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?

Responses to the question: "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? "

← Back to Election Page

In This Page:

10 Candidate Responses (top)

Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Allen, Jason Yes Cities have the greatest role to play in climate change adaptation (resilience) despite having a smaller role in mitigation. Hamilton has a climate change charter it implemented in 2011 and the city has already taken many steps towards reducing its climate footprint. For instance, emissions in Hamilton were reduced by 29% between 2006 and 2012, exceeding the target by 205. An adaption issue we are already facing is regular flooding incidents, which will require the refitting of our storm water system. I would like to see a storm water charge applied to property owners with large parking lots that would then go towards upgrading the storm water system so it doesn’t dump sewage into the bay or Cootes Paradise during a heavy storm. We could also mandate permeable pavers for those wishing to pave their front yards to make them into parking spots. Finally, we need to better communicate to people how to be prepared for extreme weather events, including creating a heat event plan that would prevent the deaths of isolated people (especially seniors) in the event of a protracted heat warning.
Anderson, Sharon Yes Yes. As Cities are where the majority of the world's population now lives I think that municipal governments have the potential and the ability to affect massive positive change on this issue. I've provided five examples of programs which the City could implement to help address this challenge, it is by no means an exhaustive list. Some of these programs we could do in isolation, others will work best if we team up with neighbouring municipalities to accomplish.

* Electric buses, electric city vehicles and electric small equipment

* Clear plastic bags for garbage pickup to make sure recyclables have not been included in the garbage; an alternative to the plastic bags would need to be developed in the long term

* Solar panels and other forms of green energy as well as green roofs for all City facilities and infrastructure where possible

* Zoning laws which strongly encourage solar panels on private homes and residential buildings

* A phased-in ban on single use plastics. However bans on single use plastic straws need to consult advocacy groups for persons with disabilities for feasible alternatives prior to implementation.
Cole, Sharon Yes Absolutely and particularly with those City facilities and services that are within the City's sphere of influence. For example, reductions in emissions from built environments, reductions in energy and water consumption. Reductions in emissions as part of the overall Transit Plan, including strategies to expand the use of clean energy and electricity options in public vehicles, buses, rapid transit, etc. Strategies to reduce the reliance on automobiles. Reduce the requirement for fossil fuels, landfill emissions, landfill use and increased recycling options and reductions in food and agricultural emissions.
Eroglu, Ela Yes Climate change is one of the biggest problems facing not just Hamiltonians but all humanity. Hamiltonians are supportive and committed to tackle the immediate threat and to take any necessary steps to deal with climate change. The City should establish itself as a leader in the fight against climate change by setting examples and establishing standards and benchmarks for environmentally-sustainable developments. Unless we act now, it may be too late. We have nothing to lose from keeping the environment sustainable, but everything to lose if we neglect it.
Geffros, Sophie Yes Hamilton must commit to environmental justice in all aspects of our decision making. That includes making sure that Hamiltonians are able to safely use active transportation such as cycling, and fully implementing LRT. It also means ensuring that all new development is in accordance with a gold or platinum LEED certification. Hamilton should also participate in the LEED for cities pilot project to ensure that our city in general is in accordance with the highest LEED standards.

With rising temperatures, heat waves are quickly becoming a public health crisis specifically for some older adults and people taking certain medications. As we proceed with the creation of our Urban Forest Strategy we must not wait to take action. From pedestrian safety to urban cooling to stormwater drainage to beauty, street trees provide immense benefits to our city and our communities. While many areas of Ward One are filled with street trees this is not equal everywhere in our Ward. For example, in Strathcona, especially along Main and King streets there is an absence of trees for large stretches. Street trees benefit us from a public health, an economic, a social, and an environmental perspective and it’s time we got serious about planting and conservation. Looking ahead we need to raise awareness and usage of Hamilton’s Street Tree Planting Program modelling best practices from OPIRG’s Hamilton Street Tree Project. Additionally we must address the gaps along major arteries like Main street and KIng Street and ensure legislation prevents developers from removing more street trees needlessly.
Massie, Richard Yes Hamilton is protected from ocean levels rising and severe drought living in the interior and beside the Great Lakes,. However, we can expect the costs of storms, snow removal and stormwater flooding to increase and negatively impact city operations. Our City government decisions can have a faster impact locally than federal initiatives
Miklos, Lyla Yes Protecting our Tree Canopy and Urban Forests. Implementing LRT so we are not dependent on fossil fuels to power our public transit system.
Narducci, Linda Yes Not only with Hamiltons heavy industrial manufacturing, but with the amount of cars on our streets, we ​ need​ to play an active role in addressing climate change. The manufacturing businesses should be held accountable for pollution that spews into our air from their facilities. The City can promote events held by Environment Hamilton and Coalition Against Pollution, more specifically their Pollution Crawl. We have become accustomed to and accept the smoke colors, not really knowing that this is affecting our health and environment. Educating and informing citizens helps to create educated citizen. I support the Urban Forest Strategy and their work and ideas to not only maintain green spaces but to develop more. Protecting our trees and forests not only helps to mitigate the effects of climate change but reduces stormwater runoff. The City can add water bottle filling stations in public spaces along with banning single use plastic. Awareness of the impact that plastic has on the climate is growing but Hamilton should be a leader in reducing our urban footprint.
White, Harrison Yes Hamilton needs to play a role in addressing climate change. Many cities across the world were addressing climate change issues prior to international agreements such as the Paris Climate Agreement. Many cities in the United States continue to participate in combatting climate change despite their nation’s withdrawal from the agreement. Hamilton should act just as other major cities have and recognize the importance of combatting climate change. There are aspects the city needs to improve, that would also assist in combatting climate change. Improving public transit for example, the use of the LRT, according to the EPA released by the city, will help cut back on three major air pollutants. Developing and improving public transit further would continue to assist in cutting green house gases through reducing the use of personal vehicles.
Wilson, Maureen Yes As discussions about climate become hijacked by partisan agendas, there is an opportunity and need for cities to step up and act on behalf of an urbanizing nation and planet.

