Earlier this month, CBC Hamilton asked you what election issues matter the most in Hamilton’s provincial election ridings, and almost 900 people have responded.

While it’s by no means an official survey, the results do give us a snapshot as to what issues matter to readers in each riding. CBC Hamilton has taken these results and is using them to shape questions for candidates.

Listen to Hamilton Centre candidates Andrea Horwath, Peter Ormond, Donna Tiqui-Shebib and John Vail square off on LRT, living wage, poverty and more.

Some interesting snippets:

  • Green candidate Peter Ormond is the only candidate to support a $15 living wage
  • Only PC candidate John Vail opposes LRT in Hamilton

1. Should Hamilton have a province funded LRT, BRT or neither?

Andrea Horwath (NDP): “I fully support the LRT for Hamilton.”

Peter Ormond (Green): “We need an LRT. We need mass transit.”

Donna Tiqui-Shebib (Liberal):“The Ontario Liberals have funded – or proposed to fund – 100 per cent of the base capital costs towards a rapid transit Hamilton plan.”

John Vail (PC) “We are not running on a platform of LRT or BRT for Hamilton.”

2. What single action do you think is most important for your party to take to fight poverty if you were elected?

Peter Ormond (Green): “We need to provide support for the re-skilling and retooling to get people contributing to the community.”

Donna Tiqui-Shebib (Liberal):"The Ontario Liberal government has already helped many and we continue wanting to help many – 47,000 children and their families were raised out of poverty from 2008 to 2010.”

John Vail (PC): “It’s the jobs plan, which will benefit the local economy as a whole that is the single most important way to reduce poverty in Hamilton.”

Andrea Horwath (NDP): “What we’re doing is on top of increases to ODSP and OW, we’re also reducing costs by getting the HST off hydro.”

3. What infrastructure improvements would you like to see your party commit to in Hamilton Centre?

John Vail (PC):“Infrastructure improvements ... [come] after we balance the budget. The issue right now is the debt and the deficit has to come under control first.”

Andrea Horwath (NDP):“It’s everything from the work that gets done around the LRT for sure. It’s also the GO system we have right now, the trains back and forth to Toronto more often, there’s also the waterfront, there’s lots of opportunity there.”

Donna Tiqui-Shebib (Liberal): “We’ve since 2003 committed to $824 million for more highways in Hamilton and the Halton region.”

Peter Ormond (Green): “In Hamilton Centre we have the brownfields just sitting there waiting to be developed in some type of manner that will enhance the entire city.”

4.Should Hamilton adopt a living wage of about $15 an hour?

Donna Tiqui-Shebib (Liberal):“We are increasing the minimum wage to $11 on June 1, and Ontario again will have one of the highest provincial minimum wages in Canada.”

Andrea Horwath (NDP): “I don’t know where the city is right now on their discussions on that, but that’s one of the reasons that unlike the Liberals, we’re going to take the minimum wage up above the $11 to $12.”

Peter Ormond (Green): “Yes. The greens are advocating a living wage that will actually allow people to pay the bills and have a little bit of dignity as well.”

John Vail (PC): “Our party is not campaigning on that issue.”

5. What role should the province play in spurring economic recovery in Hamilton?

John Vail (PC):“Our platform is the jobs plan, which is again the comprehensive strategy to enhance economic recovery in not just Hamilton Centre but in the province as a whole.”

Donna Tiqui-Shebib (Liberal):“We’ll invest in skills and training, we’ll invest in transit, we’ll invest in infrastructure.”

Peter Ormond (Green):“The economic recovery is about supporting the small, local, independent businesses that will actually give back to the communities they exist in.”

Andrea Horwath (NDP) “One is job creation tax credits, so that you’re providing tax credits to the companies creating jobs.”