Ward 3 Councillor Candidate Responses to SHN Questions

Nrinder Nann

I've said no to running for office more than 20 times, even though I know in my heart we need more women in politics, more diverse people and leaders who put community and residents first in mind. This time, I chose to heed the call of my community. I believe in political courage. We need a real change in council in order to build healthy communities where every resident feels respected, empowered and engaged in the ward they live in. I believe my 20 years of experience in leadership development and community organizing make me uniquely qualified to take this on.

The Kitchen Collective:
This is a great little food business incubator. Members gain access to a fully licensed commercial kitchen so that they may legally make and sell food products for public consumption. Donut Monster got its start here
before moving to a storefront on Locke St. We need more of these innovative spaces.
The Escarpment Rail Trail/Bruce Trail:
I feel like we all know its there, but I'm always surprised by how few people use these amazing trails that run along the bottom of our ward. In minutes, you can be walking, cycling, jogging or hiking in nature.
Gage Park:
It really is the gem of Ward 3. But I'm particularly fond of the 1km inner loop that takes you past lovely groves of trees, the rose gardens, greenhouses, playground and fountains. Never gets boring.

In any infrastructure and facility investments, it's necessary to establish protocols to allow for community and resident participation and engagement in the decision-making processes, such as through community benefit agreements. Any large-scale investment in our ward affects the very people that live and breath in this community. It's therefore important to have a space for residents to voice their concerns and be listened to so that we can together co-create a vibrant and liveable ward. Community Hubs
I would like to invest in community service hubs that allow for inter-divisional service delivery from libraries, schools and community centres. We have many opportunities in Ward 3 for adaptive reuse of former city properties. Community Hubs are a great way to consolidate needed services into neighbourhoods that lack easy access.
Industrial Campus
I'd like to see the creation of an Industrial Campus that is a leader in environmental standards and a responsible neighbour. We have so much underutilized industrial area and I know we can work together to attract Innovators, entrepreneurs and light manufacturing. We should also seriously take a look at Burlington St / Nikola Tesla Ave and find ways to modernize, beautify and better integrate this important corridor into our social and economic life here in Ward 3.
I'd like to see us finish the Stadium District and I'd like to look at the possibility of adding some parking on a section of the former Dom Glass lands. As we know, parking is always chaos during Ti-Cats games and special events. We need a longer term solution.
Green Spaces
And we always need more green spaces designed with children, families and seniors in mind. So when evaluating any new development proposals, we must always push for the inclusion of accessible parkettes, community gardens or other types of green space. We can also look at transforming vacant city properties into community green space and gardens where possible.
Attracting Grocery and Banking
We live in a bit of a desert for Grocery Stores, Banks and other types of services and retail. There is one single major bank branch, a couple of credit unions and two major grocery stores in the entire ward. Access to quality, affordable fresh produce is a major issue for the health of our residents, and is a huge factor in the affordability of everyday life. Together we can map out what retail services are lacking and come up with a plan to identify potential locations and then invite potential tenants to bring their services back to our ward.

Specifically, what are your priorities for infrastructure and facilities investment? What would you propose to ensure these are addressed?

Housing affordability, safety and transit are three key policy priorities in my platform.
Affordability is extremely important not just to address displacement, but to combat rising rents and buying costs. There's a higher proportion of rented housing compared to owned housing in Ward 3, according to a 2011 Ward 3 profile by the City of Hamilton. The proportion of homeowners and renters spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing is higher in Ward 3 compared to Hamilton as a whole. That was seven years ago - we don't see the housing crisis disappearing.
Safety - whether on streets, traffic or in neighbourhoods - is an important priority in Ward 3. We need to ensure that everyone feels they can live without fear in their own neighbourhood.
Transit - Given that Ward 3 has one of highest proportion of workers using public transit for their daily commutes to and from work, we need to stay on track to focus on transit connectivity, allowing new transit solutions like LRT and robust cycling infrastructure to better connect Ward 3 with other parts of the core.

I'm a firm believer of connecting to the mutual purpose - each councillor wants to make Hamilton the best place to raise a child and age successfully. I have 20 years of experience navigating large organizations, working with very diverse stakeholders, and getting real results. I have a proven capacity for bringing very diverse groups of people together and making real change happen. I will approach my role as City Councillor with this same approach: let's keep our eyes on the bigger themes that unite us rather than divide us.

How will you approach the challenge of navigating (actual or perceived) tensions between the interests of Ward 3 and the City as a whole?

