Jason Farr, Candidate for Ward 2 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2014

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Candidate Details (top)

NameFarr, Jason
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2014
AreaWard 02
Email ward2@jasonfarr.ca
Website http://www.jasonfarr.ca
BioJason Farr was born in December 1968 at Hamilton’s St. Joseph’s Hospital. He’s lived his whole life in and around downtown Hamilton.

His love affair with Ward 2 started as a small boy when every weekend, Grandma Ellen would take Jason and his brother Greg to Kresge’s, Robinsons, and a host of other great downtown shops. While a student at Delta High School (where he was not only a football and basketball captain, but also valedictorian) Jason was up at 5am every Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine to make his way to work at the Hamilton Thistle Club on Robinson Street.

After Delta, Jason studied broadcasting at Niagara College, then urban geography at McMaster. While at Mac, Jason started to DJ on weekends in his hometown. His connection to the Hamilton community flourished, with his first professional broadcast in Hamilton on CKOC in 1991.

With his friendly presence in the local media, Jason began to establish himself among Hamilton charity groups as an event MC who never shied away from volunteer hosting and took great pride in representing any organization that was thoughtful enough to ask.

Jason Farr has worked on radio in Hamilton at CKOC, CHAM, CHML and as the morning man on Y108. He volunteered on many community driven TV programs at Cable 14, where he hosted For The Record. He was also the stadium announcer for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and a part-time host of Sportsline on CHCH.

Jason’s reputation as a reliable facilitator, visionary and community leader continues to grow. He has always been Dedicated to the Core.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
The Province has shelved a proposal to build a mid-peninsula highway from Niagara Falls or Fort Erie around Hamilton to connect with Hwy 401 or 407 north of Burlington. Do you agree with the Province's decision to put its development on hold? Yes
I do. I believe the Province is on the right track by concentrating on the Big Move and the greater Go capacities. The POV's are good and could be better. Even double decker Go buses were a better way forward.

With a non-reusable commodity that is oil, multi-model, rail, shared rides and live-work communities with electric options are the smarter conversation.

Of course we need still to move goods by truck, but we can make that easier by making smart commuter choices, or locating ourselves and our businesses where a commute is hardly necessary.
Do you support converting more of Hamilton's one-way thoroughfares into complete, two-way streets that support walking, cycling and transit? Yes
Yes, and we have done this in ward 2, but can do more. I was especially pleased to see residents successfully move street conversion in the Participatory Budget initiative for 2014. It spoke volumes.

I believe it is my job to convince my colleagues (if elected) that it is not such a bad thing. For example, we will prove through CCS and community study that Queen Street commuters would benefit from two way all the way to King and Main from the south.

I always read with interest RTH contributors like J Leach who offer the many benefits (and evidence via links and personal photo journalism) of two way or complete streets.

So, we have now McNab, Rebecca, Caroline, Duke, Bold, Wilson and others, but we can get going on not only those identified in the transportation master plan at a greater rate than one per year and work with neighbourhoods with sound ideas and support for streets like Mary and Catherine and others.

I like using James as a text book example of what may transpire when a conversion takes place. Want to buy a James N building now? You're going to need a whole lot more than you would have in 97.
The Province plans to allow municipalities to use ranked ballots in future elections. If so, will you vote to adopt ranked ballots in Hamilton? Yes We have used the method through Participatory Budgeting and I liked the system. It is fair and easy... even fun.

As well, my understanding is that it has a much greater potential to offer friendlier public debates at election time with candidates concentrating harder in getting a positive message out rather than attacking the others so as to gain a spot of second on the ranked list from the other candidates supporter.

Having just returned from the Durand debate, Ranked Balloting looks even better to me now then ever before. :)
Do you support the city's plan to build an east-west light rail transit (LRT) line with full capital funding from the Province? Yes Yes. With full capital funding as promised. I am a little disheartened to hear some of the suddenly opposing messaging during this election. The fact is, council has a solid mandate and that has been reinforced (I was proud to do that) and the LRT is not simply about providing a sexy train. It's about building up our inner city nodes and corridors. Supported by our business community (Chamber/BIA's/HHRA/etc) and seen as a driver of economic activity where, in some areas along the b-line, we desperately need it.

