Pancake Flipping Contest with @WRGreens at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival

Five people standing in a line facing the camera: The Glorious Greens: David Weber (KitSHesp), Mike Schreiner (Guelph), Bob Jonkman (KitCon), Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo), Stacey Danckert (KitCent)
The Glorious Greens: David Weber (KitSHesp), Mike Schreiner (Guelph), Bob Jonkman (KitCon), Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo), Stacey Danckert (KitCent)
Join the Glorious Greens as we return to the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival Pancake Flipping Contest as the undisputed vanquished competitors of 2018! We have nowhere to go but up!


Zdravko Gunjevic looking scared beside pancake mascot FlapJack
FlapJack and Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo)
Got skillz? We’re looking for pinch flipperers in case substitutes are needed!

Raise a flipper in support of your favourite Green Team — We’ll need as many cheerleaders in the stands, and coaches, trainers, kinesiologists, and physiotherapists may be required, too!


People standing in front of a pancake mascot
FlapJack with David Weber, Zdravko Gunjevic, Stacey Danckert, Bob Jonkman, and Mike Schreiner, candidates in the 2018 Ontario Provincial Election
Our competitive flipperers are the Waterloo Region Green Party candidates for the upcoming federal election in October 2019. Meet your candidates, and shake the hand that flipped a pancake.


What: Pancake Flipping Contest
When: Saturday 6 April 2019 from 10:00am to 12:00n
Where: Woolwich Memorial Arena
Location: 4 Snyder Avenue South, Elmira, Ontario Map

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival – Button Making and Info Table

Making buttons - three different pictures of hands drawing and colouring button blanks, and one picture of a completed button with a bumblebee and the GPO logo and wordmark
Making Buttons
Come check out the Waterloo Region Greens information table in the arena at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival! If you’ve got questions about Green Party issues, politics, or policies we’ll have the answers you’re looking for!


David Weber colours a button blank at a table covered in pencils and crayons with a young person colouring across the table
David Weber (KitSHesp) makes a button
We’ll have a button making station for kids of all ages. Colour or draw your own artwork, and get it stamped into a button.


Willem Jonkman strains to operate the lever on the button press while Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo) looks on.
Operating the button press
You’ll have a chance to meet the Green Party of Canada candidates from the five Waterloo Region ridings: Cambridge, Kitchener Centre, Waterloo, Kitchener–Conestoga, and Kitchener South–Hespeler.


Zdravko Gunjevic colours a button blank, surrounded by other people drawing and colouring buttons around a table filled with pencils and crayons, with Willem Jonkman at the button press at the end of the table.
Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo) makes a button
And at 10:00am come to the main arena to see the “Glorious Greens” participate in the annual pancake flipping contest. Will there be celebrity flipperers? Come find out!


What: Elmira Maple Syrup Festival – Button Making and Info Table
When: Saturday 6 April 2019 from 7:00am to 4:00pm
Where: Woolwich Memorial Arena, across from the pool
Location: 4 Snyder Avenue South, Elmira, Ontario Map

Screening & Panel Discussion: “Just Eat It”

This is not a Green Party event, but will be interesting for anyone concerned about a sustainable future.

Nith Valley Ecoboosters are pleased to present an event the amount of food wasted each year in Canada.

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019
7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
at Zion United Church, 215 Peel St., New Hamburg (Map)

View the film “Just Eat It – A food waste story” and hear from 3 expert panelists who will share their thoughts on this issue.

THE PANEL

  • Dr. Alison Blay-Palmer, the director of the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at Wilfrid Laurier University;
  • Dr. Mike von Massow, the OAC Chair in Food System Leadership at University of Guelph;
  • Jennifer Pfenning, Director of Human Resources and Marketing, Pfenning’s Organic Farms, New Hamburg.

Following the panel discussion, there will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.

This event is free but registration is required:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/just-eat-it-film-screening-and-panel-discussion-tickets-53254237859

For more information, email nvecoboosters@gmailcom

Our Water Our Future

This is not a Green Party event, but will be interesting for anyone concerned about water protection and the environment. WRGreens will have an information table at this event!

