Fred Eisenberger, Candidate for Mayor in Hamilton Municipal Election 2018

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Candidate Details (top)

NameEisenberger, Fred
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2018
Email connect@fred2018.ca
Website https://fred2018.ca/
BioBorn in Amsterdam, Fred immigrated with his family from The Netherlands when he was eight years old. They arrived in Hamilton by train, entering their new city through what is now Liuna Station on James Street North. His family settled in Hamilton’s east end, spending years growing up in affordable housing projects. Life wasn’t easy for newcomers to Canada, and Fred had to learn both English and the value of a dollar as his family worked to thrive in their new country.

An active young man, Fred attended Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School and graduated with honours from the urban planning program at Mohawk College, before pursuing a career in real estate. He also continued pursuing advanced studies in urban planning and development at the University of Waterloo and McMaster University. After marrying Diane, Fred spent four years as a stay-at-home dad for his two infant children, a role that he considers the hardest but most rewarding of his life. It wasn’t long, however, before Fred’s passion for public service led him to put his name on the ballot. After being elected in 1991 as City Councillor for Ward 5, Fred went on to serve three terms as a member of Hamilton’s City Council, leaving office in 2000.

Fred went on to serve as Chair of the Hamilton Port Authority before successfully running for mayor in 2006. After leaving office in 2010, Fred served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Urban Institute, where he gained a national voice on urban policy development.

Fred couldn’t stay away from public service, however, and in 2014 he was once again elected Mayor of Hamilton, becoming the longest-serving mayor since Hamilton’s amalgamation in 2001. Today, Fred is seeking a third mayoral term to ensure that his vision of a strong, vibrant, inclusive Hamilton is realized.

When he isn’t at City Hall, Fred enjoys spending time with his wife Diane, playing squash with friends, and being “Opa” to his young grandchild. He still lives in Hamilton’s east end.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Since the 1950s, most new residential and commercial development in Hamilton has been single-use suburban sprawl. Do you believe Hamilton needs to concentrate new development within the already-built area? Why or why not? Yes Yes. I support increased density in order to combat suburban sprawl. I support Places to Grow guidelines and the Greenbelt. I support inclusionary zoning and laneway units.
Should Hamilton be trying to attract more young people to live, work and start businesses here, including the 60,000 students studying at Mohawk College, McMaster University and Redeemer University? If so, what should we be doing? If not, why not? Yes Young people will cycle to work if there are safe cycling paths. I support increased bike paths. We know young people want access to natural areas such as the escarpment. Young people will resist using cars if there is good reliable transit such as LRT.
Hamilton has been experiencing a slow-motion crisis in housing affordability. Do you support an expanded role for the City to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do? If not, why not? Yes Yes. I support increased affordable housing. I support inclusionary zoning. I believe in increased density and making it easier to add secondary units as well as laneway units.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act mandates that cities must be completely accessible by 2025. What changes would you make to ensure Hamilton complies with this mandate? Yes Yes. I agree the City must become compliant. I support increased resources put towards this to ensure it happens.
Global warming is an existential challenge facing humanity. Do you think Hamilton should play a role in addressing climate change? If so, what should the city be doing? If not, why not? Yes Yes. Municipalities have a huge role to play. We need to continue to decrease emissions that contribute to global warming. Transitioning to low-energy LED street lighting is an example, as well as electric transit vehicles including LRT.
Do you support the "Vision Zero" goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Hamilton? If so, what specific actions would you take to implement this policy? If not, why not? Yes Yes I support Vision Zero goals 100 per cent. We must change our way of thinking. We must: Focus on fatalities and serious injuries; focus on flaws in the transportation system identified as cause of collisions; focus on perfecting road system for imperfect human behaviour; Focus on safety initiatives to reduce accidents and therefore societal costs.
Hamilton has a legacy of multi-lane, one-way arterial streets dating back to the 1950s. Do you support accelerating the conversion of these streets to two-way? Why or why not? Yes Yes I support gradual conversion where it makes sense in conjunction with enhanced transit.
Do you support improved public transit in Hamilton? If so, what changes do you propose? If not, why not? Yes Yes I support implementing the Council-approved 10-year transit master plan that will mean enhanced transit in all parts of our community including LRT as the “B” in the “BLAST” network.
Do you support phasing out area rating for transit? Why or why not? Yes Yes but I propose an urban-rural split to ensure rural areas that do not benefit from transit are not paying for it.
Council has voted dozens of times since 2008 to advance Hamilton's light rail transit (LRT) project, including voting to submit the plan with a full funding request to the Province in 2013, and voting to accept full funding and implementation from the Province in 2015. Do you support completing the LRT plan? Why or why not? Yes Yes I support the council-approved LRT plan 100 per cent because it improve our transit, create thousands of jobs, result in improved infrastructure we would otherwise have to pay for ourselves, it will direct development away from the suburbs easing sprawl and gridlock, it will mean increased affordable housing all along the route, and it will inspire new development that will result in millions of dollars of increased tax revenue as it has in KW so that taxes everywhere can be lower.
Bonus question: If LRT goes ahead, what will you do to ensure Hamilton receives the maximum benefit? Yes LRT is a transit project but it is different in Hamilton as compared to Toronto because it is equally important as a city-building initiative. If LRT goes ahead, as I fully expect it will, it will build our community and help us get ready as our population swells to 750,000 over the next 20 years so we don’t make the mistake Toronto made which was to put off building transit resulting in the gridlock they have now as a daily reality.