Council is poised to vote on the Airport Employment Growth District, a 3,000 acre plan to expand the urban boundary around Hamilton International Airport for employment lands. Do you support this plan? Why or why not?

Responses to the question: "Council is poised to vote on the Airport Employment Growth District, a 3,000 acre plan to expand the urban boundary around Hamilton International Airport for employment lands. Do you support this plan? Why or why not?"

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62 Candidate Responses (top)

CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Baldasaro, Michael James No I do not support the Airport Employment Growth District. We cannot afford the infrastructure, sewer and road construction that goes along with it and we must stop eating up our food lands and grow Marijuana/Hemp/Chanvre for food, fuel, cloth and medicine, jobs, jobs, jobs.
Bratina, Bob No There has not been sufficient justification for this plan, nor have the risks been clearly identified. My record is clear on how our industrial growth strategy should be prioritized in terms of land use.
Butani, Mahesh P. No No. I do not support the AEGD plan, as I believe that it does not address long-term needs of the airport itself, as well as the goals for achieving sustainable regional growth.

I have developed an alternate plan that would directly address the current financial conditions of the airport, the surrounding lands, including the urgent job creation needs in our city.

My Proposal:

The AEGD as presently conceived is contrary to all best practices in planning and is simply unsustainable. If our city is to achieve economic and ecological sustainability, it is imperative that the HamiltonGreen
Port http://www.butaniformayor.com/solutions.html be used as a base reference to undertake a community re-visioning of the AEGD.

In keeping with the spirit of HamiltonGreenPort, our airport and surrounding lands is an highly critical node of the north-south green axis, hence innovative building types and alternative forms of development need to be studied in greater detail to avoid further stressing our resources with unsustainable models of economic development.

Below are two innovative project/building types which are far more relevant for visioning the AEGD lands:

- Educational: Innovative Farming & Ecology Institute with ancillary facilities - which use the surrounding lands for developing large export niche-markets for strategically grown local produce, plants, flowers and herbs http://www.ayurdara.com/herbs.htm. This should be developed in strategic collaboration with the HIA corporation as a hedge against drop in air passenger traffic. HIA can use this approach to confidently reinvent itself as the world's first true sustainable airport with captive green cargo traffic http://zunia.org/uploads/media/knowledge/Sweta-Women-Cooperatives6.doc, and develop many more such path-breaking innovations http://books.google.com/books?id=NPI8_-omzvsC&lpg=PP1&dq=Mycelium%20Running&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false to redefine airport sustainability in light of diminishing fossil fuel supply.

- Eco-Recreational: A very large scale all season eco-recreational facility http://mappery.com/maps/2000-2004-Eden-Project-Map.mediumthumb.jpg based on the Eden Project http://www.edenproject.com/ in Cornwall, UK. This building type http://www.google.ca/images?q=the%20Eden%20Project%20in%20Cornwall%2C%20UK.&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi can establish the rational for year around regional & international tourist traffic, resulting in sustainable air passenger traffic for the HIA, and a dependable market for hotels, bed & breakfasts and ancillary commercial/service use, on the south-east part of the airport along the Upper James axis.

With large scale local employment creation being proposed on the already serviced lands of the HamiltonGreenPort north-south axis, the AEGD lands around the airport can be used far more creatively by the construction industry to position the City of Hamilton as a serious contender for the title of a true sustainable city with a thriving clean-green economy.
Di Ianni, Larry Yes The Airport Employment Growth District formerly known as Aerotropolis, has been the subject of much debate for many years now. I support the need to develop an employment node around the airport, however as I've said in the past, the cost of servicing these lands can not come from our property tax base, but should be funded from the private sector in the form of development charges. Unlike Mayor Eisenberger and Councillor Bratina who voted to increase development charges only to then promptly give exemptions until January 2011, I would stay firm on the needed money to develop this employment node.

In terms of the size of this growth district, several things have changed over the past few years that require a smaller footprint at the airport today than it might have been a few years ago. The former Stelco has diminished in size that will make some land available today that wasn't before. New technologies used in brownfield remediation are reducing clean-up costs and making brownfield sites more amenable to new construction. The City must take a close look at the 91 identified brownfield sites and the possibility of newly available industrial lands when making the final decision on the size of the airport land development for the next 5-7 years.

