Terry Whitehead, Candidate for Ward 14 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2018

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Candidate Details (top)

NameWhitehead, Terry
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2018
AreaWard 14
Email terrywhitehead14@gmail.com
Website https://www.terrywhitehead.com/
BioTerry Whitehead has long made a home with his wife and four children in Ward 14 and is committed to making the City of Hamilton a better place to live, work, play and raise one’s family. His eldest is a graduate of the Mechanical Engineering program at McMaster University and is working in Edmonton. His second eldest is a student of Mining Engineering Technology at Cambrian College in Sudbury and his two youngest children are currently attending St. Thomas Moore High school.

A very visible and vocal full-time Councillor, he is now running for a third term of office and has participated in numerous agencies, boards and committees on behalf of West Mountain residents for the last 14 years. Click here for a complete list of Terry’s involvement in the community.

Terry’s work in the private sector and at all levels of government have given him a wealth of knowledge. He has operated his own business and has many years of experience working in executive positions for municipal, provincial and federal governments.

From 1990 to 1995, Terry served as Special Assistant to the Honourable David Christopherson, then Minister of Correctional Services and Solicitor General of Ontario. From 1995 to 2000, he was Chief of Staff to Robert Morrow, a former mayor for the City of Hamilton, and from 2001 to 2003, he was Special Advisor to the Honourable Sheila Copps, then Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Prior to becoming Councillor, Terry was instrumental in resolving issues for the City of Hamilton and its organizations, businesses and residents. He was directly involved in negotiations with the Red Cross, Canadian Blood Services, Health Canada and the Hamilton Branch of the Canadian Red Cross Society which preserved two hundred jobs within our community.

In the Mayor’s Office, Terry initiated discussions on expanding the film industry (a multimillion-dollar business) in Hamilton. He invited representatives from the Ontario Media Development Corporation to develop a plan which, upon implementation, resulted in increased activity for Hamilton and, in fact, one year we boasted more filming in our city than any one state in the USA.

Terry was also directly involved in the negotiations between the City of Hamilton and its Port Authority, resulting in the settlement of a one hundred million-dollar lawsuit and the return of the city’s west harbour to the people of Hamilton.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Do you support improved public transit in Hamilton? If so, what changes do you propose? If not, why not? Yes Yes, absolutely. I believe the mountain transit routes do not effectively meet the needs of the ridership. The routes need to be dramatically changed to create a more efficient, predictable transit service for the riders. I support the 10 year master plan for public transit and will continue working with staff to improve the type of vehicles to ensure that our passengers have the best experience possible on the HSR.
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 Yes. We have to ensure that our educational system is graduating students that align with the current and future needs for employers in the city of Hamilton. There are many examples of well qualified people graduating out of our educational institutions today that are not finding jobs aligned with their education.
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? No I certainly support the concept and principle of eliminating deaths and carnage on our roadways; this I am confident we can all agree on. My only real concern with "vision zero" is that it leads to a false expectation that will never be realized. We can never truly eliminate deaths on the roadways. This is simply a sad reality that no one is happy about but there will always be careless individuals using our roadways whether in cars, on motorcycles or bicycles; people make mistakes, exercise poor judgement and accidents happen as they always have and always will.

It is admirable that anyone should think we can completely eliminate deaths on our roads but we cannot. Herein lies my issue with the vision zero concept. As it is with any other issue, there must be realistic targets and benchmarking that Council can be held accountable for. Vision zero sets an impossible target that can never be realized despite its laudable objectives. This is not a practical framework for Council to be measured. The framework should develop a metrics that looks at collisions, fatalities etc in our community in a holistic way. Council can work with staff to set realistic objectives that can be achieved that will continue improving the safety of our road network. If those targets are not being met, then that is truly a way of holding Council accountable.
Do you support phasing out area rating for transit? Why or why not? Yes I have been very vocal on the issue of inequity of the outlying areas contribution to public transit. Public transit is a core service and it is a measurement of a robust, vibrant community; its level of funding is a measurement. If I was to make a comparison, education is a fundamental area of responsibility to all taxpayers. Even though seniors do not have children in the education system, they still pay education taxes. This is our acknowledgment on how important education is to society. I believe from a tax policy point of view, the same arguments could be made about public transit. This is not about whether you receive it or not, its about the commitment to public transit to meet the current and future needs of our community. Area rating on transit for urban areas must be eliminated.
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 tax-payers of the City of Hamilton already pay well over the provincial average for residential taxes. People's ability to pay higher taxes will always be a challenge in this community. With this as a backdrop, of course we need to do everything we can to solicit partnerships with private sector and other levels of government to build more affordable housing with fewer burdens to the residential tax base. The City of Hamilton has recently committed $50 million, which a large portion of that is going towards affordable housing over the next 10 years.

