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 8 Questions
1. Who is [NAME]?
2. Why are you running?
3. Do you live in Ward 8, 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 8 and two of your priorities for Hamilton as a whole?
6. What are three skills you will bring to elected office that makes you the best choice to represent Ward 8 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 which silenced good people are shocking.
8. How do you plan to review and consider the final Inquiry report when the Commission releases its 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. What is something interesting or unique within Ward 8 that you believe 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.
There are two questions on this topic:
11. The City of Hamilton is updating its outdated residential zoning bylaws. The zoning bylaws across Ward 8 are now decades old and do not conform with the Provincial Policy Statement – Ontario’s defacto planning law. With outdated zoning, the City of Hamilton is unable to present a principled planning position in front of the Ontario Land Tribunal. The new zoning, if compliant with the Policy Statement, will return local control over planning. What is your vision, and how will you achieve it?
12. Large commercial plaza sites are converting into mixed-use mid-rise development. Already, there are two applications within Ward 8 – the former Wal-Mart Plaza at Upper Sherman and Mohawk, and the first phase of the Lime Ridge Mall redevelopment. There are many similar lands across Ward 8. Presently, there is no City planning policy specific to commercial to mixed-use redevelopment. What is your vision for this type of redevelopment, and how will you achieve that vision?
13. Road safety is a significant issue in Ward 8. Upper James is, by far, Hamilton’s most dangerous street, with nearly every section of the road significantly more dangerous than average for both motorists and pedestrians.
13a. What is your plan to address safety on Upper James, and does your plan include unpopular but necessary changes, and if so, how do you plan to implement your plan?
13b. What is your overall plan to address road safety? Please provide three detailed specifics of your plan.
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.
14. 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?
15. What are two changes you will propose to improve City services?
16. What are two changes you will propose to improve quality of life in Hamilton?
17. 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?
18. Thank you, that’s the end of the prepared questions you were sent in advance. Do you have closing remarks you wish to share?