Nathalie Xian Yi Yan, Candidate for Ward 6 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2010

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Candidate Details (top)

NameYan, Nathalie Xian Yi
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2010
AreaWard 06
Email nathaliehealthc@hotmail.com
Website http://www.newhamilton.ca
BioNathalie Xian Yi YAN is a passionate Hamiltonian with a thirst for change and desire to give back to the community that she has proudly calls home. Winner of Hamilton's Distinguished Woman of the Year award and nominated for Citizen of the Year five years in a row, YAN brings broad experience and a fresh perspective to the Hamilton political scene.

In a story familiar to many Hamiltonians, YAN arrived in Canada to start a new life about nine years ago with just $3,000. After 3 years of seeking a career in her professional field of Biochemistry and Pharmaceutics, YAN started up a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture practice in Hamilton. Despite many hardships of being a stranger, her drive, compassion, strong work ethic and hard work soon paid off. YAN flourished her practice and became a successful business woman and an add‐valued member of the community.

Having established a thriving career in our community, YAN continuously gave academic presentations at TCM and Acupuncture conferences on the national and international stages every of each year since 2005. She is actively involved in the Bill 50 Act, legislation of TCM and Acupuncture in Ontario. Has not missing the debating and hearing meetings at Queens Park since 2002, through those first hand experiences YAN then began to get involved on a civic level in Hamilton.

YAN's professional philosophy convinces her to look at the body as a whole that she brings this viewpoint to city politics. YAN is a long‐term planner, and believes that many of the problems we have in the city are a result of using a band‐aid approach rather than addressing the root cause of the problem. On the fiscal side, YAN sees many examples of waste that she would work to change. Why build a two‐lane road with a small sewer system only to rip it up again in five years time? Why wait until something breaks before you address the need, when good long‐term planning would be less costly and cause fewer headaches for Hamiltonians?

YAN is a staunch defender of the environment. Her commitment to having no lawn signs in this campaign was an easy decision for her to make, as they contribute tones of waste to local landfill sites. "Once each year for the past three years I have toured Hamilton's landfill site. This trip is a visual reminder of the result of each of our daily decisions. It makes my decision to use and re‐use environmentally friendly signs an easy one and strengthens my resolve to become involved".

For the past several months, when she is full time serving her patients, YAN has been working on her campaign also. Affable and determined, she is dedicated to knocking on doors and listening to her fellow citizens. Hamilton's outpouring of support for her message of change is both humbling and uplifting. Please take the time to say hello, share your thoughts with her when she comes to your neighborhood.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Will your term change people's first impression of Hamilton, and make that first impression more attractive to visitors, students, commuters and newcomers? If so, how? Yes By having a council with people of different ethnic origin on it we are showing that Hamilton is an open minded community practising multiculturalism. That is an immediate attraction to people thinking of coming to Hamilton. MacMaster is doing a great job of attracting students being one of the best universities in Canada. Our natural setting on Niagara escarpment with its unique vegetation is an attraction to visitors as is the RBG.
Hamilton's Cycling Master Plan has Council approval. However, the implementation timeline is very long and ward councillors can block individual bike lane projects. Do you support accelerating the completion of a continuous bicycle network and other initiatives like a bike sharing program and better access up and down the Escarpment? Why or why not? No I agree with "shifting Gears" initiative IN PRINCIPLE, because by promoting the use of bicycles we can increase individual fitness and decease pollution by taking cars off the road. Part of the problem cycling is Hamilton is not that we don't have enough "bike routes", it is that we have too many drivers who do not ride a bicycle themselves, drive too fast, and have no regard for cyclists with whom they should Share the Road.

I noticed it is also a problem which I see all the time that some cyclists have no regard for pedestrians by using a bell to alert. In addition, it concerns me that our bylaw does not address the use of the helmets except for children. Recently I have paid lots of attention in a rise in the use of electric scooters and electric motorcycles, which to date are not licensed. There are no rules as to whether they should wear a helmet and the maximum of speed they are allowed. These new modes of transport to me are a public safety risk needs to be addressed.

I think it is unfortunate that the Master Plan report advocates the spending of so much money on either making new lanes, improving signage to segregates to smaller roads, rather than focusing on educating drivers on how to share the road. I hope that the master plan funding does not become more of a "cash grab" for the business than a resource for real change I the Bicycle Culture in Hamilton.

