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2023-08-11 Ward 1 Newsletter

  • Potential Labour Disruption and Impact on City Services
  • Encampment Protocol Passes
  • Council Calls to Abandon Province's Greenbelt Plan
  • Council Declares Gender-Based Violence and Intimate-Partner Violence an Epidemic in Hamilton
  • Events

Potential Labour Disruption and Impacts on City Services

Ongoing discussions have taken place for several months between the City of Hamilton and CUPE Local 5167 regarding labour negotiations, recently aided by a Conciliation Officer appointed by the province. Although talks persist between the two parties, there is a potential risk of labour unrest affecting Hamilton's public services starting from August 21, 2023. This potential disruption was brought to the fore by the submission of a no-board report on August 4, 2023, concerning the 3,200 employees who are members of CUPE Local 5167 and encompass City of Hamilton Inside/Outside workers.

As a result, the delivery of Hamilton's public services could encounter disruptions. In readiness for a possible strike, the City of Hamilton has crafted comprehensive contingency strategies to uphold the continued operation of as many municipal services as feasible. Should a labour disruption occur, the City of Hamilton is dedicated to promptly updating its residents with relevant information. Furthermore, information about service impacts will be continuously refreshed as more details emerge. Additionally, the City plans to contact organizers of external events that have historically relied on City services to inform them about potential effects on their events in the event of a strike.

The City expects a number of services to be impacted, including but not limited to child care, garbage collection, recreation programming and support for special events in the community. The City's website has a detailed list of potential service impacts.

Encampment Protocol Passes

As described in the previous Ward 1 Newsletter, an encampment protocol was brought forward to the August 14th General Issues Committee. The debate was thorough, with the result seeing the protocol ratified by Council today (August 18). 

The protocol addresses the needs of unhoused people through increased supports, increased access to washrooms and showers, and systems to guide their transition into permanent housing.

The protocol does not sanction encampments. It does provide a system for the City to respond to the reality of encampments Hamilton is facing.  The protocol does create clear parameters for encampments, limiting the number of tents and specifying where they will NOT be allowed. The protocol does increase street and park clean-up and provides more resources to respond to public concerns and complaints.

No one wants encampments. The goal of the protocol was not to support the establishment of encampments but to recognize that Hamilton, like London, Waterloo, Abbotsford, Charlottetown, and many other communities across Canada, must address the issue within their legal framework. 

In Hamilton, 1732 community members are deprived of housing, a 69% increase in the past 3 years. Just under 10% of homeless residents are living in encampments. The path forward for Hamilton is more permanent housing while continuing to provide emergency response to individuals who are homeless and/or living unsheltered.

The root cause of homelessness is lack of housing. The City has aimed to invest in new housing units. Still, the net loss of affordable housing – 16,000 units over the last ten years - has outstripped the City’s ability to replace, let alone increase, the overall number of affordable housing units. The City of Hamilton is now outspending the provincial and federal governments by two to one: Municipal $508.4M Federal $220.8M Provincial $226.8M. This is not a sustainable funding formula for Hamilton residents.

The operationalization of the protocol will take some time. Hence, you will not see the immediate removal of tents from parks. Please be patient as the staff determine which sections of public space are prohibited and which areas are public space may be outside the prohibited areas. As well as offering the encamped folks the opportunity to gather their items to move to another location should they be in prohibited lands.  

Please take some time to read the protocol in full to understand the shared principles guiding the elements within the protocol and delve deeper into the details of how the protocol will operationalize.

City Calls to Abandon Province's Greenbelt Plan

Through an amendment by Councillor Wilson, Council directed City Planning staff on July 14, 2023, to consult with the public when providing input to the Provincial Land and Development Facilitator on community
benefits required as a condition of Provincial development approvals.

