Kennedy East Park construction

This post, from August 28, has information on upcoming pathway reconstruction at Kennedy East Park.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

Kennedy East Park, located on Malton Drive, will be under construction for the next two weeks as new asphalt pathways are to take shape at the southwest mountain park.

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Back to School: Road Safety reminder for parents, students and commuters

This post, from August 27, contains reminders for commuters and parents as school returns for another year.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

The City of Hamilton is reminding all residents to be watchful and pay extra attention on the roads, as students hit the streets in Ward 8 as school starts again.

For more details, please continue reading below…

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The Ford Government Building Faster Fund

This post, from August 25, includes an initial review of the Ford Government’s new Building Faster Fund and what it means for Hamilton taxpayers.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

Premier Ford’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark recently announced the Building Faster Fund.

The fund promises $1.2 billion dollars to Ontario municipalities over three years beginning in 2024-2025 to support the creation of new housing.

But what does this fund mean for Hamilton taxpayers?

Please continue reading below…

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City launches its first Indigenous health strategy

This post, from August 23, has details on the City’s first Indigenous health strategy.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

The City is collaborating with the Indigenous community as it launches its health strategy aiming at improving the health and well-being of Indigenous individuals.

For more details, please continue reading below…

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Homeless Tent Encampment Protocol – Information for Ward 8 Residents

This post, from August 23, has information for Ward 8 residents about the homeless tent Encampment Protocol.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

As many Ward 8 residents are likely aware, Hamilton City Council has voted 10-6 in support on a set of rules for homeless tent encampments within the City of Hamilton.

Many residents have reached out to share their concerns.

The following post includes information for Ward 8 residents about the “Encampment Protocol”, the homelessness crisis, solutions to homelessness, housing affordability and what happens if there is a homeless tent encampment in your neighbourhood.

For more details, please continue reading below…

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Council formally requests return of Greenbelt lands

This post, from August 20, has information on Council’s formal request to the province to return the City’s portion of the Greenbelt.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

In a unanimous vote, City Council called for the return of 3,000 acres of Hamilton land that encapsulated the area’s portion of the Greenbelt.

For more details, please continue reading below…

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City reaches tentative agreement with CUPE 5167

This post, from August 20th, has information on the tentative agreement between the City and CUPE Local 5167.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

The City has reached a tentative agreement subject to the union’s ratification of the new deal and approval by City Council.

For more details, please continue reading below…

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Council backs plan to allow for some encampments in Hamilton

This post, from August 16, has details on Council’s backing of some encampments in Hamilton.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

Councillors voted 10-6 in support on a set of rules for people who are experiencing homelessness, after more than seven hours of discussion at a general issues committee meeting Monday.

For more details, please continue reading below…

Continue reading “Council backs plan to allow for some encampments in Hamilton”

Potential CUPE Local 5167 Labour Disruption Notice

This post, from August 15, has details on a potential strike impacting multiple City services.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

The City of Hamilton has issued a press release on the potential impacts on City services should strike action commence on August 21st.

For more details, please continue reading below…

Continue reading “Potential CUPE Local 5167 Labour Disruption Notice”

Homeless Tent Encampment Survey Results

This post, from August 12 summarizes the results of the Ward 8 Homeless Tent Encampment Survey.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

Communities across Canada are increasingly struggling with the need to find solutions that address the needs of both people living in encampments and the broader communities they exist within.

Homeless tent encampments are the result of several conditions including:

  • a lack of affordable housing, particularly with supports;
  • limited emergency shelter space;
  • an opioid epidemic;
  • untreated and exacerbated mental health issues;
  • a broader lack of affordability for basic needs; and
  • insufficient resources at a municipal level to address these issues.

The City of Hamilton is currently reviewing options for homeless tent encampments which may include sanctioned sites with up to fifty tents, and/or an encampment protocol that would allow up to five tents on City property, including parks.

To help Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko evaluate the views of Ward 8 residents, our office asked residents to complete an online survey.

The Ward 8 results are very similar to the City-wide results: there is split support for larger sanctioned encampment sites with onsite supports and stronger opposition to the encampment protocol that would allow clusters of five tents in all City parks.

