Q&A

The highest priority issues in my platform are fully related to each other: Healthy & Safe Communities, Growth & Prosperity, Community Engagement and Participation.

Healthy & Safe Communities

Safety and well being are influenced by the places in which we live, learn, work and play, including our homes, schools, public spaces, and workplaces.  They all can be transformed to promote well being to make healthy choices easy and affordable.

Q: We have an abundance of heavy 18 wheeler trucks which take Cumberland, down Sherman Ave South at all hours of the day. These trucks are noisy, heavy, tear up the road, and are dangerous for an otherwise quiet street and community.
This section of Sherman Ave South is short, and is much quieter than the portion of the street further North. I’d like to suggest these trucks take a busier street such as Gage St S. Would this be an issue you would support if elected City Councillor for Ward 3? 

A: The coming council will have to review the Truck Route Master Plan during this coming term. Trucks in both Ward 1 through to 3 have too much reign over our streets. Ward 2 and 3 are the only wards that have 5 major arterial roads. There is definitely much that can be done to mitigate truck traffic in residential areas. In your case I do know that there is a bin trucking business on Cumberland that produces much of the traffic you are talking about as well as trucks coming from Lawrence. This said there is also construction vehicles coming from both the lifesaver and new condo build on the escarpment which may be another source of this type of traffic.

I have been very much involved, in truck counts, Friendly Streets audit throughout our wards in the last couple of years. I am committed to addressing this hazard and nuisance on our residential streets. There are many ways to mitigate this and I will push forward these solutions. I would also like to share that from less than 200m from our street there have been 7 cars who have slammed into buildings in the past 4 years and for city staff that seems acceptable: certainly not on my watch!

Healthy and safe neighbourhoods mean many things to many people but it starts by having a streetscape and design that is conducive to people, active transportation and efficient driving conditions. Nobody should fear or die on our streets for any reason. Hamilton ranks highest in pedestrian and people on bicycle deaths in the province, we must address this issue and do so now.

Q: Where do you stand on LRT?

A: I wholeheartedly support the Hamilton LRT and B.L.A.S.T. Network. Till my candidacy for council, I was Chair of Hamilton LRT Advocacy since its inception. Movement of people and goods is vital to a sustainable, economically viable modern city. I consider transit and active transportation a priority.

Q: Specifically, what are your priorities for infrastructure and facilities investments? As councillor, what would you propose to see that these priority areas are addressed?

With the LRT project underway, the transit & commercial corridors in our ward will be substantially affected during construction, and different once LRT is operational. The LRT also funds the refurbishment of aging underground utilities, including water mains, sewers, and new optic fibre. The project itself will address many of our current aging infrastructure issues and position our community for the future as well as help mitigate our massive $3.3 billion municipal infrastructure deficit. The LRT will create many opportunities to improve the HSR system and develop transit oriented hubs that will increase employment, residential and commercial possibilities. The new Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre and HWDSB High School beside it will soon be completed, integrating both into the social fabric of our community is essential to our community’s well-being. Ward 3 is lacking easy to access neighbourhood parks/spaces in comparison to the rest of the city; finding opportunities to create these communal spaces will foster a sense of community and support the many needs of the diverse residents of all ages in our ward. This also falls into my strong belief that a clean and green environment creates a setting for a healthier community.

Q: What will you do to ensure that city council is functional, collaborative, and working toward the great future that Hamilton can have?

My collaborative experience helps to unify city council on many topics. I work hard to
find common ground where people can agree on.

I’d like to mention a great example of collaboration on the LRT topic:

Before campaigning, I was Chair of Hamilton LRT Advocacy, I was instrumental in
several initiatives including advocating for the Gage Park LRT station in presentations to residents. Even many people who were against LRT, agreed that if LRT was to be built, that there should be a station at Gage Park. You may have read about it here – I am pictured in the third photo making that presentation we made several times. I also made a similar presentation as a delegation to City Hall. Working with Mark Rejhon, we wrote several articles that raised community awareness as well.  Our efforts led to many
residents demanding this station at the LRT public consultations. As a
result, we now have another LRT station in Ward 3, directly at Hamilton’s biggest park, where formerly there was none planned.  Gage Park is becoming more frequently used for events and festivals, improving amenities like renovated fountain and the new Gage Park greenhouse, we must protect our park’s future accessibility.

I intend to work hard on other similar examples of unifying collaboration.

Q: Where do you stand on HOMELESS? Where do you stand on AFFORDABLE HOUSING? Where do you stand on SHELTERS? Rent for tenants & businesses … How to keep affordable?

A:  I’m a Housing First advocate. The creation of in-law suites, laneway housing or relationships with some of the solid social housing providers are all part of my continued advocacy and effort to bring more housing online. The city has 1200 units in disrepair that need to be addressed. Market price housing is also part of the equation: it must work for everyone. Models like the https://www.phs.ca/housing/  could definitely address a front line of housing for those who suffer from homelessness or housing precarity in Hamilton. Forgivable loans for households are another way to address precarity and uncertainty for those lower wage earning households.

Densification is mandated by the province, we are deficient in our targets and that is costing us actual property value and income. With a quarter million people planned to arrive in the next 20 years and the needs of our ageing population we must utilize every parcel of our serviced but under developed lands to generate revenu for city services, programs and to build affordable housing. Community benefits through Section 37 of the Ontario Palnning ACT is another. This is also true for commercial properties/corridors.

