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?

Responses to the question: "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?"

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10 Candidate Responses (top)

Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Allen, Jason Yes Hamilton should definitely be doing more to attract young people to move or stay here after school. One way to do that would be to attract investment to our city, so that there are good paying jobs for young people to work at. I have always said, however, that in order to attract investment like that, you have to first build a city where young people want to live. Creating an arts friendly city with active transportation will create a city where knowledge workers want to live, prompting employers to choose to locate their businesses here.
Anderson, Sharon Yes Yes. We need to get students to engage more with their surrounding community while they are attending school and get their surrounding community to engage more with them. Affordable housing and housing options for single households need to be available. We do this by encouraging the smaller mid-rise developments throughout our neighbourhoods. Finally we need employment within the boundaries of Hamilton itself as well as good transit and transportation connections to employment found in neighbouring municipalities. We need to complete the LRT, and work with the provincial government on regional rail connections as well as improvements to our highway corridors.
Cole, Sharon Yes Absolutely. Hamilton embraces an inclusive philosophy and culture. It is uniquely positioned to offer a diverse set of post-secondary educational opportunities, affordable housing alternatives to those in the GTA and a varied set of employment opportunities from a vibrant service industry, expanding arts and culture opportunities, a hive for innovation and entrepreneurialism, opportunities for skilled trades, an evolving industrial base which embraces innovation and research, and a centre for business (small and large). It offers a variety of recreational and sporting activities, a vibrant entertainment core, shopping and dining experiences, all surrounded by nature.
Eroglu, Ela Yes College or University grads are a key driver for innovation and vital for economic growth and wealth creation. Skilled work force attracts investors, clients, and creates jobs. Unfortunately, Hamilton loses its students after graduation because of limited employment offerings and opportunities. When we lose highly trained and valuable human capital to a neighbouring Cities we lose our chance of becoming a thriving community. As a city we should be aiming and attracting businesses to create a smart economy rendering sophisticated products and services to clients in Hamilton and around the world. We have the potential with 60,000 well educated vibrant students trained in engineering, technologies and science to become a City that influence the world in many ways. We must invest in our youth for a prosperous future for all.
Geffros, Sophie Yes Absolutely. We must move beyond “Town and Gown”, and I am deeply disappointed by the truly absymal “efforts” the City has made to engage with student communities during this election period. In Ward 1, students make up the largest single demographic group -- but no other campaign meaningfully mentions McMaster students in their publicly available platforms.
Our City must increase our efforts to reach out to student residents and young people in general, and we must engage them in decisions that affect all of us.

For too long, students have been ignored or dismissed as politically engaged citizens on the basis that they don’t vote and won’t remain in our city. This must change: pitting students and non student residents against each other hasn’t been working and we must work together to solve the problems within our community. Working with the McMaster Students’ Union (MSU), I believe we can re-imagine the Student Community Support Network to create a program that truly works for everyone. With joint funding from McMaster, the MSU and the city we can develop a proactive bylaw education and enforcement system that prioritizes education and peer to peer outreach to solve problems before they are in violation of a bylaw. Under this model fewer property standard violations will occur and problems can be reported before they reach the criteria laid out in the bylaws. Additionally, we can better educate and inform students of their rights and responsibilities as tenants and hold absentee landlords accountable. This program can also explore non financial restorative justice based solutions that are proven to reduce recidivism and build up communities.

