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What will it take to bring out voters?

Even though the June 12 Ontario election produced a slight uptick in voter turnout, it’s still a long road to seeing a significantly higher proportion of the population casting their ballots. Writer Margaret Shkimba produced this commentary on the issue. * * * By Margaret Shkimba I went on TV last week. Cable 14. That’s […]

Focus Turns to Municipal Election & Voter Turnout

  With the Ontario general election over, the focus returns  to the municipal vote in October – and also to voter turnout, which went up slightly in the poll that gave Premier Kathleen Wynne a majority June 12. * * * Voters in municipal elections traditionally are the least likely to vote, with only 49 […]

Candidates: Show concern for the common good

This is the second installment of One Vote, a feature where voters  talk about what it will take to get their support in the June 12 Ontario election / By Teri Pecoskie * * * Christina Paradela’s vote in next month’s provincial election hinges on two C’s: consideration for the community and consideration for the […]

Zingers: Graeme MacKay’s election cartoons

Hamilton Spectator editorial cartoonist Graeme MacKay knows all about the opportunities an election brings. From Rae Days to Common Sense politics;  faith-based school funding to the political longing for buck a beer, he’s seen – and drawn – it all. “As Ontarians we all need to ask ourselves the old election question: are we better […]

Two ex-mayors and one new candidate face off

Two ex-mayors and one mayoralty hopeful came out Wednesday with the first formal hits of the October campaign.

Don Ross withdraws from mayor’s race

Former Ward 8 alderman Don Ross won’t be running for Hamilton mayor. The 70-year-old retired executive made the announcement that he’s withdrawing from the race to replace Mayor Bob Bratina via a message on Twitter on Monday (April 14). “After many discussions with friends and family and soul searching I have decided to withdraw,”  he […]

Larry Di Ianni not running for Hamilton mayor

Former Hamilton mayor Larry Di Ianni (above wtih former mayor Fred Eisenberger) says staying out of the race for the city’s top job has been “in some respects, the hardest decision that I’ve made.” It will be the first time since 1982 that the former school teacher and principal has not been on a political […]

Ferguson will not run for Hamilton mayor

Lloyd Ferguson won’t be jumping into the crowded Hamilton mayoral race. The Ancaster councillor officially quashed long-running rumours about his candidacy for the city’s top job Monday, but did vow to seek re-election in Ward 12. “I agonized over it,” said Ferguson, adding the decision didn’t get any easier after incumbent Bob Bratina announced he […]

American TV host skewers Hamilton mayor hopeful

By Matthew Van Dongen Hamilton’s latest mayoral candidate is happy to be the butt of jokes on late night U.S. television. Ejaz Butt, seventh candidate to enter  the Hamilton mayor’s race, was the focus of a segment in the monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “I might make it part of my campaign slogan,” Butt laughed […]

Labour leader Ejaz Butt runs for mayor

Taxi driver Ejaz Butt is  the seventh person to enter the Hamilton mayor’s race, his first foray as a candidate although he’s been active in politics for 25 years. Butt, founding president of the Ontario Taxi Workers Union, he said he’s concerned about the Light Rail Transit  proposal and the state of the taxi industry […]

Issues: Hamilton’s prospects for medical marijuana

  New federal regulations on medical marijuana officially take effect this week (April 1).  Health Canada predicts users will balloon from the current 38,000 to as many as 450,000 within a decade. Pot may well be an issue in the 2014 municipal election campaign, since producers are looking for sites to grow in cities like […]

Fred Eisenberger joins race for mayor

By Matthew Van Dongen / The Hamilton Spectator Fred Eisenberger is officially in the race. The 61-year-old was mayor from 2006 to 2010. He was defeated by Bob Bratina in that 2010 re-election bid and came in third behind another former mayor, Larry Di Ianni. Di Ianni is also rumoured to be mulling another run. […]

Why Crystal Lavigne is running for mayor

Exploring the motivations of mayoralty candidate Crystal Lavigne, who has dreamed of being mayor since childhood. * * * By Jon Wells / Hamilton Spectator The candidate for mayor lacks polish, has no political resumé and no public name recognition. But while veteran politicians running for mayor in the October municipal election may speak of […]

To one Hamilton young professional, the No. 1 priority is jobs

The Word from Young Professionals: Part of a series of Q&A features with members of Hamilton Hive in the lead-up to the 2014 Municipal Election. Name: Toby Tresidder Age: 28 Current job: Administrative Coordinator, Hamilton Conservation Foundation. Desired job: The one I’m in. Fundraising for the environment is very rewarding! Mayor or editor-in-chief of The […]

Brad Clark running for mayor

By Matthew Van Dongen Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark is running for mayor. The former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister under Ontario premier Mike Harris registered on Monday, the first working day after Bob Bratina announced he won’t seek re-election.

Graeme MacKay on Bob Bratina

Spectator editorial cartoonist Graeme MacKay has had his eye on Hamilton mayor Bob Bratina since before the 2010 municipal vote that saw the former radio broadcaster elected. Here’s a gallery of some of the highlights of Bratina’s term, which ends this fall. Bratina has announced he’s not running again for mayor. See more on MacKay’s […]

Bratina is out: Who’s running for Hamilton mayor?