Our Water | Our Future | no Bill 66 Doug Ford’s government for the developers has introduced a new disturbing piece of legislation. Bill 66 would allow developers to bypass important environmental protections and land use controls established under other provincial laws, plans and policies, such as the Clean Water Act and the Greenbelt Act, that protect our environment and our health.

The Canadian Environmental Law Association has said that Bill 66 together with other recent “laws to eliminate or dilute important environmental statutes, regulations and programs … constitutes the biggest and most significant environmental rollback to occur in a generation in Ontario.”

Join us to learn more about the implications of Bill 66 for our water and for our future.

What: Our Water Our Future
When: Thursday, 7 February 2019 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: First United Church
Location:16 William St W, Waterloo, ON N2L 1J3 Map

Please REGISTER — admission is free

While we appear to have made important progress on turning back one of the most egregious components of Bill 66, there remain significant problems in this bill, including Schedule 5 repealing the Toxics Reduction Act. Major concerns remain that the Ford ‘government for the developers’ may reduce the support for monitoring and enforcement of legislation that protects our water, land and air quality.

Join us on February 7th at First United Church in Waterloo at 7pm to celebrate our progress on Bill 66 and to engage with experts as they explain other current dangerous proposals and corresponding calls for action.

We have two powerful keynote speakers: Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, former water policy advisor for Ministry of the Environment, and legal representative for citizens in the Walkerton Inquiry; and Bruce Davidson, Co-founder and Vice-Chair of Concerned Walkerton Citizens.

There will be lots of time to have your questions answered, as well as presentations from Susan Bryant of APT Environment on Elmira’s ongoing water contamination; Kevin Thomason of Grand River Environmental Network on countryside protection; and Arlene Slocombe of Waterloo Wellington Water Watchers on source water protection.

Refreshments will be served; please bring along your travel mug or water bottle.

This event is being organized by the following community partners:

Things to do about Omnibus Bill 66

Bob Jonkman’s Bill 66 delegation to Woolwich Township’s Committee of The Whole. (Tuesday Jan. 8th, 2019)

Since Premier Ford wants to quickly push Omnibus Bill 66 though the Legislative Assembly of Ontario quickly, things are moving very fast.

On Tuesday morning Bob Jonkman was among the WRGreens attending the Region of Waterloo’s tabling of the staff report on Bill 66.   GREN’s Kevin Thomason made a presentation on behalf of the ad hoc coalition of Waterloo Region groups mobilizing against Bill 66 which was very well received, and two motions were adopted by the Region then and there.

On Tuesday night, Sam Nabi (Hold The Line WR) made a presentation to Wellesley Township, while a simultaneous delegation was made to Woolwich Township’s Committee of the Whole by Bob Jonkman, representing KWPeace.  Woolwich Council will be putting together a resolution to be tabled at next week’s Woolwich Township Council Meeting.

If you can come out to any of these Municipal Council Meetings (and bring your friends), it will send a string message to our local councils that this is very important to us.  With the Provincial Government  listening to the developers who elected them, the more seats we can fill, the better.  We need to exercise our grass roots, because that’s the only power we’ve got.

Monday, January 14th, 2019

David Weber, Shannon Purves-Smith and Mo Markham

3:00pm City of Waterloo Council Presentati
4:00pm City of Kitchener Council Presentation
7:00pm – Wilmot Township Council Presentation

Tuesday, January  15th, 2019

7:00pm  City of Cambridge Council Presentation
7:00pm  Woolwich Township Council Presentation #2

Monday, Jan 21st, 2019

7:00pm – North Dumfries Township Presentation

Part of the urgency is the upcoming deadline for the Ontario Bill of Rights.

CANCELLED: Post-Holiday Event with @WR_Greens

CANCELLED: Tonight’s Post-Holiday Event

Bad news, our Post-Holiday Event for tonight needs to be cancelled.

An unfortunate combination of last-minute cancellations, car troubles, and unavailability means that expected attendance is down to a handful of people. Rather than having a few people bring potato salad for dozens and having it go to waste, it’s better to cancel now, and have another event later in the spring when more of us can meet each other.