As we've seen with the Red Hill Valley Parkway, investments the city makes to develop the airport employment growth district will be recouped over time as a result of assessment growth. In the few short years since the RHVP opened, the city has already seen nearly $3 million dollars per year in assessment growth - this number will increase exponentially as more businesses, such as Canada Bread owned by Maple Leaf Foods, develops in the Glanbrook Industrial Park.
Eisenberger, Fred Maybe I support the Airport Employment Growth District but I favour a phased approach to development. That means we need to focus on brownfields and then turn to greenfields as needed, consistent with the provincial government's "Places to Grow" strategy. I supported public consultations on the Airport Employment Growth District going forward sooner rather than later.

Ultimately I support giving a green light to the development of 50 per cent of the Airport Employment Growth District. When that 50 per cent is fully developed the city should undertake a municipal comprehensive review to assess the municipality's need for additional employment lands including a review and analysis of the absorption rate and the availability of existing brownfield and greenfield sites in the city's employment areas.

We have to balance the need for development and the resulting jobs with the need to protect agricultural land. It a balancing act but I believe it is possible to strike the correct balance.
Filice, Pasquale Yes Yes, we need major projects.
Graydon, Edward H.C. No I am totally 100 per cent opposed to this development and believe that the toxic sites along Burlington Street are the answer to the cities problems. To me it is hypocritical to believe in saying that you are against green space development all while proposing to develop it.

I believe it is far better to help those that are suffering the side effects of toxic sites in the urban core of are city, than to start new development and leave the old toxic sites behind with no action being taken. I believe that the site of the now US steel plant is prime land for future development all while creating 30,000 jobs in the dismantling of the plant.

Although the Spectator calls the closing in part of US steel a disaster, I would disagree. The fact that the steel industry in Hamilton is close to dead or dying is for many the best thing to ever happen to Hamilton. I truly believe the steel industry should sell out "NOW" to investors that would like to see other industry on the lands where the steel industry now

The lands that are currently occupied by the steel industry will always be zoned industrial, but in order to benefit from those lands, billions need to be invested in their clean up. If jobs are needed in Hamilton, then start by the immediate hiring of those that want work in the dismantling of the plants. The 30,000 jobs would be almost immediate if I was elected mayor, or whoever is elected "the outcome should remain the same".

Hamilton's future is brighter without the steel industry in it. We can not bring new industry untill the old industry is gone.

The employment of 900 workers is not worth the side effects that are felt by all Hamiltonians.

I look forward to all concerns regarding my vision, and can promise the funds for the future!

Pros to the dismantling!

* Shareholders of the stock may realise some value for the shares, as they may become delisted in the near future, or close to it.
* Cleaner air.
* High employment for at least 7 years
* Union wages during the dismantling
* Cleaning up of industrial lands for future use
* Dramatic reductions in cancer {Brain and other}
* Dramatic reductions in asthma for all ages
* Cleaner and brighter skies
* 30,000 jobs
* Pensioners keep the pensions with cost of living increase
* No lay off of any workers that want to participate in the future goals
* Over 5.5 billion dollars invested in clean up of the Hamilton shore lines

Cons to the dismantling

* None
Haines, Andrew Yes Yes, I agree with the concept of the Airport Employment Growth District. We have an International Airport and I believe that it and the lands around it are crucial for the economic development and prosperity of Hamilton.
Hamilton, Glenn Yes Jobs are crucial to this community and some employers want that type of space to locate here. Further, use of all other brown fields and available space must be remediated at once by the city and laws created so property owners are responsible for cleanup, not the city.
Leach, Ken No The proposed expansion of the urban boundary around the HIA is a very difficult question to answer simply. Future growth of the city of Hamilton, and the expansion of the services provided by the HIA necessitate the expansion of the urban boundary. To expand the urban boundary to ensure future growth is a positive and forward thinking approach. However to develop the lands at this point is not only irresponsible it is scandalous. If we simply annex the lands to provide for future growth, I agree. If we choose to annex and immediately fund development of the business park, I strongly disagree.
Marrone, Tone No Council is poised to vote on the Airport Employment Growth District, a 3,000 acre plan to expand the urban boundary around Hamilton International Airport for employment lands. Do you support this plan? Why or why not?

Definitely not. It shows you the out-of-touch ineptitude of the current council.

1. First of all, the existing airport industrial park is already 85% empty.

2. The industrial model they are using to justify the expansion has a dubious validity.

3. We can't afford an increase in taxes to pay for the $350 million project.

4. The type of jobs the Growth District would support would be mostly low-paying jobs. So for $350 million, we need much greater potential.

