Councillor wants Flamborough to leave Hamilton, join Cambridge

Cambridge Coun. Nicholas Ermeta says he's 'extending an open invitation' to residents in Flamborough to join Cambridge as one big city.

'It could be a match made in heaven,' City Coun. Nicholas Ermeta says

If Cambridge joined with Flamborough, it would mean Cambridge could boast things like Flamborough Downs, African Lion Safari and the Rockton World's Fair (pictured), says Coun. Nicholas Ermeta. (Sunnie Huang/CBC)

Flamborough should leave Hamilton join forces with Cambridge — that's what one Cambridge city councillor wants to see happen.

Nicholas Ermeta is a Cambridge councillor seeking re-election in Ward 8. He says he's "extending an open invitation" to Flamborough to join Cambridge.

In December, the Ontario Municipal Board decided to eliminate Ward 14 in Hamilton. The reconfiguration splits the former ward in two.

"Flamborough is going to lose their rural voice and they're going to be carved up and joined up with other urban wards," he said.

"I believe that Flamborough has much more in common with Cambridge culturally than it does the City of Hamilton, and I also believe the City of Cambridge could gain some things as well — that it could be a match made in heaven."

Cambridge Coun. Nicholas Ermeta, who is seeking re-election in the Oct. 22 municipal election, says he wants Flamborough and Cambridge join together as one municipality. (Jackie Sharkey/CBC)

Tax money could help Cambridge

"We would have Flamborough Downs, the Rockton World's Fair, we would have the African Lion Safari as well," he said, noting Hamilton currently receives about $1.8 million each year from the slots at Flamborough Downs.

"I believe that Flamborough is relatively low maintenance. That there are a lot of estate homes out there so there are no sewers, and the estates, they pay quite a bit in taxes, so I think that could help Cambridge out quite a bit."

For Flamborough, the benefit is getting to remain in one piece while having a government that will listen to their needs, he said.

Ermeta said currently residents of Flamborough would see their tax dollars go to Hamilton's LRT.

"I'm completely fine with letting Flamborough not paying for transit," Ermeta said, but noted he would want them to pay  for rural road maintenance.

He also stressed he does not want to impact North Dumfries beyond requiring the use of Gore Road as a link to Flamborough.

Ermeta's plan also doesn't include Waterdown, which has been eyed up by Burlington.

This municipal boundary map shows the wards as they existed before a realignment was ordered by the Ontario Municipal Board in December 2017. Ward 14 includes Flamborough. (City of Hamilton)
This is a map with the new ward boundaries in Hamilton. (City of Hamilton)

Ermeta hasn't reached out to Hamilton

Ermeta says he's had informal talks with residents in both Cambridge and Flamborough and has not yet reached out to his counterparts in Hamilton.

CBC K-W reached out to Hamilton Coun. Robert Pasuta, who represents the area of Flamborough, but he did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokesperson for Fred Eisenberger, Hamilton's mayor who is seeking re-election, said Eisenberger was "unavailable for comment" on the matter.

Ermeta says he raised his idea for Flamborough with the previous Ontario government, but they never responded.

He's hopeful a new provincial government will listen, especially because the government has indicated it will be undertaking a review of regional municipalities in the coming months.

Ermeta says he wants to begin extensive public consultations but says the idea he's floating now is just a starting point.

with files from Melanie Ferrier


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