Ward 1 City Councillor Candidate: Ian Macpherson
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.