It is environmentally friendly and when we think ahead based on current evidence (for example, the big three can't seem to understand why the 18 to 29 demo are not buying their cars) we certainly are in a position where the only regrettable action, would be non-action.

This is not and should not be a polarizing issue as the outcomes from a city planing perspective are of benefit to every taxpayer on every corner of Hamilton.

All this said, 100 percent please, Province. You are well aware we cannot afford otherwise.
Do you believe City Hall should be more accessible to Hamilton residents? If so, what steps would you take to achieve this? Yes Having been part of 4 years worth of Standing Committee meetings, I think we are good at welcoming voices of our community to the debate. We may want to entertain a wider radius when Planning Public Meeting notices are sent out. From 120 to 300 metres. We could also pay closer attention to the idea of moving some meetings to where the people are as we did with the Fruitland Winnona Secondary Plan.

That was one form of accessibility, the other form is being addressed. We are going to fix the doors to Council Chambers and the 2015 budget process will offer a cost breakdown of making all other meeting rooms not fully accessible, accessible. I will be supportive given the opportunity.
Do you believe Hamilton should do more to protect and enhance its built heritage? Yes Yes. While we have advanced in this area and publicly demonstrated a greater understanding and ultimately support for the issue, we need to continue to build on this momentum.

This past term of Council I was proud to have received and acted on the input from a very engaged citizenry as it relates to heritage.

I was supported in unprecedented fashion twice on emergency designations (1 St. James Place and the Gore Buildings), helped save the friezes and facades at 150 Main, voted and spoke strongly and supportively of the Gore Building and Mills Hardware with City Housing Hamilton and of course moved with unanimous support to expedite the work that resulted in listing over 900 buildings of heritage interest.
Do you support implementing a Vision Zero for Hamilton, with a goal of eliminating all pedestrian and cyclist deaths on our streets? If so, what specific actions would you take to implement this policy, and if not, why? Yes I think it is safe to say that our community has embraced the two way Cannon Track. What is most appealing is that it has a physical barrier to the traffic. The conversation of making our other existing and future lanes as accommodating has not gone unnoticed as I read the RTH posts and other communications.

I strongly supported the pedestrian mobility plan. I started the Queen Cannon Study group with C. McHattie and will follow through.

Generally, while we may never get to zero, we should continue as a Council to be supportive of any measures we can take to make our streets complete and strive for that zero. Provide opportunities for autos to slow up a little and share the road and continue to make crossing safe for seniors and kids.

Remember, our traffic department is utilizing funds from our ever growing re-light camera reserve (now at 17 million I believe). We can keep our eye on that and add to the good work, utilizing these funds for public safety on our roads.
The City's Cycling Master Plan is up for review. Do you support improving the plan to speed the installation of cycling facilities and provide more high-quality protected infrastructure like the new Cannon Street cycle track? Yes I do. We did ok in four years, adding 10 plus kms of cycling lanes in ward 2. I believe we are around 15 kms in total now. Cutting the ribbon on the Cannon Track and moving the unanimously supported motions for it, were two of my proudest days as Councillor. Seriously.
Do you support the use of participatory budgeting to allow ward residents to propose and vote on local capital projects? Yes Yes, 2 million worth of examples of my support to date and more to come with Councils support. We will make PBW2 better and we will strive to get greater involvement where the "P" is concerned.
Do you support an expanded role for Hamilton to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do? Yes I do. Our Housing and Homelessness Action Plan is one of most important plans of the last 4 years. The waiting list for affordable housing is too long and if we do not take action now, that list will simply continue to grow.

What we need to also contemplate more often is mixed income communities. Ward 2 is home to the largest segment of affordable housing for City housing Hamilton. In part, this is because the Province, long ago, considered towers of affordable housing was a good idea. No, it was not. Segregating by income is not healthy for any community, particularly for those living in these areas.
I toured Regent Park a few times over the last term and like the ideology what is being developed there in Toronto. Hamilton can do the same.

I would support contemplating mixed income for our pending developments on the waterfront. Also, with my recent motion (one of three on re-purposing city surface parking lots) I publicly shared that we take a best offer from a private developer who then works to develop that lot into a mixed use community. They would work with a local stakeholder group that brings a Social Planner to the table. We then strive to include affordability into the mix. I have also publicly shared our need keep the mixed income conversation going at the City Housing Hamilton Board table.