Following election day on October 24, Hamilton welcomes Andrea Horwath as its new mayor and incumbent Maureen Wilson is re-elected as Ward 1 city councillor
Over one hundred thousand Hamilton residents cast their votes in Hamilton’s municipal election, which concluded on Oct. 24. Following election day, former Ontario New Democratic Party leader Andrea Horwath was announced as Hamilton’s new mayor, capturing 41.68 per cent of the vote.
Horwath’s leadership marks a milestone for Hamilton — she will be the city’s first female mayor.
The race was close between Horwath and Keanin Loomis, former CEO of Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. Horwath emerged just under two thousand votes ahead of Loomis, who captured 40.51 per cent of the vote.
Bob Bratina, a former mayor of Hamilton, came third in the mayoral race with 12.27 per cent of the vote.
“Hamilton is my pride and my inspiration. I could not have asked for a better hometown. And there are so many people who poured their hearts into making our city even greater. I am filled with gratitude,” tweeted Horwath on Oct. 24, following her election.
Horwath’s platform throughout her campaign addressed many key issues affecting Hamilton residents, such as transportation, housing and trust between city hall and the public.
Along with electing a new mayor, Hamilton residents also voted for their city councillors. In Ward 1, over eight thousand residents cast their ballots and incumbent Maureen Wilson won the seat with 74.96 per cent of the vote.
Ian MacPherson received 15.72 per cent of the votes and John Vail received 9.32 per cent of the votes.
Wilson addressed Ward 1 residents in a long Twitter thread on October 25.
In this thread, she expressed her appreciation for residents of Ward 1 and her desire to address their concerns. She also thanked her opponent, Ian MacPherson, for his community contributions and for his campaign.
A precise breakdown of the election results can be found on the City of Hamilton website.
A student-focused summary of the city’s mayoral and Ward 1 city counsellor candidates and thier platforms
As the municipal election races come to a close, students should remember that not only are they eligible to vote, but also that their voices matter in this election. Student are able to cast votes for city the mayor of Hamilton, city councillors and school board trustees.
For more in-depth discussions on each of the mayoral candidates, you can check out the candidate profiles posted on the Silhouette website.
In June 2022, Hamilton’s current mayor, Fred Eisenberger, announced he would not be running for reelection. In the weeks leading up to the election, the Silhouette sat down with several of these candidates to discuss their platforms, their reasons for running, and their perspectives on why the student vote matters.
Bob Bratina has had a long political career, as Ward 2 city councillor from 2004 to 2010, mayor of Hamilton from 2010 to 2014 and Liberal member of parliament from 2015 to 2021. He is concerned about affordable housing, financial transparency regarding the LRT project and increased security.
Ejaz Butt is a community activist, an Uber driver, and the founder of the Ontario Taxi Workers Union. Butt explained to the Silhouette that his 20-point campaign agenda was compiled based on feedback from Hamilton residents. This agenda particularly highlights the housing crisis and the affordability of living in Hamilton.
Jim Davis detailed his platform on Facebook page Vote Jim Davis 4 Mayor of Hamilton, the same platform that he ran on in his first mayoral campaign in 2018. Davis aims to prioritize city-run programs, such as daycare and recreation and housing initiatives.
Andrea Horwath served as Hamilton’s Ward 2 city councillor from 1997 to 2004 and as the leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party from 2009 to 2022. Horwath plans on prioritizing public transportation, environmental protection and rebuilding trust between city hall and the public.
Solomon Ikhuiwu is a trained paralegal, evangelical preacher and author who wants to prioritize unifying the city and addressing the housing crisis. Ikhuiwu has worked with unhoused communities in Hamilton throughout his career and is critical of the current state of the shelter system.
Hermiz Ishaya decided to run for mayor to set an example for young people and highlight the importance of youth involvement in politics. Ishaya told the Silhouette that he is particularly concerned about the housing crisis, as well as the city’s infrastructure and roads.
Keanin Loomis, former president and CEO of Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, highlighted building a trustworthy and responsive City Hall, fostering economic growth and making Hamilton a safer and cleaner city as his main goals.
Michael Pattison, who previously ran for mayor in 2014 and 2018, is running in this election on a platform that prioritizes the housing crisis, affordable mental health initiatives, transparency in city spending and food insecurity.
City councillor candidates
Along with voting for Hamilton’s mayor, Hamilton residents will also be voting for city councillors. The majority of McMaster students reside in Ward 1, which has three candidates competing for the seat.
