Ward 11 Polling Divisions map from the 2018 municipal election Credit: HANDOUT / City of Hamilton

The Public Record is interviewing all candidates running in the 2022 Hamilton municipal election. In each race, the candidates are asked the same questions in our podcast interview.

The questions give candidates the opportunity to articulate their platform while asking them to explain how they will make decisions during the four years they hope to sit on City Council.

The questions they will be answering are listed below.

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The Ward 11 Questions

1. Who is [NAME]?

2. Why are you running?

3. Do you live in Ward 11, Yes or No?

3a. Does it matter if one lives in the community one seeks to represent?

4. How have you contributed to your community and our city?

5. What are two of your priorities for Ward 11 and two of your priorities for Hamilton as a whole?

6. What are three skills you will bring to elected office that make you the best choice to represent Ward 11 on Hamilton City Council?

The following preamble leads to questions regarding honesty and transparency.

Let’s presume you are elected.

During your first few weeks, you will be briefed regarding what City Hall refers to as “Confidential Matters”.

We do not know what “confidential matters” are presently being withheld from the citizens of Hamilton.

All four councillors first elected in 2018 initially voted to support the Cootes Paradise cover-up, before three of the new councillors began voting against the continuing cover-up.

The Municipal Act prohibits members of Council from releasing information the majority of Council declares “confidential”.

7. What principles and advice will help you determine what information should be confidential and what information should be made public?

The Red Hill Inquiry will issue its report early in the next term of Council.

The revelations regarding how City Hall ignored problems on the expressway, and the toxic culture at City Hall that silenced good people, are shocking.

8. How do you plan to review and consider the final Inquiry report when the Honourable Justice Herman J. Wilton-Siegel releases the Commission’s findings and recommendations?

9. The construction of the B-Line LRT will begin during this term of Council. It will be the largest construction project in Hamilton’s recent history. How do you plan to respond to construction challenges and opportunities?

Before we turn to land-use planning, let’s have a lighter question.

10. Ward 11 is a unique ward in Hamilton, and that’s why I’m going to break from tradition and ask you to share two unique and interesting things within the ward that you think the rest of Hamilton should know about.

City Council decides land-use planning and zoning. It decides where housing and businesses are located, and the type of housing and businesses which are permitted in locations.

Ward 11 has experienced significant population growth. The growth has been in a built form that requires the use of personal automobiles to access many services as well as jobs. Responding and improving the unique built forms of Mount Hope, Binbrook, and Glanbrook, while supporting agriculture and ensuring employment at the Airport, makes Ward 11 a complex ward to lead.

Growth is going to continue; your job as councillor is to manage it to achieve optimal outcomes within the constraints of Ontario’s defacto planning law, the Provincial Policy Statement.

There are three questions on this topic.

11. Decades ago, the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth struck a deal with developers to have them fund sewage services to the Glanbrook landfill in exchange for permissions to develop what is Binbrook today. There are growing demands for services in the community of Binbrook, but for many of those services, the population falls just short. This means, at present, people must travel by personal automobile to shops and services, students must travel by school bus to school, etc.
What are your planning goals for Binbrook during the coming term of Council, and how will you achieve them?

12. Mount Hope is experiencing similar challenges resulting from growth, and along Highway 6, the challenges of sprawl which has significantly increased traffic in recent years. The Airport is growing both its passenger and cargo operations.
What are your planning goals for Mount Hope and surrounding communities during the coming term of Council, and how will you achieve them?

13. The City of Hamilton is updating its outdated city-wide residential zoning bylaws. The primary effect of this in Ward 11 is updating local regulations regarding Secondary Dwelling Units. – Ontario’s defacto planning law permits SDUs as of right. As Ward Councillor, at times, you will have to balance the requirements of the PPS with local opposition to planning proposals. What is your planning philosophy, and how will you handle contentious files which we know will be approved by the Ontario Land Tribunal if City Council decides to oppose them?

14. Road safety is a significant issue across Hamilton, including in Ward 11. As an example, there have been numerous serious injury and fatal collisions along Upper James within the Ward.
What is your overall plan to address road safety, please provide three detailed specifics of your plan, and how will you respond to opposition to changes?

Turning to governance and expertise. Let’s use the idea that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill or trade and apply it to being a municipal councillor. One person cannot be an expert in all matters which come before Council for decision.

15. How will you gain the necessary learning to be able to make informed decisions – what reading do you do, what professional development will you look for, and what types of people will you seek advice from?

16. What are two changes you will propose to improve City services?

17. What are two changes you will propose to improve quality of life in Hamilton?

18. It’s 2026. The Public Record is writing a review of the four-year Council term that is just ending. What three words do you hope we will use to describe your term on Council, and what three words do you hope will describe Council as a whole?

19. Thank you, that’s the end of the prepared questions you were sent in advance. Do you have closing remarks you wish to share?