Mayor Andrea Horwath says Hamilton’s best days are ahead as the City grows thanks to its strategic location, world-class educational institutions, and people.
“I’m so proud of our city’s history and our relatively recent achievements, from the redevelopment of LIUNA station to McMaster’s expansion downtown, to the West Harbour GO train system to our burgeoning airport, and many, many other examples. Hamilton has long been putting in place the conditions for success. Now it’s time to realize that success.”
Over 500 people attended the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Mayor’s breakfast on Thursday, May 11, to hear Horwath’s first major public speech since she took office on November 15, 2022.
Hamilton’s growing health industries, logistics hubs, food and agricultural sectors are key contributors to growth and addressing Hamilton’s reliance upon a residential property tax base, she told the audience.
Horwath shared her excitement about Summit Station Dairy’s expansion and plan to launch door-to-door milk delivery in Hamilton this year.
“Summit Station will be Hamilton’s only family run on farm dairy, and has plans to bring back local milk deliveries to the front door of Hamiltonians. I just want to know, has anybody ever been delivered milk at their door in this room?”
The crowd enthusiastically responded, a few people putting up their hands.
“Okay, there’s a couple of us here.”
The mayor praised the growth of the film industry in Hamilton, the increase in cargo being handled at the port and airport, and increasing revenues in Hamilton’s manufacturing industry.
The crowd applauded when the mayor thanked the provincial and federal governments for spending $900 million to assist ArcelorMittal Dofasco in replacing its coal-fired coke ovens and blast furnaces.
Ending coal-fired steel production will decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent, Mayor Horwath told the audience.
“That’s the equivalent of taking 725,000 cars off the road. We don’t even have 725,000 people in Hamilton, not yet.”
Hate Crimes, Social Challenges, Affordable Housing
Mayor Horwath strongly condemned hate in our community.
“The rise in hate crimes and hate incidents in Hamilton is completely unacceptable … There’s absolutely no place for hate in Hamilton.”
Hamilton recently declared homelessness, mental health, and addictions a “state of emergency” to draw more attention from the provincial and federal governments.
“Addressing these challenges is a responsibility for all of us,” the mayor said.
She said this is why City Council is increasing its funding for affordable housing in the 2022 budget.
City Hall Transparency
The Mayor has yet to announce more details on her promised Task Force on Transparency, Access and Accountability.
During her speech, Horwath promised the citizen-led Task Force “will hold staff to account and set measurable KPIs [key performance indicators] so that we can actually see the changes that we need to see in terms of doing everything we can to move our city forward.”
Council approved the Task Force in January. Co-chairs have not yet been named.
Being a Woman in Politics
Mayor Horwath was asked how the City can improve opportunities for women to participate in the workforce.
“What strategies will the city undertake to build an inclusive economy?”
The end of her response drew applause from across the room.
“I’ve always felt I had a role as a public person, as a leader and as an elected representative, to model the reality that women have a lot to contribute, and that women can be leaders,” Mayor Horwath stated. “And that we need to make sure that that doesn’t stop.”
Speech to Air on Cable 14
Mayor Horwath’s speech will air on Cable 14.
Production Details v. 1.0.0 Published: May 14, 2023 Last edited: May 14, 2023 Author: Joey Coleman Edit Record v. 1.0.0 original version