City of Hamilton in October 2022 Credit: Joey Coleman

The City of Ottawa has a “new deal” with the Province of Ontario.

It includes uploading Ottawa’s municipal highway, much as the province’s “new deal” with Toronto also promises to upload Toronto’s municipal highways.

Hamilton City Council wants the province to upload the Red Hill Valley Parkway and the Lincoln Alexander Parkway.

If there are more “new deals” to be made, Hamilton should be next in line as Ontario’s third-largest single-tier municipality.

The question is Hamilton ready to make the necessary “reciprocal commitments” on affordable housing and taxing vacant units?

As part of the Ottawa new deal, Premier Doug Ford’s statement says Ottawa has committed to ” “strengthening the city’s vacant unit tax” and to “opening up municipal lands for housing development to support shared housing priorities.”

Hamilton City Council has recently voted against advancing both of these issues.

In November, Hamilton city council voted down a vacant unit tax, and last week deadlocked against opening up a municipal parking lot [land] for affordable housing development.

In this year’s provincial budget, released last week, the province granted all municipalities authority to implement a vacant home tax.

“An unoccupied home is unacceptable in a housing crisis,” the budget states.

The budget summary noted Toronto, Ottawa, and Hamilton already had this authority. Hamilton is the only municipality to vote down a vacant unit tax.

Last week, following city council’s 8-8 deadlock on converting the Downtown Stoney Creek parking lots to lands for affordable housing, Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath said she “must be able to confidently assert that Hamilton is doing everything in its power to address the housing crisis” when lobbying the provincial and federal governments.

If Hamilton wants a New Deal, what is it bringing to the table?

How They Voted

A reader requested the addition of how councillors voted on the Vacant Unit Tax and the Downtown Stoney Creek parking lots issue.

Vacant Unit Tax

In favour [of the bylaw]: Maureen Wilson (Ward 1), Tammy Hwang (Ward 4), John-Paul Danko (Ward 8), Mark Tadeson (Ward 11), Craig Cassar (Ward 12), Alex Wilson (Ward 13).

Opposed: Matt Francis (Ward 5), Tom Jackson (Ward 6), Esther Pauls (Ward 7), Brad Clark (Ward 9), Jeff Beattie (Ward 10), Mike Spadafora (Ward 14).

Absent: Cameron Kroetsch (Ward 2), Nrinder Nann (Ward 3), Ted McMeekin (Ward 15).

Mayor Andrea Horwath declared a conflict of interest as the owner of a property with a vacant unit.The VUT was defeated during bylaw confirmation on November 22, 2023. Before this unexpected vote, bylaw confirmations had been considered ‘housekeeping matters.’

In favour [of the bylaw]: Maureen Wilson (Ward 1), Tammy Hwang (Ward 4), John-Paul Danko (Ward 8), Mark Tadeson (Ward 11), Craig Cassar (Ward 12), Alex Wilson (Ward 13).

Opposed: Matt Francis (Ward 5), Tom Jackson (Ward 6), Esther Pauls (Ward 7), Brad Clark (Ward 9), Jeff Beattie (Ward 10), Mike Spadafora (Ward 14).

Absent: Cameron Kroetsch (Ward 2), Nrinder Nann (Ward 3), Ted McMeekin (Ward 15).

Mayor Andrea Horwath declared a conflict of interest as the owner of a property with a vacant unit.

Converting Downtown Stoney Creek Parking Lots to Affordable Housing

Hamilton City Council votes on converting two municipal parking lots in Downtown Stoney Creek to lands to be used for affordable housing. 

In favour (of conversion): Mayor Andrea Horwath, Maureen Wilson (Ward 1), Cameron Kroetsch (Ward 2), Nrinder Nann (Ward 3), Tammy Hwang (Ward 4), John Paul Danko (Ward 8), Craig Cassar (Ward 12), Alex Wilson (Ward 13)

Opposed (to conversion): Matt Francis (Ward 5), Tom Jackson (Ward 6), Esther Pauls (Ward 7), Brad Clark (Ward 9), Jeff Beattie (Ward 10), Mark Tadeson (Ward 11), Mike Spadafora (Ward 14), Ted McMeekin (Ward 15).On tied votes, Council defeated converting portions of the municipal parking lots in Downtown Stoney Creek to be used for affordable housing at its February 21 Council General Issues Committee meeting, this was confirmed at the March 27, 2024, Council ratification meeting.

(Mayor Andrea Horwath is exercising a Strong Mayors powers veto to implement the conversation.)

Hamilton City Council votes on converting two municipal parking lots in Downtown Stoney Creek to lands to be used for affordable housing.

In favour (of conversion): Mayor Andrea Horwath, Maureen Wilson (Ward 1), Cameron Kroetsch (Ward 2), Nrinder Nann (Ward 3), Tammy Hwang (Ward 4), John Paul Danko (Ward 8), Craig Cassar (Ward 12), Alex Wilson (Ward 13)

Opposed (to conversion): Matt Francis (Ward 5), Tom Jackson (Ward 6), Esther Pauls (Ward 7), Brad Clark (Ward 9), Jeff Beattie (Ward 10), Mark Tadeson (Ward 11), Mike Spadafora (Ward 14), Ted McMeekin (Ward 15).


Production Details
v. 1.1.0
Published: April 2, 2024
Last edited: April 2, 2024
Author: Joey Coleman
Edit Record
v. 1.0.0 original version
v. 1.1.0 added "How They Voted" in response to a reader suggestion/request for this information

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1 Comment

  1. Hard to believe Ward 2 and Ward 3 were absent for this very important vote, one can’t think it will pass without them being there. Help me understand???

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