Joey’s Notepad for September 17, 2021

1) City Hall released the results of the urban boundary expansion mail survey Friday.

No surprise, the survey results are overwhelmingly against expansion. (My first story here).

Yes, it is an unscientific survey and I expect those who disagree with the result to note this repeatedly. Our politics are unscientific.

The survey is representative of public opinion.

Over 80% of the email survey submissions came from the Stop Sprawl HamOnt website, an impressive feat.

Implementing an urban boundary freeze will be hard. I wrote on July 4 on this issue, “The political alignment is interesting. Those who oppose any height limits in Downtown Hamilton and those who oppose three-storey retirement homes in their suburban neighbourhoods have a common cause.”

Council will debate the urban boundary on October 25.

2) Mayor Eisenberger on CHML. Mayor Eisenberger joined the Bill Kelly Show Friday morning to discuss a range of issues including encampments, vaccinations, and LRT.

On encampments, Eisenberger started with a decent explanation they reflect the housing affordability crisis, and there is much work to be done.

Eisenberger launched into his usual criticisms of street outreach medical doctors, accusing them of “encouraging people to go into tents and well, that’s certainly kind of divergent from where we all want to be, which is to get folks into housing.”

He discussed his concerns about encampment conditions, one of which is “using some of that park space as part of their toiletry needs.” Hamilton City Hall is keeping public washrooms closed.

The issue is not easy. The mayor be wise to keep his future comments on how to respond to homelessness, the need for more resources to create the services needed to transition people to housing, and what the city is doing. As the mayor himself said “it’s not like these encampments haven’t been around for decades but they haven’t been as visible as they are today” and “It’s a perplexing, complex problem that isn’t going to go away anytime soon.”

3) The City Manager’s Office posted incorrect information when they tweeted at 8:32 am that city council’s licensing committee would meet at 10:00 am at Stoney Creek municipal centre. I scrambled to get there, riding the HSR and arriving around 10:15 am.

There was no meeting, the CMO never bothered to explain why they posted misleading information.

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