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Hamilton Council Roundup: Affordable Housing related to LRT still in limbo

Hamilton Council Roundup: Affordable Housing related to LRT still in limbo

Hamilton City Council was told that notwithstanding former Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna’s declaration that Hamilton LRT funding came with strict “conditions” around the provision of affordable housing, there is no active plan in place as yet to make it a reality. The subject came up in response to a question by Clr. Brad Clark who wanted to know if any of the lands purchased by Metrolinx along the LRT route could be made available at a favourable price for affordable housing. Planning and Economic Development Director Jason Thorne suggested talks about affordable housing are just beginning.

At the meeting Mayor Fred Eisenberger seemed intent on imposing some discipline on members who often stray off topic from time to time. The Mayor imposes a strict five minute limit on each councillor when they question staff which includes both the question and the answer. Other councillors when they take the chair sometimes only count the time when a councillor is actually speaking.

The mayor today was insisting that councillors remarks not stray from the agenda item under discussion which led to Clr. Terry Whitehead getting cut off several times; but also led to this testy exchange with Clr Esther Pauls who asked a seemingly innocuous question about when City staff vaccination mandates would end.

Led by Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla some councillors and the mayor seemed to be responding to some recent social media criticism about the lack of public disclosure of details of the downtown entertainment precinct deal. Several speakers pointed to the $150 Million that council would save in foregone subsidy for the Arena, Hamilton Place and Convention Centre. Councillor Brad Clark said he was not opposed to the deal but felt the amount of tax forgiveness that is being offered in exchange for the renovations to the entertainment facilities should be disclosed.

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