Ian MacPherson founded the Canadian Association of Pompe, an organization that lobbies the government to fund new treatments for Pompe. MacPherson’s priorities include environmental sustainability, road safety and addressing the housing crisis.
John Vail is a small business owner who has previously run for both city councillor and for the provincial Hamilton City Centre seat. His priorities include building transparency in city council, avoiding over-intensification and collaborating with the community.
Maureen Wilson was elected as Ward 1 city councillor in 2018 and is running again in this election. Her platform highlights key areas of priority, such as ensuring safer streets, addressing the housing crisis and investing in public spaces.
McMaster students are eligible to vote on election day, October 24, provided they have government-issued identification and proof of residency in Hamilton. More information on where to vote on election day can be found here.
With one week left before the municipal election, the MSU hosted a mayoral debate to inform students on their voting options
On Oct. 17 the MSU held a mayoral debate from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the MUSC Atrium. Four mayoral candidates including Michael Pattinson, Ejaz Butt, Keanin Loomis and Solomon Ikhuiwu were present, with the five remaining mayoral candidates not in attendance. The debate was livestreamed and a recording of the debate can be found on the MSU Facebook page.
Candidates were allowed three-minute opening remarks and followed by a structured debate facilitated by MSU President Simranjeet Singh. Singh posed candidates questions on important issues in the election revolving around affordable housing, climate change, policing, public transportation and Hamilton’s new nuisance party bylaw.
All candidates in attendance were in support of the LRT and increasing support to ancillary services, including mental health resources and homeless shelters. When asked about policing, candidates debated the balance between supporting thin spread police resources in Waterdown and Ancaster and the discrimination minorities in Hamilton continue to experience.
Concerning safe, affordable housing, Loomis discussed his plan to build 50,000 homes in the next ten years by clearing red tape in city hall. He was challenged by Pattinson, who argued it is not enough to say red tape in city hall will be tackled. He claimed that 20,000 homes that had already been approved were not in progress yet and that the key to creating new housing was to ensure developers were not allowed to sit on purchased land after site approval.
When asked about how to tackle climate change in Hamilton there were also differing solutions. Loomis emphasized investing in green energy in a shift from Hamilton’s reputation as a steel town, whereas Pattinson focused on green, accessible public transportation in order to attract residents to Hamilton’s natural ecosystems.
In the closing statements, all candidates thanked students for attending the debate and Ikhuiwu urged students to carefully research candidates and exercise their right to vote. Loomis emphasized that the candidates he claimed were his main competitors, Bob Bratina and Andrea Horwath, were not present for the debate held on McMaster University’s campus.
On Oct. 18 an on-demand ballot was held in CIBC Hall from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. for voters across all Hamilton wards. Canadian citizens living in Hamilton over the age of 18 were to vote in the municipal election so long as they were able to provide proof of residence.
If voters missed the Oct. 18 on-demand ballot, polls will be open to Ward 1 citizens at Glenwood Special Day School on Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m among other locations. For more information on candidate profiles see the Silhouette’s for the municipal election series and to learn how you can vote visit www.msumcmaster.ca/macvotes.
Navigating the blurred line between politics and peers, and why it’s important to know where you stand
PHOTO C/O: Alex Motoc, Unsplash
Friends and social media can shape your political orientation and ideologies. From a tweet shared by your favourite celebrity to a comment made by a close friend, several studies show that you may begin to question, and possibly even alter, your political stances in agreement with those around you.
The power of social influence is not a new revelation. For decades, psychologists have noted the ability of social groups to modify and impact individual behaviours and opinions. This phenomenon occurs as a means of meeting individual needs of acceptance and belonging through conformity in society.
On a smaller scale, the power of social influence can prompt you to follow basic etiquette in public. However, on a much greater scale, the people around you can affect your political views, causing you to take an ill-informed political stance before casting your ballot. As a result, without adequate information, you may end up siding with a political party or candidate that does not truly represent your beliefs and values.
Research is singlehandedly the most valuable strategy to combat and mitigate the power of social influence. Exploring each political candidate and their platform can help you solidify your political views to make a well-informed decision.
While it may not be completely obvious at first glance, there are certainly damaging ramifications of inadequate knowledge when it comes to politics and voting. A lack of political understanding diminishes the value of having democracy and leads to an inaccurate reflection of the public’s true wishes through government policies and action.
Take Paul Fromm as an example of the rash consequences that could result if ballots are cast with such blissful ignorance. Currently running in Hamilton’s nearing municipal election, he is a white supremacist and neo-Nazi that spearheads several organizations with deplorable objectives.
