Ward 1 City Councillor Candidate: John Vail
Vail discusses key points of his platform, including avoiding over-intensification, being a collaborative member of the community and building transparency
The Silhouette sat down with Ward 1 city councillor candidate John Vail to reflect on his current campaign and the most pressing issues for the upcoming election.
Vail has previously run for city councillor and for the Hamilton Centre seat in the provincial campaign under the Conservative Party in 2014. He has also been a chartered accountant and is now the small business owner of Real Estate Strategy Ltd.
In the Ward 1 candidate debate on Sept. 13, Vail pledged he would work on measures to avoid congestion from over-intensification, meaning re-developing the ward could only happen at the same residential and business density that currently exists.
“Rapid development [means] that people are up in arms now in Ward 1 that their way of life is being undermined with intensification,” explained Vail.
Vail also spoke about the importance of striking a balance between creating businesses, so students have opportunities to stay in Hamilton and residents can also continue from lifelong learning that he and his family have benefited from at McMaster University.
If elected City Councillor for Ward 1, Vail stated he would be a collaborative member of the community and a liaison between McMaster students and Hamilton residents.
Vail discussed about the importance of transparency and trust and the role these would play in his work, should he be elected. He referenced the 2014 Sewergate incident, where a sewer grate accidentally left open began to leak sewage in the Chedoke Creek for the next four years, and he criticized his opponent, incumbent city councillor Maureen Wilson, on how the issue was handled in terms of public transparency.
Wilson pushed for the issue to go public after learning about the spillage but it was first broken by The Spectator. The sewage gate was mistakenly left open from 2014 to 2018, spilling 24 billion litres of sewage, and was left open before Wilson was elected as Ward 1 city councillor in 2018.
“When we look at the city council right now, the viewpoint of the public that I've talked to is that it is somewhat dysfunctional and part of the reason for being dysfunctional is the existing councillor is seen as seen by some as a disruptive figure. So, we're looking at more of a collaborative approach,” said Vail.
Finally, Vail emphasized the duty he believes each citizen has, including students, to go out and vote.
“Democracy won't work unless people vote. And it’s got to start early in life, and just because they’re students is no excuse not to vote . . . Municipal is closest to the everyday needs of all of us,” said Vail.
Vail pledged to satisfy the current residents of Ward 1 and to continue to participate in the McMaster community.
John Vail 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.