5. Before we seize any more precious farmland, we better have a darn good reason.

This proposal does not meet that expectation.
Veri, Victor Maybe In principle, I support Airport Employment Growth District, however, we must not foolishly invest money on infrastucture unless we will truly get adequate returns on the investments. Furthermore, we should strive to get existing vacant industrial/commercial lands developed first, then move on to the Airport district development, which may be many years away in reality.
Waxman, Steven No No, as this land must be protected. Any growth strategy must first be analysed with respect to impact on current land use.
Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
McHattie, Brian No First, I am disappointed that Council has decided to vote on this important issue, an urban boundary expansion of approximately 3,000 acres, amidst an election, with other important issues taking Council's time, in the dying days of its mandate, hand-cuffing the incoming Council.

This has evolved into an ideological issue not unlike the Red Hill Creek Expressway, where one is seen as anti-business if concern is expressed. It is unfortunate that our dialogue has not advanced beyond efforts to see such an issue as black and white.

My view is that this plan is just one of many economic development futures we should be choosing amongst. I favour a brownfield redevelopment - West Hamilton Innovation District - Downtown Hamilton economic development focus over the aerotropolis, urban sprawl model.

The discussion should be around how many well-paying jobs and assessment is achieved, what are the costs of each plan, and how are each City-building in nature. I have also asked for costing on the loss of agricultural land in the airport lands scenario.

Having said this, I strive to better understand each of our economic development opportunities, a difficult task given the 2200+ page report with none of the comparative information I speak to above about different Economic Development options. I will be asking questions about the costs about achieving Phase 1 of the airport lands, and if the infrastructure is in place this may be a good investment.

Anything beyond Phase 1 is speculative at best and plain urban sprawl at its worst.
Ward 02
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Caplan, Marvin Maybe Despite the importance of this decision, and particularly the symbolic importance of a "No vote" for environmentalists, many unions, and voters with whom I generally look to for support, I cannot at this time give a yes or no answer. Were a referendum to be held, I have no doubt whatsoever that the majority of voters in wards One, Two, Thirteen and perhaps the Flamborough ridings, would vote not to expand the Urban boundary. I am also of the opinion that those voters who are right of centre, and most of the balance of the city would support the expansion.

Before I voted I would need to better understand our supply of Industrial land, the quality of the "greenspace" being utilized, and any other information to which I have not carefully studied. Many contributors to* Raise the Hammer*, and my understanding of your editorial position is that you are opposed to any expansion of the Urban Boundary.

Rather than pander to the position held by you, and I assume the majority of your readers, my position as previously stated is: I am opposed to expanding the urban boundary for residential use. I am opposed to the profligate practice of past councils using job land for residential uses. I will support expansion of the urban boundary for job lands if necessary, but only if my careful analysis indicates it is critical to do so.
Casey, Paul Yes I support the AEGD with strict conditions:

I know this will likely cost me some voter support, and I do strongly believe that attracting viable and sustainable business to our wealth of Brownfields is a priority in revitalizing Hamiltons economic engine. However we need options. We all want to see our already serviced and established industrial lands churning out goods again, but we don't own alot of that land right now, and a high tech industry, or research facility may not wish to be located in the midst of medium to heavy industrial areas. When you look at the Technology hubs and Light Industry campuses around the world we admire and strive to attract, it is generally their choice to locate in more pristine areas. We need the space and infrastructure for both.

My conditions:

-A much smaller corridor than that currently planned for. 1000 acres or so.

-Strictly business: Light industrial, high tech, research and innovation. No retail unless it is there only to support these new businesses (ie: no big box outlets, shopping centers that would take business away from existing "consumer" areas

-NO rezoning for residential.

-Any and all environmentally sensitive areas strictly Hands Off with a wide buffer zone.

