|Today from The Election Desk
The latest updates from The Public Record’s municipal election desk, visit our website for the latest updates, calendar of debates, and more.
New Candidates, Ward 7 Starting to Get Crowded
All but two of the nine present Catholic school board trustees have registered to run for reelection, and over at the Public School Board candidates who are known to harbour political ambitions beyond the name recognition building exercise of being a School Board Trustee have yet to declare their intentions.
The Ward 7 race, which if public opinion polls in the provincial riding of Flamborough-Glanbrook hold and Donna Skelly wins the MPP seat, will be an open seat has attracted its third candidate, who according to the City website does not live in the ward.
The first candidate is registered in Ward 8, Christopher Climie. Incumbent Ward 11 Councillor Brenda Johnson filed her paperwork quietly at the end of the day on Monday.
No candidates have yet registered in Wards 5, 6, or 14.
TPR’s full list of candidates includes Trustees and can be viewed here.
Candidates Start Their Campaigns with Slogans as they Test The Waters
Early days of campaigning are underway, with candidates tweeting (shameless plug: TPR’s candidate Twitter account list) and appearing at every event in their wards with more than a dozen people gathered. Ward 12 candidate John Scime issued his first newsletter this week, and Ward 9 candidate Cam Galindo released a sharp introduction video on his YouTube page.
Being so early in the campaign candidates are not saying much, most the material are feel-good generic statements of values as they try to determine what issues will connect with voters, as we await the outcome of the provincial election which will determine the course of Hamilton’s LRT project.
Can I use the term “third rail” for something which will be powered using overhead wires?
The Dundas Star interviewed the first two Ward 13 Council candidates; John Mykytyshyn says if elected he’ll “work tirelessly to have Dundas have its own ward again”. I look forward to asking Mykytyshyn his plan to do this. The Ontario Municipal Board ward boundary decision was clear that Hamilton Council cannot give disproportionate weight to Dundas compared to areas of the city with higher concentrations of visible minority voters. The obvious means of this is to increase the number of wards in Hamilton, however, Hamilton already has the most municipal politicians per capita of comparable cities. (Page 24 of Toronto’s Ward Boundary Review)
In Ward 2, incumbent Councillor Jason Farr has yet to launch his re-election campaign as this Tuesday’s O-Show discussed the growing desire of some in Ward 2 for a candidate who lives in the ward. Farr lives in East Hamilton just east of Gage Park.
City Hiring Elections Voting Staff at Below Minimum Wage
Hamilton’s Elections Manager is seeking election day staff to work at rates below Ontario’s minimum wage laws. A posting on the City of Hamilton website says that Election Assistants will be paid $160 for working 12 hours on election day, the $160 payment includes pay for two hours of training. Assuming this election that elections staff will get an hour unpaid lunch (which has never happened before) the hourly rate for Election Assistants will be $12.31 per hour. It’s $11.42 if they don’t get an unpaid lunch.
Ontario’s minimum wage is $14 per hour. The City of Hamilton is required by law to pay minimum wage.
Greeters will be paid $130 for the day, including the training, putting them at $10 per hour if they get an unpaid lunch break. Without that lunch break, the pay is $9.29 per hour.
Deputy Returning Officers will be paid $200 for the day, which if they get an unpaid hour for lunch, means $15.28 per hour. If they don’t get an unpaid lunch, they’ll barely make more than minimum wage at $14.29 per hour.
Busier polls are known to take more than one hour past the 8 p.m. close to complete voting of those in line, and counting, meaning some staff will be even less than the already below minimum wage rate.
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