The 1997 Hamilton municipal election was held on November 10, 1997, to select one Mayor, one regional chairperson, seventeen members of the Hamilton, Ontario City Council, elected on a two-tier basis, as well as members of both the English and French Public and Catholic School Boards. The suburban communities of Ancaster, Flambrough, Glanbrook, Dundas and Stoney Creek, each elected town councils for the last time before amalgamation.
For the 1997 election, the City of Hamilton switched from paper ballots to a new automated voting system. This system saw voters mark their choices on a paper ballot, enclose it in a 'privacy sleeve' and feed it into a computer that automatically tabulated the results.
Incumbent Mayor Bob Morrow sought, and won, a sixth term in 1997. His campaign was centered around the establishment of a one-tier 'megacity', and the lowering of downtown taxes.
Civil Servant Dave Snowdon was an employee of Human Resources Development Canada and called the east Mountain home. The 31-year-old father of two focused on making the city a more inclusive community, especially in respects to youth, increased investment in the downtown core and promoted environmentally responsible issues.
Fitness Instructor Kristina Heaton was the first female contender for the position since 1978, and campaigned on uniting environmental groups across the city, establishing a monitoring system to investigate cases of animal abuse and increasing police foot-patrols in the downtown core.
Future city councillor Brian McHattie ran on an environmentally conscious platform that promoted practical spending, and supported an inquiry into the Plastimet disaster, improving municipal air quality and upgrading the city's sewer system.
Paul Decker was the automotive manager of a Canadian Tire store in Dundas, and ran in the 1994 Election, finishing second to Mayor Morrow. Though known in his community for his volunteer work and commitment to municipal affairs, he was arrested a year after the 1997 Election on charges of defrauding his employer for under $1,500.
College student Waylon MacDonald, who was training to be a machinist at the time of the election, advocated a reversal of the downtown conversion to one-way streets and focused on reducing the debt.
An unemployed moulder in 1997, Wendel Fields, who was also a former candidate for the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada in the riding of Hamilton West in 1997, promoted the idea of establishing 'people's councils' to ensure Hamiltonians had a say in the direction of their tax-dollars, as well as lowering taxes for small businesses, while raising them for large corporations.
Note: All Hamilton Municipal Elections are officially non-partisan.
Note: Candidate campaign colours are based on the prominent colour used in campaign items (signs, literature, etc.)
and are used as a visual differentiation between candidates.
Sources: Election Results, "The Hamilton Spectator", November 12, 1997, News, Pg. 4.
Mary Kiss successfully ran for a sixth term in 1997, promoting her personal record of constituency work and environmental advocacy, as well as highlighting the very small tax increases that have occurred during her tenure on council.
Incumbent Marvin Caplan made a successful bid for a second term as Ward One's junior councillor in 1997, promoting his advocacy on downtown issues and promoting social justice.
Second-time candidate Cam Nolan was the executive director of the Hamilton Construction Association at the time and ran on a fiscal responsibility and anti-incumbency platform.
Rob Corsini was the owner of Corsini Supermarkets and a member of the Ontario Liberal Party, who campaigned on restoring the economic health of the downtown core following the Plastimet fire, an industrial disaster that affected the northern portion of the ward, assisted heavily by Hamilton WestMP Stan Keyes.
Vince Agro, a councillor of 25 years, campaigned on the importance of dealing with the coming provincial downloading on a case-by-case basis, as well as highlighting his experience.
A councillor for 31 years, Bill McCulloch, ran solely on his experience, maintaining that proven leadership was the most effective way to run a city. He caused some controversy by writing off Horwath and Corsini's candidacies, saying, "Let me suggest we need one person with experience. If all of a sudden we were to get rid of everyone with experience, the new people wouldn't know where the washroom is!"
26-year-old financial planner Jason Capobianco ran against amalgamation and provincial downloading, saying he would refuse to accept any provincial proposal to change the status quo.
John Kenyon was manager of the Payne Music House on King Street East and campaigned on bringing change and new ideas to the table, as well as lowering business taxes in the core
Jim Savage, who was associated with the Corktown Community Association, ran on a reformist platform, calling for a new perspective in city politics and a reduction in business taxes.