By Kevin Werner, News Staff
The Hamilton and District Labour Council has endorsed some familiar faces for council in this fall’s municipal election.
Out of a crowded 10-person mayoral field, the council selected Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie as their preferred pick over former mayor Fred Eisenberger, and Ward 10 councillor Brad Clark.
“He seems to fit the bill,” said Geoff Roman, acting president of the council. “He has been around a long time and we feel he had done a fair job.”
The labour council, which also endorsed candidates in the 2010 municipal election, and has been involved in supporting municipal candidates since the 1980s, also threw its support behind incumbents Jason Farr in Ward 2, Sam Merulla in Ward 4, Tom Jackson in Ward 6, Scott Duvall in Ward 7, Terry Whitehead in Ward 8 and Robert Pasuta in Ward 14. Among the open ward races where there is no incumbent seeking re-election, the council has tapped Sandy Shaw for Ward 1 out of a field of five; Matthew Green for Ward 3 in a race that has nine candidates so far; and Ward 9’s Geraldine McMullen which has five candidates seeking to replace Clark.
The council did not make an endorsement in Ward 5, which has Chad Collins seeking re-election; Ward 10, represented by Maria Pearson; Ward 11 where Brenda Johnston is seeking to return to council; Ward 12 with Lloyd Ferguson; Ward 13, an open ward that has seven candidates seeking to replace outgoing councillor Russ Powers, and Ward 14 represented by Judi Partridge.
Rowan said a candidate received an endorsement from the labour council based upon past performance and a questionnaire that was filled out. The council began analyzing the wards in the fall of 2013, followed by examining the issues leading up to the endorsement of a candidate earlier this month.
A candidate was required to answer 32 questions on such issues as supporting a living wage, improved procurement process for the city, poverty, social housing, good-paying jobs and light-rail transit.
For example, although Rowan recognized that veteran councillor Collins is a “good guy” and is doing a “good job,” one of the reasons the council didn’t endorse him was because he hasn’t been involved in labour events and other such activities over the years.
“There has been limited participation,” he said.
Rowan acknowledged the council didn’t select a candidate in Dundas because only two or three candidates bothered to respond to the questionnaire.
“There was no clear decision,” he said.
The labour council also endorsed candidates for the public school board including Chris Erl for Wards 1 and 2, Larry Pattison for Ward 3, Ray Mulholland in Ward 4, Todd White in Ward 5, Marlon Pickens in Ward 7, Wes Hicks in Ward 8, Greg Sinasac in Wards 9 and 10, Alex Johnstone in Wards 11 and 12 and Penny Deathe in Ward 15.
The council did not endorse any candidates for the separate school board.
Rowan said the council may endorse more candidates later in the municipal campaign once the nominations are closed Sept. 12. He said the labour council had an August deadline to make its endorsements in order to submit their list to the Canadian Labour Congress for publication.
The municipal election will take place on Oct. 27.