Further, at its August 18th meeting, Hamilton City Council unanimously called on the Premier of Ontario to abandon his plans to remove lands from the Greenbelt within Hamilton. After a thorough investigation, the independent Ontario Auditor General found that the process used in determining which lands were pulled out of the Greenbelt Plan was heavily influenced by a small group of well-connected developers who now stand to make billions of dollars. Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk also ruled that the Greenbelt land is not needed to meet the Government’s own housing targets. See Auditor General's Special Report on Changes to the Greenbelt 

Greenbelt Public Consultation

Open House - September 6, 2023, at 6:30 PM. Location: Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre (357 Wilson St E, Ancaster) 

The open house will feature a presentation from City staff providing background on the Provincial decision to remove the lands from the Greenbelt Plan, their authority to issue a Minister’s Zoning Order, the City’s opposition to the development of these lands and their role moving forward; and, a Q&A session moderated by an external moderator retained by the City.

In addition, the public will have an opportunity to provide input on the Development Objectives (e.g. how any new development should look and function) and Community Benefits (e.g. contribution to the community over and above what the City can require under the Planning Act) for each of the three areas removed from the Greenbelt Plan which includes the Book lands in Ancaster, Whitechurch lands in Glanbrook, and the Fifty Road lands in Stoney Creek.

Feedback can be provided by placing dots on different display panels containing a list of Development Objectives and Community Benefits based on the 10 Directions to Guide Development. Individual written comments will also be accepted at the Open House.

Special Meeting of Planning Committee - September 14, 2023, at 6:30 PM. Location: Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre (357 Wilson St E, Ancaster) 

The meeting will be live-streamed through the City's website and YouTube channel

Open Survey

The City will also post an online survey through Engage Hamilton for the public to provide input on Development Objectives and Community Benefits for the three areas removed from the Greenbelt Plan. The survey is scheduled to go live on Monday, August 21, 2023, and close on Friday, September 8, 2023.

Staff will be posting information on the upcoming Open House and Special Meeting of the Planning Committee along with an FAQ and previous reports on the Provincial Planning Matters page of the City’s website.

Council Declares Gender-Based Violence and Intimate-Partner Violence an Epidemic in Hamilton

Hamilton City Council unanimously declared Gender-Based Violence and Intimate-Partner Violence an epidemic in our city. Further Council directed staff to meet with the Women Abuse Working Group (WAWG) to develop recommendations that will further address service gaps.

Last year, over 12,000 calls were made to the Hamilton Police Service involving gender-based violence.  The motion is intended to send a clear, strong message:  “Not One More.”


  • Sundays UnLocked - Pedestrian Days, August 20 & September 17, 10 AM - 6 PM. Location: Locke Street South, Hunter to Herkimer Streets.
    Live music, entertainment, great shopping, cafes, dining, and more!

For people interested in ecological and native-plant gardens. Garden Journey Open Days bring together gardeners, aspiring gardeners, and garden lovers in an open-gardens event in Hamilton over two weekends in August. Under the umbrella of the Halton Region Master Gardeners, Garden Journeys is free. It’s not a tour–you don’t need to register, and you don’t need tickets. Garden Journeys showcases gardens that put Nature first. Call them ecological, naturalistic, re-wilded, biodiverse, native plant, sustainable–these gardens do more than look good. They’re about the functional connections among living things (above and below ground) and everything that affects them. Humans included! Gardens are open, rain or shine unless there is a severe weather warning. Many of the gardens are in Ward 1. 

  • The Tempest at the Castle, August 15-18; 21-25, & 25-September 2; 7:00 PM. Location: Dundurn Castle

    Tottering Bi-Ped Theatre presents Shakespeare's play The Tempest on the grounds of Dundurn Castle. Details of the production are available on the company's website.

Ward 1 Infrastructure Updates

The are multiple projects taking place across the Ward. We have tried to encapsulate the information on a new web page.

Projects in every neighbourhood include park renewal to water chamber replacement. 

Greener Ward 1

Let's do our part in Ward 1 to create healthy, biodiverse neighbourhoods for all living things!

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Let's do our part in Ward 1 to create healthy, biodiverse neighbourhoods for all living things! Check out Greener Ward 1!

The City of Hamilton is situated upon the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, which was an agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek to share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. We further acknowledge that this land is covered by the Between the Lakes Purchase, 1792, between the Crown and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. 

Today, the City of Hamilton is home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island (North America), and we recognize that we must do more to learn about the rich history of this land so that we can better understand our roles as residents, neighbours, partners and caretakers.