Peter Ormond, Candidate for Hamilton Centre in Ontario Provincial Election 2011

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Candidate Details (top)

NamePeter Ormond
ElectionOntario Provincial Election 2011
AreaHamilton Centre
PartyGreen Party of Ontario
Email peterormond@gpo.ca
Website http://www.greenpartyhamilton.ca
BioPeter Ormond is the 2nd youngest of 11 children. He was born and raise in Hamilton. He attended St. Joseph’s on Locke, and then Westdale High. Peter understands that healthy communities are the result of simple steps that create local jobs and foster local economies, that’s why Peter is running as the Green Party Candidate for Hamilton Centre in the upcoming Provincial election.

Peter holds a Masters in Environmental Engineering, and an MBA. Peter helps corporations to review all facets of their business, and implement changes to improve sustainability and thus profits. This includes energy use, product life cycle analysis, installation of renewable energy systems, and workplace audits. Peter has also taught courses related to engineering, business and the environment at various institutions including Mohawk College and McMaster University. Nationally, Peter is a past board member of the Canadian Solar Industries Association.

Peter is actively engaged in the greening of the community of Hamilton. Peter is a member of the steering committee that has just launched Hamilton Car Share Co-operative. He is also a volunteer board member with Earth Day Hamilton. As well, each year he writes and performs an educational play for Hamilton’s Fringe Festival. This year’s production focused on the follies of Nuclear Power. He is also involved in various writing projects that include a monthly environmentally-themed magazine column, a book on Canadian Heroes, and the co-creation of a raw food cookbook.

Peter’s residence has one of Hamilton’s few solar hot water systems, and a green roof on the back shed. Other features include a solar cooker, diverse backyard garden, external insulation, and a room trimmed completely with recovered materials.

Canadians, especially Hamiltonians, are ready for leadership that rethinks old habits and steps into new realms of possibilities. It’s time for fresh energy and thoughtful action, and Peter represents that Green light to opportunity, one simple choice at a time.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
In 2007, the Ontario Government promised two light rail lines in Hamilton. Will you fulfill that promise to build light rail in Hamilton? Why or why not? Yes I will fulfill that promise to build light rail in Hamilton because the Green Party believes in sustainable transportation. Our roads are congested, fuel prices are rising and pollution from motor vehicles are hurting our environment. The LRT would be a way to combat these challenges and make Hamilton a leader in transportation. The LRT would also increase public transportation access to certain areas that would then flourish due to their increased availability. It's time to invest in infrastructure that promotes community development in a smart and sustainable manner.

It's worth pointing out that Hamilton's Aerotropolis is still proceeding. Reckless expansion on farmland is a concept that was considered cool half a century ago. Similarly, the myriad of new highways like the mid-pen must be stopped in their tracks. No new highways. In fact, a complete review of all operations at the airport must be performed - including the release of the secret 40 year lease between the city and the airport. No more-mega projects like these that benefit the already wealthy, and all at the expense of the existing communities. It's time for responsible infrastructure projects that will benefit the average citizen.

The LRT will transform Hamilton. Let's get on with it!
Will you complete the job of uploading social services costs to the Province? Why or why not? Yes The Green Party believes it is time for this to happen and has pledged to meet the promised upload of $1.5 billion in social service and court security costs by 2018. Further, the Green Party has promised to not download costs, or add new one to Ontario's limited property tax base. The Greens understand that strong local communities and municipalities are what drive government and not the other way around.
Hamilton has a lot of available office space in the downtown. Will you move any departments to Hamilton to boost the local economy and save on rent costs? Why or why not? Maybe We'd have to review existing provincial departments and determine what would fit into Hamilton. Certainly the presence of some decentralized government departments will happen eventually - especially with web-based technologies that exist today.
The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area has some of the worst traffic congestion in North America. What, if anything, will you do to alleviate the gridlock? Yes The Green Party is investing large amounts of money into ride sharing, public transportation and improvements to the community to make it more accessible to walkers and cyclists. These ideas all stand behind the idea of eliminating gridlock and taking more cars off the road. The Green Party also supports the idea of Light Rail Transit in Hamilton which will improve public transportation and reduce gridlock.

This is the 21st century! We're too smart to be sitting in traffic jams of cars with only one person in each vehicle.
Do you support completing the Mid-Peninsula Highway? Why or why not? No Pave over Paradise and call it a parking lot? No way. Why are we so obsessed with pavement? I called it today's black plague.

The proposed highway is eliminating precious farmland. It's no wonder that many community groups are opposed to the mid-pen highway. To pave over this land simply to create more space for cars and thereby spur supposed "economic development" would be a very large mistake and completely ignore the opposition of the community.