Q: What about AFFORDABLE health care (dental, eye care, physio therapy…..) for those who can’t afford it?

A: As to affordable healthcare, this is in the realm of provincial affairs. Though I do appreciate the issue and would support any programs that offer these services, not only to the most vulnerable but for all Canadians. I believe in universal access to all healthcare needs regardless of financial, circumstances or geographic considerations.

Growth & Prosperity

“Community economic development is an ongoing cycle of engagement, capacity building, learning, and renewal” (Canadian Community Economic Development Network).

Essential to this priority is local action by people to create sustainable economic opportunities that improve social conditions, particularly for those who are most disadvantaged.  Socio-economic values and democratic control of growth and prosperity would include literacy, employment supports, living wage, poverty reduction, sustainable livelihoods, development cooperatives and networks, small grants and loans, entrepreneurship training, urban farming, buying local, hybrid businesses, shared economy, community benefit agreements, BIA’s, and celebrating anchor institutions and major employers. By increasing and supporting commercial and industrial activity in our ward, we also help to rebalance the tax burden away from residential property owners.

Engagement & Participation

Community is a group of people that connect with a common set of goals and values, and work collaboratively to achieve those common goals. Collectively, we can create a safe space for all residents to express their concerns, exchange ideas, have conversations, and together come to an understanding of what we need as a whole to move forward. Diversity and inclusion starts when we can engage and participate to respond to each others’ needs for personal or economic growth to benefit our community, ward and city.  A municipal government must be truly accountable and responsive to community needs, and understand the issues that residents face every day. We have many opportunities for public input to learn directly from residents, businesses, property owners, and other community stakeholders about their needs and values, to provide feedback and to stay informed.  This includes newsletters, notices, workshops, town halls, round tables, committees, youth and senior councils, surveys, stakeholder interviews and reports, email, and improved access to the Hamilton website.

Q: What’s your view on Hamilton’s built environment and infrastructure?

Buildings, roads, power, water, physical and organizational structures are essentially what a municipal government is about. They preserve the city’s charm, build and revitalize neighbourhoods and attract business; they maintain our living standards and shape our city’s future, create and sustain walkable neighbourhoods, a strong downtown, housing options, transportation systems, parks and green spaces, environmental resources, public facilities, alternative land use, zoning regulations, enhance the vitality and character of the community, and ensure a sense of belonging.

Our current infrastructure deficit is well over $3 billion, yes, BILLION; increasing at $200 million per year. Infrastructure deficit is the result of a steady decline in spending combined with an increase in cost of building more. This results in lack of maintenance, leading to poor roads, bad transit, reduced safety, inadequate sewers, and more.

This “elephant in the room” is quasi-insurmountable if we do not review what was done in the past, what is being done today, and what we can do in the future to reduce the weight of this burden.

This issue affects all decisions made, and reduces opportunities our municipal government has to offer in the services and programs it provides. Hamiltonians, ratepayers, everyone is paying a high price for diminishing services, quality of life, and opportunity.

Urban design and liveability contribute to neighbourhood vitality.  Growth trends can include land use, retail and service, parks and green space, agriculture and environmental resources and their challenges, transportation systems and traffic, and public facilities, for their role in the city’s future.

Q: Specifically, what are your priorities for infrastructure and facilities investments? As councillor, what would you propose to see that these priority areas are addressed?

A: With the LRT project underway, the transit & commercial corridors in our ward will be substantially affected during construction, and different once LRT is operational. The LRT also funds the refurbishment of aging underground utilities, including water mains, sewers, and new optic fiber. The project itself will address many of our current aging infrastructure issues and position our community for the future as well as help mitigate our massive $3.3 billion municipal infrastructure deficit. The LRT will create many opportunities to improve the HSR system and develop transit oriented hubs that will increase employment, residential and commercial possibilities. The new Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre and HWDSB High School beside it will soon be completed, integrating both into the social fabric of our community is essential to our community’s well-being. Ward 3 is lacking easy to access neighbourhood parks/spaces in comparison to the rest of the city; finding opportunities to create these communal spaces will foster a sense of community and support the many needs of the diverse residents of all ages in our ward. This also falls into my strong belief that a clean and green environment creates a setting for a healthier community.

My platform’s priorities speak directly to Hamilton’s vision statement. They address the issues of various residents and communities today and in the future. This includes millenials living or relocating, our burgeoning aging population of Hamiltonians trying to create opportunity for themselves, as well as people simply getting around by foot, by car, by bicycle, by transit via HSR and LRT. With a broad and experienced understanding, we can put into action what is necessary for our ward and city to be the “best place to raise a child and age successfully”.

To truly represent an understanding of our community, one must have walked our streets, had conversations, worked alongside a multitude of different people, groups, organizations and stakeholders.

I have been extensively involved in our community in over 30 different initiatives and organization. I have delegated to City Hall in Council Chambers on a variety of topics such as transit, business improvement, and affordable housing. I am action oriented with practical experience in community and city affairs. I am grassroots, not politically aligned and devolve from community. My professional experience includes finance, law, and health care. I live and work in Ward 3.

Questions?

Questions are welcome! Contact me via web form or via email info@abureau.ca