I believe we could have done our homework better by engaging more individuals from other communities with a stronger bicycle culture, such as China, the Netherlands, German and even city of Ottawa. I believe we could learn more from these communities, without trying to "reinvent the wheel".
Should we spend the Future Fund to build a Pan Am / Ticat stadium on the CP Rail Yard lands? Why or why not? No I am against subsidizing the Pan Am from the beginning. Actually I have done extensive research regarding this issue.

Many people think that sports teams have a magical "multiplier effect" upon the local economy. The thinking is that they increase economic activities, create more jobs, increase tax revenues, generate higher incomes and are a more attractive environment for future business prospects.

In fact, money spent on professional sports tickets comes at the expense of spending on other activities - movies, concerts or dining out. Taxpayers' subsidies for sports teams do not have a net beneficial economic effect. Ironically, the salaries make up most of a team's expenditures, but the players most often do not live in the city in which they play, therefore the result is that much of the money consumers pour into tickets ends up getting spent in other cities.

Even worse, a subsidy for an arena will put taxpayers in hock for decades. The now-demolished Giants stadium in New Jersey still has US $110 million in debt taxpayers must still pay off; in Seattle, the Kingdome demolished one decade ago is still pulling tax dollars away from citizens with US $80 million debt.

The proponents usually resort to emotional arguments. Such made-up psychological "wounds" are nothing in comparison the actual fiscal damage.
Do you support Hamilton's LRT proposal? If so, what will you do to ensure Hamilton's success in building LRT? If not, why do you oppose it? No No, I don't support the LRT proposal, for now. This is because of the following four reasons:

1. Where is the money coming from?

Hamilton is currently in deficit, have a debt and we have one the highest property tax rates in the country.

2. Where is the ridership to support the LRT going to come from?

We only have to look to Toronto to see that mass public transit is not a profitable enterprise. Hamilton's current and in next 5 years urban geography doesn't have the population distribution to support the running of the LRT through transit fares alone. We require centres with high population densities to make it practicable. Thus, at present, the LRT will be a drain on our budget that we cannot afford with the present city economic model.

3. The city infrastructure is not prepared for the building of the LRT.

The LRT is planned for King and Main Streets, the two main traffic arteries of Hamilton. There is no plan on what to do with the traffic that must be diverted to build the LRT. If we start building the LRT without preparing the infrastructure for the redirection of traffic, we are going to have gridlock during the building period.

The obvious consequence of this would be that people will avoid going into the downtown core, businesses will fail and when the LRT is down we will have a high density transit system that goes through a ghost town.

4. Our current mass transit, the HSR, isn't run effectively.

The stated purpose of the HSR is to get people from one spot of the city to another. Its current design does not allow it to fulfill this purpose. To make matters worse, this poorly designed bus schedule we have is pretty much a work of function. There seems to be no enforcement of the schedule upon the drivers. It is common to see a line of buses one behind each other on the street, which means that people have either been waiting or will wait dozens of minutes at the bus stop that they should not have to.

This of course, makes people distrust the HSR, and makes it less likely for them to take it. Before we start getting all excited about a bright and shiny new LRT, we need to fix what we have now. It doesn't matter how fine the equipment is, if we don't use it effectively its nothing by a huge waste of money.
Some cities have committed recently to publishing their public data in an open format that citizens can directly access. Should Hamilton pledge to become an "open source city"? Why or why not? Yes The answer is absolutely yes, but the problem is how to make the open source city system work?

First of all, we have the Freedom of Information and the Protection of Privacy Act in place. This act entitles every person in Ontario the right to access a record or a part of a record in the custody, or under the control of an institution. The act also stipulates that information should be available to the public, and necessary exemptions from the right of access should be limited and specific. Therefore this is a legal obligation upon City Hall rather than a privilege conferred by the City.

Moreover, the City needs to make information more accessible. I personally hold that out City did well but there is no room for complacency.

On top of what I have said, the crucial issue that really matters is the relationship between our City Hall and Hamiltonians. This seems like a two-way street. They do not really interact with each other. A good example would be the barely satisfactory constituent-voter ratio. Apparently people are just not enthusiastic about public issues.

