Hamilton·Hamilton Votes

Campaign Briefing: Endorsements in Ward 1 battle coming from as far as Calgary

Calgary's mayor has endorsed a Ward 1 city council candidate, saying he's known him since junior high and he'd be good for the role.

Also: A mountain brow sale falls through, the trouble with signs and how to vote already

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he thinks Calgary needs to take a system-wide view on addiction, mental health and crime prevention. (CBC)

The Campaign Briefing appears three times a week. The municipal election is Oct. 22.

Calgary's mayor has endorsed a Ward 1 city council candidate, saying he's known him since junior high and he'd be good for the role.

Naheed Nenshi did a video endorsement this week for Jason Allen, who's running against 11 competitors in Ward 1.

Allen and Nenshi even rode the same school bus. They lost touch in high school. Then at the University of Calgary, they volunteered together. Allen succeeded Nenshi as student union president.

Allen is now director of learning and networking at the Canadian Urban Transit Association. His work recently took him to Calgary, where he filmed the endorsement. As endorsements go, Nenshi is an interesting one. The Calgary mayor has a national profile when it comes to issues such as transit and urban development. 

The endorsement game in general is strong in Ward 1, where other candidates have gathered some strong support too.

Maureen Wilson is touting a number of high-profile local endorsements coming from several former politicians and civic officials. They include former MPP Ted McMeekin, former mayor Bob Wade and retired police chief Ken Robertson, to name a few. Lyla Miklos boasts several education and union-related endorsements. 

Sophie Geffros, Linda Narducci, Syed Bakht, Ela Eroglu, Richard Massie, Sharon Cole​, Harrison White, Sharon Anderson, Jordan Geertsma and Carol Lazich are also vying for the seat.

Aidan Johnson represented the west-end ward for four years but isn't running again.

The trouble with signs

Signs have sprouted like weeds across the city. One candidate says the city needs to change its sign bylaw. Property owners should have to sign a form giving candidates permission to put signs on their property.

John-Paul Danko of Ward 8 says candidates are supposed to have permission now. But some don't. Instead, they "put up a sign for every homeowner (they've) spoken to, with or without permission, hoping for the best."

"An unscrupulous candidate can simply print thousands of low-cost bag signs and plaster entire neighbourhoods with little fear of reprisal. The worst case scenario? The homeowner takes the sign down," Danko said. 

"However, while these signs may just be up for a few days, the candidate benefits from the illusion of widespread support."

Danko also weighed in on the province cancelling a plan to sell 8.5 hectares of mountain brow land to Mohawk College.

The college planned to build student housing at the West 5th lands. Sale proceeds would have helped pay for a downtown high rise with affordable housing units. Mohawk, which still wants the land, also planned $9 million in upgrades to historic Century Manor. 

Danko said if elected, "I will continue to work with Mohawk College and the community to make sure our shared vision for the brow lands is clear to the province."

Candidate Steve Ruddick weighed in too.

"If elected I would meet with the mayor and provincial officials to determine how the 'win-win' deal could be salvaged," he tweeted.

Other Ward 8 candidates: Christopher Climie, Anthony Simpson, Colleen Wicken and Eve Adams. This ward has no incumbent.

Ward 14 candidate drops out

Vincent Samuel is withdrawing from the Ward 14 race. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Vincent Samuel has withdrawn from the Ward 14 race on the west Mountain.

"There are other priorities that are also equally if not more important in life: family, health, and keeping our homes in order," Samuel said in a Facebook post. 

Samuel has previously run for the federal Conservatives. Also running in Ward 14: Robert Iszkula, Bryan WilsonTerry Whitehead (incumbent) and Roslyn French-Sanges.

More worries on the Mountain

Dan MacIntyre, Ward 7 candidate, has sent out another media release about potential development on the Mountain.

MacIntyre already spoke up about Sonoma Towers, saying he opposes the four-building development. 

Now he's worried about the Chalmers Presbyterian Church site at Mountain Park Avenue and Cliff Avenue, which was recently purchased by St. Jean Realty. He wants to make sure whatever goes there fits the neighbourhood.

"I'm pro-development, and if you're looking for a place to develop I'll gladly take you on a tour of the ward and show you areas that would best-serve developers and the ward," he said. "We have several areas in the ward that offer tremendous opportunities for smart intensification."

Ward 7 has no incumbent. Also running: Jim McColl, Joseph Kazubek, Karen Grice-Uggenti, Adam Dirani​, Steve ClarkeKristopher ClowaterGeraldine McMullen, Esther Pauls, Steve Benson and Roland Schneider are running too.

Advance polls

Voting officially started this week via advance polls. Here's a list from the City of Hamilton website:

  • Saturday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All-candidates meetings

Ward 7

When: Saturday, Oct. 6 (meet and greet)
Where: Eastmount Community Centre, 115 East 26th St.
Who: Mountain Kidz Klub
More info: kathy_archer@rogers.com. Turkey soup lunch for a $3 donation. Open to the community.

Ward 3

When: Monday, Oct. 8, 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: The Pearl Company, 16 Steven St. 
Who: Crown Point, GALA, Keith and Stinson neighbourhood associations
Info: Because of space restrictions, anyone who wants to attend should get a free online ticket. 

Ward 13 

When: Tuesday, Oct. 9, doors open at 6 p.m., debate from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: Dundas Town Hall auditorium, 60 Main St., Dundas
Who: Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Dundas division


When: Tuesday, Oct 9, 6:30 p.m.
Where: 754 Barton St. E.
Who: Afro Canadian Caribbean Association in partnership with the African Canadian Action Congress

Ward 1

When: Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2 p.m.
Where: To be announced.
Who: McMaster University Students Union

Recent election stories

Social media

  • A new Facebook group, Hamilton Mountain Neighbours, invites candidates to post on the page and discuss their platforms with Mountain residents.
  • Mayoral candidate Ute Schmid-Jones is posting transcripts of her speeches and answers at recent all-candidates meetings on Facebook.

Susan McKechnie is running against incumbent Judi Partridge in Ward 15. She had people pose with an "I ♥ Flamborough" banner that includes her website.

Living Wage Ontario has compiled a map of candidates who support a living wage. Hamilton is on it.

Ward 3 candidate Tony Lemma proposes an annual "tell me what matters" survey and just did his first one. Other Ward 3 candidates: Kristeen Sprague, Keith Beck, Laura Farr, Milena Balta, Dan Smith, Nrinder Nann, Alain Bureau, Brendan Kavanaugh, Amanda Salonen, Steven Paul Denault, Stephen Rowe and Ned Kuruc.

Waleed Shewayhat is running against incumbent Brenda Johnson in Ward 11.


Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She often tweets about Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca