At a kickoff dinner at Michelangelo’s Banquet Centre, Mayoral Candidate Bob Bratina pledged to make sure the many high-rise housing projects expected to be built along the proposed LRT route contain more than a token proportion of affordable housing.
“The proposed LRT has displaced residents from the homes they grew up in, and more importantly, homes they could afford. one the biggest arguments being raised by those in favour of the project was the affordable housing it would create along the line. and as of today, this has barely been a part of the conversation, “Bratina told an audience of more than 300. “We have to change that. As mayor, the city will use the tools available to us, to ensure that 30% of all new and refurbished housing along the line will be affordable.”
Referring to Sewergate and the ongoing Red Hill Inquiry, he blamed a toxic culture and siloed information between departments. He promised to create a better working environment by launching a thorough departmental review. “In the first one hundred days i will lead a team in coordination with our CAO to review our management and operations, determine our strengths and weaknesses, and make recommendations to council on viable solutions.”
He also promised to be accessible to city staff by introducing an open-door policy, “that strives to provide city employees with direct access to management and the mayor and encourages a closer relationship between city staff and the community. “
Bratina told the audience that there is more revenue available to the city from industrial development charges that could be leveraged with senior government programs to tackle the infrastructure deficit while still leaving Hamilton a competitive destination compared to neighbouring communities.
On the subject of area rating Bratina said, “removing area rating now, is simply a cash grab at the expense of those in our city who will be forced to pay for services they will not receive.” Noting that candidate Keanin Loomis had announced a softening of his position on the matter said, “we just had an instance this week where one of my opponents who launched his campaign on a promise to remove area rating, is already walking this back. This is where a little experience can be helpful. in 2011 I helped broker the current compromise, and we’ve had more than a decade of peace on this issue.”
As a sign of Bratina’s efforts to forge alliances with diverse political organizations, he was introduced by Flamborough-Glanbrook MP Dan Muys who endorsed Bratina saying, “You can see on the sign here: ‘Experience. Leadership. Results.’ I think that speaks to exactly what Bob Bratina is; is exactly why we need him at this critical juncture in the history of our city.” The PC MP’s endorsement came despite the fact that Bratina campaigned for Liberal candidates in the recent provincial election and the 2021 Federal election. Dan Muys opponent in the federal election, Vito Sgro is a Bratina Campaign adviser.