InTheHammer launched barely four months ago but a lot has happened in the city since then.
In fact, some of the biggest news stories of the year in Hamilton came to light in those few short months.
We had a number of secrets come out of City Hall in recent weeks and some bombshell announcements that will have an impact on Hamilton in the months and years to come.
Also, the community is still coming to terms with the murder of a 13-year-old boy outside of his school in front of his mother.
- Hamilton’s Winterfest pivots and moves programming entirely online for 2021
- Resource offers support for Hamilton children, youth struggling with mental health during pandemic
- Better Together: Virtual event to give Hamilton’s small businesses platform to vent, share resources
Here are 5 of the biggest news stories InTheHammer covered in 2019.
The future of the old Eaton’s Centre in Downtown Hamilton has been up for debate for quite some time. But earlier this year, a young developer swooped in a with a vision and purchased the property.
While plans are not definitive, In8 Developments envisions a series of mixed-use buildings where people can live, play and work in Hamilton’s downtown core. Is it what the city needs in that area? Only the future can tell.
Hate in Hamilton
Hate and intolerance are, unfortunately, not new to the city. It’s simmered near the surface for generations. This year, however, it’s certainly boiled over a number of times.
Tensions ran high at this year’s Pride event in Gage Park when a group of Yellow Vest supporters turned out to protest. Violence ensued and arrests were made and trust in our police services took a massive hit. Since Pride, there have been smaller incidents outside City Hall where peaceful protests have been staged every Saturday.
Back in October, however, another incident outside of a People’s Party of Canada event saw violence erupt once again and arrests made, charges laid and anger over the fallout.
The city is making efforts to address issues of equality and diversity but many have their doubts that the efforts they’re making are going to help those dealing with hate.
The provincial government’s announcement last week that Hamilton’s massive LRT project was cancelled has been met, for the most part, with outrage.
Tens of millions of dollars have been sunk into the project already and millions more will likely be spent in its cancellation.
Few can dispute the impact the news will have on the city. The project, which has been more than a decade in the making has so far displaced people and businesses, attracted investment and has seen the ground broken on several pre-construction projects. Everything is up in the air now that it’s been cancelled and dozens are out of a job. Not to mention the loss of thousands of potential jobs.
Basically, it’s a mess and it seems to be the result of some sketchy political dealings.
In late November, the city of Hamilton quietly revealed that approximately 24-billion litres of stormwater runoff and sewage was discharged into Chedoke Creek over a span of more than four years.
Shortly after, the Hamilton Spectator discovered that Mayor Fred Eisenberger and city council knew about the spill and its scope but opted to keep the details from the public on the advice of ‘environmental lawyers.’
Since the spill was uncovered, Hamiltonians have been fierce in their rebuke of the current council’s handling of the situation, with many demanding letters of resignation.
More than a week after the story made headlines, council issued a formal (very formal) apology and released further information about the spill. Unfortunately, it was too little too late for many Hamiltonians.
This is perhaps one of the most horrifying acts of violence to have ever taken place in Hamilton.
What’s more, is that it was carried out at the hands of children.
The murder of Devan Bracci-Selvey in front of his mother is said to be the culmination of a prolonged bullying campaign. A 14-year-old by currently faces a first-degree murder charge in the case.
In the aftermath of Devan’s death, the community has called for a review of the school board’s bullying policies. The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) has launched anti-bullying initiatives and has hired an independent review panel that will be working with students, parents, teachers and the broader community to come up with a strategy to address and respond to bullying in Hamilton schools. The report is due in September 2020.