Joey’s Live Notepad is my effort to move off the platform formerly known as Twitter. I’ll post short notes, updates, and links throughout the day.
City Council GIC adjourned at 3:04 p.m.
3:00 PM Update
Council Debates Affordable Housing Sites – Ward 5’s Francis Wants Public Consultation
More to come in the end-of-the-week summary.
City staff recommend the City transact four surplus City properties to non-profit housing providers, including potential use for social housing.
Two proposed sites are under-utilized parking lots in Downtown Stoney Creek: 5 Lake Avenue South and 13 Lake Avenue South.
Ward 5 Councillor Matt Francis says there needs to be public consultation before Council makes decisions that affect communities.
A debate followed, which became testy at times.
Francis won a vote to amend, 8-7, to open a public comment period.
Council directed staff to continue work towards transacting the properties.
The vote goes to Council’s ratification meeting next Wednesday. Ward 6 Clr Tom Jackson was absent, he often votes with Francis.
2:30 PM Updates
See the 1:00pm section below for an update on 186 Hunter Street East, affordability definitions released.
City Hall Livestream Crashes, Again.
The City of Hamilton’s livestream of Council meetings crashed again today.
The City told the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman – when the City claimed it streamed a meeting that it had not – that it never continues meetings without a livestream.
“The City has adopted a robust procedure to address technical issues with a livestream. A designated staff person is responsible for periodically checking the livestream, and their contact information is included on the agenda so the public can contact them in case there is an issue. As soon as staff becomes aware of a problem with the stream, the meeting is to be recessed so the issue can be addressed. If the issue cannot be fixed within fifteen minutes, the meeting is adjourned.” – Ontario Ombudsman report, September 2022.
The City announced it will continue meeting with a live stream, promising to post the video later.
1:00 PM Updates
Council Denies Delegation Request on Israel – Hamas War
Hamilton City Council declined a delegation request from an individual who wrote they seek Council to pass a motion “to demand a permanent ceasefire, return of all hostages from both sides and a resumption of dialogue between the representatives of Israel and Gaza” and “Recognition of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in line with the United Nations.”
Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko moved the denial, stating that international relations is the jurisdiction of the federal government.
Hamilton City Council is permissive towards delegations, welcoming both Hamiltonians and people from outside Hamilton to speak to them on nearly any issue.
186 Hunter Street East – Settlement Hearing
The OLT settlement hearing for 186 Hunter Street was slightly delayed this morning.
The City and developer stated they had some minor details to finalize before submitting their agreement for approval.
The hearing resumed at 1:00 p.m.
TPR has requested a copy of the OLT documents from the Tribunal.
Past TPR coverage here: 186 Hunter Street on TPR.
TPR does not yet have the public filings. During oral submissions, the developer’s planner, Matt Johnston of UrbanSolutions, stated that “not less” than 25 percent of the units will be “affordable units” for at least 20 years.
Affordable is defined as 30 percent of household income at the 60th percentile of incomes for the Hamilton area.
499 Mohawk East – First Case Management Order
The Ontario Land Tribunal’s first order in the non-decision appeal at 499 Mohawk Road East is now public.
The developer is seeking to build “1,995 dwelling units in the following forms: two 25-storey multiple dwellings, one 20-storey multiple dwelling, two five-storey multiple dwellings, one 13-storey multiple dwelling, two eight-storey multiple dwellings and seven three-storey townhouse dwellings. A total of 1,945 dwelling units would be in the proposed multiple dwelling buildings, with 50 units in the proposed townhouses.”
The site was formerly a commercial plaza anchored by a Wal-Mart, previously a Zellers.
Fifteen members of the public were granted participant status, meaning they can make written submissions to the Tribunal.
The City and developer need to meet to discuss issues and the potential for mediation. (Council Planning Committee discussed its position in closed session yesterday.)
A second OLT case management conference was already scheduled for Tuesday, March 19, 2024.
The developers’ information site for the project is here.
TPR Requests Planning Committee Video
The City of Hamilton did not stream the morning session of the Planning Committee on Tuesday.
As of 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the City has not posted its video recording.
I’ve begun the process leading to a Freedom of Information Request if needed.
Ontario Auditor General’s Annual Report
Ontario’s Auditor General released its 2023 annual report this morning.
“Most Ontario government ads last year were partisan: auditor general” – The Canadian Press
New Integrity Commissioner David Boghosian Meets Council
Hamilton’s new Integrity Commissioner introduced himself to City Council this morning.
Boghosian, one of Ontario’s best-regarded municipal lawyers, emphasized that he and his law firm are accessible and responsive.
Council and citizen committee members can seek the IC’s advice on conflict of interest and ethics.
Plug-in The Laptop
Hamilton City Council uses a WebEx group chat to organize their speakers list.
[Other municipalities use their meeting management software, but Hamilton’s motto seems to be ‘Why do what works?’
The use of a group chat causes frustration and confusion.
Today, the laptop connected to the Council Chamber display monitor wasn’t plugged in. The laptop is moved between meeting rooms. The City has not purchased extra power adapters.
[I own four adapters for my laptop. Two remain at home, and one in each of my carrying bags – I am terrible about remembering cords]
Ontario Court of Appeal Tells Lower Court to Pay Attention to Evidence in Bad Faith Eviction Case
The Ontario Court of Appeal says the Landlord and Tenant Board committed “an error of law” when it did not adequately consider evidence that an ‘own use’ eviction was questionable after the owner’s family member only lived in a unit for about 25 days before leaving and the unit going back on the rental market for a higher monthly price.
The case is a judicial review, meaning the ONCA is sending it back to the LTB to conduct a new hearing.
“ Had the Board approached the first issue correctly, it would have considered the relevant circumstances both before and after serving the s. 49 Termination Notice. In addition to the two evidentiary considerations noted above, the Board would have had to consider that: prior to closing, the Vendor Landlords and/or their lawyer knew title to the Property was to be taken in the name of a corporation and a corporation cannot personally occupy residential premises; the Residence remained vacant for five months after closing; it was then occupied for only about 25 days by one of the Original Purchasers’ sons; and, thereafter, the Residence was rented out for a higher price than that which the Tenants had paid.”
The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, a specialized legal aid clinic, assisted the tenants at the Court of Appeal.
From the ONCA summary, this appears to be a good case for the tenant to win a declaration of bad faith eviction. However, even if they win at the LTB, the fine for bad faith evictions is so small, it’s just a cost of doing business.
Production Details v. 1.2.1 Published: December 6, 2023 Last edited: December 6, 2023 Author: Joey Coleman Edit Record v. 1.0.0 original version v. 1.1.0 2:30pm update, adding note about no livestream today, and affordability criteria at 186 Hunter East v. 1.2.0 3:00pm update - debate about affordable housing sites. v. 1.2.1 added council GIC adjournment time