Affordable housing is not unique to Hamilton. It is a challenge to every major city in finding the right balance. We also must understand that Hamilton serves as a regional centre, providing healthcare for 2.5 million people in our catchment. It is time that the provincial government recognizes regional centres like the city of Hamilton that take on additional financial burdens in trying to provide healthcare services to people that are drawn to Hamilton for these services. Lastly, I support inclusionary zoning to accommodate a prescribed percentage of affordable housing units in every new development as part of their responsibility to the community. True partnerships with other levels of government to alleviate the pressures on the static residential tax base ensures that the burden isn't being disproportionately placed on residential tax payers while still addressing fundamental housing issues.

Hamilton taxpayers contribute billions of dollars to the other levels of government on an annual basis. For every tax dollar that goes to the federal government, only a small fraction of those dollars comes back to the community for services. The federal government needs to create a national housing strategy and ensure that the appropriate dollars to implement that strategy are being transferred back to municipalities. They need to make a financial commitment to assist municipalities on this significant challenge.
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? Maybe I have visited many cities that's have one way systems ie: New York & San Francisco, many of them have these systems to move public transit and emergency vehicles efficiently to meet the needs of the community. It is clear that from our own traffic staff, that the road network that was designed in the lower city was designed at a time that accommodated a significant amount of employment in the lower city. Certainly, it is time to review whether the circumstances in which these one ways were created are still warranted.
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 The city of Hamilton currently has a strategy to come into full compliance with the AODA standards by 2025. Some of these investments are major and we clearly need provincial financial assistance to accommodate. AMO (association of municipalities of Ontario) has taken a strong position that to accommodate the provincial legislation, the province should be providing dollars to assist municipalities to meet these targets.
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 think LRT is premature however I was able to leverage a vote to improve on the plan to end the line at the Queenston traffic circle and had it extended to Eastgate ( original plan) which provides a direct north south link to the mountain. This improves the viability of the line and mitigates the financial risk to the tax payers of this community.
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 Yes.

1.) To address the encroachment on vibrant agricultural land.

2.) I believe that the GRIDS clearly identified growth related density throughout the city. I am satisfied with the targets; they make sense. Certainly creating higher density along nodes and corridors takes advantage of the infrastructure that's already in place.

3.) I have demonstrated my support of this approach by supporting the two 10 storey buildings being built at Rymal and Garth Streets and the medium densities along West 5th.
Bonus question: If LRT goes ahead, what will you do to ensure Hamilton receives the maximum benefit? Yes If LRT goes ahead: Seeing as how the ridership numbers are not adequate to support the system, my focus would turn to investing in the public transit feeder systems to increase the ridership and the viability of LRT.
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 think that as a municipality we have a responsibility to be educate our residents on making responsible decisions that can mitigate climate change. Ultimately, the jurisdiction and power to impose environmental policy and targets falls under provincial and federal jurisdiction and it is up to municipalities to comply with those directions.

We should be promoting environmentally friendly alternatives for transportation, providing the infrastructure to accommodate more electric vehicles, investing in green energy/technologies and start-ups, attracting entrepreneurs and innovation that are environmentally friendly. Of course the city is always responsible for educating residents on reducing waste at home that goes to our landfills. It's a complex issue and we must work together as a community to become an environmentally friendly centre of excellence.