Hamilton Mayoral Candidate: Andrea Horwath
The former leader of Ontario’s NDP, Horwath is running for mayor of Hamilton with an action plan to address long-standing issues in the city
The Silhouette sat down with mayoral candidate Andrea Horwath to discuss her current campaign and the most pressing issues for the 2022 Hamilton municipal election.
Horwath has a long political resume that starts with her position as Hamilton’s Ward 2 city councillor from 1997 to 2004. Then, in 2009 she was elected as leader of Ontario’s New Democratic Party, a position she held until 2022 when she stepped down and declared her intention to run for mayor of Hamilton.
“I had been the leader [of the Ontario NDP] for 13 years and I felt like it was time to pass the torch. I had done a lot of hard work. I was very proud of the work that I had done but there comes a time that you know that your leadership needs to be passed onto somebody else,” said Horwath.
Horwath’s platform addresses the issues Hamilton faces at length with her action plan that looks at making Hamilton a great place to live, work and raise a family. Horwath’s action plan includes increasing the affordability of Hamilton by working on the “missing middle” housing needed in Hamilton and creating a diverse economy by fostering film and agricultural sectors while collaborating with McMaster University and Mohawk College.
“We have to make sure people coming out of university can not only afford to live in our city, but there are opportunities for them. And that’s one of the other pieces that I speak to in my action plan. Let’s make sure that we are creating a vibrant economy that prioritizes people’s ability to make Hamilton their home,” said Horwath.
Horwath’s platform also pushes for better transportation by addressing the $2.3 billion infrastructure backlog of roads and sewers, as well as increasing HSR services in frequency and neighbourhoods public transit reaches. She spoke about denser development in Hamilton’s existing wards in order to halt urban sprawl and the expansion of Hamilton’s urban boundary. A large expansion of Hamilton’s urban boundary was voted against in a city council vote last November.
“We have some parts of our city that have no service whatsoever. People have no choice but to jump into a car and we need to turn that around,” said Horwath.
In addition to pushing for public transportation, Horwath’s platform focuses on how green livable neighbourhoods will be promoted using multiple strategies. Her action plan pledges to follow Hamilton’s Urban Forest Strategy for better urban forests and continue Hamilton’s Urban Indigenous Strategy under Indigenous leadership. Horwath also emphasized the importance of being transparent in progress made in the Climate Change Action Plan to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Following the pollution of Chedoke Creek, Horwath says that the city needs to rebuild trust with the public.
“I think that one of the really disappointing, not even disappointing, outrageous things that we've all been dealing with was the sewage leak into Cootes Paradise and that's unacceptable. Not only the fact that it happened, that it was going on for so many years, but the lack of transparency around how people found out about it. It's really about trust,” said Horwath.
Horwath spoke optimistically about the future of Hamilton and how she hoped to bring her experience to the position of mayor of Hamilton.
“I think Hamilton’s poised for a really great future. There’s so many amazing things happening. I just want to be able to use the experience, the knowledge, the networks, the capacity that I’ve built to help our city realize its potential,” said Horwath.
Horwath reminisced on her time at McMaster as a labour studies student and explained why she believes McMaster students should vote in Hamilton’s municipal election.
“What I would hope is that by engaging in what's happening at the municipal level, people who are attending McMaster University can learn more about what a great city this is,” said Horwath.
Andrea Horwath is running for mayor in the Oct. 2022 municipal election. His candidate profile has be posted as part of a series the Silhouette is running to build student awareness about the municipal election. Candidate profiles will continue to be posted in alphabetical order over the next few weeks. Election Day is Oct. 24 and more details on how to vote can be found here.