My Opening Statement from the Ward 5 Debate

CABLE 14 DEBATE – Opening Statement 

Thank you to Cable 14 & the Hamilton Spectator for sponsoring this debate.  My name is Lynda Lukasik.  I have lived in Ward 5’s Kentley Neighbourhood for over 26 years.  I love Hamilton!  I have a lot to offer my city as an experienced advocate who knows how to make positive change happen. I also possess extensive environmental policy, management & planning expertise (Masters of Environmental Studies, PhD in Urban & Regional Planning).  I am inspired by the possibility of serving on a City Council focused on realizing Hamilton’s full potential. 

I have spent the last 20+ years as Executive Director of Environment Hamilton, advocating for positive change in our city.  This has included regularly interacting with city staff and councillors, sharing skills and knowledge with community members to facilitate their engagement in city issues, and serving as a stakeholder in many city initiatives.  This work has made me extremely familiar with city operations, and the various committees and sub-committees of Hamilton City Council. 

Ward 5 is diverse – it faces many challenges and many opportunities.  The area needs safer streets for everyone, from kids walking & biking to school to seniors using walkers to get to Eastgate Square.  The Beach Community continues to struggle with industrial emission impacts; advocacy from City Council is needed to address these pollution problems.  Downtown Stoney Creek is struggling – a collective effort could make it a vibrant ‘hub’ that provides easy access to key services - especially on foot or by bike.  Riverdale West has housing affordability challenges, a lack of quality park space, and an undersized rec centre.  Riverdale’s challenges demand city action to ensure good quality of life in every neighbourhood.  Proposed residential & commercial development along the Queenston / Centennial corridor near future LRT & GO train service opens the door to car-free living, but must be pursued carefully to ensure that current and future residents are not negatively impacted. The ward councillor will play a critical role in all of these challenges & opportunities – I possess the knowledge and experience to be that person – engaging community and advocating for positive outcomes for all ward residents. 

Thank you!