Income inequality is a serious problem in Hamilton, and poverty is increasing in mountain neighbourhoods. What will you do to reduce inequality in Ward 7 and across the city?

Responses to the question: "Income inequality is a serious problem in Hamilton, and poverty is increasing in mountain neighbourhoods. What will you do to reduce inequality in Ward 7 and across the city?"

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13 Candidate Responses (top)

Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bradshaw, Philip Yes I have seen this first hand while canvasing. This needs to improve throughout the ward. This starts with communication and community involvement when the issues and concerns that are being discussed by the City pertain to any of the residents of the individual wards. Perhaps, taking into consideration the level of taxes and fees that are charged.
Farraway, Doug Yes Having worked the past three years at an anti-poverty organization (Neighbour to Neighbour Centre) I have seen first-hand the face of poverty on the Mountain. Poverty above and below the escarpment is virtually on par, 16 vs. 18%. First of all I support Hamilton declaring itself a “living wage” city encouraging all employers in Hamilton to engage. I would like to work on the issue of the City Housing infrastructure deficit and on the broader issue of “affordable housing” by seriously examining with other levels of government Inclusionary Zoning.
Gordon, Tim Yes As a social worker, I have long been an advocate for issues of marginalization and oppression; this includes income inequality. At our first neighbourhood association meeting in Ward 7, we identified that tackling issues of poverty was a priority. Increasing transit oriented development is an evidence-based approach to combating issues of poverty, it increases mobility from the mountain to inner-city transition zones, and the inner-city where people can more easily access outreach programs and increased employment options. My plan to combat poverty is not to contribute to powerlessness that people living in poverty experience but to instead to empower them with options that can enrich their lives and wellbeing. Poverty is a systemic issue in Hamilton that we need a brave new outlook on to confront with compassion and see results.
McMullen, Geraldine Yes I am a "living wage" supporter - this concept can increase the standard of living allowing many Ward 7 citizens to participate fully in our community. I will work to reduce the income gap by giving a hand up to those in need; by working with small business to hire and provide proper training for more young workers and by ensuring access to programs and services for seniors. Current social assistance rates are woefully inadequate.
Nicholl, Anthony Yes As poverty is increasing in areas across the mountain, it is important to improve access to affordable housing and entice developers to build more affordable housing in Ward 7 by offering tax incentives. I would also propose attracting new businesses to Ward 7 which improve the employment and economic situation.
Pacey, Jeanne Yes The City of Hamilton mayor and councillors must ensure that the province is paying their fair share of the non-profit housing bill. A financial partnership with the province was agreed upon and we need to insist that Ontario honours their agreement. It likely will take advocacy on the part of members of Hamilton City Hall to win, but I am prepared to push hard for more provincial funding for non-profit housing which would help mountain residents who are facing financial hardship.
Qureshi, Uzma Yes I support plans to ensure that housing is affordable for all residents of Ward 7. That means we have to look at different models for different situations. Seniors who can't afford to maintain the homes they have spent most of their lives in need our help. People who may have lost their jobs, or had their pensions reduced through no fault of their own, need our help. People who can't pay market rent for an apartment, need our help. Tough choices, but putting people and their families first is one of my core beliefs.
Rabb, Howard Yes There are a few things we can do to address this growing problem. What we CAN do it make sure that we continue a policy of inclusionary zoning. Social housing units should be located in most areas of the city. Creating a ghetto will not help anyone and will simply exacerbate the problem. We need to work with developers to include units in multi-res properties that include rent geared to income units as well as low income units.

We also need to make sure that we are encouraging the construction of supportive housing. Properties like the Perkins Centre in ward 4 are a wonderful example of how effective this type of housing can be. I am pleased to see a second location is opening up but I do have a concern that it is located directly across the street. I want to make sure that future projects are built in other areas of the city including Ancaster to ensure that we are not placing all of our supportive housing in the same place. People who grow up in Dundas, Ancaster, Stoney Creek or the Mountain, who require supportive housing should not have to move downtown to receive this type of service (unless they want to of course) we should make sure it is available throughout the city.

Residential Care facilities are not allowed in Ancaster for some reason. This is a holdover from the pre-amalgamation days, and it is something I look forward to fixing with Council.
Skelly, Donna Yes The availability of social housing is an ongoing problem throughout Hamilton including Hamilton mountain. As has been argued continually by Councillor Sam Merulla, the cost of social housing should be borne by the province but there are things the city can do to help alleviate the problem. Many homeowners would like to provide affordable space in their homes but red tape and unnecessary bureaucracy at the city level often makes this prohibitive. The city must find a solution to allow homeowners who want to rent safe units to tenants to be able to do so without the endless stream of red tape. This change in culture must be followed by a strong and continuous lobby effort directed at the province to upload the cost of social housing. As for reducing inequality, the best way to fight poverty is for Hamilton to aggressively attract more businesses that provide full time, high paying jobs and a tax base to sustain city services.
Starr, Damin Yes I acknowledge this reality. I believe access to education and opportunity also plays a role in financial well being and personal health. Working with our education boards and post secondary institutions to promote relevant skills training will be key. Also capitalizing on projects like LRT to provide good paying jobs to local workers is essential. I am a strong believer in the benefits of "Living Wage", and will strongly promote and encourage employers to consider this initiative.
Vecchioni, Louis Yes As there are 1 in 5 people that live below the poverty line in Hamilton, the unemployment rate above the national average, creating smaller manufacturing opportunities in the city's largest ward, we can increase jobs. This will naturally increase incomes for our residents. On a larger scale invite companies large and medium sized to open talks in establishing more businesses across the city, whether solo or in partnership with the city.
Young, Robert Yes 1) Work more with the hard-working middle class.
2) Implement a more modern payroll model that does not take deductions off workers' paycheques, instead introduce a payroll-monitored system taxing senior levels and then directly tax crediting the workers from revenues when necessary.
3) Not allow runaway salaries and expenses for senior management positions, until the wages increase on the lower level of large companies and the gap between management and workers decreases.
4) Decrease attention given to the influential and focus it more on lower income sectors.
5) I would promote small businesses; Increase the restraints on overbilling by large companies.
6) Poverty districts would benefit from reducing tax money spent policing lower income residents for victimless, consensual acts or trades and introducing revenues by regulating resident-run dispensaries and other viable industries.
7) Refocus policing on corporate crime, billion dollar fraud and violent offenders rather than victimless acts.
8) Lower current property taxes below the basic Niagara Region Average and replace with innovative revenues from user fees, permits, and licenses.
Zuriel, Hans Yes One of my campaign platforms is to make property taxes more affordable. Currently residents pay the huge majority of property taxes which is driving poverty for those on low or fixed incomes. We need to incent businesses to come to Hamilton which will create new business tax revenues and allow for property taxes to be right sized for residents. I believe the local government currently wastes tax payers' money and do not invest in those from disadvantaged communities. The local government should prioritize job creation for Hamiltonians especially for City Council sanctioned projects such as infrastructure and transportation related jobs.

Lastly, it is important to have local workshops and training programs in order for the poor to have the opportunity to pursue jobs which pay at least living wages. We need to focus on training residents with the skills that are in demand in our region.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

9 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Ward 07
Bolton, Robert
Burt, Shaun
Charters, Bob
Danko, John-Paul
Heroux, Chelsey
Hetu, Luc
Murphy, Glenn
Nagy, Paul
Shahrouri, Mohammad