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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13 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.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

2 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Speziale, Gino
Wozny, Mark