-Brownfield First mind set: We always pitch out existing lands first, no matter who the prospective investor may be with an strong 2nd option of the AEGD

Any city owned agricultural lands not in my downsized AEGD plan would be either leased back out at favourable rates for continued agricultural use, or even better, used as community garden areas for the residents of Hamilton to grow their own non commercial produce. Small plots that can be rented out by the season for a small rate.
Castle, John Maybe I don't know the details, I'll reserve. Knowing what I know about YHM - it's probably a complete and utter waste of resources, just like the airport itself.
Chiarelli, Diane Maybe The Airport Employment Growth District has been around for some time now. While I do believe that we must support growth to provide vital jobs for residents in this city, I feel I do not have enough information to fully state that I support it 100%. Who owns the 3,000 acres at this point? We must remain sensitive to the needs of the community. We should encourage agri-business to invest in this area, a corporation that focuses on green initiatives, and seek out a new industries that can bring a different perspective to the table to utilizing the employment lands.
Deans, Ian Maybe I get the impression that this like many things is driven by those who will benefit financially whether it's right or not. As soon as this is approved it will require considerable sums of money just to get the first phase underway, and we don't know what that will cost, let alone the project as a whole.
Farr, Jason Yes Hate driving by Wayne GretzKy Parkway and seeing all that we could have had - WE NEED JOBS - we MUST attract investment (LARGE) and that the best spot - lets celebrate what will still be a billion dollar ag. industry too. And lets welcome new jobs and industry with the most prudent and appropriate measures
Geleynse, Martinus No I do not support the AEGD plan. The last thing this city needs is a $350 million investment based on speculation and the creation of NON-living wage employment. The AEGD is a further investment in urban sprawl at the expense of redevelopment of our brownfields. While it is great for property speculation in the outlying areas, it does not do anything for the redevelopment of our lower city. It most certainly doesn't expand our tax base in a sustainable way. The simple business case is dramatically flawed. I would rather see our commercial tax base expanded by smart investment within our existing city infrastructure.
Gentile, Matteo No This is a double edged sword for me. In principle I do not support developing green space when we have a number of Brownfields that must be remediated and developed. We have to focus on remediating the Brownfields to bring residents and jobs to the city's core. I'm even in favor of taking on the task of remediating the Brownfields in an effort to attract industry that want "shovel ready" lands. And when you revitalize the core, you revitalize the city.
Hess, Erik No This is much too large of a project at this time. I believe that we must look at the brownfield areas as our future growth area. The businesses that MUST be near the airport should, of course, be near the airport, however non airport businesses need to be part of our brownfield development area.
Ielasi, Pat No No I cannot support the use of Agricultural Lands to be converted for commercial use. Urban sprawl is one of the reasons we have the situation in the downtown core to begin with. lets develop the many brown field sites and the many boarded up buildings first.
Janjic, Ned Yes Yes, absolutely.

The more employment land available the better. The airport is a great asset and its potential should be maximized. It is an important area for Hamilton's future growth. This will benefit our tax base and help create much needed jobs and investment we are looking for. Quite frankly, I cannot see any reasonable opposition to the proposal.
Jelly, Matt No I believe our focus has to shift towards brownfield remediation and redevelopment within a firm urban boundary, reinvesting in the existing framework of transportation infrastructure, and attracting new clean industry. We now know that air freight is not viable long-term due to the rising cost of oil, and to plan such a large project at such a huge expense predicated on this unsustainable mode of transportation doesn't make sense.

We tend to define brownfields out of existence. We need to take a full inventory of Hamilton's vacant brownfield sites, and lobby for reinvestment from all levels of government to make these lands viable again for a new, clean industrial use. In doing so, we need to employ our own workforce in the clean up and rehabilitation of these properties.

Hamilton's industrial sector needs a reboot- not just for our long term economic viability, but for the health and well-being of some of our most vulnerable citizens. We also need to protect our agricultural lands to ensure we can grow food locally in the long-term. While I recognize Hamilton's need to sustain assessment growth to take the tax burden off residents, I do not believe AEGD is the way to go about it. In the end it will cost us in more ways than we can imagine.
Lescaudron, Dawn No No. At this point I would have to vote against the AEGD. We must concentrate on the already existing infrastructure before we do anything else. What we have is broken, fix it and we will grow.
Novak, James Yes City staff have not demonstrated that there is an immediate need. I believe we should build as the need becomes apparent. If that means we develope 33% of the project now, because there is a demonstrated need, then I would agree. Leave the other 67% until we can rationalize the need. Of course there is a lead-time required in order to meet future needs. Civic staff should be providing yearly reports and councill should respond to future needs as they become apparent. The cost of building the entire project now is mind boggling.

