Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bratina all for de-amalgamation

Mayoral candidate Bob Bratina says he’d consider de-amalgamation if he’s elected mayor.

“It’s not working. Everyone agrees with that,” he said yesterday of the merger of Hamilton with its suburbs 10 years ago. “(De-amalgamation) is a possibility, and I’m going to confront it.”

He made the comment at his campaign kickoff last night, held at his headquarters at the former Christian Bible Society store on Main Street West near Westdale high school.His launch was attended by a mostly older crowd of about 125 people.

Local musician Jude Johnson headed up a jazz trio and sang jazz standards punctuated with lyrics such as “Bye-bye Eisenberger” and “Bob Bratina for mayor.”

Bratina, who plays several instruments, also picked up his clarinet and played both polka and jazz with Johnson’s combo.

Bratina’s campaign kickoff speech was largely focused on his history, including stories about his old hangout, the Westdale Hotel, better known as Paddy Green’s.

He says he wants to fix the problems in downtown and shift his focus to the division between the new and old city.

“It’s not that hard. It’s a couple of blocks. And then let’s get that off the table and move on with our lives,” he said. “So, that’s why I’m here. To get us past this downtown nonsense and on with building the new city.”

He argues the city has been divided since amalgamation, but has been even more divided by the Pan Am stadium debate. Bratina said he’ll meet with the province and explore the city’s options to de-amalgamate. He also emphasized Montreal successfully de-amalgamated.  (Source: Hamilton Spectator)