Enhancing The Power of One Green

2019 may be the most important election in Canadian History.

We need 2019 to be the year Canadians fill Parliament with MPs with both the political will and commitment to make effective Climate policy.    The climate change clock is ticking, and we can no longer afford to hope protests will mobilize the Canadian government against Climate Change.

We can’t keep waiting for other political  parties to do what needs doing.

We don’t have the luxury of time in which we help elect other party MPs in hopes they will do the right thing, only to watch as they do what the party tells them to do instead.

We have no choice but to elect more Green MPs to send to Parliament to ensure that we have a Parliament prepared to meet Climate Change head on.

We need all the help we can get to send Greens to Ottawa to work with Elizabeth May.  Imagine how much more effective she’ll be with help!)

And with an unfair political system in which most voters aren’t engaged, the sad fact is that financial donations are incredibly important.  Donations allow us to reach out beyond you– and the Green community of Canadians who understand what is happening– and help reach new voters we can encourage to vote.

Donations allow us to afford information tables at local festivals and fairs, which help raise the Green profile enormously.  They can help pay for our own events, like film screenings or education nights, as well as buying the materials to make buttons at our button making events, as well as paying for literature to hand out at them. 

And, if we’ve got money in the bank, our candidates can have their election signs in in hand when the writ is drawn, so we can hit the ground running.  During the election, donations can buy election signs and literature and ads in our local newspapers. Most people have no idea how much Greens manage on a shoestring budget.  And every little bit helps.

We have been lucky to be able to attract and field an excellent slate of Candidates here in Waterloo Region, and we’re planning on doing it again in the New Year.  (Watch this space for information about the 2019 nominations.

If you can afford to make a donation to the Green Party, now is the time.  Any donation made before December 31st will count as a 2018 donation.  Then, if you’re able to donate again in 2019 you’ll be donating under the 2019 donation limit.


2018 FEDERAL GREEN PARTY CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

Effective January 1, 2018

The following limits apply to the total amount of Green Party of Canada donations you will make in 2018.  (If you’ve already donated, be sure you don’t exceed your allowed limit.)

Only Canadian citizens or permanent residents may make political contributions, donating up to:

$1,575 per year, to the Green Party of Canada, and another
$1,575 per year in total between your local Green Electoral District Association(s), Nomination Contestant(s) and Candidate campaigns
$3,150 total maximum allowed contribution

(Note: anything you donated to the Green Party of Ontario does not apply here.)

TAX CREDITS

All Canadians with a taxable income will receive a generous tax credit when they donate to the Green Party.
The sum of all your political contributions determines the size of your reduction in taxes payable.

Donations

between      $     0   and   $400    75% cent refund
between     $400   and   $750    $300 plus 50 per cent of any amount over $400
more than $750      gives you    $475 plus 33 1/3 per cent of any amount over $750 up to a maximum of $650 per year

If you make a $400 donation today, you’ll get a $300 tax credit when you file your income tax next year.  

Green Party of Canada  Donate to Kitchener–Conestoga

And/or make a matching donation to the The Green Party of Canada


Canada Revenue Agency website has more information about tax credits.
Elections Canada website has more information about contribution limits.

Christmas Dinner Plans

Even if Mr Ford hadn’t decided to put a stop to the $15 dollar minimum wage, it wouldn’t have raised minimum wage earners above the Low Income Cutoff (LICO) for Waterloo Region. Although we’re told we ‘recovered’ from the recession of 2008, Canadians earning minimum wage nearly doubled (from 6% – 10%) between 2017 and 2018.  Minimum wage jobs don’t just have low pay, very often they are for precarious work.

Although Waterloo Region is a rich community, many members of our community are financially strained during the holiday season.  (And for the rest of the year, too.)

