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.

Responses to the question: "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."

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39 Candidate Responses (top)

CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Baldasaro, Michael James Yes Poverty is the most critical issue facing the Greater Hamilton Area today. First and foremost, we must stop sending millions of Federal, Provincial and Municipal Tax Dollars out-of-country to every disaster as they happen, when in fact we are facing a national disaster in our own Country and throughout the G.H.A., our food banks are empty and due to the current downturn in our economy the numbers of homeless and the hungry grow.

The solution is simple, return to growing Hemp (English), Chanvre (French), Marijuana (Mexican), Canvas (Dutch). Jobs, Jobs, Jobs in the food, fuel, cloth, paper and medicine Industries ad infinitum. Throughout two World Wars our farmers were paid and encouraged by the Government to grow Hemp, Marijuana for the War effort. Our Soldiers uniforms, hats, belts, shoe laces, tents and parachute harnesses were made of hemp.

Upon food lands, farmers grew rows of Hemp, Marijuana, in between their crops as fire walls to keep them safe in dry hot weather. If fire broke out Marijuana's fire retardant oils would serve yet another useful process as a natural break wall to save the crops.

Our Greater Hamilton Area, and/or as even Bob Bratina admits "The Greater HEMP Area" would flourish and become once again "the industrious City" leading Canada in the way of self sustaining ourselves during the hard times that seem so immanent (see what is happening in England and France, Government Layoffs and closures of Courts, Humanitarian and other vital services).

We must answer hunger and homelessness with jobs, in Growing, Harvesting, Manufacturing, Spinning Mills, Bio-Fuels, food for our tables and seed to feed our livestock). We must have gardens and chickens in our back yards once again, just in case we have to feed ourselves and we must stop Urban Sprawl, NO BUILDING PERMITS ISSUED UPON FOOD LANDS.
Bratina, Bob Yes Poverty is a sympton of disfunctional governance and should not be isolated from decision making throughout the municipal framework. It also exists in distinct categories requiring different approaches. A senior living alone on fixed income, perhaps in City Housing will have different needs than a homeless high school student, so a number of remedies have to be devised, most of them requiring more investment than what is currently in place.
Butani, Mahesh P. Yes Yes. Poverty is the most critical issue facing Hamilton today. It has impacted many lives and the broader image of our city, and created a major collective self-esteem problem for many in our community. We have been facing this issue in the lower city more glaringly for decades - namely in the Stipley, Gibson and Landsdale neighbourhoods and parts of our downtown.

While attempts have been made to address this issue in recent years, the solutions being offered are not directly confronting the challenges, but instead they profess to explore and understand this issue at a large cost of time and expense to the taxpayers -- in the hope of finding solutions. This approach has lead to what is commonly called the thriving "poverty industry of Hamilton" - which has created more jobs and consultation opportunities for solution experts, than it has managed to alleviate poverty.

The root cause of poverty in our city has been the perennial lack of meaningful jobs or small business opportunities which leads to self employment. This force many families and individuals into the welfare system - which in turn leads to a perpetual cycle of dependency on the system which is essentially a safety net. Through poor social planning, our safety net stands now broken, and can no longer offer meaningful protection to the many who genuinely need it. The glaring substance abuse dependency in our communities is directly connected to this broader systemic economic and social planning failure.

My solution called the "Hamilton GreenPort" development initiative addresses this critical problem head on, by creating a new sustainable economic development axis which cuts through the heart of these neighbourhoods and reconnects our waterfront to the airport via the Wentworth/Sanford and the Upper James Streets. Through creative rezoning on this axis, in ten years, my proposal will trigger a billion dollars worth of new economic growth along this lower city axis, and around ten billion dollars of new economic growth on the upper James street axis.

Various projects such as the strategic "Hamilton Grand Central Terminal" on the existing Siemens/HSR terminal lands will provide this city with the most stellar Go/Via/HSR central terminal with park & ride, which will result in an enormous economic impact in and around the Barton street area, and provide the thousands of families (in these three neighbourhoods mentioned above) stable employment and opportunities to start and sustain small businesses. The economic focus of this zone will be the creation of clean green industries both home based services/retail and light industrial based on the northern edges of these communities.

The rezoned and redesigned Upper James axis will provide the canvas for our green field developers to segue into the largest urban infill development opportunity in Canada, and thereby continue to provide employment to their employees while creating more relevant urban development.

This ten year clean green economic development & job creation project will create the basis of removing poverty from our communities; and reconnect our city's economy to the world economy through this sustainable clean-green multi-modal transportation artery.

This project is designed to trigger large scale local, regional and foreign private sector development financing, and breaks the decades old co-dependency on higher level government financing for the revitalization of our economy -- thereby becoming the new economic development standard, and a true measure or our city's renewed entrepreneurial spirit.

This solution forms a part of a broader solutions that I am proposing, which will lead to reinventing our transportation system, and reconnecting our isolated urban and rural communities into a "one city, one economy" regional metropolitan identity.

For more information on this and connected proposals please see: http://www.butaniformayor.com/solutions.html ; as well as listen to my audio interview at the links on top left of this page.
Eisenberger, Fred Yes I have made the fight against poverty a key element of my campaign.

I believe the cycle of poverty can be broken if the entire community works together toward this goal. As Mayor, I have advocated building stronger, safer communities by supporting community revitalization projects. I fully endorse the plan to work with all community partners to raise and attract funding to establish a group of community developers who can concentrate on Hamilton’s high priority neighbourhoods. Ultimately, this initiative will help low-income families enjoy a better quality of life.

I continue to support the efforts of Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction (HRPR) and fully endorse each of its action priorities. As Mayor, I am committed to the implementation of a universal nutrition program for all children in school.

No child should ever have to go to or leave school feeling hungry. I believe that a universal nutrition program can be made a top priority with an urgent deliverable in our community. A partnership with the HRPR, the Hamilton Community Foundation, Boards of Education, the City and the business community – including the Jobs and Prosperity Collaborative – will ensure that all of the key stakeholders are working together to deal with the root causes of improper nutrition and provide the necessary resources to implement a community nutrition program.

During this campaign I also committed to seeking official certification of Hamilton as a Fair Trade community because I believe that everyone in our community deserves a living wage. I want Hamilton to be a global leader in ensuring that people in other communities around the world also deserve a living wage.
Filice, Pasquale Yes Education is the key for prosperity.
Haines, Andrew No No, poverty is the second most critical issue facing Hamilton.

The MOST critical issue facing Hamilton is the deliberate avoidance of public involvement in the process of guiding the actions of City Councillors. Once elected, politicians typically ignore those who have just installed them in Office.

I am advocating a system by which, the average Hamiltonian has a REAL say in how Hamilton runs.

Based upon the model of "facebook", "hammerbook" could easily allow the average Hamiltonian to participate in the decision-making process at City Hall and, for example, would substantially reduce the amount of money that our City Council spends on "consultants".

I guarantee: Hamiltonians care more about each-other than we give ourselves credit for. Just look at the number of social outreach programs which are active in this community; if we didn't care, we wouldn't have these programs.

I'm certain that given the opportunity to help, the average Hamiltonian will not only do so, they will do so with gusto!

How many people out there would be willing to take-in a homeless child and feed them, wash their clothing and let them have a shower and a warm bed or couch to sleep on and who'd also be happy to feed them breakfast in the morning before wishing them well, on their way out the door?

