Hamilton

Get to know the new faces around Hamilton's council table

Among the new councillors is a veteran politician returning to a seat he once held and Nrinder Nann, the first woman of colour to become a Hamilton city councillor.

Nrinder Nann, is the first woman of colour to be elected as a Hamilton city councillor

Nrinder Nann is the first woman of colour to be elected to Hamilton city council. (Nrinder Nann)

Hamilton's city council will welcome five news faces following last night's election.

Among them is a veteran politician returning to a seat he once held and Nrinder Nann, the first woman of colour to become a city councillor.

"I'm definitely feeling the impact and power around being the first woman of colour to be elected to Hamilton city council," she said. "I've heard nothing but excitement and thrill from many racialized and Indigenous people across the city."

CBC News asked each of the new councillors three questions to introduce themselves to the city they'll be serving.

Nrinder Nann

What do you want people to know about you? 

"I think it's important that people know I'm here to serve them. I deeply respect democracy and I deeply respect the office of elected officials. I want people to know they can call, they can write, they can email. I am here to be responsive to folk's needs. I live in the ward and I know what it's like. I walk the streets and I shop in its stores. I see the concerns people have been expressing ... and I'm really looking forward to working with people, their ideas and solutions to help navigate city hall and bring the city up.

What local issues are important to you?

"What matters most for Ward 3 is affordable housing, traffic calming and making sure we have reliable and robust transit that everybody knows will be well-funded and well-managed to get everybody where they need to go. In terms of housing, the major issue here is about affordability and safety. Residents want to see creative solutions that range from increasing the stock of affordable housing but also making sure landlords who are negligent are held accountable."

How about city-wide issues? 

"Transit was a big issue in this election. Also, I think fundamentally at the end of the day, the city needs to prepare itself for future generations. We have an influx of people coming into this city and there is enough room for everybody and at the end of the day it's about making sure we're using every infrastructure project that the city funds as a job creation project, having local people apprentice in local trades and being part of building Hamilton's future."

John-Paul Danko:

John-Paul Danko says ensuring a good future for Hamilton will be his focus as a councillor. (John-Paul Danko)

What do you want people to know about you? 

"I have a young family and the community is really important to me. My goals for the city and for Ward 8 are a longterm vision and what's best for the next generation, my kids and my neighbour's kids."

What local issues are important to you?

"During the campaign, the things that came up most often were cut through speeding in neighbourhoods and customer service at city hall. But overall, I think there are a lot of things we do at the city that we could do better —a little more attention to detail to make Hamilton a more welcoming and friendly city."

How about city-wide issues? 

"We are fortunate now that we have a mayor re-elected who has a city-wide vision and for me, my big approach to the city is we need to do a much better job of attracting businesses and smart growth. We sort of have a history of starting projects or studying projects but never following through, so I'm really hopeful with this next term of council we'll have that mandate to follow through on big ticket projects that have been lingering." 

Esther Pauls

Esther Pauls says she loves Hamilton and its people. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

What do you want people to know about you? 

"I want people to know that I will work hard for them. I will always do what's right, I've got integrity. I also want to make sure that people know if they have concerns they can call me and if I can solve those concerns, I will do it. I love Hamilton and I love people."

What local issues are important to you?

"Infrastructure ... how crumbling roads and sidewalks are. Also, transport, people say the buses aren't running enough for them. Also seniors, they say Sackville (seniors recreation centre) is a very popular place and they need more parking and want to expand it.)

How about city-wide issues? 

"Right now we're at a crossroads with LRT, that's a big city matter. Some people are for it, others are against. I want to learn about it and make sure we make the right decision. Another big one for me is housing and the opioid crisis we're having here in downtown Hamilton."

Maureen Wilson

Maureen Wilson says all 15 of the city's wards need to work together. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

What do you want people to know about you? 

"I'm a hard worker, a proud Hamiltonian, an urban planner and mother."

What local issues are important to you?

"We have four neighbourhoods in Ward 1 so sometimes the issues do differ. Certainly safe, shared streets is a concern shared throughout the ward. We also have an issue with absentee landlords in West Hamilton and safe residences for students. We also have an issue in making sure we invest in our green spaces and public spaces. They're a reflection of ourselves and our values."

How about city-wide issues? 

"Ward 1 has always led on city-wide issues and people here understand as go our neighbourhoods, so goes the city. That's why strong neighbourhoods are so important. It is time for us to act as a single city and not just 15 separate wards. Competitive, modern cities have more public transportation, they don't have less. So I will be advocating for completing our LRT and the transit strategy. We have an affordable housing crisis in Hamilton. We need to build inclusive neighbourhoods where there's a seat for everyone at the table. Cities also have an opportunity to lead in responding to the reality of climate change and that means strategically investing in our infrastructure to deal with the change in climate and changing how we develop our land and where people live."

Brad Clark

Brad Clark, right, says he's a workaholic who will focus on infrastructure and public transportation. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

What do you want people to know about you? 

"I'm a workaholic. I really like to get my nose to the grindstone and start moving forward. I have a reputation for getting things done in Ward 9 and there's a lot of projects in this area that need to be accomplished.I'll be starting that as soon as possible."

What local issues are important to you?

"Our infrastructure in Ward 9 is something I heard an awful lot about. The condition of the roads, the lack of urbanized sidewalks along Rymal Road, which needs to be widened and some of the major development and planning initiatives, the Elfrida Growth Area is a sore spot with a lot of residents  given that they're proposing to bring in 80,000 new residents and the vast majority of people in Ward 9 were not consulted."

How about city-wide issues? 

"I still have tremendous concerns about the Linc and the lack of a centre barrier. Residents in my ward would like to see the Linc widened with a lane added in both directions. The other thing is enhancing transit, not only across the entire city, but also within Ward 9. We really need to strive to make it convenient, dependable and connected across the entire city."

now