The three term Ward 1 councillor says after 11 years on Hamilton City Council it is time to ‘lead from the front,’ and says Brian McHattie, “that means leading from the mayor’s chair. After representing the issues of the McMaster University precinct and the Locke-Dundurn area, McHattie has been busy visiting other parts of the city and getting to know the issues and concerns, and experience he has found “amazing,” adding he was been to both an Indian and Armenian event the weekend before. “ Asked if what he sees the Hamilton economy looking like in the coming years, the candidate says he wants to ‘fast track the economy in a progressive way.’ “There is a bright future for advanced manufacturing,” he said describing a visit he had just made to the Biox Plant on Hamilton Harbour. “They take waste greases and fats and turned it into bio fuel with virtually no emissions—to me that is a poster child for a sustainable economy,” he said. McHattie thinks senior governments can play a more significant role in funding Hamilton growth, especially the Federal government. “It is the same with Queen’s Park—we don’t have the close relationship we need.”
He says that while Hamilton has advanced in recent years there is still fragility in the local economy, noting that tax revenues have dropped in Wards 3,4 and 5 as a result of lower property values. An early champion of LRT, he says he still remains committed to the project and said he was pleased to see recent expressions of support for light rail from the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Realtor’s Association and the Homebuilders. “I see it as a growth opportunity first, and as a transit solution second.” He attracted some criticism when he wrote a letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne in February urging her to reconfirm her commitment to 100% funding of the transit project. Born in Weston, Brian McHattie moved to Hamilton in 1987. He has a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and a Masters of Science in Rural Planning & Community Development from the University of Guelph. He is also a Registered Professional Planner, a member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, and the Canadian Institute of Planning. As a member of the Hamilton Naturalists Club McHattie was an active opponent of the Red Hill Expressway in the 1990, and recently told reporters he still refuses to drive on the highway. He lives in Ward 1 with his wife, Elaine, a physician, and son Mitch.
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