We need to immediately put funds toward updating our current infra-structure in the neighbourhoods of the lower city, now! Our water and sewer system, roads, parks, recreation centres, arenas etc.
Pipe, Charlie Yes I support the Airport Employment Growth District. Hamilton is at the heart of the Golden Horseshoe and has for years wasted this geographical advantage by not having lands available for industrial, warehouse, and transport growth. The AEGD provides the necessary land which will allow us to compete with other Southern Ontario cities. As someone who grew up in rural Wentworth County, I understand the importance of farmlands, particularly those passed down through generations, growing food to feed our city. The majority of farmlands in the AEGD produce sod or cash crops (ie corn) which are harmful to our environment and do little to nourish our city. The AEGD will create jobs and increase our tax revenues.
Ward 03
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Black, Bob No Unfortunately I do not support this plan. I recommend those funds be applied to re-vamp much of wards 1,2 and most importantly ward 3. These wards have been neglected and forgotten for so long that the city is no longer aware of the potential in store fronts and businesses as well as housing projects for more affordable housing, if you look at the way the statistics add up we need to start to take care of the people who do the labour and let the farmers take care of their farms.
DiMillo, Mark Yes I believe that Hamilton Airport can be the catalyst to driving business to the area, especially if we develop the Employment lands surrounding the Airport. Attracting air commerce related businesses, and new opportunities for employment is the eventual result of the plan. Hamilton Airport could you use a boost, and the associated plan, together can generate non-traditional revenues which is something we need to look at during the next term of council. Yes, if executed properly I do support the plan. Having said that I also, do believe that we should protect our farmlands, at the same time meeting the future growth needs of our City.
Gibson, Sean Yes From my discussions with the individuals at the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and other business owners in the city, this initiative promises to aid in the growth of our city and the expansion of our local airport. Any program that encourages the expansion and growth of our city is something that I would readily support, also the income from such new business can help pay for some of the other projects (i.e. Hamilton's Cycling Master Plan, LRT).
McGrimmond, Wilamina No I would rather they use the brownfields than use our precious farmland as we need to start growing our own food again here.
Morelli, Bernie Yes To date I have supported this plan. There is no question that job creation and the development of employment lands is a major objective.

Given recent environmental changes in rainfall, the impact on our sewer infrastructure - which is also a basic fundamental need - there is considerable pressure to assess the needs to meet the challenges presented by these changes, as well as meet the objectives stated above.

One might speculate that it may require some rescheduling of implementation plans.
Tetley, Paul No No, I do not support the plan for the Airport Employment Growth District (AEGD), formerly known as the Aerotropolis. The plans for the AEGD include too many unknowns including; the amount and type of employment opportunities; the level of demand for serviced land; infrastructure costs and more.

The City of Hamilton should be focused on attracting businesses to existing serviced industrial areas, both green field and historic. Demand and development for those areas must happen before 3,000+ acres of land, requiring expensive servicing, is approved.

The burden of developing the AEGD should not be borne by the residential taxpayers of Hamilton.
Ward 04
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Cicconi, Giulio Yes We need to strike a balance between preserving "green space" and the need for jobs and economic growth for the future of our families and city. These employment lands will hopefully bring investment from small and large businesses and create jobs and bring much needed tax revenues so we can continue to provide essential services to our communities. In the past, 60 to 70 per cent of tax revenues brought into the City of Hamilton were from commercial and industrial sources and the rest from residential. Currently, 60 to 70 per cent are coming from residential sources. This trend is unsustainable and needs to be reversed. This initiative, as well as others in our city, is vital to the future prosperity of Hamilton, our families and our communities.
Merulla, Sam Maybe Undecided and I am still in the process of researching the issue in depth.

Having said this I believe Hamilton has lost too many manufacturing jobs. As you know I have always been very concerned about wasteful spending at city hall and creating an environment conducive to increasing assessment growth. I believe there are workable solutions available that will enhance governing based on our needs rather than wants. I would like to see our City of Hamilton attract and retain business in a sustainable manner.

We are attracting employment such as Canada Bread but more must be done to aggressively and proactively promote Hamilton as a leader in providing opportunity. We need to continue to find ways to balance greenfield and brownfield developments in an attempt to provide a diverse environment of opportunity i.e employment lands.

My focus has been and will continue to be eliminating the one billion dollar deficit in hard infrastructure (i.e. Woodward Wastewater Treatment Plant, roads, sewers and bridges). Continue to pursue successful redevelopment of East end neighbourhoods through infill/brownfield developments (i.e. Lowe's at Barton and Woodward, Princess Auto on Barton, Seniors Centre at Main and Cope, Greyfield developments on Ottawa St and Kenilworth, Barton, King and Main Streets).

