Hamilton Votes

Eve Adams resurfaces in Canadian politics with a run at a Hamilton city council seat

Eve Adams famously crossed the floor to the Liberals after a Tory nomination controversy. Now she's running in Ward 8.

Eve Adams, who crossed the floor to the Liberals after a Tory nomination controversy, is running in Ward 8

Eve Adams has been out of politics for three years and is now running for Hamilton city council. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

A once high-profile Liberal MP from Mississauga has resurfaced in a Hamilton city council race.

Eve Adams, who famously crossed the floor to the Liberals after a Tory nomination controversy, is running in Ward 8 on the west Mountain.

Adams said Hamilton is her hometown. She moved to Ancaster from the GTA three years ago, and grew up on the Mountain. Her mom still lives there.

"I've been asked by a number of folks for quite some time to run provincially or municipally," she said. "It's something I've considered for a while."

Adams was a Mississauga councillor for seven years before becoming a Mississauga-Brampton South Conservative MP. Then, she made some headlines.

Top 5 Political Blunders: Eve Adams 1:11

Adams sought the Oakville North-Burlington Tory nomination in 2014. But the nomination battle was so bitter and Stephen Harper reportedly barred her from running anywhere. Adams publicly said she dropped out of the race due to health concerns.

Then she crossed the floor to the Liberals and lost a 2015 Liberal nomination battle in Eglinton-Lawrence.

Adams told CBC News last week that her heart is in Hamilton, which is why she moved back.

"It's wonderful to see the city progressive and on the move," she said. Asked if it matters that she's lived away for years, Adams said she has political experience to offer.

Adams says her priorities are widening the Lincoln Alexander Parkway to six lanes, and encouraging "high paying, quality jobs."

Her competitors are skeptical.

Former Conservative MP Eve Adams failed in her bid to win the Liberal Party nomination in Eglinton-Lawrence Sunday, losing to Marco Mendicino. 3:17

"How I feel about Eve Adams running the ward is the way I feel about other candidates running in a ward that they do not reside in," said Anthony Simpson, who owns a flooring company.

"I live in the ward, went to school in the ward, grew up in the ward, work in the ward and support local businesses."

John-Paul Danko, an engineer, said Adams is likely to seek a local Liberal nomination. That's what happened with Donna Skelly, who won a ward byelection in 2016 and ran for the PC party in Flamborough-Glanbrook just a year later. She is now an MPP, and the seat is vacant.

"Ward 8 residents will be highly skeptical of a Toronto politician's motivation for parachuting into Hamilton," he said.

Defence Minister Jason Kenney says Eve Adams, his former caucus colleague, was forced on Liberal members by Justin Trudeau. 0:30

Colleen Wicken, Christopher Climie and Steve Ruddick are also running in Ward 8. Here's what the candidates had to say in response to a list of questions from CBC News:

John-Paul Danko

John-Paul Danko. (John-Paul Danko)

Age: 40.

Occupation: Professional civil engineer.

Where do you live?: 15 years in the new Ward 8 (Upper James and Inverness area) and a lifelong Hamilton mountain resident.

Past experience: 20 years' experience working with municipalities across Ontario. Founding and executive member of the Centremount Neighbourhood Association. Close second to Donna Skelly in 2016 byelection. Senior project manager and small business owner.

What are the top issues facing your ward?:

If elected to the #newWard 8, I will work to:

  • Reduce the residential tax burden.
  • Build safe, vibrant, inclusive, family friendly communities that are amazing places to live and work.
  • Cut red tape at city hall to promote business and jobs.
  • Find smarter solutions to traffic congestion, speeding, infrastructure repairs and maintenance.

Do you support LRT?: LRT is a catalyst for jobs and millions in new tax revenue, benefiting everyone.

Why are you the right person for the job?

We need a Ward 8 councillor who is ready to stop talking and start doing! I am a professional civil engineer and small business owner — not a politician. I am running where I live, in Ward 8 with my wife and children. I'm proud to be an independent candidate not affiliated with any political party, union or other special interest. I solve complicated problems for a living and I would be honoured to bring real world experience to City Council as we work to become a more vibrant, prosperous city. 

What else should people know about you?

Hamilton has been my home for 40 years. I live in Ward 8. My wife and I are raising our family here. This is where our friends and neighbours live and where we feel the most connected. I am running to represent Ward 8 on Hamilton city council because I believe that we need a councillor with real world qualifications, who isn't a career politician or part of Hamilton's inner political circles. What happens in Ward 8 affects me and my family personally. Together, we can move Hamilton forward! 

Online: jpdanko.com

Stephen Ruddick

Age: 65.

Occupation: Weather specialist for CHCH TV, mortgage agent at Mortgage Financial Corporation.

Experience: Ran as a provincial government (Liberal) candidate in 2007. Worked in Ontario Rural Affairs as a communications specialist in the Ernie Eves government. Through work at CHCH TV, I have developed a good relationship with many current council members. During the summer of 2015, I was the communications consultant for Chief Bryan LaForme and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the host first Nation of the Pan Am Games. Currently on the hand hygiene committee at St. Joseph's hospital (three years).

Where do you live? Currently in Ward 8, but on election day with the ward boundary changes, I will be just outside.

What are the top issues facing your ward?

  • Lower traffic speed for safer roads, and better maintained streets and sidewalks.
  • Licence and regulate non-purpose rental housing.
  • Develop parks, centres and recreational programs to improve quality of life for residents.