I'd be willing to bet that the number of willing people is in the tens of thousands!
Hamilton, Glenn Yes Yes I believe poverty is the issue. This is why Jobs Jobs Jobs has been my campaign focus. See my website at hamiltonforhamilton.com . This issue is why I would work towards creating a Hamilton Stock Market and create a movie studio and arts incubator so new businesses and existing one could get funding to expand job opportunities and work sector diversity to all Hamiltonians. I also believe greater help must be given to individuals who are trying to get in a position to get work or just maintain a decent living standard or education standard to be ready when positions are made available. Also, better health facilities and support centers must be supported by all levels of government to make us a center for work ready candidates so companies move here.
Leach, Ken Yes Poverty is an issue for the City of Hamilton, yet poverty is not an issue that we can address through simply increasing funds. Poverty by nature is cyclical. In order to break the cycle of poverty we need to create avenues of escape. The single most important factor that can relieve poverty issue is education. We have secondary and post-secondary institutions in this city that are willing to share their expertise and support our communities, yet we ignore them. The educational cycle of a child is 14 years. To impact a child during their educational cycle and create the possibility of growth is far more important than funneling monies towards their family. This is not to say that a roof over your head, food on the table and clothing on your body is not important, but to give hope for the future is the greatest gift that we can give to those in poverty. It is equally important to create training facilities for our unemployed workers, to create the ability of our citizens to gain meaningful employment at greater than a living wage is extremely important.
Marrone, Tone Yes I believe that our city's image is the most critical issue facing this city. Poverty has helped develop the image we have,so in a round about way,poverty is the most critical issue facing Hamilton today. People in poverty need to have a sense of purpose in life. We as a municipal government have to help facilitate programs that will enrich the lives of the less fortunate and develop a renewed sense of belonging and purpose.

My platform has been based on a rejuvenated city that will be pleasing to the senses. A city that looks beautiful will attract people and business. Making that ideal a priority is exactly why I'm running for Mayor. Hamilton needs a new image. My term as mayor will concentrate on bringing the arts and entertainment world to our community. I envision a major film festival,studios in our brownfields, a vibrant clean downtown, a major theme park somewhere on our waterfront and a state of the art Pan American stadium at confederation park. I would like to have a consensus on bringing a casino to Hamilton ,if the people want it, why not. Tourism is big business that our community is missing out on. It's time for a change.
Speziale, Gino Yes My first critical priority as Mayor will be to ensure that the standard of living for "ALL" seniors across Hamilton and Region are elevated over and beyond the national standard.

Adequate living space and all furnishings, abundance of food and drink and any activities our seniors wish to engage in will be accommodated.
As Mayor I WILL use all my convictions and courage to confront the Federal and Provincial Governments and ensure that the taxes portion of our seniors electric and natural gas bills WILL be removed.

This includes elimination of all expenses incurred for the purpose of travelling within the Region. This includes parking expenses, bus expenses, Darts expenses, taxi expenses (up to 8.00 dollars a day for taxi).

All medical related expenses including prescription drug cost liabilities will be eliminated.

All home repair and maintenance expenses will be eliminated including house cleaning to exterior ground maintenance and all materials needed to achieve these goals.

Social support will be available at any time for any requests by our seniors. From social calls to the seniors home just to talk to chauffeur service for such things as shopping, appointments and general outings all awhile giving companionship and support.

The major negative impact to our seniors living in this lonely, frustrating and claustrophobic condition we call poverty is the psychological mental stress of having the overwhelming feeling of abandonment and being alone with no hope.

In addressing our seniors first will have a positive impact on the "100,000" plus people living in poverty in our Region.

As Mayor I will oversee that all our citizens living within these substandard conditions brought upon by poverty will be given the tools in financial and moral support necessary to be lifted out of this immense hole that has taken your City Government 20 years to dig by shear absents and and without intervention. I will give each and every able body and willing citizen the opportunity to change their lives and get back the dignity and rightful respect that we all deserve. We are all here to help each other and I will make sure that no one is left behind.

The following statistics illustrates the immense failures and absents of convictions and due diligence by this current City council and their predecessors going back at least 20 years and if the same mind sets are elected on October 25 2010 the following numbers and percentages will definitely increase.

Hamilton Poverty Matrix Estimated Number of Seniors Living in Poverty

Total population living on or below the poverty line: 100,000+
Seniors (65+) Living on or below the poverty line: 17, 000+ (17% +)

Our seniors are the pillars and salt of our society. Our generation is the product of our seniors hard work and endless efforts. The phrase "Blood, Sweat and Tears" was coined by our seniors because they lived it. Without these gracious people we would not have the standard of living in which we do and enjoy.
Waxman, Steven Yes Poverty is largely becoming the most evident critical issue. We must work with al levels of government to solve this problem created by downloading and a soft economy. Education can offer encouragement for youth to hopefully break cycles.
Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
McHattie, Brian Yes Clearly poverty is the most important issue for Hamilton, an opinion shared by at least 80% of Hamiltonians as per the recent Spec poll. As the Council representative on the Roundtable for Poverty Reduction these past five years, President of CityHousing Hamilton, and a member of the Emergency and Community Services standing committee for the past seven years, I would like to suggest the following three priorities, amongst many:

