I hope you are all feeling the benefits as the days grow longer and seeing more sun. This time of year signals renewal. In that spirit, I wanted to start off this Councillor Update with an announcement about the Ward 3 Office.
In February, my office welcomed Alex McGillivray to the team as our new Resident Liaison. Alex brings with her a wealth of experience in communications and community building and we are thrilled to have her in the office. She will join Alex Weinberger, my Executive Assistant, and Kerry LeClair, the Climate Action Coordinator in providing exceptional service to all Ward 3 residents with a full office team complement.
March is also when we wrap up City budget deliberations. The current rate of inflation is 6.8% and our overall tax levy impact is likely to come in around there with significant increases to housing and homelessness supports. This includes a revised approach to encampments that will see a housing-led response and the development of a new rights-based encampment protocol.
Also of significance to GALA Herald readers, is the Board of Health’s endorsement of The AIDS Network (TAN) application to set up a Consumption Treatment Services (CTS) site at 746 Barton St E.
Best practices used by CTS sites in other cities in Ontario can show us the way towards success and excellence. Regular and collaborative problem solving among neighours who live in close proximity, other stakeholders and partners is key to proactively address issues. Kitchener found that concerns about safety and possible negative community impact were unfounded with extensive community-based planning prior to opening the site. My amending motion to Council provided direction to ensure TAN meets this expectation and directs Hamilton Public Health to become an active partner.
There is a difference between inciting fear and being afraid. When we incite fear and stigmatize CTS users, we ignore the realities of who is accessing these services locally. However, when we work together to address valid concerns, we can focus on saving lives.
To reach my office, please send an email to email@example.com or call us at 905-546-2107.
Yours in Community,
Councillor Nrinder Nann