Commentary

For The Record: A Hamilton Councillor Replies to a Waterloo Columnist

Ward 3 Councillor Green responds to Waterloo Record columnist Luisa D'Amato, who took issued with a Hamilton Councillor's characterization of Waterloo's LRT system.

By Matthew Green
Published May 01, 2017

Luisa, can we talk for a moment?

I know you were frustrated with the Hamilton light trail transit (LRT) debate and comments made by one of my Council colleagues about Kitchener Waterloo. As a Councillor who sat on committees for countless hours supporting LRT, I can understand your frustration, but I think we need to talk.

In an opinion article published on April 28, "Hamilton politician has some nerve calling any other place unattractive", you took some shots at Hamilton. You attacked our steel industry, our people, and our City.

So I need to ask: does one ad hominem deserve another? Can you call out hypocrisy by participating in it? Two wrongs don't make a right.

Sure, there were moments in our LRT debate where things got rough, and let me be clear, I am not defending the comments made by a certain Councillor who called Kitchener Waterloo's LRT system ugly. As Ward 3 Councillor, I apologize for not calling a point of order; our debates on LRT often lacked couth.

And sure, Hamilton has had bad days. "The '80s were tough, and the '90s were mean," sang the Arkells. Today, we're undergoing a renaissance — a testament to our resiliency, work ethic, and strong communities.

But I don't feel that the comments of one Councillor deserve your ad hominem attacks on our people. You wrote that the steel mills in our North End resemble an "industrial wasteland".

I invite you to look closer so that you'll see that the steel industry you belittled built not only our City but our country. Look closer still and you'll see that those steelworkers have and continue to make countless contributions to our diverse and thriving communities.

For decades, those workers punched the clock, went home to their families, and spent their spare time building community. Even when off the clock, steelworkers never stopped building our City.

But I have to be honest: I take particular exception to your undignified characterization of our working class. You wrote that our downtown core is "decayed" and people are "angry and sketchy". Downtown is a diverse hub where everyone meets. Restaurants are booming, we have a vibrant arts community, and vast development.

I often say that my ward, Ward 3, is to Hamilton what Hamilton is to the rest of the country - a city which you clearly need to revisit.

Hamiltonians are hard-working, honest, dedicated people who love our City. Our burgeoning restaurant scene, our vibrant arts community, and our booming downtown are all the product of years of hard work by residents and neighbours dedicated to building community together.

I believe in our City, and I believe in our people. I'm proud of what we've accomplished, and with LRT I'm proud of what we will continue to do together.

So, as the proud Councillor for Ward 3, I'd like to personally invite you to join me for a tour so you can see first-hand how far we've come.

Matthew Green is the City Councillor for Ward 3 in Hamilton.

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By rgelder@cogeco.ca (registered) - website | Posted May 01, 2017 at 12:14:54

Well said, Councillor Green. However, we should not forget that we ought be embarrassed by the comments of Councillor Skelly, after Ken Seiling and his colleagues in KW were gracious enough to host our Mayor and Councillors more than once regarding light rail transit.

We should be looking at KW with a sense of envy in that their LRT will be up and running within a year. We should be looking up at to them to learn the lessons of their experiences as our own LRT moves forward.

Let's put all of these silly, schoolyard insults behind us and move forward in a spirit of inter-city cooperation and moving transit forward. Councillor Green made an excellent suggestion to begin that process by inviting Luisa D'Amito for a Tour of Ward 3.

Go Hamilton! Go Kitchener-Waterloo! Go LRT!

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted May 01, 2017 at 13:12:03

Thank you, Matthew, for your consistent level of class and maturity throughout your term as Hamilton city Councillor.

From the linked article:

Like a parent with a favourite child, Ontario's Liberal government is offering to build Hamilton's billion-dollar light rail system for free. No municipal taxes will be spent on it.

Other municipalities have noticed that our system is free, but theirs was not.

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By kevinlove (registered) | Posted May 01, 2017 at 18:12:22

I invite you to look closer so that you'll see that the steel industry you belittled built not only our City but our country.

And played a key role in Allied victory in two world wars.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted May 01, 2017 at 21:58:50

I would suggest part of the tour include trying to get cash out of the bank, without paying a service charge. This is a very challenging project in Ward 3. Hints

BOM at Barton and Gage (BOM card holders only)

CIBC machine in variety store at Cannon and Stanford. (CIBC card holders only)

I guess some credit unions.

The real winners No frills on main will give cash back (all card holders )

Pioneer at King and Ashley gives cash back (all card holders)

I may have missed a few but not many. By forcing people to use private ATMs low income earners are paying 3 dollars per transaction.

Once that is accomplished goto the beer store in ward 3. (you can't)

OK LCBO ? (you can't)

OK something a little harder ? Methadone? multiple locations often located beside a pain clinic.

The reality is there is less retail than 8 years ago in the ward. This despite the fact the alderman calls it the hottest real estate market in Ontario. (no disagreement). Most new retail is doling out prescriptions.

Kudos to Vintage coffee on King east, they seem ready to revitalize a whole block at king and Barnsdale. Kudos to Cafe 541 they are providing real food to a neighbourhood that has none.

I'll say this ward 3 is not a launching pad for a life long political career but instead a place that needs to be fought for and loved. Wheres our delegated budgeting ? forgotten in the lust for influence? Held up by other councillors? (not)

oh .. live, work, play here leave maybe twice a week. Not a mountain troll.

Comment edited by rednic on 2017-05-01 22:00:38

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