The stark and concerning reality is that there are very few eligibility criteria to run for a municipal election in Ontario. As such, it becomes the sole responsibility of us citizens to support and cautiously grant power to candidates whose visions and values align with our own.
So, whether you are preparing to vote at the next municipal election or an upcoming MSU election, beware of social influence and try to implement necessary measures to make your vote your own. Though the prospect may seem daunting, you are not required to vote for your friend or someone they support at an election. Only your opinions and ideas about a candidate’s qualifications and plans should matter when you check off the circle on your ballot.
It is also important to remember that along with your right to vote in Canada, maintaining the secrecy of your ballot is also a right that no one may infringe. While there is no harm in engaging in healthy political discourse, you should never feel compelled to share your political views with anyone, especially if it makes you feel uncomfortable.
As students receiving post-secondary education in a democratic nation, we ought to recognize our privilege and use it to effect positive change in our communities. Staying aware of how our friends and exposure to political views on social media can influence our stances, as well as doing our research, is vital to ensure we are truly making an impact with our votes.
C/O Michael Pattison
Pattison has built his campaign on affordability, transparency and food insecurity
The Silhouette sat down with mayoral candidate Michael Pattison to reflect on his current campaign and the most pressing issues for the upcoming election.
Pattison is running as a mayoral candidate for the third time in his political career, having previously campaigned for the position in 2014 and 2018. He is running again this term to address issues involving affordability, transparency and food insecurity in the municipal government.
Affordability is the biggest point of Pattison’s platform. He discussed the importance of funding mental health initiatives as a key part of his affordability plan.
“The worse that our mental health slides down and the harder that finances get on people, I believe [that] is one of the biggest precursors for mental health [challenges]. When you are terrified of losing your home, not being able to eat or not being able to pay your bills — these things weigh on people so heavily on a common scale. Whether it is through more therapy or having different social meeting groups, [mental health initiatives] can help the overall city of Hamilton as a whole,” said Pattison.
As another key aspect of affordability, Pattison highlighted the importance of addressing the housing crisis in Hamilton.
“From a city perspective, my number one thing is: winter is coming. We have to have safe, secure spots for those that are homeless or are becoming homeless or we're going to then have a death issue on our hands,” said Pattison.
Pattison also advocated for transparency in city spending. Discussing the allocation of funds from residential taxes, Pattison claimed the largest allocation is towards an unknown department listed as “other” in the 2021 tax distribution report.
“When you go through the city budgets, they give you an average residential tax rate and they break it down by department. And if you were to look, you'll see where social services comes in, you'll see where education comes in, policing, and things like that, but yet the largest piece of the pie is just listed as ‘other’. And after going through line by line of our overall budget, I am yet to figure out what the ‘other’ is,” said Pattison.
However, the City of Hamilton’s annual tax dollar distribution chart only mentions “other” for other city services. After reaching out to city hall, other city services was explained to encompass the capital levy, where tax dollars are used to finance capital projects for all city programs and services, as well as smaller dollar value city services. Additionally, policing services were found to be the largest allocation, followed by education services, and then other city services.
“We're going to come into a food crunch. I believe that this winter is going to be a very unfulfilling time for people . . . We've done nothing as a city to work on our food security issues. Even dealing with local farmers, we haven't put anything in place. We haven't helped them with green housing, we haven't done anything to come up with a local supply of guaranteed food,” said Pattison.
When asked about the potential challenges of mayorship, Pattison foresaw the learning curve that comes with the position as the biggest hurdle.
“A mayor basically has three distinct roles and mastering those three roles is something that I'm game for. I have the ability to maintain all three levels: within city council, you're basically a moderator; within the city executive, you're the CEO and in the public, you need to be a role model. So, trying to master those three, coming from just a blue-collar background that was just born and raised in this city,” said Pattison.
Addressing the McMaster University community, Pattison wanted students to become more engaged with the election and municipal government.
“I believe that you're our future leaders. And you know, it's the choices that are made today that set up tomorrow. You guys are the future and you need to be involved now. If you're not involved now, then you're going to let old coots make all the decisions; they're going to be detrimental. Whereas the fresh new ideas, the fresh new perspectives on life, give me different perspectives that we don't see in our lifetime,” said Pattison.
Michael Pattison 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.
