Vote for #hamont on October 24!
The Municipal Election is on Monday, October 24, 2022
If you’re a resident of Hamilton or follow the #hamont hashtag, there is no doubt you are familiar with the antics of our City Hall. Whether it’s Sewergate or the Red Hill coverup, sometimes we are just beyond satire. If you’re new here: welcome, I’ve got good news! There’s an election this fall and we’ll be seeing a big shakeup in the council chambers. Only 50% of ‘old guard’ councillors are seeking re-election, so there are going to be big changes in the makeup of our local government for the next four years.
Yes, municipal politics can be boring and ours can get petty, but the impact on our daily lives is big and that’s why I want to highlight this election and some candidates I am personally excited about.
My Election Picks
There are a lot of exciting races this year, these are the candidates I’ll be putting on the ballot and a few others outside my ward that I’ll be following.
Mayor: Keanin Loomis
Keanin has been a familiar face around Hamilton for the last decade or so as the former President & CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and a very vocal advocate for the LRT. Now he’s running for mayor and I think he will bring a strong vision and collaborative leadership approach to City Hall.
- Improving transparency and building trust at City Hall. The last few years have been plagued by various scandals (Sewergate and the Red Hill debacle, to name a few) and Keanin has made a secret-free municipal government his first campaign promise.
- Homes for Hamilton aims to build 50,000 new homes across the city by increasing density around transit routes, introducing gentle density into established neighbourhoods, and speeding up the municipal processes that are required for building approvals. As part of this plan he also looks to recalculate (lower) the affordable housing rate which currently sits at 125% market rate (what?) and commit to a firm urban boundary.
- Fix. The. Roads. : A series of policies to tackle Hamilton’s infrastructure issues and change how the City deals with road maintenance. Includes changes to the contractor procurement and communication processes, investing in preventative maintenance and introducing a 311 number for residents to report road issues to.
- Protecting the environment. Keanin is committing to lowering our carbon footprint, protecting our Greenbelt, cleaning up Cootes, and investing in infrastructure to eliminate sewage and stormwater from entering our waterways.
Ward 3 (My Ward): Re-Elect Nrinder Nann
Nrinder has been serving Ward 3 since 2018 and will be seeking re-election. She has been an important voice on council and has a huge list of accomplishments under her belt after her first term. Nrinder has spearheaded the Ward 3 Complete Street Project with new roadway designs and investments set to be implemented in the coming year. She has also supported and invested in community-led initiatives to improve public and green spaces, including the Children’s Garden Project at Gage Park and a new spray pad at Woodlands park. She has been at the forefront of conversations of many issues including affordable housing, where she championed bylaws to stop renovictions and advanced a Vacant Homes Tax framework for the City.
Other Candidates To Watch
Ward 1: Re-Elect Maureen Wilson
Maureen has been an important voie at City Hall in the past four years and will be seeking a second term on council. She is running on the same issues that she has been tirelessly advocating for since 2018: safe streets, addressing the housing crisis, investing in public spaces, repairing infrastructure, protecting our natural environment and building climate resilience, and championing smart development.
Ward 2: Cameron Kroetsch vs Jason Farr
Ward 2 is considered Hamilton’s downtown, stretching between Queen and Wellington streets all the way from the escarpment to Hamilton Harbour. Jason Farr has been councillor of this ward since 2010 and is being challenged by Cameron Kroestch, a far more progressive candidate. Cameron is a well-known advocate in Hamilton and has served on citywide boards like the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, Pride Hamilton, the AIDS network, and the City of Hamilton’s LGBTQ Advisroy Committee. I’ll be very interested in the outcome of this race as Ward 2 is arguably the City’s most important ward.
Ward 4: Tammy Hwang
Formerly Sam Merulla (not seeking re-election)
Tammy has been a strong advocate for small businesses in the City for many years. She is the co-founder of CoMotion coworking space and currently works at City Hall as a Business Development Officer in Economic Development. Tammy’s platform is focused on creating a thriving Ward 4 community where families can connect and gather at improved amenities and businesses can find success by connecting with all levels of government, financial institutions, and community organizations. If elected, she’ll be championing public transit and safe, complete streets, as well as looking at collaborative solutions for the affordable housing crisis.
Ward 14: Kojo Damptey
Formerly Terry Whitehead (not seeking re-election)
Kojo was born and raised in Ghana and came to Hamilton to pursue an education at McMaster University. Currently, he holds the position of Executive Director at the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion and has been front-and-centre tackling some of the City’s most pressing issues such as anti-racism, reconciliation, climate change, and homelessness. Kojo’s platform reflects his dedication to social and climate justice and he intends to apply that lens to improve life in his ward and the City as a whole.
Ward 5: Lynda Lukasik
Formerly Chad Collins (elected as Liberal MP for Hamilton East)
Lynda is the Executive Director of Environment Hamilton, a local non-profit working for carbon neutrality, sustainable transportation, and secure food sources. Alongside her decades of work in the community she also holds a Masters in Environmental Studies and a PhD in Planning and would bring some real expertise to council on the topics of climate resilience and sustainable urban growth. Lynda’s platform reflects her background in environmental work and also focuses on safe streets, affordable housing, smart growth management, and addressing the infrastructure deficit.
For a full overview of the race, ielect Hamilton has put together a handy visual with all the candidates running.
You can find a full breakdown of wards and candidates, as well as links to websites on their site.
Candidate debates have also been held on Cable 14, you can find them here.
Whether or not you have kids, don’t forget the importance of school trustees who are the community’s advocate for public education. Trustees play a vital role in setting policy and creating equity within our public education system. You can find more information about school trustees here.
How to Vote
You can find all the information here (links are in the left-hand sidebar): https://www.hamilton.ca/municipal-election/election-information/voters