MYTH: Poverty is not an issue in Waterloo Region. More than 1 in 10 people in Waterloo Region live in poverty. REALITY: Although Waterloo Region is a great place to work, live and play, poverty is an issue in our community. In 2006, approximately 10.2 per cent of residents (48,000 people) in Waterloo Region were living with low income. Imagine - you could fill the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium seven times with this many people! Did you know... • 12.2% or 13,750 children 0 to 17 years in Waterloo Region are living in low income.2 • 451,411 meals were served in 2011 through meal programs throughout Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.3 • In May 2013, there were 8,727 cases on the Ontario Works (OW) caseload. This is a 39% increase in the caseload from September 2008.
2013 Poverty Myth Busters for Waterloo Region (page 3)
Download the PDF

That’s why the Green Party supports raising the minimum wage to a living wage, and implementing a Guaranteed Livable Income (universal basic income set at 10% above LICO).    You can find out more about Basic Income from our friends at Basic Income Waterloo.

Unfortunately that’s not going to happen until we start electing more Greens.  In the meantime, people are living in poverty and Christmas is coming.


UPDATE: We’ve added new pages (in the Resources section of the top menu):


The following is a list of free Waterloo Region Christmas Dinner options for people in need.  If you (or anyone you know) is in need of a good dinner over the holidays, please share.  (And if you’re able I imagine these organizations would welcome volunteers.)

I’m not sure who originated this list (I received as a paper handout), but most of the dinner locations listed here are for the City of Kitchener.  If you know of any others in the rest of the region– Cambridge, Waterloo or the Townships, please share and I’ll add them to the list.

Friday December 14th, 2018

Trinity United Church – Christmas Dinner Community Can Dine – Elmira, Ontario
6:00pm-7:30pm
21 Arthur St. N., Elmira Ontario

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper
open 5:00pm-8:00pm – Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

KCI Christmas Dinner
10:45am – 1:30pm

787 King Street W., Kitchener (enter off King Street)
Tickets available at St. John’s Kitchen or St Mark’s Church
(Limited tickets available last week of November and first week of December)

Thursday December 20th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Friday December 21st, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Saturday December 22nd, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper – open 5:00pm-8:00pm
Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday December 23rd, 2018

Caper’s Sports Bar – Christmas Dinner
Noon – 3:00pm
1 Queen Street North, Kitchener
*Toy and Clothing giveaway

Monday December 24th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
Meal by St Vincent de Paul
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Ray of Hope – Festive Dinner
7:00pm-8:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Tuesday December 25th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Christmas Dinner by Friends of St John’s Kitchen
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Ray of Hope – Regular Dinner
7:00pm-8:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

First United Church Christmas Buffet
11:30am-1pm
16 William Street, Waterloo

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Friday, December 28th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper
open 5:00pm-8:00pm – Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday December 30th, 2018

Ray of Hope – Lunch
Noon-1:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Monday, December 31, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Tuesday, January 1st, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen CLOSED

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Public Forum: Adapting to Climate Change in Waterloo Region

In 2013 the Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival blew away.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018
5:45 PM – 8:00 PM EST

The Region of Waterloo is consulting with a wide variety of local organizations and residents to develop a Community-wide Climate Adaptation Plan. This plan aims to help reduce the potential impacts of extreme weather and climate change to the community. Impacts could affect human health and safety, cause damages to properties and infrastructure, and negatively affect the natural environment.

By participating in this Public Forum, you will have an opportunity to:

  • Discover how climate change may affect Waterloo Region, and how these impacts can be addressed through the Region’s Community-wide Climate Adaptation Plan
  • Help shape the Plan by participating in an interactive activity, where you will have an opportunity to provide input and ideas on potential actions that the community can take to better prepare for climate change and extreme weather.

A light meal and refreshments will be served.

PRELIMINARY AGENDA

5:45 – 6:00 – Doors open, food and beverages available

6:00 – 6:30 – Introductory presentation, including an overview of the Community Climate Adaptation Plan and priority risks for Waterloo Region

6:30 – 8:00 – Interactive brainstorming activity

ADDITIONAL VENUE INFORMATION

The event will be held in Room 1-42 at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, located in the CIGI Campus at 67 Erb Street West, Waterloo.
Parking in the CIGI parking lot behind the building will be free for attendees of this event.