I'll create a robust system within my office for logging phone calls and emails and ensuring that every single one of them receives a follow-up in the shortest amount of time possible.
I'll establish a monthly email and web newsletter to keep residents up to date, and price out the cost of doing periodic printed and post delivered updates, because not everyone is on social media.
As someone with decades of experience in community building, for everyone to feel that their voices are heard, I know we have to meet residents where they are at. I intend to break down silos and create an environment where every resident can feel their councillor is accessible and most of all, open to listening.

How will you communicate, stay in touch, and be responsive to the people in Ward 3? What sorts of relationships do you expect to have with community groups?

I used to design and deliver courses for the Canadian Labour Congress addressing these very issues. Hamilton has the largest number of hate crimes per capita in Canada. We have to confront these complex issues head on, both at a grassroots level and through sound policy. We must have our eyes and ears to the ground and be attuned to what our residents are saying and experiencing. Within the work of municipalities, having a gender, anti-oppression and anti-racism lens in policy-making, budgeting and service delivery is necessary to ensure that residents can live and thrive in an equitable city. And so is ensuring that initiatives like the Hamilton Anti-Racism Resource Centre receive funding and support to work with grassroots groups.

How will you engage with and address issues such as classism, racism, oppression and privilege?

I'm a big supporter of:
Community Benefits Agreements that can do things like link local youth to jobs in the trades, help them get training from the unions and get them placed onto job sites in our community.
Resident-led programming in the new Bernie Morelli community centre. I'd love to see residents engaged in the deciding the kinds of programmes they want to have available.
Affordability � There is enough room for everyone in our ward, I would like to spur investment into real housing solutions that address affordability for renters and first time owners with mixed income, low rise buildings that emphasis the 'commons'. Two concrete ideas include ensuring that new developments retain a percentage of units for affordable housing rental and looking at what other municipalities have done with renovation loans aimed at creating more affordable units.

Specifically, what are your priorities for social and economic programmes? How will you ensure that these priority areas addressed?

I'd want the genius intellect and tech prowess of Shuri from Black Panther. With the right ideas and right tech, there's probably no problem we couldn't solve. I'd call myself Super Solver.

Bonus* if you were to find yourself stuck in a mutagenic yet fortuitous puddle of phosphorescent ooze and would emerge with a superpower of your choosing, what would it be? and what would you call yourself?

I'm a listener and a builder. Even when I disagree with someone, I'm able to calmly and respectfully listen to their point of view, and have a productive conversation. To me, it's important to stay the course, to stay focused on the larger purpose and vision for #OurWard3 and our city. Through past experiences, I've seen leaders derail from their core purpose because they are caught up in squabbles. As with everything, remaining respectful and preserving your integrity is key, regardless of whether you disagree with others. I intend to keep those qualities top of mind.

What are your thoughts on the sometimes adversarial nature of municipal politics and its effect on council function? How will you negotiate that environment?

I bring a unique perspective as a community builder, small business owner and a mom with a very cute toddler (as every proud mum would say!) For the past 20 years, I've dedicated my life to community building and leadership development, advancing the rights of working, everyday people - people like you and me. I was only 21 years old when I became the first National Representative on Youth Issues for the Canadian Labour Congress. Beyond my work in the labour movement, I've had experience working in municipalities, such as in the City of Toronto as a Manager of Community Development. To remove barriers to public office and advocate for women and young people, I pushed for Hamilton city council to adopt a parental leave policy for elected officials. In short, my past experiences inform everything I do and advocate for, where I adopt an intersectional and equity lens in every decision made. We need this approach to build a vibrant and equitable Ward 3.

What knowledge, skills, perspectives, or experiences would you bring to the role of councillor?

I've mentioned some of them already above. In short, I'd like to look at our Ward in a holistic way. Where are the major safety issues? Where are the food deserts? Where are there lacking services? Where is transit hard to reach? And then bring the community together to find tangible, doable solutions. From my experience as Manager of Community Development for the City of Toronto, I've actually done this work before. I've negotiated with tenants and developers and the city to create new community Hubs, I've worked directly with residents to identify needs and helped bring lasting solutions to the table that serve multiple generations.

How will you be innovative? What are your new or fresh ideas for the city?

Why did you decide to run for council this term?

What are your favourite Ward 3 Assets?

What are your primary areas of policy interest, and why are these important to you?

Select a candidate below to view their responses, or go back to:

or check out the public school board trustee candidate bios:

Stephen Rowe
Laura Farr
Steven Paul Denault
Nrinder Nann
Milena Balta
Alain Bureau
Kristeen Sprague
Amanda Salonen
Dan Smith
Ned Kuruc
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114 Melrose Avenue S.

Hamilton ON

L8M 2Y8




Tel: 416-888-4022