Furthermore I am focused in continuing to create a climate of investment such as Ward 4's The Centre on Barton, Crown Point Medical Arts building on Kenilworth, redevelopment of the old Derby Tavern to Rexall Pharmacy and the future Native Cultural Centre on Kenilworth. Lastly, I am very proud of the future park development at Rennie/Brampton Streets (Rennie St. End Use) and the creation of a new pedestrian/cycling bridge which will allow Ward 4 residents to safely connect to the city's waterfront.
Ward 06
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Behrens, Chris No I do not support the urban sprawl around the airport. However, as we all know, we do have a huge poverty issue in this city, we need jobs and a lager tax revenue that does not come from the home, or business owner. If there is an alternate solution, perhaps building upwards, opposed to outwards, that would be great. I would support that.
Knowles, Steven No No I do not support that plan. We are stretch ourselves thin. While I support responsible development, that is uncalled for at this time.
Yan, Nathalie Xian Yi No I oppose the plan, as it is a myopic public strategy. First, I believe that the city's layout should stay as it is for 20 years to preserve our arable land, besides, we have not taken fully use of our existing infrastructure.

The land is most precious and competitive resources in the further. We save it for our offspring. We should focuses on channeling growth into areas with existing infrastructure. We have lots of empty factories, and it is ridiculous that we are allegedly looking for employment land.

We already have an unbalanced city budget, if we cannot fix the problem in the first place, How can we be sure that this unemployment epidemic would not spread to the so-called "employment land"? Enhancing the battle effectiveness is far more important than opening up a new battle field.

In most cases, city sprawl is driven by population growth. We do not have an over-crowed population density. On the contrary, we need a higher population density to prosper. Therefore what we should do is to reduce the taxes, lower the business expenses, encouraging the investment of sunrise industries, etc.

Second, the plan reports are not convincing, and it could put taxpayers in hock for decades with zero benefit to the economy. Dillon Consulting and Community Liaison Committee have been working on this proposal since 2007. Even after reading their latest report, I still feel I am not convinced. According to Dillon Consulting, 55% capital costs associated with the AEGD will be funded through development charges, 33% are from developer, and the rest 12% are from taxpayer. The high costs of settlement may have adverse effect on the intention to attract more business and settlers.

Once again, if elected, I will not vote for it unless I believe that will be in the best long term interest of the tax payers of Hamilton.

On the other hand, it may drive up taxes. Many communities are subsidizing new development in the form of new roads, water and sewer lines, schools, emergency services and other infrastructure or services. They are also subsidizing growth by offering incentives to new businesses or industries that locate there, often sacrificing tax revenues needed to serve existing residents and businesses. I would not tolerate this.
Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Beck, Keith Yes I do support the current plan to expand the urban boundary up to the airport. While the original study area was too large and would have likely increased the number of brownfield sites in the City of Hamilton, the current reduced area doesn't pose the same level of risk. Further, as currently planned with employment land in the zone being brought into service first along the existing boundary (northeast/west of AEGD) the potential for residential development occuring on these employment lands ought to be eleiminated.