1. Living Wage/Income Increases

In order for Hamiltonians to fully participate in our community they require a Living Wage of some $16/hour (actual amount depending upon the person and their situation) versus the current minimum wage which is keeping some 25% of our citizens as "working poor", getting by on visits to food banks and going without many of life's necessities. The Province must fix social assistance rates to match the actual costs of living so folks don't have to choose between housing and food etc. The Federal government must begin playing a role in poverty issues as they have been noticeably absent. The Senate report on poverty lies out the federal role and speaks to the need for a guaranteed annual income

2. Nutritional Food

Via school nutrition programs as per the Roundtable Action Plan but also food security efforts to ensure families have enough food. The Province can do this via OW/ODSP rate increases but also with additional food supplement programs. This budget year Council will be asked to support funds for our food banks replacing the annual emergency requests with base budgeted funding. We need to provide more community garden opportunities as we've done in Ward 1 and through establishment of 6 new gardens in CityHousing Hamilton buildings in 2010.

3. Affordable Housing

* require more funding from higher levels of government to build new housing, offer rent supplements and housing allowances, and fix decaying existing housing along with money for supportive programming for residents who need it; this needs to be across the spectrum from rent geared to income to affordable housing to home ownership options
* locally we need to find cost-effective solutions to new housing including our City dollars for rent supplements (I moved Council motions for $2.4M in supplements last term of Council) and partnerships to ensure local housing dollars go further
* we have a very clear and successful homelessness strategy which requires provincial funding which we need to advocate for
Ward 02
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Caplan, Marvin Yes As I did during previous terms that I served on Council, and in the last 7 years, the disadvantaged (people in poverty) will continue to be my most important priority. Some actions will be found on my web site; to see some specifics, see the press release under the Media pages. There are two sides to poverty, economic and social. Economic factors are largely the responsibility of senior governments. Social factors are directly municipal responsibility. Every department must make poverty reduction a priority. Particularly recreation, social services and public health.
Castle, John Yes Poverty is a huge issue, unfortunately, business and investment capital is largely moving into the so called emerging markets and taking employment and wealth creation with it. The only solution [that is probably to devalue the dollar] reduce government taxes and expenditures hopefully making Hamilton/Canada more attractive to investment, wealth and job creation! This I admit is probably impossible to do.
Coleman, Shane Yes I do believe that poverty is one of the most critical issues facing Hamilton today. It is everywhere in Ward 2. The median income is less than $20000. That means more than half the population makes less than that!We have so many people on the system. I believe the system is broken.

We have seniors who worked there whole life, paid taxes and now there husbands have passed away and they receive just over $500per month. It is not enough for them to get by. We have 5000 people on a waiting list for housing.

Canada signed in the United Nations that housing is a human right, no a privilege. Then why do we still have so many homeless? It is not a matter of do we have the means to provide housing but do we have the will.Furthermore when we provide housing we give our citizens homes which are infested with bedbugs.

Our system of housing needs a complete overhaul. We can no longer scatter homeless shelters all over the city. It creates the perception the downtown is unsafe. We need to create centres, but these centers must try to get to the root of the problems.

If a 15 year old girl is kicked out of her home from her mother, she should not be housed in the same location as sex offenders, drug addicts, mentally ill and the physically ill.

I have been actively working with a research team at tackling the issue of poverty.
Farr, Jason Yes Poverty is #1 in the hearts and minds of Hamilton. I have spent five week marching through 41% of poverty - I have lived it - survived, even thrived from it. My single mom was on social assistance - she (like almost everone else on welfare) did not want to be in that spot - but, in the best interest of her boys - was. My Brother and I had a great childhood - why? Well, ours was a working class nieghbourhood - and guess what - nobody (well. few) cared that we hadn't any money. So what did I learn from this - what do I take with me to a council spot in one of the nations poorest areas.. experience in knowing that we can no longer concentrate poverty. This great city should share and care for our poor - from every community. If it's all around you - it's all you know. If we (and my brother and me did) assimilate, we realise our potential.

