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Six Council Votes that Show why Hamilton Ward Boundaries Need to Change*

August 16, 2016 Make Change

Here is some history many of you will know.

In 2001 amalgamation of the City of Hamilton with Ancaster, Dundas Flamborough, Glanbrook and Stoney Creek took place. The amalgamation resulted in eight council seats for the 70% of residents living in old Hamilton. Seven council seats were set up for the 30% percent in the five former suburbs. Sixteen years later it seems that important council votes support the minority (30%) over the majority (70%). For example: 

  • Households in the former suburbs continue to pay only about a third of the transit taxes that residents of the old city pay.
  • Harbour cleanup has been delayed. Suburban Councillors (and then Mayor Bratina) did not support speeding up the cleanup of the Randle Reef. A proposed meeting with federal and provincial politicians might have done that.
  • Nearly all suburban councillors voted in May to defer a decision on whether Hamilton wants the billion-dollar provincial investment for Light Rapid Transit (LRT).
  • Suburban councillors (and Terry Whitehead) voted against looking at the possibility of tolls for “out-of-town” truck traffic on the Red Hill and Linc expressways.
  • The King Street bus-only lane was killed by suburban councillors and three Hamilton mountain councillors.
  • In April 2015 those 7 suburban councillors (along with Councillor Whitehead) voted to postpone the often delayed ward boundary review. Fortunately, this vote lost on a tie.

That tie vote means that there is now an opportunity to change ward boundaries. Contact your elected municipal officials to Make Change. Tell them those boundaries must respect the important democratic principle of fair representation by population.

*CATCH (Citizens at City Hall) is a volunteer community group that encourages civic participation in Hamilton. Their articles which were the prime source for the above can be found at

http://hamiltoncatch.org/view_article.php?id=1434

http://hamiltoncatch.org/view_article.php?id=1429

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