Hamilton·Hamilton Votes

Hamilton Votes: Who's running in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek

The Liberals took the seat in 2015, and the NDP are fighting hard to get it back. But Bob Bratina, a former Hamilton mayor, is used to winning elections.

The Liberals took the seat in 2015, and the NDP are fighting hard to get it back

From left: Bob Bratina (Liberal), Nikki Kaur (Conservative), Nick Milanovic (NDP), Peter Ormond (Green).

If visits from leaders are any indication, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek will be, on Monday, a riding to watch.

Justin Trudeau stopped by to shake hands at the Stoney Creek plaza where Liberal incumbent Bob Bratina has his campaign office. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh also visited a restaurant to make an announcement about small businesses and health care. 

The riding has flipped back and forth between the two parties since it was created 16 years ago.

Description: Hamilton East-Stoney Creek runs along a narrow band north of the Niagara Escarpment and east of Kenilworth Avenue North. The riding continues along Lake Ontario, through Stoney Creek and past Winona near Grimsby.

The riding was created in 2003 from parts of the former Hamilton East and Stoney Creek electoral districts. Tony Valeri held the riding for the Liberals until 2006, when Wayne Marston was elected for the NDP. Bratina defeated Marston in 2015.

Provincially, Paul Miller from the NDP holds the seat.

About half of the people living in the riding are married and the median age is 44. Most list English as their mother tongue, but there are also thousands of Punjabi, Slavic language and Italian speakers.

Population: 107,848 (as of the 2016 census)

What to watch: Bratina had a heated meeting with some steelworkers in the spring, and NDP supporters in the United Steelworkers Union Local 1005 have tried to make it a campaign issue. After that meeting, the steelworkers Bratina met with said he shouted "F--k the steelworkers" and "F--k those Stelco pensioners" at them. Bratina has denied saying that, and says his support for steel over the years has been unquestioned.

NDP-supporting USW members held a "show Bratina the door" rally on Oct. 3 outside his King Street campaign office. His NDP and Conservative competitors also brought it up more than once during a televised Cable 14 debate. Bratina says he hasn't heard about it from voters, who know he supports steelworkers.

Meet the candidates:

Bob Bratina, Liberal

Bob Bratina. (CdC-HoC)

Bratina spent 45 years on local radio, and did play-by-play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Argos for 20 seasons. He was mayor of Hamilton from 2010 to 2014, and a city councillor for Ward 2 in downtown Hamilton before that. He's also an avid clarinet player who once served as a guest soloist with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and led his own folk band, the Balkan Strings.

He had 951 chamber votes in the last session of parliament. He didn't sponsor any bills and jointly seconded one. He also co-chaired an all-party steel caucus.

Charles Crocker, People's Party

Charles Crocker. (Charles Crocker/Facebook)

Crocker is a 21-year resident of the riding. "I encourage you to investigate the platforms," he says. "Look at the PPC platform and ask yourself: is this platform important to you and your family values?"

Nikki Kaur, Conservative

Nikki Kaur. (conservative.ca)

Kaur is a lawyer who was raised in the Toronto area, and moved to Stoney Creek for friends, relatives and more affordable housing. She worked as a bank teller to help pay for university, and worked at as a financial advisor at Scotiabank for eight years.

She completed a law degree, and joined the former Mason, Caplan & Dizgun law firm in Toronto. She currently practices family and real-estate law, and also handles wills and estates.

Nick Milanovic, NDP

Nick Milanovic. (ndp.ca)

Milanovic works as an arbitrator, mediator, and workplace investigator with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). As a teenager in Hamilton, he played with the Hamilton Hurricanes in the Canadian Junior Football League. 

He practiced law in Washington, DC, working on international legal cases against exploitative corporations. Those include lawsuits that stopped Burmese villagers from being forced into slavery, and American farm labourers who received compensation for pesticide-related illnesses. He returned to Canada in 1997 to work in CUPE's legal department. He has also taught law at Carleton University. 

Peter Ormond, Green

Peter Ormond (greenparty.ca)
Ormond has been a well-known face in Hamilton Green party activities for 20 years, and is well known for giving away strawberry plants, pear trees, evergreen seedlings and seed packs. His film, The Natural Wisdom, was presented at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Copenhagen. 
 
Ormond has also written several plays for the Hamilton Fringe Festival. He has also been a consultant and a teacher at Mohawk College, and works as a specialist in the field of energy conservation with Alectra Utilities. 
Hamilton East-Stoney Creek has been an NDP riding since 2006. (Stats Canada)

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