And sadly, the poor (in tooo great a number) downtown, have wiithout any fault of their own, played a part in the prevaling negative image of our beautiful core by those outside it. Those who sy they will never go down there anymore. It sucks - but it's true. The haves wil better understand, and I am confident imbrace this problem - if they share, in their community, in helping to solve it.
Gentile, Matteo Yes Poverty IS the most crucial issue facing the next council. Look the real way to address poverty is by bringing jobs and freezing/lowering taxes. However, we also need to change attitudes about poverty and educating on the real costs, health and social that poverty impacts. We need to build integrated neighbourhoods across the city reducing concentrated areas and change the current school nutrition program that feed our children from optional to mandatory. We know that hungry children do not learn as well as well nourished children, meaning poorer grades, less involvement in school activities, higher dropout rates leading to increased poverty.
Ielasi, Pat Yes Poverty is very a very critical issue facing Hamilton today. We must review how social services are delivered. Currently there are 232 Agencies that deliver Social Services each having there own Administer. It has become an industry in itself.

We must begging to Educate and provide employable skills, while aggressively seeking to get businesses to relocate or set up shop here in Hamilton.

We need Sustainable Jobs, that will provide employment and allow people to provide for there families.

We have to examine our options, about the migration or people that come to our city because the social assistance dollar goes farther here than in communities they come here from.

What are our options?

Can we get compensated from those municipalities for those cases?

Just two of the questions that need to be addressed.
Janjic, Ned Yes Yes, absolutely. I observe reluctance on the part of people in authority to realistically deal with the social issues (such as mental health and poverty) of the downtown core. We need to accept the reality of poverty in the core and start addressing it head on. Poverty, when concentrated-as it is in Hamilton's core-is corrosive, it only spreads and grows. Poverty impacts us all, it affects our collective quality of life, it undermines our sense of security and-on the bottom line-it diminishes our property values.

Hamilton absorbs an unfair burden of social service costs.When social service costs were downloaded from the province, it was never intended to benefit some communities more and saddle others with huge debts. I believe social service costs must be shared by the wider community.

The Greater Hamilton Area and the Province must enter into their own social service arrangement, recognizing Hamilton's unique situation. Social services-especially those dealing with children-must be more fully integrated.
Jelly, Matt Yes Poverty is a critical issue and entirely avoidable social condition that is most certainly holding 40% of ward 2 residents hostage. I have several solutions to compliment the efforts of the Anti Poverty Roundtable, Hamilton Urban Core, Housing Coalition and other anti poverty stakeholders throughout the city. We must break down the solutions into a three-pronged approach that addresses income security, housing security and food security explicitly.

We need to lobby the provincial government to hasten the process of uploading the complete financing of Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) to the province. We must ensure that the monies that the municipality currently contributes to these programs are not clawed back following that upload, and are then available to be reinvested into affordable housing and social service upgrades.

We need to negotiate a low or no cost transit pass for ALL seniors on OAS/GIS, ALL OW recipients and ALL ODSP recipients.

I will commit to advocating for the creation of living wage jobs for our employable. I commit to advocating for social benefit and social service upgrades, and insist that these benefits and services be delivered in a manner that maintains the dignity of our most vulnerable citizens.

I commit to developing strategies to replenish the affordable and subsidized housing stocks, and work to establish youth housing units for <25. I will establish a committee that tracks the affordable housing lost in redevelopment projects with a view to ensure zero housing units lost within the year. We will challenge the economic development committee to demand developer’s account for the zero housing unit loss within each project, with a view to develop strategies that assist developer’s to replenish any housing stocks they remove within a given project.

I will lobby the future fund to support loans for affordable housing projects, and work to establish a low interest or no interest affordable housing loans program. We will assist developers to secure grants and loans for these projects.

I will continue to work with tenants, landowners, public health, municipal by-law, the Ministry of the Environment and others to improve the safety and conditions in the homes and neighbourhoods of our most vulnerable residents.

