Kristeen Sprague, Candidate for Ward 3 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2018

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Candidate Details (top)

NameSprague, Kristeen
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2018
AreaWard 03
Email kristeen4ward3@gmail.com
Website (no website listed)

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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 I believe that Hamilton needs to make the most of existing urban space in ways that benefit the people who live there, and not developers. Unfortunately, a lot of residential space is not used because the upkeep of public housing has been appalling, while too much concentration of urban renewal has been for developers and landlords. We desperately need urban development for people who already live in our communities, and not for people who are looking to develop or invest in our community for the sake of their own profit.
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 I think Hamilton should continue to attract young people, but we need to make sure that we have the resources in place for young people to thrive here. We need to put an emphasis on decent, good quality affordable housing so that current residents and young people (like those attending one of our postsecondary institutions) can live and thrive in our community. We need to make sure that that the city is on board with the $15 minimum wage and improvements to labour standards that are being threatened by Ford to set an example of our City's progressive and people-centered approach. Finally, we need to make sure that there are adequate mental health and recreational supports for any young people that may make their homes here.
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 I absolutely do support an expanded role for the City to provide more affordable housing. This is vital. The government made some space in the Affordable Housing Act to determine how much development must be dedicated to affordable housing. This does not go far enough. We need to make sure that we aren't selling off municipal assets for private development, and we need to commit the funds to repair existing units that are derelict and vacant. This is definitely a challenge for any municipality, especially when successive governments have not provided the support necessary to maintain and build units. We must make the need for provincial and federal support for affordable housing clear in our dealings with higher levels of government.
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 As a person with a disability, I am all too familiar with the problems that inaccessibility causes for our residents and the inclusive operation of our municipal government itself. We need to make sure that public building and spaces have physical improvements made with access in mind. But that's not enough. We need to look at all of the ways in which public space, infrastructure and operations intersects with users and residents with disabilities. This means considering how factors such as poverty, gender expression, age, and radicalization can impact accessibility. This might mean taking a broad approach to accessibility that includes regular training for personnel and volunteers, regular consultation with the community and community groups of residents with disabilities, and making adjustments to city operations and space to make Hamilton more accessible to residents and visitors.
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 I do think Hamilton should play a role in addressing climate change, because climate change will affect us whether we like it or not. Climate change impacts more than just our physical environment. It also impacts people's stress levels and general health. Concrete improvements include making sure that we invest in affordable, accessible public transit, protecting our green spaces, and encouraging forms of recreation and recreational infrastructure that allows people to walk and ride bicycles safely. We also need to research and understand how problems such as gentrification contribute to global warming. The elimination of our manufacturing industry make seem "green" to some people, but it's hardly "green" to manufacture steel in Hamilton and yet import steel from across the world to build our LRT. We will always need manufacturing, so we need to consider how glossing over our working class base and history and relying more heavily on importation and outsourcing supplies actually contributes to climate change.
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 I do support the "Vision Zero" goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Hamilton. I think we need to continue to identify high risk areas and make appropriate improvements to safety controls in those areas. I also think it's important to make improvements to pedestrian, bus, and bicycle infrastructure to make sure that people can get from place-to-place safely. I think this effort goes hand-in-hand with making improvements to the accessibility of "green" forms of transportation, because this can get more cars off of the roads.
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? No I think we need to consider improving the road surfaces before we consider converting more streets to two-way streets.
Do you support improved public transit in Hamilton? If so, what changes do you propose? If not, why not? Yes I do support improved public transit in Hamilton. I support more frequent routes in working class areas and in areas where people need to take transit to work. I think we need to make sure we have enough Darts drivers to improve transit for residents with mobility challenges. I think we need to consult groups such as the Hamilton Bus Rider's Union and ATU Local 107 to find out from riders and drivers what we can do to improve transit in our city, because they know best.
Do you support phasing out area rating for transit? Why or why not? Yes I do support phasing this out if doing so improves access to transit for more riders.
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? Maybe The LRT is a frustrating subject. We should be using Hamilton-made Steel to make the tracks. We should have ATU 107 members operating the system. The difficulty with the LRT as it is currently proposed is that it's a public-private partnership. We need to make sure that the motivations behind the LRT are for the public good and the continued growth of our City without pressure from outside organizations that are more interested in profit than the people of Hamilton. So my support is not categorical.
Bonus question: If LRT goes ahead, what will you do to ensure Hamilton receives the maximum benefit? Yes