My apologies for the late notice; these things sneak up on you and then explode.

–Bob Jonkman
Event Planning Committee Chair

Christmas decorations, ornaments, and cookies Hello Waterloo Region Greens! Merry Belated Christmas and Happy Upcoming New Year!

The holidays are half over, and in the usual Christmas madness we’ve only now been able to get ourselves coordinated for our Holiday Event. Bryan Izzard has offered to host at his farmhouse in Baden on Saturday, 5 January 2019, starting at 6:00pm. I guess that makes it a Post-Holiday Event!

Join all your friends of the Waterloo Region Greens for a final celebration of the holidays and 2018’s accomplishments — and since it was an election year, there were many accomplishments!

It’s a potluck event, so bring an appetizer, sweet or savoury snacks, salad, fancy beverages, dinner entree, or dessert. And when you come, please label your dish if it contains wheat, nuts, eggs, dairy, meat, &c.

What: WR Greens Post-Holiday Event
When: Saturday, 5 January 2019 at 6:00pm
Where: Bryan Izzard’s house
Location: 3876 Sandhills Road, Baden, Ontario
Map: https://osm.org/go/ZXnSv4rx-?m=

If anyone needs a ride you can ask your fellow WR Greens on this Discussion List, or send me an e-mail to say whether you need a ride or can offer one, and I’ll sort ride-givers and ride-takers, make a list (and check it twice). Don’t forget to include your address!

And shortly after our Post-Holiday Event we’ll have another regular WR Greens meeting on Wednesday, 9 January 2019. We need to set up candidate nomination dates for the EDAs (there’s a federal election in 2019!), and start planning for the summer’s festival events and other political happenings.

What: WR Greens Regular Meeting
When: Wednesday, 9 January 2018 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, followed by Social Night
Where: Innovation42 Co-Working Space (tentative)
Location: 2nd Floor, 283 Duke Street West, Kitchener, Ontario
Map: https://osm.org/go/ZXnwU_oa?m=

I’ll send out a reminder early that week with confirmation of the meeting location.

See you all at Bryan’s house on Saturday, 5 January!

–Bob Jonkman
Event Planning Committee Chair

—-

Bob Jonkman mailto:bob.jonkman@greenparty.ca
Green Party Member in Kitchener — Conestoga +1-226-476-4529
Web: https://bobjonkman.ca/ Twitter: @BobJonkmanGPC
Vote for the person who will best represent you in your riding!

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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

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!

And Then There Were 10 #NBpoli #VoteGreen

When I think back to the 2008 Election when the Federal Greens earned nearly 1 million votes but won no seats at all, it is really pretty amazing.  Elizabeth May only became the first elected Canadian Green in 2011.  She was followed by Andrew Weaver, elected in the 2013 provincial election as the first Green Party MLA in British Columbia’s history. In 2014, David Coon made history with a seat for the New Brunswick Green Party.  Next PEI Green Party Leader Peter Bevan Baker was tenth time lucky when he won his seat in 2015.  In 2017 when BC’s Andrew Weaver was re-elected, he was accompanied by two new Green MLAs, Adam Olsen, Saanich North and the Islands MLA and Sonia Furstenau, Cowichan Valley MLA.  Then, near the end of 2017, the PEI Greens Caucus was formed by Hannah Bell’s stunning by-election win.  And of course this year our own awesome Green Party of Ontario leader, Mike Schreiner, won his seat in Guelph.

Meanwhile, the PEI Greens were polling ridiculously well in January, of this year, and then even better in August.  Must have something to do with the way Greens do politics differently.

Last Night New Brunswick re-elected Green Party Leader David Coon, as well as two new Green Members of the Legislative Assembly. The new MLAs are Megan Mitton, who won her riding of Memramcook-Tantramar by 11 votes, and Kevin Arseneau elected in the riding of Kent North.

 

Congratulations @DavidCCoon@meganmitton and @kevinarseneau.

One thing I can promise: it’s not over yet.