From my point of view, it is not enough just to make the City's information accessible. More importantly, the city should take the initiative to solicit the attention and involvement of all the Hamiltonians, which could make the City's decisions more justifiable.
Is Hamilton doing enough to support and encourage new investment in our older neighbourhoods? If not, what should the City be doing? No From my personal experience and observation of past 9 years, city definitely did not do enough to support and encourage of establishing new business and draw attention of investment. The city need sustainable business development plan, diversified industries with long term goal. I believe that many of the problems we have in the city are a result of using a band-aid approach rather than addressing the root cause of the problem.

Learning from other jurisdictions on sustainable growth, we would need an all-encompassing plan that would look at everything from water and sewage use, to neighborhood planning, transportation, energy positive waster disposal, biofuel and solar energy.

Various schemes and funding from all three levels of government come and go, seemingly not play the "seed money" to get "fishing" skills to reach a long term result. Businesses already pay a lot more in property tax than residential taxpayers. I am frustrated in dealing with the unwillingness of city council to work with business owners on solutions to make our communities business friendly.

There are huge waste of human resources potential in our city is the immigrant population. The city need foster a culture where council look at all aspects of planning and investing, not just the political consequences.
The City of Hamilton has committed to doubling transit ridership by 2020. Do you support this goal? If so, how would you realize it? Yes The following is my preliminary plan for making the HSR more effective. Several route changes could more usefully give Hamiltonians much greater coverage and extension of access within the city.

Extend bus route #2: from Barton terminal to Gray's Road, then precede south bound on Grays Rd and along Queenston Road West bound to Eastgate Square, then north on Centennial Parkway Road back to Barton St., then proceed west to downtown. A second option for bus route 2: from Barton St. East terminal to Jones Road, then south up Jones to Queenston Road, then west to Eastgate Square, and then north on Centennial Parkway back to Barton St. and west bound on Barton to downtown Hamilton bus terminal.

Extend bus route #3: departure from Roxborough Parking lot to Parkdale Avenue North turn left to South bound then proceed along Queenston Road East to the Eastgate Square, drive through then proceeds west along Queenston Road East turn to Parkdale Avenue North, back to Roxborough Avenue via Britannia Avenue to Downtown.

The second option of #3: departure from Roxborough Parking lot to Parkdale Avenue North turn left to South bound then proceeds along Queenston East to the Eastgate Square then proceeds south bound on Centennial Park Way South and turn right at King St. E. proceeds along till turn right at Parkdale Avenue South, then back to Roxborough Avenue via Britannia Avenue to Downtown.

Change #44 west: drive through Redeemer University proceeds East Bound along of Garner Road East turn left at Upper Paradise Road turn left at Stone Church Road West bound terminal at Meadowlands.

Extend #44 East: bound along Rymal Road up to Upper Centennial along down to Centennial Parkway North, turn left at Van Wagner's Beach Bl. Turn back to East Bound of North Service Rd till the boundary of city Hamilton at 50 Road turn back through South Service Road till Centennial Parkway North turn left. Terminal at Eastgate Square.

Cancell #9, extend #6, #7,#8, to cover route #9 and extend service to Waterdown and outreach Aldershot with more reasonable schedules and have them run yearly, daily or certain time zone.

Cancell #55

Cancell #56

Extend #52A to cover all over Dundas

Extend #16 to Garner Road E. pass Redeemer U. to fully service Ancaster

Extend #58 to cover all Stoney Creek include Red Hill, Vincent and extend to Winona. Change of #11: Off Red Hill Parkway. From Mount Albion Road turn left at Greenhill Avenue. Drive to meet King Street turns right. Turn Right at Centennial PY. Turn right at Mud Street West to serve Heritage Green, Valley Park and Leckie Park area.

Extend #33: down to Ancaster Meadowlands and back through Garth and Fennell proceeds to Upper Wellington to Concession St. turn right at Upper Ottawa and turn right at Brucedale Avenue turn right at Upper James St. throught Claremont Access down to Wentworth turn right at Delaware Avenue proceeds to Maplewood Avenue turn right at Gage turn right at Cumberland and turn right at Wentworth turn left at Stinson proceeds to Hunter St. E. terminal at Gore Park through Wellington St.

Make #55 only server for McMaster University, downtown commute and Mohawk College. 1, In order to make "net" ready for "birds" land, ie, to increase ridership, the public transit need have speed limitation, at max 35-40k/h, could be slower, but never speedy. If designated stop has no passengers' board, the operator should adjust the speed to dilute the space of next bus coming.