Space is limited, so please register if you would like to attend.
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/public-forum-adapting-to-climate-change-in-waterloo-region-tickets-51476361182

*Note: This is not a WRGreens Event

A made-in-Ontario Climate Change Plan

Liberal MPs Marwan Tabbara, Bardish Chagger, Raj Saini, Bryan May and Conservative MP Harold Albrecht
Liberal MPs Marwan Tabbara, Bardish Chagger, Raj Saini, Bryan May and Conservative MP Harold Albrecht  Waterloo Region Climate Change Consultation, Kitchener, 2016

When I attended the Kitchener Climate Change Consultation in 2016 it was incredible to see all 5 Waterloo Region MPs in attendance, not just the 4 new Liberal MPs, but my own Conservative MP Harold Albrecht was there too.

Facilitator David Weber

Unsurprisingly 3 of our WRGreen candidates were there helping facilitate the discussions.

I believe our Kitchener Climate Consultation was the biggest one held across Canada.  It had more than a full slate of MPs, there were hundreds of engaged citizens there to participate.

There was a lot of great discussion and valuable input as citizens brainstormed ways we could come together and bring Climate Change to heel.

Facilitator Stacey Danckert

It was a heady time.  Critical thinking and creativity came together as citizens from across the political spectrum contributed different pieces of the solution to Climate Change, the existential global crisis of our time.

But Waterloo Region was up for it. We were ready.

Each round table discussion yielded up a blueprint of action.  And at the end of the day, each table’s facilitators presented a verbal report of the high points to the entire assembly.

Although all 5 Waterloo Region MPs were there, its pretty clear none of them actually listened.

Former Progressive Conservative Party Leader Patrick Brown had had a fully costed moderate election platform complete with carbon tax.  But it seems the PC Party backroom boys weren’t ready for a carbon tax, so Mr Brown and his platform were replaced with Mr Ford and a series of off-the-cuff promises masquerading as a platform.

One of the huge costs associated with winner-take-all politics is the policy lurch that happens when a centrist party is replaced by a right wing party.  Which is exactly what we’re seeing here in Ontario.

But even before winning the leadership or the election, one thing Doug Ford was *always* clear about was his intention to get rid of the Liberal’s Cap & Trade carbon mitigation system.

CARBON PRICING

With Climate Change breathing down our necks, carbon pricing is intended to disincentivise Green House Gas emissions.  It does this by forcing polluters to take financial responsibility for the pollution they generate.

Cap and Trade revenue flowing into Government coffers is supposed to help government finance our necessary transition to a sustainable economy.

While it is clear that carbon pricing is imperative, personally, I am not at all unhappy to see the dismantling of the McGuinty-Wynne Cap and Trade system, although a more orderly change would have been nice.

One big problem with Ontario’s Cap and Trade was that its carbon targets simply weren’t anywhere close to being high enough.

Another was that as many as 100 of the worst corporate polluters were exempted.

From my perspective, the worst thing about Cap and Trade is that it creates a government revenue stream.   Governments get very attached to revenue streams.   And the Ontario Liberals had made good use of the Cap and Trade funds that flowed into government coffers.

What do schools have to do with Carbon Pricing?

Ontario schools have been struggling since the 1990’s when the Mike Harris Sr government diverted education tax funds from community school boards into the general government coffers.  Now, instead of dispensing all the funds collected for Ontario elementary and high school education through property tax directly to the schools, in the name of “efficiency” education funding was suddenly dependent on a “funding formula” that was more about redistributing education tax than educating our kids.

Government works in mysterious ways… instead of fixing this elementary school, they built a new one.

Suddenly there wasn’t enough money in the Education budget for elementary school music class and librarians.  In the rich province of Ontario, school budgets were reduced the bare minimum to function.  Chronic underfunding begun by the Mike Harris Sr PC government and carried on by the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals  over decades naturally meant there was never enough funding to properly maintain the infrastructure.

But when school buildings began to crumble across the province, the Liberals had to do something: and so some of the Cap and Trade revenue was earmarked to fix our schools.   (Although spun in the media as needed repairs, in truth these funds were supposed to be used to retrofit schools to make them more energy efficient.)     Sadly even that is gone now, and the folks at http://fixourschools.ca/ will tell you that Ontario schools still need a whole lot of fixing.

Federal Backstop Carbon Pricing

Canadians for Carbon Dividends Ontario Chart

But Ontario’s carbon pricing void will presently be filled with a different kind of carbon pricing, as the Federal Government implements a Carbon Fee and Dividend regime.

