Dear Ward 1 residents
The purpose of this post is to account for my vote this past Friday, November 12, 2021, at a special meeting of Hamilton City Council to fill the ward 5 seat left vacant with the election of Chad Collins as a federal Liberal MP for Hamilton East- Stoney Creek. Mr Collins served as ward 5 Hamilton City Councillor for 26 years (1995-2021).
A majority of Hamilton City Councillors determined to fill this vacancy by an appointment process, which is allowed under Ontario's Municipal Act. I did not vote in favour of this process. I believed that a by-election was more appropriate to ensure that the residents of ward 5 could exercise their preference rather than Council.
There were two primary factors that guided my vote on November 12th. Firstly, I strongly believed that it was not appropriate for a registered lobbyist active with the municipality to be selected to serve in this unelected ward 5 position. Secondly, the most important generational decision facing our city is that of Hamilton's urban boundary. A decision to allow 1300 hectares of land to be developed for low rise housing is not in the public interest. This plan will consume some of Canada's most productive, fertile prime agricultural lands, it runs counter to efforts to protect and restore natural lands and water resources. Urban sprawl will undermine our strategic investment in Hamilton LRT and it will continue to expose this city to a growing and unsustainable financial risk.
For these reasons, I placed my support with the applicant who stood the best chance of receiving the majority of Council support while being guided by these two factors.
I wish Mr Russ Powers only good things in his service to Ward 5 residents over the next year and I believe he will do his very best in that regard.
I was very impressed with the many residents who came forward to be selected. I am hopeful that they give serious consideration to running in the October 2022 municipal election in ward 5 and bring new ideas and new experiences to the Council table.
Thank you for reading and happy to answer any questions you may have.