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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11 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.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

4 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Di Ianni, Larry
Graydon, Edward H.C.
Veri, Victor
Wozny, Mark