This is the carbon pricing policy advocated by both federal and Provincial Green Parties in Canada because it is a much more equitable system.

The fees collected from industry polluters don’t go to line government coffers, but are instead payed out directly to citizens to help us weather the transition.

The dividends counter the price increases industry will pass on to consumers.  The way it works out is that consumers with the smallest carbon footprint actually come out ahead.

Even so, it still is not enough.

The IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made it clear that we aren’t doing nearly enough to address Climate Change.  They’ve given us a timeline of 12 years, and time is running out.

While we need to get the new federal Carbon Pricing system up and running, it is only the start.

So it is a very good thing Ontario’s Doug Ford PC Government has stepped up and is conducting its own

Consultation: A made-in-Ontario climate change plan

We never know if our winner-take-all governments will listen, but when they ask us for input on important issues, it is well worth responding.  Even if they ignore what we have to say, at least we will be on the record.  And the record will be there for the next government.

It is very important for us to respond, to make sure our new PC Government understands Ontario expects serious climate change policy.

This consultation tells us they want our opinions, but they don’t want our names. The only way to participate is to do so anonymously on a web form.

Tips

Your submission does not need to be a scholarly work; you can write as much or as little as you’re comfortable with.  When filling in any kind of web form, it’s easiest to prepare your answer offline.  That way you won’t accidentally send it before you’re finished, and you can keep a copy of the submission you wrote.  It is always an excellent idea to make as much noise as we can publicly online.  If you have a blog, share it there and/or sharing on twitter or Facebook or whatever other social media you use.   Sharing online can inspire others to participate, and the greater the response the consultation gets, the better.  If you don’t have a place to share online, feel free to share your submission with us, and we’ll publish it here on the blog.

You might find inspiration in the  Rise For Climate Waterloo Region submission or suggestions made at the Federal Climate Change Consultation.  

About this consultation

Our quality of life depends on clean air to breathe, safe water to drink, and well-protected lands and parks.

Later this fall, Ontario will release a plan that will identify specific areas of focus to help us tackle and be more resilient to climate change.

This will be the first part of a broader approach that will protect clean air and water, encourage conservation and do more to address urban litter and waste.

This made-in-Ontario solution will strike the right balance between protecting our environment and responsibly supporting a prosperous economy.

Areas of focus

The plan will include several areas of focus, such as:

  • Creating an understanding of the effects that climate change is having on our households, businesses, communities and public infrastructure to better prepare and strengthen our resiliency.
  • Ensuring polluters are held accountable and creating dedicated measures that will efficiently reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Improving Ontario’s business climate by unlocking the power of the private sector to finance and drive innovative climate solutions. This will include an emissions-reduction fund to invest in technology-based and other solutions to reduce emissions in Ontario.
  • Finding a balanced solution that puts people first, makes life more affordable for families, and takes Ontario’s role in fighting climate change seriously.

These areas will help ensure our investments in climate action effectively balance greenhouse gas reductions while supporting economic prosperity and Ontario families.

https://www.ontario.ca/form/tell-us-your-ideas-climate-change?

⇒ Ontario Climate Consultation webform

Waterloo Regional Chair Candidates answer our Climate Policy Survey

[Republished from the WRGreens Blog “Survey Results – Candidates seeking Regional Chair position in WR]

Cities and regions around the globe are taking the myriad threats of climate change VERY seriously, and many are taking active steps to ‘future proof’ their communities. We are already seeing the impacts in our own backyards – and we know that decisions will need to be made today to address tomorrow’s looming climate dangers. On behalf of Region residents and voters concerned with the devastating impacts of climate change felt right here in the Region of Waterloo and across our warming planet, we asked candidates seeking office in the Region of Waterloo to review and reply to a survey questions.

The answers from all 4 candidates ~ Jan d’Ailly • Jay Aissa • Karen Redman • Rob Deutschmann ~ seeking Regional Chair position follow:


Jan d’Ailly

Q: First things first: do you support our goal of cutting local greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050?
A: Yes, and I have proposed that all new construction/homes should have solar panels as part of our new official plan.

