Mark Tennant, Candidate for Ward 2 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2018

Details page for this candidate.

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Candidate Details (top)

NameTennant, Mark
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2018
AreaWard 02
Email tennantm7@gmail.com
Website https://marktennant.org/
BioLived it! Experienced it! Gets it!

Born and raised in Hamilton. Empathizes with the residents of Ward 2 from a lived experience. Has worked in the downtown Ward since 1986 in many managerial capacities. Hard worker and always dedicated to a cause or ideal of bettering the lives of others.

“Working in Ward 2 for 32 years has imbedded in me a deeply felt passion for improving the lives of people in the Downtown community. I’ve lived it. I feel it. It’s what I do.”

When I was 4 years old, my Dad came home from working at Stelco and told my Mom, sister, and I that we are getting a pool. I asked; "what about the tree?" My Dad replied; "it will be cut down.". I said; "I want the tree to stay and the pool to go." This is who I am!


Advocacy in Action!
Empathy at Work!
Leadership Tested!

Proven Private Sector business management acumen...

32 years of successful private business management experience with; Brinks Canada, National Post, Financial Post, Hamilton Spectator, and the Toronto Sun.

*Responsible for many restructuring projects.

*Improved operations and service.

Proven invaluable in the Social Sector...

26 years of grass roots local front line social service leadership experience.

*Successful supervisory social service management experience with my current employer; The Good Shepherd Venture Centre.

*Successfully improved the quality of service to meet a 29% increase over 3 years of households in poverty and facing food insecurity

*In partnership with The Ontario Works Hire program, training and mentorship is provided for the purpose of finding employment.

*Winner of the 2018 Angela Longo Award for the mentorship of an Ontario Public School (OPS), Learn and Work student. All OPS students the past 3 years graduating from High School.

Chair of the Board of Directors of Hamilton Sustainable Victory Gardens.

