Hamilton, Ontario
  • Lobbying on trial
    Feb 01, 2016

    With only a handful of participants, Hamilton’s lobbyist registry faces a test of its relevance this month that may decide whether the eight-year process to establish it was worthwhile. The immediate issue is a rule-breaking urban service extension deep into the rural area on behalf of a Swiss multinational whose council sponsor says is exempt from the city’s lobbying rules.

  • Transit back in budget crosshairs
    Jan 25, 2016

    Despite steep fare increases last year that will be duplicated again this year, HSR still hasn’t found enough funds to purchase buses to overcome its system deficiencies. That budget request is on top of a steep jump in DARTS cost and a “to be determined” price tag for other HSR operating costs this year – all “referred” items that could push up expected tax increases.

  • Pipeline protests accelerate
    Jan 18, 2016

    In the few weeks since the Paris climate accord, there have been three pipeline occupations and there are promises of more civil disobedience as citizens, including Hamilton organizations, turn up the heat on the National Energy Board (NEB) and the fossil fuel sector it oversees. Multiple groups including First Nations, the Council of Canadians, and 350.org are pushing the federal Liberals to implement their promised reform of the Board before the NEB makes further decisions on oil and bitumen pipelines. 

  • Breaking the rules
    Jan 11, 2016

    Councillor Ferguson is seeking to extend a sewer pipe to a rural business in violation of provincial rules and the city’s own official plan. The pipe would benefit the world’s largest bakery even though the company has not registered to lobby councillors and it could also open the door for a future urban boundary expansion.

  • More money available to city
    Jan 05, 2016

    Amended provincial rules allow councillors to increase city revenues without raising property taxes, but opposition is likely from powerful interests. Changes to development charges (DCs) legislation, adopted unanimously in December, boost available funding for transit and waste management. They also require cities to consider variable growth fees to reduce subsidies to sprawl development.

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