Your top 5 election issues in Hamilton's provincial ridings

We asked, and you answered: Here are the top 5 election issues in each Hamilton-area provincial election riding as identified by your answers in an online CBC Hamilton survey.

LRT, utility costs, infrastructure improvements and employment top the list

We asked, and you answered: here are the top 5 election issues in each Hamilton-area provincial election riding as identified by your answers in a CBC Hamilton survey. (File Photo)

Earlier this month, CBC Hamilton asked you what election issues matter the most in Hamilton’s provincial election ridings, and almost 750 people responded.

While it’s by no means an official survey, the results give a snapshot as to what issues matter to CBC Hamilton readers who responded in each riding. Different answers topped four of the area's five ridings, so different issues matter in parts of the upper and lower city, when comparing answers from those who responded. CBC Hamilton plans to take these results and use them to shape questions asked to candidates in each riding.

Here are the top five results in each riding:

Hamilton Centre

  1. LRT
  2. Poverty/Homelessness
  3. Infrastructure improvements
  4. Living wage
  5. Economic Renewal

LRT continues to be top of mind in Hamilton Centre, but whether Hamilton will see LRT, BRT or any kind of new public transit system has become decidedly murky. The Liberals say they will provide full capital funding for rapid transit in Hamilton, while the NDP say they support full capital funding but haven’t said how they’d pay for it. Ontario PC party leader Tim Hudak says if he's elected premier, his government would spike a Liberal plan for the province to fully fund a rapid transit line in Hamilton's lower city, opting instead to boost GO train service.

Poverty and homeless was a close second in our poll for Hamilton Centre, pointing to concern over the number of people who are struggling to make ends meet in the area.

Hamilton Mountain

  1. Utility costs
  2. Taxes
  3. Employment
  4. Living Wage
  5. Infrastructure improvements

Utility costs were far and away the biggest issue for voters in the Hamilton Mountain riding. Both of Ontario’s opposition parties say they’re creating proposals aimed at trimming soaring power bills. Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says he would end subsidies for wind and solar power while cutting back on what he calls the "bloated" bureaucracy at both Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation.

New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath promised to get rid of the provincial portion of HST on hydro bills if she becomes premier. It's a move she said would save homeowners about $120 a year. Premier Kathleen Wynne says recent hydro increases have been caused in part because the government had to make massive investments to upgrade Ontario's electricity system in recent years.


  1. Infrastructure improvements
  2. LRT
  3. School closures
  4. Taxes
  5. Social services downloading to municipalities

Residents from the Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale riding voted infrastructure improvements as their most important provincial election issue. According to Dundas Coun. Russ Powers, Hamilton has a $150-million identified deficit in infrastructure that’s apparent when the city gets into budget discussions. “We just can't afford it,” he said.

ADFW was the only riding to vote school closures into their top five election issues, after local trustees voted to close Parkside Secondary in Dundas and Prince Phillip school in Ainslie Wood in the past year and Flamborough currently in the midst of a school closure process. The provincial funding formula for schools always is an issue in the closure debates.

 Hamilton East – Stoney Creek

  1. Infrastructure improvements
  2. Utility costs
  3. Employment
  4. Taxes
  5. Economic renewal

Infrastructure improvements were the number one election issue as voted by Hamilton East – Stoney Creek residents, too. Premier Kathleen Wynne has said in the past that she’s “very aware” infrastructure “is a challenge.” Some infrastructure in the province is up to a half-century old, Wynne says, and aging roads and bridges need to be dealt with.

Rising utility costs were a close second in the riding.

Niagara West – Glanbrook

  1. Employment
  2. Infrastructure improvements
  3. Living wage
  4. Utility costs
  5. Taxes

Residents of Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s riding say employment is the most important issue in the upcoming election. According to the newest available Statistics Canada data, the riding’s unemployment rate is 4.7 per cent – which is actually under both the provincial and national averages of 6.4 and 6.6 per cent, respectively.

So what’s next?

With these answers in mind, CBC Hamilton will contact candidates in every riding and ask them questions about the top five issues raised by voters.

We’ll record their answers with a hard, two-minute time limit and publish them on our site in a series of stories so you can hear where they stand on issues that matter to you.

Look for responses from your candidates in the coming days.

And if you'd still like to take our survey, head over to our Ontario Votes page.


  • An earlier version of this story suggested that Prince Phillip school was located in Westdale. In fact, it's in the Ainslie Wood neighbourhood.
    May 24, 2014 4:41 PM ET