*Successfully made substantial improvements in the restructuring the organization while overseeing one of the most successful productive seasons to date.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Since the 1950s, most new residential and commercial development in Hamilton has been single-use suburban sprawl. Do you believe Hamilton needs to concentrate new development within the already-built area? Why or why not? Yes First and foremost, the communities input must be considered before moving forward with any new development or renewal plans. The neighbourhood associations would advocate for the best interest of the community and filter all ideas before presenting to their council representative. Once the majority of the community understands that they have a voice, it would encourage more neighbourhood association memberships and a stronger collective partnership to the betterment of Ward 2. I support the mixed-use development plan for downtown Hamilton. Urban sprawl draws development to the suburbs and away from the downtown. I would advocate for private and public redevelopment and renewal of already built areas to draw new entrepreneurs, singles and families to the downtown to live and work. Blended commercial and residential use with entertainment and cultural attractions. Open green space and active play areas with vehicle free sections to promote a residential feel. If vacant storefronts are available to be purchased publically, I would advocate for a tax break for urban entrepreneurs to begin small businesses. The Secondary Plan includes the development of 5000-8000 new dwellings in the downtown area.
Bonus question: If LRT goes ahead, what will you do to ensure Hamilton receives the maximum benefit? Yes If the LRT goes ahead. I would advocate for construction stages over time (recommended by Waterloo business owners), improved accommodations for people with disabilities with regards to accessibility to LRT stops, and more consideration to compensating businesses affected by construction. I want the HSR to be a part of the LRT plan. I would recommend an independent transit commission to continue negotiations; An independent commission could be comprised of elected officials, citizen appointees and other vested interests. They would keep in mind the best interest of the stakeholders; the residents of Hamilton.
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? Yes I support The Green energy act. There is always more to do with regards to Green energy. More education to residents with regards to recycling, low carbon emissions, Etc. Renewable and 100% sustainable energy needs to be the focus and future for our city. With many pressing issues, each has to be addressed and prioritized. Again, the city needs to engage experts and work collaboratively with them to move the initiative forward.
Do you support improved public transit in Hamilton? If so, what changes do you propose? If not, why not? Yes I support improved public transit. Public ownership of city operations has proven to be best for working Hamiltonians. HSR should remain an important piece of our transit plan moving forward. Improved service to the outlying areas, safety measures in place to protect drivers, and the consideration to have HSR operate the LRT. I support the Ten Year transit strategy.
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? Yes Keeping in mind where young urban professionals want to live and work, we need to engage their input. We can revitalize the downtown by providing a mixed-use development of culture, entertainment, with affordable public housing. New entrepreneur tax and rental incentives.. The motto; a healthy community equals a strong local economy includes a collective participation of local businesses, not for profits, community partners and residents. This would include the participation of local businesses in offering apprenticeships and paid student placements through the ministry of education. We can do so much more. I cannot be all things to all people so its is necessary to include the the participation of experts in the planning.
Do you support the "Vision Zero" goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Hamilton? If so, what specific actions would you take to implement this policy? If not, why not? Yes I support the Vision Zero goal that even one traffic fatality is unacceptable. People will make mistakes but the road system will not. With improved awareness of my part, I would advocate to implement the 5 elements of Vision Zero.
Hamilton has been experiencing a slow-motion crisis in housing affordability. Do you support an expanded role for the City to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do? If not, why not? Yes The RGI program has a long waiting list with limited not for profit housing participation. The Portable Housing benefit only permits 3000 Ontarians and you must be on the RGI waiting list to qualify. It only offers 80% of market rent therefore rent is still unaffordable and most low income families are paying full market rent.To answer your question, I support more affordable public housing development. I applaud meeting the need of seniors RGI housing projects in Ward 2 and 4.. More can be done to meet the need of singles and families. I support the Secondary Plan and ask that if the 30 story limit is exercised, that 20% of all new development be RGI housing. Can the Portable housing benefit restrictions be addressed so more low income people can have subsidized housing while waiting for RGI housing. Not for profits agencies (Housing Help and T2H) are doing their part in advocating for low income and homeless people. Efforts on the part of City housing and The Landlord Tenant Board to be more proactive in identifying substandard housing and illegal landlord practices would decrease displacement. In addition, oversight of all private bids to prevent purchases of rental properties for the purpose of land speculation and the consequential displacement of residents. A unified collaborative effort of all partners providing housing oversight and support is needed.
Do you support phasing out area rating for transit? Why or why not? Yes I do not support the area rating for transit that has different parts of the urbanized city pay a different tax rate determined by the service level they receive. Hamilton pays a higher transit area tax rate than Stoney Creek yet their service is provided directly to McMaster U. More kms, less tax. This is unfair. I support a single unified area rating for all urbanized parts of the city where the cost of service improvements is shared equally by everyone.
Hamilton has a legacy of multi-lane, one-way arterial streets dating back to the 1950s. Do you support accelerating the conversion of these streets to two-way? Why or why not? Yes I have lived in Hamilton my whole life and has witnessed the change of many downtown roads from 1 way to 2 way. It has worked to a point. It can be confusing at first but we do adjust. Just adjusting would not be enough for me as a member of city council. I support the implementation of more 2 way streets providing proper evaluation, education, and engagement is in place. The Vision Zero goal of efficient engineering would compliment the implementation. The city is looking at Main St W as a possible switch. City planners and engineers must take a closer look so we don't go overboard. At the end of the day, our city needs to improve it's commute factor. We are rated 163rd best city to live in Canada and have a failing grade in the commute factor and it's not only because of transit.
Council has voted dozens of times since 2008 to advance Hamilton's light rail transit (LRT) project, including voting to submit the plan with a full funding request to the Province in 2013, and voting to accept full funding and implementation from the Province in 2015. Do you support completing the LRT plan? Why or why not? Maybe I can honestly say that I have struggled with this issue since putting my name on the ballot on June 21st. I have studied both sides extensively and read your piece supporting the LRT. At the end of the day, what matters to me is that we get it right. Born and raised here, I am hesitant to say that I am all in but I do recognize that we must evolve as a city. I do have concerns with the privatization of the LRT. If history has taught us anything, "throw caution to the wind." I read the public Q and A and was surprised to find that there are many questions unanswered. This concerns me from a business management perspective. I support the LRT if it means that we answer all questions, unite both sides, and consider the construction in stages over time. There are so many unknown variables. You mentioned in your article about area rating, "a house divided". It feels like that with the LRT plan. "Can we unite and get it right". Sounds like a great slogan to me!
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act mandates that cities must be completely accessible by 2025. What changes would you make to ensure Hamilton complies with this mandate? Yes To be compliant to the AODA, employers and government must identify, remove, and prevent barriers for people with disabilities. Employers must be held accountable when they are not compliant. I would advocate for paid certified inspectors and the enforcement of fines to those who are non-compliant.