In the long run, it makes as much sense to locate employment zones around an airport as it does a lakeport. The caution needs to be exercises on the pace of which such lands are made available for development.
Duvall, Scott Yes We need available space to attract long term investment by companies wishing to locate in Hamilton close to a highway on suitable land. It is imperative that we grow our tax base in order to balance the tax burden between commercial industry and residents, while enhancing job creation initiatives and reducing poverty.
Gallagher, John Yes I am in favour of expanded employment lands around the Airport. But this growth must be accomplished while considerate of the impact on the local community. The airport is one of our major business and commercial expansion opportunities, and, while my first priority is to remediate and return Brownfields to productive, taxpaying property, we must also be considerate of and pursue opportunities to grow our business/commercial tax base that requires close proximity to the airport.
Pettit, Trevor No I believe we need to slow down this process. There is too much information coming at a pace so fast and furious it is impossible for a councillor or civilian to study it in time to make a rational decision. Not being privy to all information at this point I would be remiss in making a hasty judgment. I do believe we need to balance the needs of our agricultural community with our economic development plans. Wherever possible we should look inwards to brownfield development. Moving too quickly here could have devastating impact on our property taxes. We seem to be at constant odds with the province on this issue as well. Why is that? I call for any vote on this issue and the Pan Am issue as well to be put off until after the upcoming municipal election.
Ward 08
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Jenkinson, Kim Yes Yes, I support the development of the airport and the land around it for business use, NOT for residential development. The Hamilton Airport could be a major asset to attract business and jobs to Hamilton, both for importing and exporting goods. Business needs access to a variety of transportation: this would give Hamilton access to air, water, rail, and highway transportation and gives us a competitive edge that few cities can match.
Whitehead, Terry Yes Investors and businesses need choices in acquiring suitable lands for their business'. Residential tax payers have carried the burden to long and if we want to address this problem we must create a greater opportunity for investment in our community. Our brownfield policies and development are still important for the appropriate investor.
Ward 09
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Clark, Brad Yes I do support the AEGD. We have found that most companies looking to site a new factory have no interest in brown-fields. Since, Hamilton needs industrial tax assessment and jobs, we must proceed with carefully planned employment lands. In the mean time, we need to set up a Hamilton brown-field liability working group to find ways to eliminate barriers to brown-field redevelopment.
Fiorentino, Nancy No I do not support the approval of the expansion of the urban boundary lands around Hamilton International Airport at this time. There needs to be more research and review, more consultation with the public, and more community workshops and information sessions in order to seek public input on the matter.
McMullen, Geraldine No Not at this time. I require more information regarding the Airport Employment Growth District. After attending one of the public information meetings, and speaking to several key people with regard to AEGD, I have still have questions surrounding the financial impact it may have on the residents of Hamilton.
Mowatt, Andrew Yes Yes I do support the employment lands with commercial and business growth around our airport. I believe this initiative is overdue and we have wasted many years and opportunities that come from lands around our airport. Thirty years ago lands around the Toronto airport was bare, now this land is bustling with business as commercial and industrial enterprises have set up shop there. If we develop this area more airlines will do business with our airport which in turn creates more jobs and more revenue for a cash starved city.

For a city of our size we have a vastly under used airport. I should not have to drive to Toronto or even Buffalo to take a flight.
Ward 10
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bustamante, Jose Pablo No I will support any project that creates jobs in the city. But in this case 3,000 acres of our farm lands is just going to far. I believe that we can do a progressive growth. Let's start with what we need first to create jobs, build the infrastructure required and move forward. Changing the name to "Employment Growth District" from "Aerotropolis" is just marketing.
Josipovic, Bernard No I do not support the Airport Employment Growth District plan. Not enough studies have been done that to prove 100% that this will create jobs and attract businesses. Our biggest concern should be keeping the jobs that we already have in Hamilton. Companies continue to shut down and leave. We need to become more business friendly.
Ward 11
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Chartrand, Ken No As I have stated on my website and in the paper I am completely against this development going further until a clear business case is proven to the city council. There are too many unknowns and the cost will be placed directly on the taxpayer. The cost is staggering to provide the proper infrastructure to make this developemnt happen.

There are many other parcels of land in the city that available to develop with services already available. This city is not ready for this expansion. The new council must review the massive report that has been presented, with a clear mind. The size of this expansion and cost will have a impact on this city for many years, and as such we need to slow down, review the process, and be 100% certain the business case is absolutely the right thing for the citizens of Hamilton.
Johnson, Brenda No I don't understand why we are not promoting the space available that is empty and already serviced such as Burlington Street and the Glanbrook Industrial Park. The AEGD lands have been studied since 2001. Since that time, the Greenbelt has kiboshed the widening of #6 hwy and the Mid-Pen Highway has been shelved. The consultants did not address these changes. The risk management study does not reflect if the airport does not thrive, only if it succeeds. All risk management studies should reflect "worse case scenario". Shouldn't we be looking at all the avenues when we are dealing with hundreds of millions of our dollars. The costs don't include the building of the 25km trunk water and sewer pipes which will be needed to run from the Woodward plant which is already at capacity? This plant needs $675 million to expand now. The province can stop all development until this expansion is completed. Consultants are forecasting that warehousing and trucking companies will occupy 70% of the land. We are giving up over 3,000 acres of farmland for warehouse jobs.

