band looking to emulate the legend that Floyd has become. One of these is "The Great Gig in the Sky: from the Dark Side of the Moon album. This song features a female vocalist who fluently moves from primal like screams to soft cushioned notes. Brit Floyd proved it can tackle this and other difficult Pink Floyd songs, delivering this one  to a standing ovation.

That number was delivered early in the evening and the band continued to show its proficiency as the night progressed. The songs were pretty much delivered note for note, however, when the band ventured into improvisation, it was true to Pink Floyd sensibilities and the improvisations fit naturally. The choice of tones and sounds used, matched the original sound perfectly which made for a spectacular congruency. The Final Curtain song was one of the stellar moments vocally, as well as the frenzy conjured up by the delivery of last side of the album "The Wall". 

The band performed a good selection of songs from albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall , the Division Bell and others. The second half of the show became more dramatic as some members of the band dawned costumes to act out scenes from Comfortably Numb and other The Wall classics. The band received several spontaneous standing ovations and was very well received. The show was well worth seeing.  You can find out more about Brit Floyd by clicking here. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Link of the Moment

Hamilton's new Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar George Rust D'Eye is making news in the Toronto Star with respect to an alleged potential conflict of interest. Click here to see the story.

MEDIA RELEASE-New Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar Appointed


We have received the following information from the City about the recruitment process:

Recruit Process: Advertised for 60 days ( December 2014 & January 2015)
Advertised in: (O.R., AMCTO, CAMACAM, Municipal World, and other various sites)

47 Applications received; 3 candidates interviewed

Interview Panel : Councillors Aidan Johnson, Arlen VanderBeek, Lloyd Ferguson (1st candidate only), Chris Murray; Janice Atwood-Petkovski; Rose Caterini; Diana Belaisis

Candidates all confirmed agreement to compensation prior to scheduling interviews :
Retainer of $1500/month ($18,000/year) for Integrity Commissioner duties and additional retainer of $583.33/month ($7,000/year) for Lobbyist Registrar duties. General services to be provided for the retainer include education and training, day-to-day advice, interpretations, reports to Council. In addition, an hourly rate of $150/hour for investigations, related reports and attendance at meetings.

George Rust-D’Eye is the recruit panels recommended candidate

Recommended Candidate:
George Rust-D’Eye was called in 1971, and since 1973 practised exclusively in the area of municipal law, administrative law and public law litigation. Formerly the head Solicitor for the Metro Toronto, George joined WeirFoulds in 1989 until his retirement from the firm in 2013. George has acted for many municipalities, local boards, member of council and other governmental bodies. He has been involved in the drafting of much of the current accountability legislation applicable to municipalities, and often has acted as integrity commissioner for numerous municipalities. He has authored Handbook for Municipal Councillors, and co-authored Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act – A Handbook. He is past Chair of the National Municipal Section of the CBA and of the OBA, and a member of the International Municipal Lawyers Assoc. 

The city has announced the appointment of a new Integrity Commissioner by way of the following media release. It is unclear what process was used to hire the new I.C. or if a competitive process was used. The  Hamiltonian has asked these questions and will report back once we receive an answer. 

For Immediate Release 

New Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar Appointed

HAMILTON, ON – March 30, 2015 – Tonight, the General Issues Committee recommended for approval the appointment of a new Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar, Mr. George Rust-D’Eye. Mr. Rust-D’Eye will assume his new role effective May 1, 2015. This will be an up to one year term for the Integrity Commissioner and a two year term for the Lobbyist Registrar.

With the appointment of Mr. Rust-D’Eye, our current integrity commissioner, Earl Basse has confirmed he will resign effective April 30, 2015. Mr. Basse has agreed to step down from his post early, and expressed a willingness to work with the City of Hamilton to ensure a seamless transition and allow the in-coming appointee the necessary time to get up and running with the new Lobbyist Registry. The Lobbyist Registry will take effect August 1, 2015.

Although Mr. Basse has decided to step down early to facilitate an opportunity for the new appointee to get the new Lobbyist Registry up and running, he has expressed a willingness‎ to ensure pending reports will be completed and submitted prior to the April 30th date.

Council will confirm this appointment at the April 8th Council meeting.