Blast furnace obit
I was a little disturbed last week by the reports of the demolition of the Stelco E Furnace. Not so much that it was gone, but more that all it received as an obituary were reports of the noise and the dust. There was no mention of the history wrapped up in this furnace or the finality of steelmaking at Stelco Hamilton by its demise. With its removal, there is no longer any means of making steel at the Hamilton facility. The history and the lives of Hamiltonians involved are a great legacy of the company. It seems a shame to miss the opportunity to dwell on this rather than a loud bang and some dust. A great opportunity lost on many fronts.
Dave Lane, (retired Stelco employee), Hamilton
Police moved fast on assault
Like the public, Hamilton Police were disturbed by the video showing one of our officers assaulting an Indigenous man during an arrest May 26.
Andrew Bell mentions in his letter that the Hamilton Police Service Board has requested a review of the policies and procedures on the use of force and prisoner handling. As a Service, we welcome this review.
However, Mr. Bell was inaccurate in his account of how the video came to the attention of Hamilton Police Service. Police actively sought out the witness and video.
Following the arrest on May 26, issues were immediately identified by supervisors. On May 27, Hamilton Police obtained video from the location of the arrest and identified a witness. Investigators contacted the witness and were able to gather further video from the individual.
As soon as we reviewed the video on May 27, we immediately suspended the officer and contacted the SIU. When the SIU did not invoke their mandate, we then commenced a criminal investigation and charged the officer with assault on June 16.
The matter is now before the courts and the officer remains suspended.
We strive to be a trusted partner in community safety. When that does not happen, we hold ourselves accountable for our actions.
Chief Frank Bergen, Hamilton Police Service
The need for young voices
The fact that four recent HWDSB grads are candidates for trustee in our upcoming election is an “anomaly” to celebrate. Trustees play a role in an education system that should be in constant dialogue with the times. These candidates have had recent experience as students, but also have engaged with work in the community, advocating for greater equity and justice.
It is significant that Hamilton has a Charter of Rights of Children and Youth, with accompanying participatory responsibilities for children and adults. Although no longer youths themselves, all of these young candidates were in secondary school when the Charter was approved by our city council. The “highly desirable but quite unusual” candidacy of Ahona Mehdi, Sabreina Dahab, Elizabeth Wong and Cameron Prosic reflects well on our community.
Anyone wishing to learn more about Hamilton’s Charter of Rights of Children and Youth can visit the “Arts For All Artasia Townhall Art Installation” at the Supercrawl Festival in the Family Zone on September 10-11. The Charter is also posted online.
Victoria Long, Karyn Callaghan, Cheryl Velenosi, Hamilton
Dredging needs to happen
Aaron Detlor and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council sound like obstructionists to me. They aren’t against the dredging of the Chedoke Creek but complain that they don’t have details of the dredging plan and aren’t certain if getting rid of 22,000 tons of raw sewage sludge is in the best interest of the creek? How can removing the pollution not be in the best interest of the creek? What are the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council’s plans for the removal of the sewage? Do they have a better idea?
Let the City clean Chedoke Creek because its necessary for wildlife and public health and stop with all the dogma that is preventing the right thing from being done.
Janet Gallagher, Hamilton
Informative but incomplete
Former mayor Larry Di Anni’s article on the various ward candidates was informative but incomplete.
Alex Wilson, co-founder of Action 13, has taken leave from his job as Sandy Shaw’s legislative assistant, to run against incumbent Arlene VanderBeek.
Wilson is a hard working environment, climate change and social justice campaigner, who would bring a breath of fresh air to Ward 13 and City Hall.
Wayne Poole, Dundas
Measuring yays and nays
When I read the comments made by fellow readers and opinion pieces I often wonder how many people are thinking ‘yay’ or ‘nay’. I wish that there was some way that the Spec could tally responses so that writers can express their support or lack of. It would also be interesting to see how many people support that point of view.
Pat Ward, Hamilton