Saturday August 31, 2002

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday August 31, 2002

City council won’t parade on Labour Day

Mayor Bob Wade and city council won’t be marching in the annual parade. The Hamilton and District Labour Council, which organizes the event, did not invite the municipal politicians after they rejected its grant request to help defray costs.

“There is no animosity,” said Wayne Marston, Labour Council president. “Our folks thought that if you’re not supportive of our parade, then why should we invite you?”
The labour group applies to the city of Hamilton for a grant every year to help cover the $10,000 cost of the parade, which features floats and vehicles. Local unions and labour organizations march along the way. The mayor and city council are usually invited to march because of their contribution.

Most of the money comes from affiliated unions. Usually the city kicks in $1,000, but this spring the council was told it didn’t qualify for a grant.

“As a courtesy, I told the mayor we wouldn’t be inviting him to march in the parade,” Marston said.

Wade couldn’t be reached for comment, but Ward 1 Councillor Marvin Caplan, who’s marched in the parade in the past, said he was very disappointed.

“There may not be any ill will but it’s certainly not building any good will,” he said. “It’s a bit surprising and disappointing.” (Source: Hamilton Spectator)