This all part of the Hamilton Aerotropolis agenda that has been pushed forward for decades. One main driver of the mid-pen is the Chairman of Tradeport, the private company operating Hamilton Airport - Ron Foxcroft - who interestingly enough also owns a trucking company and lives in Burlington! Another promoter is Richard Koroscil, head of Tradeport, the company that operates Hamilton Airport. Interestingly enough, Mr. Koroscil is Hamilton's representative on the Metrolinx board member. The Greens would call for an immediate investigation into Hamilton's airport including all board members, land holdings, transactions, business interests, and conflicts of interest of the various parties involved. I'm puzzled as to why none of Hamilton's current MP's or MPP's have been speaking out against this outdated mega-transport project that is seriously hurting the quality of life for Hamilton's citizens.

Another issue to review is the fact that airplanes are flying over the city as part of the airport's 24 hour operation. I imagine that the flight path likely specifies a route that skirts the downtown core so that hundreds of thousands aren't disturbed in their sleep each night. This will be another aspect of the review.

We're now in an era of new perspectives on car ownership. I personally haven't had a car for over a year. We use Hamilton CarShare when necessary. You can rent by the half hour, and the savings are huge. Besides no car to scrape off every morning, it's really made us resort to community building modes of transportation - like walking and biking.

The Mid-Pen? No way. Let's build transportation infrastructure that will benefit the community - like LRT and improved GO / VIA links. To reach this point, though, we'll have to delve into and dissect the decades-long shroud of secrecy surrounding Hamilton's Aerotropolis project, and other projects that benefit a few at the expense of the community.
Hamilton has a large number of contaminated brownfield properties that present a risk for investors. What, if anything, will you do to make it easier to remediate brownfields? Yes First of all, acknowledge that the brownfields are an opportunity for Hamilton. Then complete a comprehensive inventory of all brownfields and abandoned properties in Hamilton. We will provide real incentives for brownfield remediation, and innovation to develop innovative remediation technologies.

The brownfields are already serviced and are within the city's current footprint. The Greens would cease all development that fosters urban sprawl, and refocus inward. Remember reduce, reuse, recycle? That applies to land use as well.
Do you believe municipalities should have more powers to generate revenue? If so, what would you propose? If not, why not? Yes Of course municipalities should have more powers to generate revenue. In Hamilton's case, with our waterfront, escarpment and urban core, we have a tremendous opportunity to be innovative. Instead of focusing on the corporate profit-making mindset, the city can delve into community-building alliances. Renting buildings, refurbishing lands, for example, and be open to ideas from the public.

Besides generating revenue, municipalities can rethink our current systems. How about rainbarrels on every house, planting and harvesting more trees, stop fluoridation of our drinking water, garbage pickup every two weeks, community gardens, etc. In some cases, the solutions are simple. Let's just start applying some!
Do you support term limits for municipal politicians? Why or why not? Maybe It depends. Don't the voters decide each election with their vote?

I've run in four elections, and the challenge for me is that people don't really know the policy differences between the parties that they're voting for. At the municipal level, we have the same lack of understanding about what a politician stands for. We need mechanisms to educate eachother (including politicians) about the real issues, and present real solutions to those issues. That's why I run for the Greens - otherwise our voice is not heard.

In today's fast-paced world, these messages have not been relayed, and hence Hamilton is stuck with a system that is not state-of-the-art. During election campaigns, forums should be arranged that 'tell' all candidates the realities of our system, and then ask them what they or their parties will do about the issue. This will educate everyone...

For additional information, here are some of the Green Party policy highlights:

1. Meet the promised upload of $1.5 billion in social service and court security costs by 2018.
2. Not download costs, or add new ones to Ontario's limited property tax base.
3. Create a separate, new, predictable and permanent fund for municipal roads and bridges once the budget is balanced, and we will provide funding for municipalities to invest in safe roads and trails for active transportation.
4. Make permanent Provincial Gas Tax revenue of about $318 million for transit.
5. Work with you to revise the arbitration process to ensure transparency, and to require consideration of local circumstances and government's ability to pay when deciding public sector wage settlements.
6. Seek your advice in developing solutions to protect taxpayers from excessive insurance claims.
7. Commit to shifting the tax burden for waste disposal from municipal property taxpayers to industry through extended producer responsibility laws.
8. Advocate for tools for collecting $1 billion in unpaid Provincial Offences Act fines
9. Consolidate housing programs with current funding to allow more local decision making and seek innovative partnerships with the private sector to increase the availability of affordable housing.
10. Not introduce property assessment or taxation caps. The Green Party supports establishing a legislative committee to study best practices for reforming and improving the property tax system, with special consideration of moving to a system of Land Value Taxation in order to eliminate inaccurate and arbitrary property assessments, deter speculative land holding, reduce abandoned lots and encourage job creating property improvements.
11. Provide clear, fair energy policy that supports sound planning and investment in our electricity system. The Green Party will prioritize investments in energy efficiency and conservation to reduce the effects of rising energy prices. We will strengthen the Feed-in Tariff program to require local ownership, local decision making and local financial benefits for energy projects. We will establish a transparent timeline for FIT pricing reviews and reductions.
12. Support a review of the Development Charges Act so that growth pays for itself without unsustainable burdens on property taxpayers.