I support the universal food programs that are already being implemented in our schools. I also endorse a municipal top up to the food portion of social welfare benefits so that these citizens, our citizens identified in the recent Code Red series, have access to a healthy food basket.

I believe that these costs are NOT the municipality’s to bear alone. I will be investigating how we will work together with the provincial and federal governments, as well as local social services and NGO’s to investigate, fund, and monitor the implementation of all of these proposals.
Wright, Kevin Yes Absolutely, I believe that poverty is the most critical issue facing Hamilton. It affects so many people and so many areas of our society. It blows my mind that so many people don't understand that for each person we help out of poverty the rewards are ten-fold.

The people living in poverty or on social assistance who I've spoken to all tell me the same thing, THE SYSTEM IS BROKE. Once they get on it they become prisoners, it creates dependency and punishes them if they try to get off the system.

To solve this I will have people living in poverty advising and directing me on how the system must be fixed to help them. I will also bring people on social assistance, all three levels of government, and other stakeholders together to try and figure out ways to make the system more useful.

Another thing I'd like to do as councillor is to work with the supermarkets and City Hall to develop some kind of food voucher program strictly for people living in poverty. The fact is that the food banks don't always provide either enough food or good quality food. Finally, as councillor I'll work for a trades training/ educational program that allows people on social assistance to get employable skills without having their benefits affected while taking the training program.
Ward 03
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Black, Bob Yes I have not only first-hand knowledge but also in working with the City Kidz, St Mathews House and a number of organizations while helping as Santa Claus each year, I have experienced poverty in the most innocent of all, our children. I intend to pursue the breakfast program and hopefully implement a lunch program as well, in the schools not only for Ward 3 but throughout Hamilton. I will still be a very strong advocate for St Mathews House and the Local Food Banks. This is just a start but it will give all of council an opportunity to expand on the initiative and create more and more programs.
Gibson, Sean Yes Poverty has been a part of my platform since 2006; it's extremely encouraging to see in The Spec (Oct 18 & 19 issue) poverty is finally on voter's radar. As someone who understands poverty, I know how much it's affecting our ward and our city. Why try to reinvent the wheel? We can take advantage and collaborate with local homeless shelters, community health centres and recreational centres along with other applicable organizations that already have a grasp and understanding of how to eradicate poverty. Working inclusively with these groups will help address the critical issues of poverty facing our city today.
McGrimmond, Wilamina Yes Working in the school system made me see all the poverty, as I have worked in inner city schools. I cannot say if I have a solution until I meet with all the people and then we can work as a community to come up with solutions together.

I am sure my friends who live and fight poverty will be helping me along the way in finding solutions.
Tetley, Paul Yes While I believe poverty is an issue, I do not believe it to be the most critical. Addressing poverty is simply addressing the symptom and not the root cause. We've seen in the past that pouring money into treating the symptom has failed in preventing and alleviating poverty. All that has been accomplished is the creation of a "Poverty Industry" in Hamilton.

The most critical issue facing Hamilton today is the root causes of poverty. We need to focus greater resources on the root causes, which include a lack of jobs, lower education rates, and the general lack of opportunity.