Q: Since transportation is the largest contributor to local greenhouse gas emissions, what do you think we should be doing to curb those emissions?
A: Encourage public transportation and active transportation.

Q: What potential issues do you see  with public transit in the city/region, and how can we increase their likelihood for success? 
A: It’s a classic chicken and egg situation, but the reality is that we need to properly fund public transit to ensure enough coverage to get good ridership. I can get you plan if you wish.

Q: What opportunities do you see with cycling infrastructure? 
A: Huge, I was the person who initiated the Waterloop and the connectors trails in Waterloo around 2010, It was part of my election campaign at the time. We need to develop a region wide plan that can be adopted by all the cities and then prioritise the gaps and start filling them, just like we did in Waterloo.

Q: How do you and how would you balance economic considerations (which may be pressing in the short term) with environmental considerations (which threaten hundreds of thousands today and our species’ very existence in the too‐near future)? 
A: Moving forward, everything that we do we must do on a more sustainable basis than we have been. Project by project, policy by policy.

Q: What is your position on our urban boundaries? Should we be continuing to build beyond the current boundaries?
A: I am a strong advocate of the hard country line, and see no reason why we should build beyond it. Its not sustainable. See answer above.

Q: What is your perspective on possible Greenbelt expansion into the Region’s boundaries? 
A: Our Environmentally Sensitive Landscapes (ESLs)’s, which, by the way, I had an active hand in, provide far more protection than the greenbelt.

Q: How can we increase our Urban Canopy? 
A: We need to continue to advocate about the importance of the canopy, and encourage tree planting. We can always do more.

Q: What ONE initiative ‐ that you may have experienced or seen through the media ‐ from around the world would you be interested in exploring in the Region? 
A: Good question, actually it has to do with the provision of social services and making sure that no‐one gets left behind. We need to transform our social service delivery model to a much more collaborative eco‐system. See my comments from the CBC interviews.


Jay Aissa

Q: First things first: do you support our  goal of cutting local Greenhouse gas  emissions by 80% by 2050?
A: Your goal of cutting local Greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 is admirable. Yes, I support your goal, as it is consistent with the goals set by the Federal Government.

Q: Since transportation is the largest  contributor to local greenhouse gas  emissions, what do you think we  should be doing to curb those  emissions?
A: I think we should follow much of the plan as set out in the Region of Waterloo’s Master Plan. In the years to come, we must also look to alternative sources of energy to fuel our transportation systems.

Q: What potential issues do you see  with public transit in the city/region,  and how can we increase their  likelihood for success? 
A: To answer this question I would refer you to my website http://www.votejay.ca There you will see that I am calling for the creation of a new Master Transportation Plan for our Region. This plan calls for a comprehensive completion of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) which includes an operational Phase 1 in Waterloo and Kitchener and the completion of Phase 2 from Kitchener to Cambridge. Also included would be efficient and timely transportation services to each of the four Townships within the Region. Also included would be suitable walking and biking trails.

Q: What opportunities do you see with cycling infrastructure? 
A: Again, I refer you to my website. I support the Region of Waterloo’s Separated Cycling Network Pilot Project.

Q: How do you and how would you balance economic considerations (which may be pressing in the short term) with environmental considerations (which threaten hundreds of thousands today and our species’ very existence in the too‐near future)? 
A: It is every governments responsibility to do the greatest good, and we must find the balance between economic development and environmental considerations. When elected Regional Chair, my goal will be to find that balance.

Q: What is your position on our urban boundaries? Should we be continuing to build beyond the current boundaries?
A: I do not believe that we should build beyond current Regional boundaries.

Q: What is your perspective on possible Greenbelt expansion into the Region’s boundaries? 
A: I do not believe that we should allow for possible Greenbelt expansion into Regional boundaries.

Q: How can we increase our Urban Canopy? 
A: We should continue our Regional tree nursery program.

Q: What ONE initiative ‐ that you may have experienced or seen through the media ‐ from around the world would you be interested in exploring in the Region? 
A: At this point in time, I believe that the Region of Waterloo has three priorities that we must pursue in the immediate term. First, I believe that we must do everything we can to ensure the creation of a new, high tech teaching hospital within our Region. Second, we must re‐think our transportation systems and create a new Master Transportation Plan. And third, we must provide more financial and personal support to our Region’s First Responders, and by that I mean our Police Force, our Fire Fighting Services, our Ambulance service and our EMTs, and others who are keeping us safe on a daily basis.