Jim Davis runs for mayor a second time with the same platform, maintaining his focus on affordability
Jim Davis could not be reached for comment on his campaign for mayor in the 2022 Hamilton municipal election. The following info included in this article pertaining to Davis's platform is found in his post on the Facebook page Vote Jim Davis 4 Mayor of Hamilton.
Davis ran in the 2018 mayoral election where he finished fourth. He is now running a second time with the same platform as he believes many of the same major issues from when he ran previously are still unresolved.
In the Facebook post stating his platform, Davis makes it clear that his priority is to make living in Hamilton more affordable.
His platform relies on city-run programs, including daycare, recreation and housing initiatives, to keep costs of living low and address the community’s concerns.
Davis believes the city should train current employees for new responsibilities and offer them a raise in pay instead of hiring new workers where possible. He notes that particularly when it comes to the city-run programs he’d like to develop, such as the daycare, there may be a necessity to hire new individuals.
Davis also pledges to keep streets safe by keeping one-way traffic, and reversing the decision made by Hamilton’s city council in May to convert Main Street to two-way traffic due to studies that consistently reported one-way streets led to more pedestrian deaths. In addition to preserving one-way streets, Davis plans on updating heavily travelled roads by laying concrete, which he claims will save the city money.
Jim Davis 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.
Ikhuiwu details his mayoral platform, focusing on the housing crisis and the importance of unity
The Silhouette sat down with mayoral candidate Solomon Ikhuiwu to discuss his platform and experience running in the upcoming municipal election.
An evangelical preacher, trained paralegal and author, Ikhuiwu is a candidate in Hamilton’s mayoral race who is excited about unifying the city and advocating for its residents.
Ikhuiwu outlined the four key pillars of his platform as integrity, affordability, environment and community. Practically, the issues Ikhuiwu highlighted as being central to his platform are addressing the housing crisis and unifying the city.
In particular, Ikhuiwu identified housing as being one of the most important issues in this election. In the past he has donated clothing to unhoused residents of Hamilton, cleaned up parts of the city for them and spent a lot of time talking to them. He expressed that these experiences have driven him to prioritize the housing crisis in his platform.
"Winter is coming and [unhoused people] don't have a place they can call home and many of them complain that the shelter system is worse than prison,” said Ikhuiwu.
Ikhuiwu did not provide more details regarding his plan to address the housing crisis. In their article, CBC Hamilton noted his platform also includes developing transition programs for unhoused folks.
In terms of unifying the city, Ikhuiwu spoke about hoping to increase collaboration between different parts of the city. He did not provide further details on how this unity would be achieved.
Ikhuiwu did, however, speak about his desire to be an accessible and open mayor. Despite not having prior political experience, he believes his experiences as an author and a preacher have given him the ability to connect with many people and help them with the different circumstances of their lives, making him well-equipped for the job of mayor.
“Let me clarify that I'm not a politician. I represent the everyday, hard-working people,” said Ikhuiwu.
Finally, Ikhuiwu emphasized the importance of the student vote in this election, emphasizing that student voices matter for the path of the city. He also urged students to give Hamilton a chance, rather than rushing to leave the city upon completing their degrees.
"[Students] tell me things like I can't wait to leave the city of Hamilton, I can't wait to move somewhere else, I can't wait to take my talents to a different place because we don't want to be a part of [this city]. So, my plea to the students is: be patient with city hall. Be patient. I'm bringing change. Give us a second chance,” said Ikhuiwu.
Solomon Ikhuiwu 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.
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.
Macpherson plans to build safer intersections and address the city’s housing crisis
The Silhouette sat down with Ward 1 city councillor candidate Ian Macpherson to reflect on his current campaign and the most pressing issues for the upcoming election.
Prior to throwing his hat into the ring for the position of city councillor Macpherson has been an active member of the community. He started the Canadian Association of Pompe to lobby the government to fund new treatment for Pompe, a genetic metabolic disorder.
However, frustrated by the long process to pass bills and certain decision-making by the Hamilton government, Macpherson now wants to now make a difference in the city.
He pointed to proposed legislation to turn Main St. into a two-way street as an example of an inefficient, expensive project. Macpherson said the legislation, aimed to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths, is not the best solution to make the street safer and will instead end up increasing traffic and emissions.
Macpherson created an alternative proposal to make an all-way pedestrian scramble, where all traffic is stopped to allow pedestrians to cross in a multidirectional fashion, with a five-second delay between phases of traffic. He argued the five-second delay would reduce any pedestrian injuries or vehicle damages from cars running red lights.
