Ward 8 City Councillor John-Paul Danko during a January 2019 Hamilton City Council meeting. Credit: Joey Coleman

Ward 8 Hamilton City Councillor John-Paul Danko self-identified as a Red Tory during today’s Council debate on the City’s Climate Change strategy.

The City of Hamilton’s strategy utilizes carbon budgeting, municipal green bonds, and maintains a climate change fiscal reserve.

“I really appreciate seeing a robust financial approach to this that is much more in line with a market approach,” Danko stated.

“There’s not many true fiscal conservatives Red Tories left but this is truly a Progressive Conservative approach to climate change, and I really appreciate that.”

Ward 1 Councillor Maureen Wilson responded, “Yeah, Red Tories are like spotted owls, but we exist in the trees, you just have to look for us.”

Danko’s approach as a City Councillor is firmly in the centre-right area of the political spectrum. Liberals who lean more to the right of their party are known as Blue Liberals.

Traditionally, conservative parties in Canada embraced the centre-right area of the political spectrum. During the 1990s, Canada’s conservative movements shifted towards the right.

Today, many Red Tories would be card-carrying members of a conservative party are actually Blue Liberals and card-carrying members of the Liberal Party.

Danko is presently a card-carrying member of the Liberal Party of Canada. He is not a member of the provincial Ontario Liberal Party.

Cancelling his Liberal membership is “currently … on my to-do list” because it is “better for municipal councillors to not officially be affiliated with political parties.”

Danko says he joined the Liberal Party while considering seeking a nomination during last year’s federal election, adding he presently has no plans to seek either federal or provincial office.

Update: Danko is no longer a card-carrying Liberal.

During this term of Council, Wilson has positioned herself as a “progressive” while rarely attaching “conservative” to her progressivism.

Today’s short exchange is noteworthy leading into the new term of Council when we can expect a majority of the new councillors to come from centre to centre-right political philosophies.

Production Details
Current Version: 1.1.0
First published: June 1, 2022
Last edited: June 1, 2022
Author: Joey Coleman
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v. 1.0.0 original version
v. 1.1.0 update: Danko cancelled party card. Correct typo.