If I had received the 2,200 page report received by the Councillors on a Thursday and expected to pass this report the following Tuesday, I would have voted it down.
Mitchell, David Yes I supported the airport employment lands. We need to attract and retain business, Hamilton needs to be open for business, our community needs jobs.
Ward 12
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Cox-Graham, Brenda No The city should overturn that awful decision to spend all that money on the airport lands and become active in developing land already serviced in Hamilton to help businesses get established here.
Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Powers, Russ Maybe The AEGD is a forward-thinking document, but only if the developing circumstances are perfect. Council should only support a single phase at a time and not move onto the next until success is achieved or revisit before moving on...the price of the plan is too expensive in my opinion!
Robinson, Glenn No I am not convinced that expanding the urban boundary around Hamilton International Airport is the most productive use of 3000 acres of agricultural land.

There are estimates of 350 million dollars to provide services to the Airport Employment Growth District (AEGD). Additional investments in new infrastructure will add to future maintenance costs. The City is presently challenged in meeting the spending needs of maintaining our existing infrastructure (approximately 120 million dollars per year deficit).

There is a need to add to the stock of employment lands in the City. However, consultants have reported that the majority of jobs created in the AEGD employment lands are likely to be in the "transportation and warehousing" sector. Community concerns such as secure local food sources, long term viability of the airport and the impacts of increasing fuel costs need to be explored further.

The Urban Official Plan currently before the province refers to growth to within a "fixed urban boundary" and implies preference for brownfield over greenfield development. This explains why the land in question is considered a "special policy area".
Scime, Danya No I do not support 3000 acres at this one location! I have made it very clear that we need to address the lands that we have sitting vacant through out our City's downtown core and each of the other Ward's "downtown locations"...I fully appreciate the fact that some of the brownfields need huge dollars for remediation, and we need to get that out in the open and deal with it!

We need to look at different applications and usage for some of our light commercial buildings that are sitting, deteriorating. We need to 'blend' light commercial, restaurants, medical offices etc. on the ground level and low income to condos above.

With that said, we must also plan for the future. Some industrial and manufacturing plants need larger parcels of property...this is where we need to go outside of the urban area. I would support looking at all properties outside of the immediate area in **all other Wards that do not have so many viable farm
acres being affected.**

I do believe we will have major headaches trying to have the Province 'disclude' already designated Greenbelt, which means more money out of pocket in the hopes of development...City Staff and Council need to research all other outlying areas before putting all of their future eggs in one basket.

If we have interested developers that wish to purchase the new lands at Aerotropolis, then I would propose to Council that they have a secured LOI from the said Developers\Investors...In other words, put up a non-refundable deposit of $50,000.00 (more/less depending on size) with a letter of intent stating that they will purchase and build within 'X' amount of years at this location.

If we have interested parties, we know what we need to do ~ to be shovel ready for them, we also have a portion of the funding through their deposit. If they build, it goes towards the purchase price, if they bail, the City keeps the money.
Tammer, Ron No I am vehemently opposed to expanding the urban boundaries to take more of our precious farmland away on a gamble that businesses are going to flock to this "Aerotropolis". You can't preach "eat local" from one side of your mouth, and tell us that we need to develop our green fields from the other. Hamilton has a glut of brown fields that can be redeveloped for commercial and industrial use; these should be groomed and promoted to investors, instead of handing over some of the most fertile farmland anywhere to be dug up, paved over, and possibly sit vacant.
Ward 15
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bos, Neil No I have no confidence that Hamilton City Council can make Hamilton International into a viable airport. If we go back to flying Harvards and Lancasters, we're ideally situated for success.

This Airport Employment Growth District is just another wrong-headed and dead-end strategy. By the way, what does "employment growth" mean? Tax free?

Let's focus on real opportunities, e.g. LRT (vital to downtown beautification), regular GO service to central Hamilton, a big-league stadium (25,000 heated seats), area rating (I love this one), Citizens' Advisory (a huge favorite).

And lest we forget: Stop the Quarry!
Gaspar, Brian Yes I support the development and I can't stress enough the proper planning of this endeavour to create good paying jobs in order to add stimulus to our region.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

21 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Speziale, Gino
Wozny, Mark
Ward 01
Greco, Tony
Paquette, Raymond
Ward 02
Coleman, Shane
Ferguson, Lloyd
Jones, Hoojung
Wright, Kevin
Ward 04
Bulbrook, Norm
Ward 05
Bedi, Jaswinder
Collins, Chad
Rukavina, Frank
Stacey, Dave
Ward 06
Febers, Michelle
Jackson, Tom
Pecyna, Ed
Ward 10
Pearson, Maria
Ward 12
Ferguson, Lloyd
Ward 13
Zuliniak, Marty
Ward 14
Pasuta, Robert
Ward 15
Partridge, Judi