2, bus should be off Red Hill High Way.

3, Garage buses should pick up anyone who still standing at any bus stops whenever their destination are going to the destinations. Make Hamilton HSR more humanly.
Many observers argue that Council meetings could be more respectful and professional. Do you agree? If so, what will you do to change this? Yes It is true that the council meetings are lack of control. In most case, people just broke the rules of decorum without intentions, as they might mistakenly believe they have to play rough to make themselves be heard by others. This is not the case in most meetings. Just imagine an intersection without stop signs or traffic lights, and every car rushes to drive through. In fact, this is a wide acknowledged problem in all levels of parliamentary meetings throughout Canada.

To elevate decorum, I would suppose that we first take another look at the applicable rules. In my opinion, the rules of decorum are verbose yet dysfunctional. We should make it concise and operational. The bottom line is it should maintain the balance between the fairness (i.e. rights to be heard) and efficiency.

We could enhance the efficiency through many measures. For example, we could have people stand up and speak from a podium, which help them project their voice and act more prudently. We may also try to announce the rules in a clear and brief way at the very beginning of each meeting. This way, even for those people who do not bother to read the rules could become familiar with them. We need to foster a fair and efficient procedural practice progressively.

On the other hand, the speakers could be more skillful and concise. Sometimes, when you talk too much, your audience begins to lose focus. The listeners may show more respect and patience in listening. Let the speaker finish before you begin to talk. I do agree that the person chairing the meeting is essential in that she or he should not only exercise the rules of decorum but also control the pace of the meeting process, such as time limitation.
Do you believe that poverty is the most critical issue facing Hamilton today? If so, please outline your solutions. If not, please explain your reasons. Yes Poverty is definitely a critical issue in Hamilton with a rate of about 20%. Poverty is a symptom of some other problems. In the case of Hamilton, it came as a result of the closure of many heavy industrial plants, one being US Steel. If you look at my 10 points objectives to restore the city to a balance budget, you will see that I foster new growth through new businesses that would be other than the steel industry. If we can get more businesses, we will have more jobs to offer so that many who are now barely surviving will have an income.
Council is poised to vote on the Airport Employment Growth District, a 3,000 acre plan to expand the urban boundary around Hamilton International Airport for employment lands. Do you support this plan? Why or why not? No I oppose the plan, as it is a myopic public strategy. First, I believe that the city's layout should stay as it is for 20 years to preserve our arable land, besides, we have not taken fully use of our existing infrastructure.

The land is most precious and competitive resources in the further. We save it for our offspring. We should focuses on channeling growth into areas with existing infrastructure. We have lots of empty factories, and it is ridiculous that we are allegedly looking for employment land.

We already have an unbalanced city budget, if we cannot fix the problem in the first place, How can we be sure that this unemployment epidemic would not spread to the so-called "employment land"? Enhancing the battle effectiveness is far more important than opening up a new battle field.

In most cases, city sprawl is driven by population growth. We do not have an over-crowed population density. On the contrary, we need a higher population density to prosper. Therefore what we should do is to reduce the taxes, lower the business expenses, encouraging the investment of sunrise industries, etc.

Second, the plan reports are not convincing, and it could put taxpayers in hock for decades with zero benefit to the economy. Dillon Consulting and Community Liaison Committee have been working on this proposal since 2007. Even after reading their latest report, I still feel I am not convinced. According to Dillon Consulting, 55% capital costs associated with the AEGD will be funded through development charges, 33% are from developer, and the rest 12% are from taxpayer. The high costs of settlement may have adverse effect on the intention to attract more business and settlers.

Once again, if elected, I will not vote for it unless I believe that will be in the best long term interest of the tax payers of Hamilton.

On the other hand, it may drive up taxes. Many communities are subsidizing new development in the form of new roads, water and sewer lines, schools, emergency services and other infrastructure or services. They are also subsidizing growth by offering incentives to new businesses or industries that locate there, often sacrificing tax revenues needed to serve existing residents and businesses. I would not tolerate this.
For your campaign, will you be accepting donations from corporations or unions? If so, why? If not, why not? Yes I believe both corporations and unions as a group have a right to contribute or donate to the candidate of their choice with limitations held to certain amount.

The company is a taxpayer and has the vital role to play in our society, especially economy field. The union per-se does not pay taxes but they influence the community as well. They as a group should be able to donate up to certain amount as well.