Municipal Election 2010

Any Last Questions for Candidates?

By RTH Staff
Published October 18, 2010

So far, RTH has submitted nine policy questions to the candidates for the upcoming municipal election in Hamilton - several of them suggested by RTH readers - and posted their responses on the RTH Elections site.

The election is Monday, October 25 - exactly one week away. Do you have any last questions you want to ask the candidates?

Post your question in the comments, and then vote for the questions you most want the candidates to answer. We'll be sure to ask the highest-voted questions (as long as they're not ridiculous) before the election.

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By Hello (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2010 at 23:18:42

I'd like to hear them answer the following:

What would you be doing if you weren't running for Council?

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2010 at 23:32:09

I asked this of Fred at the Ward 2 debate, I'd like to ask it of all:

How will your term in city government change people's first impression of Hamilton, and make that first impression more attractive to visitors, students, commuters and newcomers?

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By Edward HC Graydon (anonymous) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 08:02:23

The steel industry has been a eye sore to Hamilton since I was a child and I believe Hamilton is now at the point to start its new steel industry free image . The side effects from the steel industry on our health has been enormous {high cancer rates and asthma}the side effects of 900 jobs where not worth the end result.Hamilton will be a better place to live when the steel industry is gone,but this does not mean a loss of jobs! in fact more jobs can be created in the remediation and dismantling of the steel plants than would now ever be created in the future.I believe based on our figures 30,000 jobs can be realised.

If having the steel plants in your back yards all while posing health concerns for your children and grand children is acceptable than I am wasting my time,but if this is a concern to you and a goal to see Hamilton cleaner and free of the steel industry than I would like to spend my time achieving this goal for you all while making the share holders happy and realizing a profit,the immediate neighbourhoods not so depressed,and the pensioners happy than lets move forward with this goal."I believe it is a worth while goal to have"

Edward HC Graydon

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2010 at 08:12:40

Do you support urban boundary expansion and taxpayer-funded servicing of the Aerotropolis lands?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2010 at 08:57:04

@seancb We already asked that one. :)

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By arcadia (anonymous) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 09:12:44

Do you support turning Main and King into two-way streets and if so, when would you like this to happen?

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By MonkeySee (anonymous) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 09:52:02

There are over 40 institutions, group homes, half way homes, meth clinic and others in the lower core area. Much of what people peceive as unsafe is due to the fact that people feel uncomfortable. Would any councillor in Ward 2 or running for mayor look at this issue head on? I am not a people hater in no way but we have to face the obvious challenge of why people don't go down to the core. It is has less to do with shopping opportunities as it has to do with the reality of the image we perceive. If we can work to build the downtow up in this current environment, then I'd love to hear your suggestions.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2010 at 10:22:16

We already asked that one. :)

THanks.. I scanned the questions for AEGD and Aerotropolis and thought we missed it somehow!

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 12:18:50

MonkeySee, that is a great question.

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By EugeneM (registered) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 12:35:38

There are over 40 institutions, group homes, half way homes, meth clinic and others in the lower core area

Is that just Ward 2 or do you mean lower citywide?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2010 at 12:38:01

@arcadia

I'd especially like to hear how they plan to work with 2-way king street + King street LRT, considering that 2-way King would just be 1 driving lane + 1 parking lane each way in many spots... and King doesn't exactly have a wide sidewalks they could chew up.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2010 at 12:47:58

MonkeySee, isn't it more like 260+? That's the number I've heard quoted over and over again -- I think it's a Ward 2 (possibly with parts of Ward 1 and 3) number but I don't think it's including the farther east end.

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By omro (registered) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 12:53:45

I'd especially like to hear how they plan to work with 2-way king street + King street LRT, considering that 2-way King would just be 1 driving lane + 1 parking lane each way in many spots... and King doesn't exactly have a wide sidewalks they could chew up.

LRT should be on Main, I would ask if they would support LRT on Main over King?

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By adrian (registered) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 13:13:12

Do you believe a rift exists between urban and suburban residents of Hamilton? If so, how do you propose healing that divide?

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By adrian (registered) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 13:14:33

Do you believe that poverty is the most critical issue facing Hamilton today? If so, please outline your solutions. If not, please explain your reasons.

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By mikeyj (registered) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 13:14:43

I need to weed out more of the Ward 2 candidates somehow, almost everyone I'm interested in has similar answers to the big issue questions, but I'd like to get a better idea of how grounded their actual expectations are, so...

"Do you feel you have a strong understanding of the municipal political process? Please detail how, if (re)elected, you expect to pass your top campaign priority through council."

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By adrian (registered) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 13:18:43

(In case no one's noticed, I'm just throwing out some ideas to see what others think are the best, I'm not saying these are necessarily the best questions.)

