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Mayor urges restraint as Hamilton budget talks resume

Tuesday’s budget meeting was a much calmer affair than the session Monday evening which had to be cut short due to protests.

A significant amount of discussion centered around whether to raise the minimum wage for summer students from $16 per hour to $19 per hour in order to comply with advocates calling  for Hamilton to become a “living-wage” employer. In the end the matter was deferred to a future budget discussion.

There was some close questioning of the City Enrichment fund which doles out dozens of grants to various community charities, arts groups and advocacy organizations. Staff are recommending that the fund’s budget be raised over three years from $6 Million to $9 Million to meet growing demand for funding from various organizations. Staff are also recommending a full time individual be hired to keep up with all the applications. At present a half time employee is assigned to the fund along with support borrowed from various departments. Committee chair Brad Clark said there are a lot of charitable organizations  that are getting by without the kind of support staff are recommending.

Sensing a split between the fiscal conservatives on council and the progressive wing, Mayor Andrea Horwath cautioned members to be mindful of the taxpayers when advocating for various expenditures, noting that a city Like Toronto pays much less than Hamilton in taxes of a house of similar value.

1 Comment

  • Horwath reminds council to be mindful of tax payers.She didn’t when she supported the Wynne Liberals hydro deal hurting everyone in Ontario.

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