Young people are also much more likely to use public transit and active transportation to navigate our city. Improving the reliability and service of our public transit -- including implementing LRT -- and ensuring that truly protected bike lanes exist to help cyclists navigate the city safely will help retain young people in our city. Further, young people are much more likely to be renters than the general population, and improving the quality and quantity of our rental housing stock will go a long way towards ensuring that students continue to live, work, and play in Hamilton.
Massie, Richard Yes Yes, young people can be faster to adapt when unexpected events happen in business. Among these educated student assets are young entrepreneurs. And even one successful start-up company will build wealth and create jobs. We can attract young people with more dense urban amenities to have fun and a growing labour market so they can find their next job.
Miklos, Lyla Yes We should be making Hamilton a welcoming city for students NOW and not wait until they graduate. Some of things to improve the quality of life for students immediately include affordable housing, improved public transit, landlord licensing, job creation and community engagement. We need to ensure students have a voice and a seat at the table and need to be providing incentives for them to not only want to go to school hear, but to find work here, buy homes here and be a vital part of what makes Hamilton the city I love.
Narducci, Linda Yes Yes, absolutely, Hamilton has a lot to offer this demographic. Students and young people need to know that there is housing that is affordable and transportation that will accommodate car-less lifestyles. Hamilton offers several services to support business startups, but it’s not perfect. Hamilton Economic Development offers Summer Company for youth aged 15-29. This encourages young people at a young age to think about entrepreneurship and starting a business. It’s been my conversations that once proceeding to opening a business there are many frustrations with the bylaw and licensing hoops to jump through. This can be quite discouraging.
White, Harrison Yes Young people are already Hamilton’s largest demographic with 153,000 residents born between 1982-97. It appears that Hamilton already has a draw for younger demographics. I think Hamilton should continue to try and attract youth to the city, the City of Hamilton has a large aging population, with seniors expected to be the largest demographic by 2031. We need to ensure a consistent influx of new ideas, drive and ambition into the Hamilton community, we can do this through engaging youth through innovative ideas and improved quality of life. We need to ensure that Hamilton continues to be a place to work, start a family and establish roots. I do not want to see Hamilton turn into a commuter city, and I believe engaging with youth is the best way to do this. Hamilton is lucky to have a plethora of attractions for youth, but we need to make sure they feel like Hamilton is the place to call home. We don’t want students to simply take their knowledge to other cities, we want them to settle in Hamilton and utilize their skills here. Hamilton is already trying to create a youth city strategy, I believe that hearing from youth is an important first step in implementing necessary changes. I believe what will continue to attract younger individuals to Hamilton is similar to what attracts most people. Affordable housing, reliable public transit, friendly neighbourhoods, safe streets, various forms of entertainment and plenty of community engagement from the city. That is what I will focus on if elected to city council.
Wilson, Maureen Yes The migration and retention of young people, including young graduates, to Hamilton is critical to our city’s long term economic prosperity and the ability to finance future city infrastructure and services.

Skilled labour is now ranked as one of the most important factors in a company’s locational decision. Hamilton must identify what magnets it has to attract young people and what glue it needs to keep them in place.

As Ward 1 Hamilton City Councillor, I am committed to the following:

1. Encourage and Allow for Density, Align Spending

The City of Hamilton must remove the built in pricing disincentives to urban (re)development and align our spending decisions to support the kind of urban amenities that will help us attract and retain young talent. (see answer #1 above)

By all accounts, younger residents favour urban places. Removing the built in subsidies that benefit greenfield development will make intensification more economically feasible and allow for more housing development within the urban envelope. In addition, the City of Hamilton must ensure an integrated approach to investment that will see spending aligned with strategic priorities, including the goal of enriching assessment along transit corridors. This will enable the city to deliver on necessary urban amenities like transit, recreation centres, cultural activities, park and green space. For example, the city of Hamilton will spend $1.7 billion over the next 5 years on growth related capital costs. Three-quarters of this amount is for linear types of infrastructure (water, wastewater and roads) the cost of which is directly impacted by density or the lack thereof. $300 million of this amount is to be spent on road infrastructure compared to $100 million for public transit.

2. Build Better Transit

More and more young workers are without permanent employment status and the benefit packages that accompany work that is non precarious. Access to affordable, reliable and quality public transit is a critical magnet in attracting young people in addition to private residential and commercial investment along high order transit corridors. Transportation planning and land use planning go hand in hand.

2. Deliver a range of housing affordable to all

Young residents need entry-level housing close to their place of employment. Some graduates or skilled youth may earn too much to qualify for housing assistance but not enough to afford market housing. The city of Hamilton requires a housing strategy that will deliver a range of housing affordable to all residents.

3. Make It Easy & More Affordable to be an entrepreneur

Despite a decade long commitment to “cutting red tape”, complications in obtaining necessary permits and licenses, along with costs caused by delays, continue to be cited by small business owners and entrepreneurs. The city must commit to a transparent, predictable process that eliminates costly delays and creates a level playing field for all small businesses.

5. Be an Open, Tolerant and Inclusive City
A city that is welcoming to outsiders, views diversity as a strength and is committed to creating and sustaining a civic culture of tolerance will have greater success in attracting and retaining young minds.

6. Be a Clean, Green and Safe City
A city that values connected green spaces, insists on sustainable development and is clean and safe will have greater success in attracting and keeping young, more mobile residents.

7. Civic Engagement
Citizenship enjoys both rights and responsibilities. Individuals are more likely to feel a sense of ownership of their civic domain and stay in place if a city encourages and welcomes their activism.

8. Support a Living Wage
There is both a moral and economic imperative to supporting a living wage. It is never okay for people who work full time to not be able to afford decent housing and to put nutritious food on their table.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

3 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Ward 01
Bakht, Syed
Geertsma, Jordan
Lazich, Carol E.