Ward 8 respondents were very clear that safety was a top concern for both unhoused and housed residents. There was also a consistent theme that public parks are not a suitable location for homeless tent encampments.

The following are a summary of the survey results, including a selection of typical comments received from Ward 8 residents.

Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko would like to sincerely thank all Ward 8 residents who took the time to complete this survey. The results will help inform and guide his final position at Council.

Sanctioned Site Results
Ward 8 Survey Sanctioned Site Results

Not near public community spots meant for children (schools, parks, splash pads, day area). With such limited free public spaces for families adding encampments will deter safe spaces for children and families.

Having those in the encampments maintain their dignity. Ensure proper protection for all involved (any area residents and those in the encampments).

Safety for the unhoused and the general population around them is needed. Access to health services, food, water and washroom facilities is important as well. Keeping the area maintained and clean for the health and well being of all people will be required as well. It is hard to fathom areas like this in residential neighborhoods.

Safety for all, especially women as they become very vulnerable in encampments, safety for the surrounding areas. Would pot-a-potty’s be made available? Number one would be that only sanctioned encampments be permitted, all others would be dismantled immediately.

Encampments should not be in the proximity of any residential areas where children play and enjoy the outdoors.

I favour housing over encampments but any approved sites must be safe. You should not permit any unlawful activities that impact safety.

Safe disposal areas for the people. So our community doesn’t have any biohazardous material around. Have a city water fountain available when necessary. Ensure the safety of kids around the area.

1. permanent low-income housing a priority – keep pressure on Queen’s Park and federal governments 2. safety of unhoused residents from fire, assault, theft, maintaining self-policing abilities 3. health, water and sanitary services to the unhoused 4. counselling and support services for the unhoused residents

These sites need to be in areas that are non-residential and should not be in public parks or high traffic areas where an encampment would negatively impact public usage of the space. A regular police presence will be vital, and there should be zero tolerance for criminality. Unhoused residents should be held to the same standards as those that are housed. Lastly, I’d like to see the city prioritize rehabilitation over “safe use” strategies – see Alberta’s example.

I am in favour of this protocol only because it represents the City trying to do something constructive to allow people to camp legally on public property. How this will work out is still to be seen as many aspects of the plan are still unknown and untested. I don’t have any expectations that it is going to be a perfect solution that pleases anyone completely or is without problems. I think how the protocol could be improved is by keeping it clear to the public that the City is moving in a new direction and it will take time to know it this is the right approach.

Request support from provincial/federal government

Without affordable housing, the homeless community will continue to grow. Guidelines should be made in different parts of the City. I would think you would have to limit the # of tents per area. Awareness must be at the forefront as homelessness is an issue that will get much worse before it goes away.

Make sure it is a temporary protocol and that all three levels of government address the broader issues, healthcare, mental heal, addiction, ACCOUNTABILITY, housing, working poor etc. I understand this is challenging and multifaceted but we are throwing money at this problem and it is only getting worse.

I have sympathy for the people struggling on the street and I’m willing to offer resources or my time to help with this situation but with that said I have small children and I fear the criminal element that is often involved around and with these living situations. I am greatly in favor if the tiny home idea.

There is no correct protocol to this situation, but allowing an encampment in a park where children play and sports are enjoyed by all neighbours is not an answer to this problem that is facing many communities

Advocacy at both the provincial and federal level; this is an issue created at those levels with an insufficient housing strategy that has snowballed and become a municipal issue.

I know the city is trying it’s hardest to combat the cost of housing and homelessness. I feel that the protocol is a good start but I would like to see or hear about the long term goals to combat this with affordable housing.

This protocol assumes that people in crisis have the capacity to research, understand and follow regulations, which I think is a non-starter. People in crisis have one goal: surviving. This policy seems like it’s more for reassuring housed people than helping unhoused people. I am concerned that the Sanctioned Encampment Sites protocol is setting up a situation where we herd all the unhoused (and eventually other people undesirable traits) into one area, forget about them and rob them of their dignity.

Provide services and resources that are useful and valuable to unhoused persons to incentivize settlement in areas where they can be supported. Avoid punitive measures towards unhoused persons outside settlement areas.

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.

Councillor John-Paul Danko