Do you believe that Hamilton should focus on attracting and creating green energy companies (such as manufacturers of wind turbines) as an economic development strategy? If so, please describe specifically what you would do to attract and create these companies. If not, please explain your reasons.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2010 at 14:35:19

Are there any reforms you'd like to see done to the municipal electoral system itself? Things like different voting methods (IRV, approval, etc) or even the extreme all-council ballot Oshawa saw? More power for the Mayor's office? Anything?

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 14:58:30

Edward,

As one of the 900 people working at US Steel I think you're comments about about the health legacy steel has left on Hamilton are accurate but your conclusions are misguided.

First I highly doubt 30,000 jobs will be created dismantling steel mills, only about 100 people were involved in decommissioning, dismantling, packing and shipping the Oakville Petro-Canada refinery to Karachi, Pakastan. This lasted a little less than two years.

Secondly I think there are huge job growth opportunities by providing grants, laws and incentives to make the production of steel a zero emission industry. I have heard discussion that this is a reality in many parts of Western Europe, Germany being the best example. There is money to be made by the steel companies in using the off-gases (Coke gas and Blast Furnace gas) as fuel for electricity generation. These gases are used in steam production but are produced in excess of the plant steam load requirements. Stelco did this in the past (now obsolete 25 cycle power) and USS is spending around $600,000 on the engineering alone to go forward with 60 cycle power. Emissions at steel mills are controllable but the project will required the backing of government, engineering know-how and the fabrication of the new parts and machines... that sounds like more good paying jobs to me!

This would be a much more positive outcome for me then just closing it all down.

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By MonkeySee (anonymous) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 18:48:34

With respect to my comment above, I believe the 40+ group homes, institutions etc etc are in Ward 2. I haven't heard anything all through this election about possibly the biggest hinderance to downtown renewal. I brought this up with the Downtown Security Audit Consultant. The results were as expected - people perceive the downtown core to not be safe because of what they see and feel. Image people. That said, I think we can all live, work and prosper together - but putting all of these places in the core?

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By adam2 (anonymous) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 22:22:38

I agree, why don't we see more halfway houses and clinics on the mountain? If this is really 1 big megacity, why does one area have to bear the brunt of our mentally ill?

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2010 at 23:35:17

This ties in very much to my "first impression" question - I don't understand how the leadership of this city fail to understand the absolute need for a good first impression, a clean, beautiful, vibrant downtown filled with attractions and great space -- that will entice rather than repel people

Is attraction rather than repulsion that hard to understand? Is the need for the core of the city to showcase the best this city has to offer so difficult to grasp? Does our leadership get that there are thousands and thousands of students, visitors to events at Copps/Hamilton Place, visitors to family and friends who come each year and think "ugh, Hamilton has nothing for me".. not to mention the people who live here and go "ugh, Hamilton has nothing for me." and then the reinforcement from those who live here and don't like a lot of aspects.

I speak with lifelong Hamiltonians who have no idea of some of the great things here I've discovered in three years, from trails to parks to shops to restaurants. It really, really disturbs me that this city allows a brokendown core to define it and creates more and more suburbs to escape it.

It's not all about the downtown, which is why my question is broader, but it's a huge part of it.

Comment edited by Meredith on 2010-10-19 22:45:39

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By MonkeySee (anonymous) | Posted October 20, 2010 at 00:05:22

Great post Meredith.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted October 21, 2010 at 12:15:48

For another question, how about "If you are not elected on October 25th, in what ways will we see you work for the good of the ward you are running in and the city in the next four years?"

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By Long time Binbrook Resident (anonymous) | Posted October 21, 2010 at 14:58:51

Also another great question Meredith. I hate it when "out of the blue" candidates register and then become god's gift to volunteerism in their community when they have no history of volunteering or community activism prior to putting their name on the ballot and then simply disappear after. Unfortunately we have such a candidate in Ward 11 named Ken Chartrand. He continues to bounce from community to community - running twice before and losing and then moving on in each case.

Here's my question - will Council support splitting Ward 11 into two Wards? We are one of the largest Wards geographically speaking and now with the tremendous population growth in Binbrook and Mt. Hope - this really needs to be addressed.

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By Denny (registered) | Posted October 21, 2010 at 21:09:32

The question I would ask would be:

Hamilton is facing, as it has in the past 20 years, serious urban decay and the crumbling of our roads. Council has been shying away from seriously addressing these issues and instead, have a "pie in the sky" attitude(aerotropolis). When would you begin steps to address these real issues that have been woefully disregarded by the city for many, many, years?

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By arcadia (anonymous) | Posted October 24, 2010 at 14:09:33

"We'll be sure to ask the highest-voted questions (as long as they're not ridiculous) before the election"

my two-way streets question got 9 votes. This election is rigged!!

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