Flags flying above the Council Chamber at Hamilton City Hall. Credit: Joey Coleman

Business Improvement Area Advisory Committee

City of Hamilton staff state administering December free parking in BIAs is onerous and are looking to decrease the city workload in blocking payments at street parking metres.

A fruitful discussion occurred between the representatives of various BIAs and City staff. Some possible solutions were proposed by BIAs. There will be further talks between the City and BIAs

BIAs are local boards under the Municipal Act and must comply with open meeting requirements. BIAs will be required to livestream their meetings beginning this spring.

The BIA Advisory Committee lost quorum before they could complete the meeting.

More details of the meeting here: Hamilton Business Improvement Area Advisory Committee Roundup for March 2022

Committee Against Racism

The Committee Against Racism did not make quorum this morning. They held an informal discussion regarding their opposition to the City’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement for citizen volunteers. They will formalize a position asking Council to remove the mandate at their next meeting.

Related from last month: Hamilton’s Committee Against Racism Concerned About Vaccination Mandates

Arts Advisory Committee

Affordable housing and affordable commercial spaces was the primary topic of discussion at the Arts Advisory Committee.

The AAC is looking to propose the City of Hamilton support the creation of performing arts lodges such as PAL in Toronto.

Performing arts lodges are cooperatives which can include affordable housing for performing artists.

“There’s a whole bunch of housing that has been boarded up. And I know there was a tent city literally camped out Have that boarded up affordable housing. So I’m not sure what the plan is for that boarded up affordable housing,” stated AAC member Annette Paiement.

Member Jayne Cardno stated the committee should join other advisory committees in calling for the City to better coordinate affordable housing in Hamilton.

“There’s 32 housing providers already out there,” Cardno stated. “There should be a more streamlined one place to go application process and some uniformity, and criteria and assessment.”

The City should ask for “twenty percent of all new builds to have affordable housing attached, that’s not really going very far.”

Members of the committee noted the City now pays living wages to musicians and artists. They discussed how to encourage other entities to adopt similar policies.

Women and Gender Equity Committee

Committee Vice-Chair Autumn Getty summarized their presentation to Council’s Emergency and Community Services Committee calling on Council to end encampment evictions.

“Unfortunately, they did not really discuss our submission,” Getty stated.

They discussed the upcoming City Code of Conduct training sessions, and the process of filling vacancies on the committee.

Morgan Stahl, the City’s Director of Government Relations and Community Engagement introduced herself to the committee. City Advisory Committees presently report to the Human Resources Division of the City Manager, Stahl states their reporting structure will change to the Community Engagement portfolio in one to two months.