Email Edition for Monday, March 20, 2018

Hamilton’s Dental Health Emergency


Development will be the topic of mainstream conversation this week. From Brad Lamb’s Television City officially appealing to the OMB, the expected release of the Downtown Secondary Plan later today, and the potential of a new library branch at the West Harbour. I have these topics covered in the newsletter below.

The opening note today is important, and something that most of us take for granted; our oral health. For a large number of Hamiltonians, the only dental care they can receive is an extraction at the emergency room as they and their children don’t have dental coverage.
A report from Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson says public health dental staff screened 17,122 elementary students in the 2016/17 school year; 1471 of these kids needed urgent dental care, another 3244 needed preventive dental care.
The statistics for Grade 2 students are very concerning, 42% have a history of tooth decay, 1 in 10 “require urgent dental care”, and nine schools report “very high rates of untreated cavities”.
42% of Grade 2 students have a history of tooth decay, 1-in-10 Grade 2 students require urgent dental care, and nine of our schools – the majority of them in the Lower City – have “very high rates of untreated cavities”.

Map of oral day surgeries among children and yo uth in Hamilton (cases per 100,000 population) using the patients’ residential postal code (3-year mean; 2014-2016). Data Source: Ambulatory Emergency External Cause [ii
There’s another trend the report is revealing, as the Lower City gentrifies as Real Estate Investment Trusts drive up rental rates, lower income families are being forced to move into the poorly serviced suburbs. A map (above) in the report shows that postal code L9A is now seeing the same number of children requiring oral day surguries at Hamilton’s hospitals as our poorer Lower City neighbourhoods.With both municipal and provincial elections this year, we need to ask our politicians what they are doing to address poverty, oral health, and how they will ensure as vulnerable populations are forced to move to the suburbs that services are available to them.  Full Story on The Public Record here.
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– Joey Coleman

New Stories and Columns on The Public Record


Local Briefs:

Architects rendering of the tops of the proposed 40 and 30 storey Television City tall buildings
  • Brad Lamb’s Television City is on its way to the Ontario Municipal Board following the City’s planning staff’s recommendation that Council deny the proposal for two tall buildings, one 40 and another 30 storeys in height.
    Lamb’s decision to appeal directly to the Ontario Municipal Board for “non-decision” prior to Council’s debating the development on Tuesday will give him a more favourable OMB hearing than one that appeals Council’s decision.
    Reforms to the Planning Act creating the Local Planning Appeal Tribunals which replaces the OMB will make appeals for “non-decision” harder to make, and less favourable to developers.
  • The City is expected to release the new version of the Downtown Secondary Plan later today. This will be the final revised draft which will be considered by Council on April 17.
  • The People’s Plan for Downtown Hamilton have issued their position statement listing a series of requests to City Council regarding the Downtown Secondary Plan. Among the requests are clear frameworks for community benefits, inclusionary zoning, special tax categories for the arts & non-profits, requires for environmentally friendly design, protection of heritage and more.
    They’ve launched a petition on demanding that Council table the plan until community benefits, tall building rules, family housing, and inclusionary zoning are included in the plan.
    And the People’s Plan will hold a workshop to help resident to prepare their letters and delegations on the Secondary Plan in advance of the planned April 17 Planning Committee debate on the plan. The workshop is scheduled for April 3rd from 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Central Library
860 Queenston Road in Stoney Creek
  • Ward 9 City Councillor Doug Conley has won a settlement with the developer of 860 Queenston Road in Stoney Creek that will see a 14-storey 219 rental unit building constructed with 20 percent of the units designated as “affordable” for the next 10 years. Kevin Werner at HCN covers the story.
  • Mountain Avenue in Downtown Stoney Creek will finally get sidewalks between King Street and Collegiate Avenue, Ward 9 Councillor Doug Conley told the Olde Town Stoney Creek Community Association in an email. The significance of the installation of sidewalks is that sidewalks on Mountain Road were never installed north of the downtown apartment buildings; which had the effect of separate renters from home owners in the community, and forced children walking to school to do so on the roadway. Mountain Road is narrow and curves along this stretch.


The Public Record Recommends:

  • Jeff Mahoney of TheSpec writes about the Chedoke Creek, its history, and the risk to its future as Hamilton politicians look to ignore recommendations of professional staff to allow fill in the valley the stream flows through.
  • The Steel Tariff discussion is hard to understand, and most media coverage is talking heads and speaking points. The Peterson Institute for International Economics “talks” podcast goes into the thinking of the US Department of Commerce on imports of steel and aluminum, the podcast is 35 minutes long.
  • Looking at New York City, City & State provides a good explainer of Value Capture, in which the public sector recovers some of the land values created by projects such as LRT.
  • Colby Cosh at the National Post has an interesting take on Doug Ford’s victory in the Ontario PC leadership race, noting that by the formula used by the party to determine the winner, Ford’s strong support among party members in Hamilton’s ridings was one of the key factors in his victory.


Be Engaged


  • Crown Point Neighbourhood Association meeting, 6:30pm, 34 Ottawa St N (Hamilton Regional Indian Centre), details and agenda


Next Week

  • March 29, 7pm, 294 James Street North: Future of the Discovery Centre, Ward 2 City Councillor Jason Farr says he’ll be at a community meeting on the West Harbour, and will discuss his plan to sell the Discovery Centre.