Karen Redman

Q: First things first: do you support our  goal of cutting local Greenhouse gas  emissions by 80% by 2050?
A: The Region has committed to 80% reduction of GHG by 2040.While I was Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, I recognized that signing on to the Kyoto Protocol was an important step for Canada as a nation. At the same time, Hudson Quebec was banning pesticides in their city. Political leadership at all levels of government is required. But local municipalities have power to enact significant change. Municipal governments are the closest to the people. People in Waterloo Region started the blue box recycling program and have embraced the green bin for food waste with more enthusiasm than was predicted. The reduction of garbage in the land fill means a longer period of time before a new land fill site will need to be procured.

Q: Since transportation is the largest  contributor to local greenhouse gas  emissions, what do you think we  should be doing to curb those  emissions?
A: Complete phase 2 of the LRT to connect the Region to GO.  Continue to lobby for 2 way all day GO trains, lobby for high speed rail linkages to GTA. Consider what are the lowest emission  purchases for public transit when replacing vehicles.

Q: What potential issues do you see  with public transit in the city/region,  and how can we increase their  likelihood for success? 
A: When purchasing replacement vehicles, consider the least polluting options i.e electric vs diesel.

Q: What opportunities do you see with cycling infrastructure? 
A: Cyclists don’t care if roads or trails are Regional, city or township. Uniform signage would be helpful and a seamless flow of bike lanes. The Active Transportation plan is comprehensive. It needs to be implemented and the progress monitored.

Q: How do you and how would you balance economic considerations (which may be pressing in the short term) with environmental considerations (which threaten hundreds of thousands today and our species’ very existence in the too‐near future)? 
A: True leadership is knowing when to lead and when to step back to allow the community to provide the leadership. It is supporting initiatives like the REEP and Sustainable Waterloo Region. These are examples of leadership that have lead to a reduction in GHG emissions. Sustainable Waterloo Region is overseeing the construction of first energy neutral building in the David Johnston Research Park. Residential Energy Efficiency Program is empowering home owners to reduce their energy footprint while saving money. Again, the Region has committed to a 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2040. I recognize that good environmental policy equates to good economic results for the Region. At a Provincial municipal conference, I saw a presentation on the potential cost savings over time and reduced impact on the environment through the use of electric rather than diesel buses. There is a cost to installing the infrastructure for fueling a fleet of these buses but phasing in major changes like these is prudent.

Q: What is your position on our urban boundaries? Should we be continuing to build beyond the current boundaries?
A: The balance between the rural and urban aspects of Waterloo Region has been largely maintained by land use planning that is managed through the Official Plan. Maintaining the country line to curb greenfield development and encourage intensification with in the urban core has protected our farms and the rural way of life. By growing food locally, marketing and processing it, there is less impact on the environment. The less distance our food is trucked, the less GHG emissions.

Q: What is your perspective on possible Greenbelt expansion into the Region’s boundaries? 
A: Recently a challenge of the Regional Official plan was settled at the OMB. The settlement was a compromise. More land was zoned for future development than was originally proposed by the Region. However, it was less than the acreage the developers were seeking. Managed growth based on the values of protecting the rural/urban mix should be maintained. The construction of the LRT is as much a planning tool as  a transportation system. Encouraging growth, both residential and commercial along the route, will alleviate the pressure to provide residential development on existing farm land.

Q: How can we increase our Urban Canopy? 
A: Urban life is hard on mature trees. We were attracted to our neighborhood 36 years ago because of the trees. They are currently dying and new ones are being planted in their place. Attention to the amount of salt used on the roads can make a difference.

Q: What ONE initiative ‐ that you may have experienced or seen through the media ‐ from around the world would you be interested in exploring in the Region? 
A: The fixed link high speed rail in China from Shanghai to the airport was truly impressive. A similar one from Waterloo Region to GTAA would be a game changer for the local airport and commuters. The 401 is reputedly the most traveled highway in Canada. Often it resembles a parking lot which is bad for our environment and bad for human health. Getting commuters off the 401 is good for the environment, good for the commuters traveling into the Region for work and those traveling from the Region to GTA. It makes economical sense locally, Regionally and Provincially.


