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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9 Candidate Responses (top)

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.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

10 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Ward 02
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