1. Remove hidden subsidies and pricing system that favours greenfield development
The most important action cities can take in addressing climate change is to direct where residents live. Urban planners have been speaking about the need for compact urban development for over 30 years, however, sprawl continues.

Human beings respond to price changes. The biggest deterrent to tobacco consumption occurs with an increase in the taxes levied against tobacco. The auto industry shifted to compact cars after consumers were beset by an energy crisis in the early 1970s. It is no different in terms of land development. On this front, Dr. Pamela Blais has revealed a municipal land development system that acts as a disincentive to urban development because it is riddled with hidden subsidies and a pricing system that favours greenfield development which, in turn, uses up a tremendous amount of energy in its servicing and is more reliant on the private automobile.

2. Development and Implement an Urban canopy and plantation strategy that is responsive to a changing climate

Trees, shrubs and other greenery add to our property values, offers habitat to many wildlife species, and shade to all. The city must reexamine its own tree planting list to ensure that what is being planted is amenable to extreme temperature conditions and disease. The City must lead in insisting that trees are considered essential public infrastructure in development plans and in the (re)construction of public space including walkways. The City of Chicago has a decade old vegetation strategy that sees that municipality planting butterfly weed and spartina grasses that absorb runoff and filter pollutants like de-icing salts used on sidewalks and roadways. Chicago also uses thermal radar to identify the city’s hottest locations which then become the focus for pavement removal and green roofs.

3. Retool and Adapt Our Infrastructure
Each time our physical infrastructure undergoes reconstruction the City could use that period of rebuild to refigure our infrastructure in response to climate change. Again, Chicago serves as an example. That city installs below surface storage tanks during road reconstruction to permanently catch and hold rain water to prevent flooding and avoid combined sewer overflow into waterways, like our Harbour and creeks.

4. Build Better Transit
An accessible, reliable and affordable city transit system will encourage and enable more residents to choose public transit and be less reliant on private auto. This, in turn, will impact GHG emissions.

5. A fair Water-Waste Water Levy

Hamilton’s stormwater management system is currently paid primarily through water bill rates. As stormwater costs rise, conservation efforts have reduced the amount of money available for this purpose. Large impervious areas like commercial parking lots contribute the most to stormwater runoff, without contributing to the costs of dealing with it, while nearby households that face greater flooding risks are left to foot the bill. I support a new stormwater system, similar to the ones in place in London, Mississauga and Ottawa, that supports conservation efforts and is more transparent by design.

6. Firm urban boundaries
See my response to the first question in this survey. Thank you

8. More Permeable surfaces
The City must commit to a target of permeable surface in all new developments and during the redevelopment of existing space. At present, these asphalted areas are heat sinks that prohibit night time temperatures from falling in the summer months. What’s more, permeable surfaces would help address the residential flooding of basements and improve water quality by easing pressure on our older combined sewer/water system.

9. Safe Shared Streets
Protected, safe and continuous bike lanes would offer more residents a safe and convenient alternative mode of travel and ease reliance on the private automobile. This, in turn, would improve our air quality and limit our GHG emissions. Safer pedestrian crossings and walkways with slower traffic speeds throughout and between our neighbourhoods would also help support our natural environment for the same reasons.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

3 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

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