Hamilton

Matthew Green to run for NDP in Hamilton Centre, aims to replace MP David Christopherson

Matthew Green, an outspoken Hamilton city councillor, wants to replace David Christopherson as the NDP MP for Hamilton Centre.

It means Ward 3, which Green has held since 2014, will have no incumbent in the fall election

Matthew Green says he plans to seek the Hamilton Centre NDP nomination next year. Antonio Damptey-Bonilla looks on. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Matthew Green, an outspoken Hamilton city councillor, wants to replace David Christopherson as the NDP MP for Hamilton Centre.

Green, who's represented Ward 3 in the central lower city for one term, says he hopes to get the NDP nomination for next year's federal election. That also means his council seat is up for grabs in the October municipal election.

Green made the announcement Tuesday, nearly two weeks after Christopherson said he was retiring. Christopherson has served as a local MP and MPP since 1990. Political insiders have long pegged Green, a supporter of leader Jagmeet Singh, as Christopherson's successor.

Green, 37, says he doesn't know if he'll be acclaimed as a candidate. The nomination process hasn't even started yet, he said. He announced his intentions Tuesday, he said, because "I felt I needed to communicate to my community."

Green, a former small business owner, says he'll spend the year in the community instead of running for council again and potentially triggering a byelection next year. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

He won't run for council again only to vacate the seat a year later, he said.

"I believe when I shake someone's hand and commit to a full four years of public service, then by principle, it is a full four years that I should serve."

Green, the first black councillor in the city's history, has had some headline-grabbing moments.

In April, for example, a police tribunal rejected Green's claim a Hamilton Police Service officer had improperly questioned him on the street. He also filed an Ontario Civilian Police Commission complaint against fellow councillor Lloyd Ferguson over comments Ferguson made about the case on the radio. The commission found Ferguson's comments were "unfortunate" and "unfair."

Green has also deviated from fellow councillors on issues such as supporting marijuana distribution through privately owned dispensaries, and wanting to hold a public process to fill former councillor Donna Skelly's seat for four months.

Green met with Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath at an Ontario Works office in Hamilton in 2014. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

During his time on council, he's been particularly outspoken on affordable housing, street safety and the need to regulate payday loan outlets. He also spent $25,000 of his ward budget to set up a screen in Gage Park and stream the final Tragically Hip concert.

Evelyn Myrie, the former executive director of the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion and founder of the Rev. John C. Holland Awards which recognize the achievements of black Hamiltonians, is running to replace Green in Ward 3.

Here's who else is running so far to replace him:

Nominations close July 27.

The municipal election is Oct. 22, and the next federal election is Oct. 21, 2019.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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