Top city-wide issue: The hiring of a new city manager. This person must have a vision for Hamilton's future and the resolve needed to make tough decisions. There are ongoing budgetary and staffing concerns that need to be considered. City council needs to look toward the future with LRT and how the city develops as a physical entity. We also need a lighter touch regarding Hamilton's history and its increasingly diverse community.

Do you support LRT? I support improved transit for a growing city.  There is money on the table from a previous government. If it is still there with the new government and a better idea surfaces for the taxpayers of Hamilton, then I'm for it. If not then I support LRT.

Why are you the right person for the job?

I'm the right choice because of a trust factor I have developed over 20 years. Residents have invited me into their homes through their TV sets, trusted me to communicate the important things needed to make day to day decisions. As a working journalist, I've listened to people before making a decision.

Equally important is the endorsement by Coun. Terry Whitehead. Boundary changes means Terry moves to Ward 14 but he wants someone with empathy, likeability and optimism to continue the strong bond between council and Ward 8 residents. I will not just hear you out, I will listen. There's a big difference.

Anthony Simpson

Anthony Simpson. (Anthony Simpson)

Age: 54.

Occupation: Owner of A. G. Simpson Flooring for 17 years.

Where do you live?: I have been a Ward 8 resident for over 45 years. 

Experience: Past president of the Hamilton Figure Skating Club, former board member of the Burlington Track and Field Club, volunteer track coach at Bishop Tonnos High School for eight years, volunteer at various Special Olympics events, volunteer at many Sport Hamilton events.

What are the top issues facing the ward?

My four top issues facing Ward 8 are:

  1. Creating a safe environment by having the community and police force working together to combat crime.
  2. Working with the various community outreach programs in the ward that have been providing help to battle poverty.
  3. To continue supporting the local businesses, as well as developing and growing a more unique atmosphere on the Mountain.
  4. Find a solution to the housing situation near Mohawk College.

Do you support LRT? I believe that a rapid transit system is needed, but feel that the LRT does not service the entire Hamilton population. Once completed, the LRT could be an outdated transit method and money could be better utilized to enhance the current transit system and update our infrastructure.

What else should people know about you?

Born and raised in Hamilton and being a resident of Ward 8 for over 45 years, I feel that I have witnessed the many changes that have occurred in this community and would love to to be a major part of its continuing growth. When I started my own business in 2001, I knew that it would take hard work and long hours to see it succeed, and it has. The dedication I have given to my business is the same as I will give to the people of Ward 8. I look forward in dealing with the diverse and amazing people of my community.

To the voters of Ward 8, I want you to know that I am a dedicated, hard working person that will be there for you. Not only have I lived in the ward for over 45 years, I have lived at the same address, having built our home here 14 years ago with my wife Suzana and our daughter Savannah. I also feel that is important to inform the voters that I have fully funded my campaign with my own personal money, and have not accepted any campaign contributions or donations. The reason I have done this is if issues arise in my ward or at council meetings, I will be able to address them without having to worry about upsetting any financial backers. The residents of Ward 8 are my main concern.

OnlineAnthony Simpson For Ward 8 Councillor

Colleen Wicken

Colleen Wicken. (Colleen Wicken)

Age: 70.

Occupation: Executive assistant, chief of staff for the Ward 8 office (on unpaid leave).

Where do you live? I am a born and raised Hamiltonian and, for the last 33 years, I have lived at 43 West 3rd in the heart of the new Ward 8.

Experience: Advocate for the residents since 1993 (35 years). Worked with four councillors in Ward 8, most recent Coun. [Terry] Whitehead for 9 years handling all constituent and ward issues. Including ward budgets, scheduling and stepping in for the councillor at a number of meetings and events. It is a 24-7 job.

What are the top issues facing your ward?: 

  • Better transportation. Ward 8 needs GO transit at the Mohawk Hub and streamlined HSR.
  • Improved standard of living, affordable safe housing and family friendly neighbourhoods.
  • Address health and safety concerns with safer streets, traffic calming, pedestrian safety.

Do you support LRT? I do not believe LRT is the answer for a two-tier city! I believe there is a need for better transportation city-wide which has to include the Mountain. We need a transportation strategy for the city that is thoughtful and represents residents' needs. There are a number of alternatives that will move the city forward into the future by simplifying transportation for residents and attracting high-paying jobs back to the city.

Why are you the right person for the job?

First and foremost, experience and knowledge! The learning curve, if any, would be minimal and I know what to expect. I understand the 24-7 demands of the job as I have worked since 1993 as both a community advocate for Ward 8, a member of the Ward 8 Community Council and their employee under the Ward 8 office. I have delivered and will deliver for the ward and City of Hamilton as a whole. I am not a politician. I am a Hamiltonian who loves this city and sees its full potential. I will deliver on the ward priorities and see both Ward 8 and the City of Hamilton move forward into the future. 

Something you'd like voters to know about you:

I am not afraid of hard work. I am meticulous and tenacious when it comes to issues that affect the residents of Ward 8. I actually listen to people's concerns and I am always available to meet at their convenience. I am prepared to work 24-7 and as an elected official one is expected to be there for the people that they represent. I invite your readers to my web site.

Online: wicken4ward8.com

Adams and Climie did not return answers to the questions. Adams says she'll release her platform in the coming weeks. 

The municipal election is Oct. 22.
 

About the Author

Samantha Craggs

Reporter

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca

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