Brad's Buble Bumble

By Adrian Duyzer
Published August 12, 2010

Brad Clark was noticeably absent from the historic stadium vote on Tuesday.

He'd left to attend a Michael Buble concert in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre. Tuesday was his 50th birthday, and his wife had purchased tickets to the concert to celebrate.

Most of us are aware of how hard city councillors work. We certainly don't begrudge them their leisure time, especially given the frequent meetings and community events they have to attend, that are often in the evenings, and that are sometimes - let's face it - super boring.

Of course, given the gravity of Tuesday's meeting, and the remarkable level of community engagement on this issue, one can be forgiven for wondering if Clark's decision to exit the meeting before the vote was wise or justified.

Perhaps we'd overlook it, however, given the many personal sacrifices councillors make that I just described.

However, it wasn't enough for Clark to simply be absent. He also decided it would be appropriate to email the Spectator to pass along a bit of mockery: "In Toronto tonight, at the ACC they are laughing at Hamilton. Everyone HERE agrees the stadium will now go to York University."

Now today's editorial pages in the Spec feature a few well-placed criticism, and an editorial cartoon by Graeme Mackay that is not yet available online but that I'm willing to bet would crack you up (buy a paper today, it's worth it just for that cartoon).

There are also two letters to the editor, including this one by Graham Crawford, who points out that, unlike Clark, "I spent my entire birthday, right until the vote was cast, sitting in city hall's council chambers. In fact, I took the time to make a deputation to council, something I was neither elected nor paid to do."

Incidentally, Clark was opposed to the West Harbour location.

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz


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By jason (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 09:55:39

anyone running against him in his ward needs to save his twitter comments from that night and repeat them over and over and over during the campaign. This is a Hamilton rep? Making fun of us for trying to move our city forward? Wow

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 10:08:23

From a previous post on a similar subject......

I've got an idea. Why don't we start a monthly contest entitled "I said it, but I can't back it up"

My nominations are:

Ron Foxcroft - they don't get it, they can't see it - (while attempting to get a public park adjacent to hi$ bu$ine$$, not his home, it's in Burlington, considered for a new stadium)

P.J. Mercanti - east mountain supporters were absent because they have jobs - (after failing to convince Council to use public money to boost his business and take land adjacent to his (Daddy's) operation off the market for potential competitors)

John Dolbec - Hamilton Council is being seen as the gang that can't shoot straight - (after one of Council's few nearly unanimous votes on a very controversial issue, the grand poobah of the Chamber of Commerce seemed unable to say anything positive about a bold new direction already embraced by progressive cities across North America and, instead, pissed all over the Chamber's longsuffering downtown members. He reminds me of Columbo; a rumpled suit that just won't shut up....or go away)

Brad Clark - Everyone here is laughing at Hamilton -(while he was abdicating his responsibility to represent his constituents and attending a Micheal Buble concert at the ACC which, of course, is downtown with no parking. Buble, apparently, was frustrated with the fact that while he was doing his best to sing, the large crowd that had paid hundreds of dollars per seat was discussing events in Hamilton and then laughing uproariously. You may have noticed that large attractions such as concerts and Argo's and Jay's games are where people in Toronto go to both discuss Hamilton and have a laugh)

Let the enties flow. First prize - Season Tickets at the West harbour

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 11:22:26

Brad was just on CHML news saying that "we need to have a serious discussion about this issue". Umm, the rest of council was having a serious discussion about it the other day when you were in Toronto making fun of Hamilton.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 11:30:32

Here's the cartoon in question, if you don't feel like buying a paper.


Comment edited by UrbanRenaissance on 2010-08-12 10:31:51

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2010 at 12:06:21


As this is my world we're talking about, Ward 9, the 'authentic Stoney Creek', I take this whole mini-imbroglio very personally.

Thanks to RTH for making me aware of it, as noted here:

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2010-08-12 11:06:50

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2010 at 12:51:52

Hamilton councillor attendence (or lack thereof) is a constant problem in Hamilton. For a while they were just having to shut meetings down before they started because they couldn't make quorum. Overall, I have trouble believing there's any job which presents less complaints and consequences about constant absenteeism than "politician". Most buskers and street vendors I know spend more time working than politicians.

Overall, the attendance for this meeting wasn't bad.

Not that this excuses Brad Clark - if he'd been off seeing Leonard Cohen or Alice Cooper at Copps perhaps I'd be more forgiving, but Michael Buble? Disgusting. Then again, I'd be a lot LESS forgiving if I actually cared to hear what Brad Clark thinks about the stadium.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 13:30:02

I am not a fan of Brad Clark, but lets be realistic. He was at the meeting all day and left later in the afternoon. He more than likely knew how the vote was going to turn out and knew that his vote against wasn't going to mean anything. He also knew that he would have his chance to vote at council Thursday when it would be on the record so to speak.

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By creeker_in_the_loo (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 13:31:38

I don't understand why Brad Clark is getting hammered over this. Yes, he missed the vote. However, he was at the meeting the whole rest of the day and many times made his opinion known. Even in the worst case scenario if his vote would have mattered, council still had to ratify it on Thursday, with Brad Clark attending. You can disagree with his opinion, but don't expect too many in his ward to vote against him. Afterall, he voted for many jobs and positive economic spinoffs to occur in his ward. A ward councilor is the ward's representative to Hamilton, not Hamilton's representative to the ward.