By Matthew Van Dongen All of a sudden the race for mayor is wide open. Removing a well-known if controversial incumbent like Bob Bratina from the  equation “will no doubt be a game changer,” said pollster Josh Justice, who conducted a confidential phone survey on possible candidates last month. Justice wouldn’t reveal the poll results, […]

UPDATED: Bratina will he or won’t run again?

In March, Bob Bratina announced he won’t seek re-election, but in July, he opened the door to a possible second run at the job.   See that will-he-or-won’t-he story here on * * * The Spectator’s Andrew Dreschel reported in Friday’s column that Bob Bratina does not plan to run again as mayor of Hamilton., […]

Why is Brian McHattie running so hard?

By Andrew Dreschel For everyone except Brian McHattie, the Hamilton mayor’s race is still very much in the phoney war stage. Mayor Bob Bratina has broadly hinted he intends to seek re-election, but has yet to register and rumours are growing he may step aside. Former mayor Fred Eisenberger says he intends to run but […]

Dreschel: NDP says the rich should fund LRT

It’s clear that LRT is an election issue. Above: Spectator editorial cartoonist Graeme MacKay speculates on delays that might occur before Hamilton gets LRT. Below, Spectator columnist Andrew Dreschel reports on the funding scenario being promoted by the NDP. * * * By Andrew Dreschel NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says Hamilton’s proposed LRT system should […]


The municipal election ended across Ontario on Monday,  setting up Hamilton for a new mayor and at least four new councillors.  Election results are available on

Election day is near, do you know where your poll is?

The City of Hamilton has created an interactive locator to help voters find their polling station. Hamiltonians on the voters list can enter their address and find directions to the assigned poll. To confirm that you are on the voters list, and get election day information, go to

A final film pitch from McHattie

With the election just days away, Brian McHattie has turned to film to get his message across. In a slick, two and half minute YouTube video using drone visuals of the city, McHattie explains his approach to leadership. He notes he doesn’t like politics, but does it because he loves the city and has a […]

Early voters flock to Burlington

By Matthew Van Dongen Hamilton has advance poll envy. In Burlington, more than 11,000 people cast an advance poll vote – many of them online – representing close to 10 per cent of all eligible voters in the city. Toronto, too, is seeing record advance poll numbers – more than 125,000 – in the midst […]

Eisenberger in driver’s seat with 37% support says pollster

With exactly one week to Election Day, a new poll suggests Fred Eisenberger is far and away the mayoral frontrunner, making the race his to lose. According to the poll, the former mayor has the support of 37 per cent of decided and leaning voters while Councillors Brad Clark (25 per cent) and Brian McHattie […]

Your chance to vote on People’s Platform proposals

Six of the city’s mayoral candidates will react to elements of the People’s Platform, a civic wish-list created though participants’ votes, at an event Oct. 20, 2014. Brad Clark, Brian McHattie, Ejaz Butt, Fred Eisenberger, Michael Baldasaro and Michael Pattison will be at Volunteer Hamilton (267 King St. E.) at 10 a.m. to present their […]

Assigning Mayoral Profiles

Ever wonder how important assignment decisions are made? Next week’s special election supplement will include long-form profiles of the three major mayoral candidates: Brad Clark, Fred Eisenberger and Brian McHattie. Watch Election editor Nicole MacIntyre assign profiles to reporters Matthew Van Dongen, Emma Reilly and Meredith MacLeod below.

How they voted

By Matthew Van Dongen On the surface your city councillors seemed a co-operative bunch over the past four years, even in the face of obvious controversy. City manager Chris Murray noted the trend in a look-back speech last month: a “strong majority” of councillors voted together 75 per cent of the time. That’s quite a […]

Video Q&A with Mayoral candidates

The Spectator’s editorial board met with the top three mayoral candidates this week. Here are videos of their interviews.

Brad Clark calls for “flexible BRT” and a rebrand of the HSR

Mayoral hopeful Brad Clark has laid out an ambitious plan to improve transit in Hamilton over the next eight years – a plan that will cost up to $24 million to operate overall. Clark announced several initiatives he plans to implement if elected: Create a “flexible BRT” system on several corridors across the city, including […]

Transit talk on the campaign trail

After the Thanksgiving break, Mayoral candidate Brad Clark has come out swinging on transit. Andrew Dreschel writes: With less than two weeks to Election Day, Brad Clark has dramatically reframed the LRT debate. The Stoney Creek councillor and former Ontario transportation minister initially trumpeted bus rapid transit as a cheaper alternative to light rail, which […]

What’s considered fair play during an election race?

By Matthew Van Dongen The efforts of purported online hackers to “expose” a Ward 3 candidate as a Freemason just jumped to the top of a list of questionable campaign tactics in Hamilton. It’s getting to be a long list. Alleged mass destruction of Marie Robbins signs in Stoney Creek. An anonymous letter disputing how […]

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