Q: First things first: do you support our  goal of cutting local Greenhouse gas  emissions by 80% by 2050?
A: Yes.

Q: Since transportation is the largest  contributor to local greenhouse gas  emissions, what do you think we  should be doing to curb those  emissions?
A: We need to continue to work on our transportation master plan to ensure that we improve alternative modes of transit. We need to have protected and connected cycling infrastructure within our community. We need to continue to invest in transit to expand the lines, buses and service hours to make it more attractive for more people and to better support the ION line. We need to continue to advocate with the provincial and federal governments for all day 2 way GO, high speed rail between Toronto and Waterloo Region, a GO connection between Milton and Cambridge, and expansion of a fully funded and route reviewed ION second phase. We also have to be mindful of what benefits will come from a driverless world, once that technology has improved to the point where it can be operated reliably. We also need to consider the implementation of technology, such as that from Miovision, to better move vehicles in our community.

Q: What potential issues do you see  with public transit in the city/region,  and how can we increase their  likelihood for success? 
A: As noted above, we need to invest in our infrastructure which includes expanded lines, increased hours of service and more buses. At the same time we have to review routes to ensure that we are operating as efficiently and effectively, in terms of customer service, as we can.

Q: What opportunities do you see with cycling infrastructure? 
A: I am an advocate for building protected cycling paths and closing the gaps in our paths so we have better connectivity between bike paths. This also includes improved signage to make it easier to navigate our bike paths.

Q: How do you and how would you balance economic considerations (which may be pressing in the short term) with environmental considerations (which threaten hundreds of thousands today and our species’ very existence in the too‐near future)? 
A: Everything we do as a government has to be viewed through various “lenses” – economic, social and environmental. We are past the point in our existence on this planet where we can ignore the environment and assume that either things aren’t that bad or that things will fix themselves. That is an ostrich mentality that I do not agree with.

Q: What is your position on our urban boundaries? Should we be continuing to build beyond the current boundaries?
A: I was a member of Regional Council from 2010 to 2014. During that time we were dealing with the OMB dispute between the Region and builders over the additional number of hectares for future development. Eventually the parties were able to come to a mediated settlement after the Region lost the OMB hearing that sided with the developers for an additional 1,000 hectares for development in the official plan. The number was reduced to just under 500 hectares, which should provide developers with sufficient expansion lands for many years to come. In the meantime we will continue our intensification strategy that promotes building up rather than building out.

Q: What is your perspective on possible Greenbelt expansion into the Region’s boundaries? 
A: The Region has always been a leader in protection of our country side lands. We will continue to lobby the government to allow us to decide what is in the best interests of our community and not fall under provincial determination. As we saw in the last provincial election, if our lands are under provincial protection, that protection can be changed with a change in government that has a different philosophy than the previous government. My preference is that we determine our own destiny as a Region rather than have those decisions transferred to bureaucrats at Queen’s Park with little or no connection to our community.

Q: How can we increase our Urban Canopy? 
A: We must always be mindful of the impact of any development to the urban greenspace and trees. We need to ensure that we protect as much of our urban canopy as possible. In the event that there will be removal of trees for a development project, for example, then we need to ensure that there is a fulsome and robust plan in place to ensure that there is a proposal in place to provide us with, at a minimum, an equivalent replacement. I also prefer that green space is included in development projects where required rather than accept cash in lieu of greenspace.

Q: What ONE initiative ‐ that you may have experienced or seen through the media ‐ from around the world would you be interested in exploring in the Region? 
A: I was in Vancouver over the summer and I was really impressed with their cycling infrastructure. They had protected bike lanes and there were connections to Stanley Park. We need to up our game in Waterloo Region with respect to cycling infrastructure – protected and connected is my mantra.


Download the survey answers as a Microsoft PDF chart here: https://www.d1zi.com/assets/D1Zi-Survey-10-17-2018-revised.pdf


Don’t forget to get out and vote for your municipal representatives on Monday, October 22nd, 2018!

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