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By Locke and King (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 13:54:13

What is this? Whitehead and Jackson reversed their vote?

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By loveforever (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 14:35:04


Kaka...Brad really got a "job" to do in that concert! What a councillor for ward 9!

Brad, you should fighting for the good of our Hamiltonians, instead of listening to the nonsenses they talk about us!!! I am a proud Hamiltonians and I believe in the future of this city base on the developments from the West Harbour.

Comment edited by loveforever on 2010-08-12 13:41:29

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 15:25:59

@ creeker in the loo,

The reason Brad Clark is being criticized is because he is acting, pardon my french, like a couche tard. I respect his opinion even though I don't agree with it. It's his unhelpful childish antics that are annoying. People on the playground in Toronto are laughing at us. boo hoo...he's hurting my feelings...not

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 15:36:33

Oh yeah, this is a good laugh too. The suburb of Milton is talking to the ticats.

The mayor says 'We don't want to seem like we're poaching, but we're here if it can't be worked out there"

Really means " We don't want to seem like we're poaching, but ah...we're poaching."

I lol at that.

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By Jarod (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:06:37

I was at the meeting until they took their lunch break at 3:30-ish. To me the fact that Brad Clark left early only confirms what I had suspected all day long.

Posture is a big thing to me. You can tell a lot about a person and what they are thinking or feeling based simply on their posture. We've been told this in school, picked on by teachers to sit up straight and pay attention..because it's obvious when we're not.

Leaning back in your chair and swinging your leg for a majority of the time with your hands wiping your face or looking up at the ceiling (I was sitting in the outside there some fresco in there I don't know about?) with a scowl on your face doesn't depict a person who wants to be actively involved in the conversation. As to the fact that he made a few comments...those comments were more than likely prepared well in advance to this meeting, as were everyone one else's.

I would like to thank the police for being present. It must have been a long boring day for them. I appreciate the fact that someone was thinking of them...but if I can say this with gentleness, Brad has staff or other people there that can do those "nice gesture" kind of things for him. To get up and spend time doing that only further shows that your head isn't or wasn't fully in the game. (I am referring of when Brad got up came out and talked to the police officers, went back in, assembled a couple of plates with some drinks came out, talked some more, gave them to each police officer and then returned to his seat)

Again, I think that was a kind thing to do...but you have staff who could do that for you. Your head needs to be in the game and not wandering about, regardless of how little impact you think your vote is going to have. If you are a representative of your ward to that how your ward would like to be viewed, as people who are unconcerned (with the meeting going on)or simply give up because they think they can't change things? I doubt it.

And as for joking with people from Toronto...every time I go to Toronto I run into people who I readily correct about how great Hamilton is. A city councilor who doesn't do this naturally is beyond my ability to comprehend. If you don't love Hamilton to the very end, what are you doing here representing our city? It has it's rough patches. EVERY CITY DOES! There are always aspects we want to improve, build upon, alter in some way and make changes for the better. But if you are so bogged down by other people's image of us and try and blend in with them and their opinions...maybe you should be looking for another job.

When I moved here, I hated the place. Truly. There isn't a day that has gone by where someone or something about this city hasn't made me regret I ever felt that way. Everyday is another chance to see how good this place IS and CAN be.

I apologize for the rant. And I also recognize these words are simply my opinion and may not amount to much or reflect the same opinions of everyone else

Comment edited by Jarod on 2010-08-12 15:10:01

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By scoop9 (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:29:15

Jarod, I loved your rant, I felt the same way, I too was at City Hall, and had the same thoughts throughout the day.
Perhaps, Brad Clark, was the worst offender in terms of his behaviour that day and night but Mr. Merulla, takes 2nd prize, I saw him leave the meeting on a number of occassions to do camera time with a number of television stations, and also a live radio interview. This is really sad, because you want to believe on some level, that these councillors really care about the city in which they live, or at the very least about the wards they represent regardless of what opinion they hold.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 21:41:47

Why does it matter that he was absent? Because the stadium and the traffic chaos will be partially in his ward!

I wrote and phoned my councilor Mr. Brad Clark several times to let him my opinion about the mountain location and each time I asked him how he would vote the answer was, "I can't make any promises". He knew people in his ward were against the project and he also know he had to kowtow to the corporate elite he is a slave to. How he reconcile these conflicting agendas is now known to all.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2010-08-12 20:46:09

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:01:05

scoop9, I'm going to defend Merulla a bit. I think it's different to leave a meeting to do radio/tv interviews because they are just as important in getting the word out to people who don't know what's going on. Merulla has always said is vote would be no, no for WH and no for EM. I actually challenged him as to what he would do if the vote came down to 1 or 2 difference and he still maintained he'd vote for neither location.

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By scoop9 (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:09:47

Frank, I don't disagree that it's important to get the word out, in order to explain to those who have not been paying attention what is going on. My point is to the timing, if I were at work involved in a critical business meeting, I don't think that it would be very professional of me to get up, in mid discussion, to discuss with others in the hallway how I disagree with what is happening at that meeting. And yes, Mr. Merulla has been more than vocal about where he stands. At times, I can't help but wonder if Mr. Merulla shouldn't be in show business instead of politics, he really loves the cameras!

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 15:22:27


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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 19:15:18

Toronto Mayor David Miller is supportive of the decision made by Hamilton City Council. In fact, his view is that Hamilton should retain the Pan Am track and field events. Refreshing to see two mayors with courage and principles.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2010-08-13 18:16:59

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