“[The proposal] addresses all intersections at the same time, is cheaper and has faster implementation,” said Macpherson.
Macpherson has also proposed an adaptation of a traffic light program introduced in Jacksonville, North Carolina, where through traffic control software traffic lights on the opposing street in an intersection will remain red if a car runs a red light on the main street until it safely passes.
In addition to making safer intersections, Macpherson advocated for helping Hamilton’s unhoused population and addressing the affordable housing crisis in the city. He plans on expanding the Hamilton Alliance for Tiny Shelters program, a volunteer and donation-based temporary housing program, by providing areas for shelters as well as financial support.
“The HATS program is a great initiative and Hamilton should support them in any way they can and try to expand this project to get people off the streets, out of tents and help them find permanent housing,” said Macpherson.
Macpherson described perseverance and understanding different perspectives as some of his strongest asset as a prospective city councillor.
“I have persevered all my life. I've viewed society from a different position than most and I've learned to problem solve really quickly. I had to do that my whole life due to my disability. I also see three perspectives instead of one. I think every problem is not one problem. There's many problems surrounding that problem and you have to address all those problems at the same time,” said Macpherson.
If elected, Macpherson views cohesiveness as the main challenge of a city councillor.
“I really hope that the new councillors are on the same page and they're not voting against each other. If you look at everybody's platform, they all say affordable housing, safer and better infrastructure, etcetera but these things don’t get done. I think cohesiveness is a big part of it . . . If the councillors are cohesive and have the same mindset and goals, a lot should be done for the next four years in Hamilton that will help improve the city,” said Macpherson.
Ian Macpherson is running for city councillor in Ward 1 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.
C/O Randy Kay, Unsplash
Hamiltonians, including students, will be heading to the polls again in October 2022
This year is a busy one for democracy in Ontario. After having gone to the polls in June to elect their provincial representatives, Hamiltonians will do so once again on Oct. 24 to elect the municipal government.
In Hamilton, the positions that will be decided in this upcoming election include the city’s mayor, 15 city councillors, 11 English Public School Board trustees, nine English Catholic School Board trustees, one French public school board trustee and one French Catholic School Board trustee.
As of July 28, the candidates for Hamilton’s mayor, included Keanin Loomis, a former chamber of commerce chief; Ejaz Butt, a former taxi union official; Bob Bratina, a former Hamilton mayor 2010 to 2014 and Andrea Horwath, who will be leaving her Hamilton Centre seat to enter the race. After having severed the city as mayor for three terms and as a city counsellor before that, current Mayor Fred Eisenberger has chosen not seek re-election.
Hamilton is composed of 15 wards and one city counsellor from each ward will be elected to represent their community’s interests on the city council. Most students reside in Ward 1. As of July 7, there were two candidates for Ward 1’s counsellor: incumbent Maureen Wilson and Ian MacPherson.
Students are eligible to vote in the upcoming election so long as they are Canadian citizens, at least 18 years of age, are residents of Hamilton — this includes if you are a tenant in the city — and are not otherwise disqualified from voting. Students who consider their home municipality — the city they may return to live in when they are not attending school — are eligible to vote in both the election in their hometown as well as the city of Hamilton’s election.
A voters’ list will be prepared for Sept. 1. In order to add, confirm or update your information, students will need to visit www.voterlookup.ca. To add your name or to make changes to the voters’ list after Sept. 1, you will need to contact the municipal clerk, who is responsible for organizing the election.
Additionally, like all voters, in order to vote on election day, students will need to show identification offering proof of their residence in Hamilton. For students living in residence, they should be able to receive a document offering proof of residence from their post-secondary institution. For students living off campus, this could include a utility bill or a transcript from their post-secondary institution.
While the location of advanced polls are still to be announced, there will be located in each ward and they are slated to be open on Oct. 7 and 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. as well as Oct. 8 and 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
On election day, there will be polls at post-secondary institutions in the city, including McMaster University, Mohawk College and Redeemer University. At these locations, the city is planning to pilot their “ballot on demand” system.
At a “ballot on demand” poll, there will be an e-poll book and printer, allowing for staff to provide voters with a ballot form in any ward — not just the ward the polling station is located in. This system allows voters to cast their ballot without having to go out of their way to a polling station Voters will still be required to show identification in order to vote.
While these are still early days for election, some issues expected to be raised include the ongoing housing crisis in the city, the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of the LRT and the urban boundary expansion. These issues and how they are decided will have important implications for students and their time in this city, making it important to be informed and participate in this election.