We need to develop programs that create opportunities, employment and work with our youth to achieve higher levels of education so they can excel in today's economy. My platform includes a Community Improvement Plan, which is designed by the Province to allow municipalities to develop programs that address many of the root causes of poverty found in Ward 3, and the City of Hamilton.
Ward 06
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Behrens, Chris Yes I do believe that poverty is the most critical issue here in Hamilton. The Spec's Code Red series was very eye opening and sad article to red at the same time. Since my nomination, I have had several seniors call me concerned about the cost of housing, the lack of city housing, and their sub-standard quality of life. As a teacher, I see first hand, hungry students who have a hard time learning due to their hunger. We need a city wide program in schools to combat student hunger. We need more jobs to help families afford to eat and live properly. We need to work on our housing demands; we clearly are not doing something right when we have 5000 people on the waiting list for housing. We also need to make transit more affordable. When I was a child growing up with a single parent who worked very hard for minimum wage, I felt the same things that many Hamiltonians in poverty feel. I know what it is like, because I lived it too. It is important to me to never forget where I came from, so that I can lend a helping hand to others. As a city councillor, I will try my best to help solve Hamilton's poverty issues.
Knowles, Steven Yes Poverty is a major issue for this city and others but I don't believe it is the key issue. Poverty is a result of many other issues such as city mismanagement and job loss. If we can tackle many of the other issues plaguing this city then our poverty problem will also be addressed.
Yan, Nathalie Xian Yi 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.
Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Gallagher, John Yes Poverty is clearly an important issues for electors. Much has been said and not enough done to eradicate Poverty. While we may never totally eliminate poverty, we can make raise the quality of life of people living on fixed incomes and the working poor a number of ways. First should be to reduce the tax burden on Hamilton families. Hamilton is the highest taxed city. I have a plan through zero based budgeting to find and eliminate waste, mismanagement and overspending on things that don't matter. Follow, some of those savings must be re-directed to provide supplementary support for those of our neighbours who need our help.
Ward 08
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Jenkinson, Kim Yes Yes, poverty is a major issue in Hamilton. The reasons behind poverty are varied: poor health or disability, low wage jobs, language barriers, fixed incomes, unemployment, single parent families, etc. The Poverty Roundtable has identified three priority areas to target poverty reduction: 1) supporting children, youth and families 2) education and skills development and 3) affordable housing.

All people in Hamilton should have the right to a safe place to live, food on their table and the ability to earn a decent living. Council's responsibility is to be a strong advocate in supporting the programs and initiatives that will ensure these things are available to everyone. The City's social programs must continue to invest in the supports needed for families. One of the most critical ways the city can help Hamilton families is to attract businesses with decent paying jobs.
Ward 09
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Fiorentino, Nancy Yes Poverty is one of the many (and I stress many) critical issues facing Hamilton today. The lack of employment certainly does not assist in alleviating poverty in Hamilton. Although money is a key factor in reducing poverty, it is not the only factor. Housing issues and language barriers for instance are two of the many variables that are indirectly affecting poverty in Hamilton. No amount of money pumped into the system will assist if the core issues are not addressed. Its time to address those issues and make Hamilton a better place to live, work, and play for all those who want to call it home.
McMullen, Geraldine Yes Yes. In order for our community to continue its legacy of proud history and achievement we need to address poverty more actively. One way we can do this is to work with our community partners to ensure that our residents are receiving a living wage so that each and every one of us can meet out basic needs, including shelter, clothing and nutrition. This leads to another area in dire need of addressing, affordable housing. Advocating for more funding is required in order to improve the provision of affordable housing. This can only be achieved if we are persistent in lobbying the provincial government to make the changes necessary to address poverty. Poverty is not just a local issue, all levels of government need to be engaged to eliminate poverty. We must collaborate together to achieve this.
Ward 10
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bustamante, Jose Pablo Yes Yes, I believe that poverty is the most critical issue facing Hamilton today. To address poverty in Hamilton we need to improve the health of all Hamiltonians, with better quality of air and water and access to healthy food. Also, we need to improve the economy of Hamilton by attracting business which will pay taxes and create well paid jobs.
Josipovic, Bernard Yes Yes I believe that poverty is one of the most critical issues facing Hamilton today. When Council awarded each other with $241,000 dollars in March for this years election tool was unfair in many ways. Unfair to us the Candidates challenging them because this is unfair in many ways. All this money could of gone to fight poverty, instead of it being used as a tool to be re-elected. The money could of gone to much more important problems like poverty.
Ward 11
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Mitchell, David Yes Definitely, the only way we can deal with poverty is to get Hamilton open for business, we need jobs in this community, we must retain and attract business to this great City, so that it can become prosperous and then we can be able to help those in need.
Ward 12
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Cox-Graham, Brenda Yes Immediate attention to poverty issues is required. Short term answers first...food banks and short term safe housing. Then bring together Hamilton's groups with interests in this issue and pool our ideas on longer term needs and approaches to solving problems together.
Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Scime, Danya Yes Lack of jobs is what is driving our poverty level. Lack of decent paying jobs is also seriously challenging our working poor. We need to encourage small businesses to grow and we need to entice large industrial/commercial to move to Hamilton. In the interim, I firmly believe we have to stop spending money on projects that will not have any long term benefits. I could scream every time I look at the new pedestrian bridge that was built from the East end over to Confederation Park. Apparently the funding was 'offered' by the Province...Why would Council not request we use the money to help fund small businesses, infrastructure, or help fill our food banks. Cut backs are needed and we need to work together to help anyone less fortunate. Dundas Citizens have always had huge hearts for food drives and we need to stay involved. I would also like to find a solution through an umbrella insurance clause which would allow donations of food be sent by restaurants etc at the end of the evening to go to the food banks. We need to stop poverty by starting businesses.
Tammer, Ron Yes Yes, as I stated on the Cable 14 Debate, first and foremost in my platform is poverty reduction. I find it very sad that we are living in the midst of some of the most fertile farmland anywhere in the world, yet we have people that are living on low-nutrition processed foods because they cannot afford to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. I find it even sadder that there is a variance in life expectancy of 19 years between Wards in Hamilton.

