Sunday , 2 April 2023
Home Politics Council nixes planning committee resolution to defy province on housing pledge

Council nixes planning committee resolution to defy province on housing pledge


Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath in effect asked her fellow councillors not to tie her hands in negotiating with the provincial government. The issue was a “pledge” that the province has been circulating to municipalities asking them to agree to the aggressive housing quotas that the provinces says will be necessary to meet the expected surge in population over the coming decades. Some councillors called the province’s request “political theatre,” but like theatre, this play had two acts.

Last week. Staff had presented a carefully-worded response to the provincial request at Planning Committee that read,” the City of Hamilton accepts the challenge of building 47,000 housing units by 2031 and continuing Council’s direction for growth through intensification.“ The staff response  then went on to list a number of local initiatives that would support building that number of residences.  However, on a motion advanced by Councillors Kroetsch and Alex Wilson the committee voted to reject making any pledge whatsoever to the government. Their motion read, “That Council does not endorse the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s  Municipal Housing Pledge.” Supporting the rebuff were Councillors Kroetsch, Alex Wilson, Danko, Tadeson, Cassar and McMeekin. Councillors Hwang, Francis, Spadafora and Beattie were opposed.

When the matter got to council for ratification Wednesday, Mayor Horwath, asked colleagues to reconsider rejecting the housing pledge. She suggested a flat refusal to cooperate on what is clearly the provincial government’s number one priority, would be a red flag that would reduce her ability to be able to negotiate with the province on any number of issues where provincial support is needed. Councillor Brad Clark was more explicit, itemizing a number of areas where the city is dependent on Queen’s Park’s goodwill, including support for ambulance service, where Hamilton is apparently getting a better deal than other municipalities. He also alluded to the LRT project, noting that a cost overrun is almost a certainty, given the current construction and inflation climate and that Hamilton will likely be back to the province asking it to substantially increase its contribution now set at $1.7 Billion.

City Manager Janette Smith told council that she had surveyed other large municipalities and most of them were going along with the pledge in one form or another. In the end, Council overturned the Planning Committee and voted to allow the staff response to be sent, with the addition of a line that alludes to protecting the green belt.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles


Ford sounds message of fiscal prudence to municipalities in Hamilton visit

Premier Doug Ford brought out the big guns in his cabinet for...


Esther Pauls addresses her conflict issue with fellow councillors

There a little discomfort evident at Wednesday’s GIC meeting as the report...


Embattled MP is suing Global News

Han Dong, The Toronto Liberal MP, in a statement Monday, says he...


Liberals Climb down: Prime Minister’s Chief of staff will testify

Faced with the possibility of a combined Conservative-NDP vote to force Katie...