Enjoy our chat with friend of The Hamiltonian, M.P. Hamilton East-Stoney Creek and former Mayor of Hamilton, Bob Bratina.
1. As evidenced by the reaction to Clr. Sam Merulla’s idea of having council hold a vote to re-affirm its commitment to LRT, Hamilton city council appears to be less than steady in its commitment to LRT with some councillors going as far as calling for a referendum on the matter. Does any of this surprise you and do you continue to have doubts about the viability of LRT in Hamilton? Please explain.
I am not anti-LRT, and I do not doubt the viability of LRT in Hamilton. The current B line proposal would not serve Hamilton's needs as outlined in the Rapid Ready Report. I support light rail transit, but would like to see it service the growth areas defined in the GRIDS final report. Improving Hamilton’s bus transit system along with a LRT system that provides transit options to underserviced suburban areas would be the best approach in my opinion.
2. It must have been very rewarding being elected as MP for Hamilton East, Stoney Creek. What is your focus as MP and how will you continue to be of service to Hamiltonians?
Being elected as Member of Parliament for Hamilton East – Stoney Creek was a very rewarding experience, and I am honoured to represent our diverse and wonderful riding at the federal level. My focus as MP is to assist constituents with any and all federal matters, and to carry out the mandate of our federal government. I am currently working to ensure Hamilton East – Stoney Creek receives its fair share of funding for priority infrastructure projects in the riding. As Co-chair of the Parliamentary Steel Caucus, I am working on present and future steel issues related to production, workers, pensions and industry viability to provide federal attention and assistance where possible. I am also a member of two Parliamentary Committees, which include Veterans Affairs and Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. My committee members and I are conducting a study on service delivery to veterans, and studies on reforming the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act to be relevant in our digital age. When I am not in Ottawa for parliamentary business, I am in the riding meeting with constituents about federal and local matters, or attending events throughout the riding. Anyone wishing to book a meeting or pass along an event invitation is always welcome to contact our Hamilton office at 905-662-4763.
3. What advice might you have for Mayor Eisenberger going forward, as he continues to navigate through the LRT matter and other issues?
My main piece of advice for any Mayor is to continue listening to the people. As Mayor of Hamilton, I constantly walked around various areas of Hamilton, met with residents, and attended events to listen to what people were saying about issues.
4. Is there anything else you would like Hamiltonians to know about your work as MP, or is there any other advice you would like to impart.
My work as a City Councillor, Mayor, and now a Member of Parliament is busy, at times exhausting, but always rewarding. I would encourage Hamiltonians of all ages who want to see change and progress to get involved in the political process, because it is through politics that change is created and things get done.
Thanks M.P. Bratina for engaging with Hamiltonians via The Hamiltonian.