In my work with the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign, I tried to raise my coworker's awareness of poverty in our own backyard. I invited people to come along on the bus tours that the United Way would conduct of the agencies that they support, because it is much harder to ignore the problem when you see the actual people that are affected.

I would use similar methods with my fellow Councillors, because the City has to do more to help its own citizens. I know that budget constraints always hang over our heads, but there are always different ways of generating revenue if we look hard enough. The idea that I have been suggesting is a $0.10 surcharge on every car going through a drive-thru; besides the revenue that can be raised, it may also encourage people to park and go into the outlet, and avoid the idling of their engines with the resulting pollution. A portion of this revenue can be earmarked directly towards helping some of the programs that are presently depending solely on United Way donations.

I would also initiate a program at area high schools, for students to earn their volunteer hours by planting and maintaining gardens, with the harvest either going directly to food banks and missions, or being preserved for year-round donations (family studies classes can add food preservation to their fall programs.)
Ward 15
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Gaspar, Brian Yes Yes I believe poverty is one of the critical concerns that require our attention.

If we examine the root causes that lead to the increase in the poverty across the region we will find that one of the largest contributing factor was the loss jobs.

Secondly many of the individuals loosing their jobs were unable to acquire jobs that were equivalent to their previous jobs working at rates slightly above minimum wage. and creating additional hardships.

As jobs were lost the void could not be replaced fast enough.

We need the good paying jobs back.

For the short term we need churches schools our grocers to establish food drives for those who are less fortunate.

The lomg term fixes many of the platforms will gear around new jobs around the airports, stadium,light rail and hopefully the Pan Am games .

Bringing new business and corporations back can and will be able to give back to communities to help in the reduction of city poverty.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

44 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Di Ianni, Larry
Graydon, Edward H.C.
Veri, Victor
Wozny, Mark
Ward 01
Greco, Tony
Paquette, Raymond
Ward 02
Casey, Paul
Chiarelli, Diane
Deans, Ian
Ferguson, Lloyd
Geleynse, Martinus
Hess, Erik
Jones, Hoojung
Lescaudron, Dawn
Novak, James
Pipe, Charlie
Ward 03
DiMillo, Mark
Morelli, Bernie
Ward 04
Bulbrook, Norm
Cicconi, Giulio
Merulla, Sam
Ward 05
Bedi, Jaswinder
Collins, Chad
Rukavina, Frank
Stacey, Dave
Ward 06
Febers, Michelle
Jackson, Tom
Pecyna, Ed
Ward 07
Beck, Keith
Duvall, Scott
Pettit, Trevor
Ward 08
Whitehead, Terry
Ward 09
Clark, Brad
Mowatt, Andrew
Ward 10
Pearson, Maria
Ward 11
Chartrand, Ken
Johnson, Brenda
Ward 12
Ferguson, Lloyd
Ward 13
Powers, Russ
Robinson, Glenn
Zuliniak, Marty
Ward 14
Pasuta, Robert
Ward 15
Bos, Neil
Partridge, Judi