Canada

2022 Ontario municipal election: Meet the Waterloo Ward 6 council candidates | Globalnews.ca

On Oct. 24, voters across Waterloo Region will head to the polls to elect city and regional councillors, mayors and a regional chair.

Residents of Waterloo, the region’s smallest city, will elect councillors in seven wards as well as a mayor to form city council.

Read more:

Meet the candidates for Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo council

There will be at least three new faces in place, as Ward 3 Coun. Angela Vieth, Ward 6 Coun. Jeff Henry and Ward 7 Coun. Tenille Bonoguore have chosen not to seek re-election.

With Henry out as councilor in Ward 6, there will be a new face in place for the first time in over a decade. Voters will have an opportunity to decide between Karen Fischer, Mary Lou Roe and Matthew Nicholas Schwarze.

Story continues below advertisement

To help voters ahead of this election, Global News has reached out to all of those running for regional or city council, mayor or regional chair in Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo with available online contact info. Those running for office were emailed a list of seven questions and in the coming days, the responses for every candidate who replies will be shared.

What follows are the responses received from those running for councillor in Kitchener, with the candidates being listed in alphabetical order.

Karen Fischer

Q.1 Please give a brief background of yourself including what you do for a living and how long you have lived in the area? (If you are an incumbent, please state how long you have held the position.)

My name is Karen Fischer and I’m running for Waterloo City Councillor Ward 6.  At present I work full-time in a retail store helping people find the right fireplace for their home or business.  I have a Bachelors degree in English and a Graduate Diploma in Primary Education.  I was a stay-at-home mom for 16 years, homeschooled for 7 years and have done a variety of jobs from fast food and retail to compiling operation and maintenance manuals for air pollution control systems. I grew up in Kitchener, raised our children in Elmira and have lived in Waterloo Ward 6 for 3 1/2 years.

Read more:

Meet the Waterloo candidates for regional council

Story continues below advertisement

Q.2 Why do you believe you are the right person for the job?

I am the right person to represent Ward 6 because I am passionate about my community, feel strongly about some of the issues that need addressing within the city and I have both the skills and the time to do this job well.

Q.3 What do you think is the most important issue facing your ward and the city as a whole?

I think the most important issue facing Waterloo City Council is affordable housing.  I believe the city needs to look at the ways it is contributing to the unaffordability of housing and it needs to do what it can to help people provide housing for themselves and their families.

Q.4 Looking down the road, what are your long-term goals for the city?

Looking down the road, my long-term goals for the city are stability and security. We can talk all about sustainability, inclusivity, accessibility and respect but really, if we achieve these things, the result will be stability and security for all the residents of Waterloo.

Q.5 What is your platform?

If elected to represent Ward 6, I will open dialogue at council level about the city’s contribution to unaffordable housing and seek solutions to do better.  I will uphold the enforcement of the property standards bylaw as I believe it will contribute to a sense of safety and security in our neighbourhoods. I will ensure that housing continues to evolve in a way that best serves the people in this community, supporting the development of green space, more inclusivity and more accessibility for all members of this community.  I will ensure that corporately owned buildings contribute to a sense of place and community.  I will reduce spending where possible, positively contribute to wise spending choices and mindfully plan for future spending. I will be available to listen to concerns, ask good questions, gather important data and do my part to ensure that residents are heard.  I will uphold and support the values of genuine care, concern and respect so there is a sense of safety and trust in our city and everyone is considered.

Story continues below advertisement

Q.6 What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to build relationships with people including family and friends.  This often happens over tea/coffee, a meal at home or in a restaurant, on a tennis court, in the swimming pool, in nature, at the theatre, around a campsite or on a trail. When I’m alone or with the dog, I like to read, watch a show or nap at the park or on the beach.

Read more:

Meet the Waterloo Ward 1 council candidates

Q.7 What is your favourite thing about living in your city/ward?

My favourite things about the City of Waterloo and where I live are friendly people and beautiful green space.

Mary Lou Roe

Q.1 Please give a brief background of yourself including what you do for a living and how long you have lived in the area? (If you are an incumbent, please state how long you have held the position.)

I’ve lived in the City of Waterloo’s Ward 6 for 16 years with my husband and sons and grew up in the Region. I’m an entrepreneur and founded my own business – The Wonderful Women’s Club – where I facilitated gatherings and workshops for women centered on women’s issues and experiences. I chair local grassroots volunteer committees, including Community Coalition on Refugee and Immigrant Concerns (CCORIC) and World Refugee Day Waterloo Region. I help to lead and organize community events and forums that raise awareness of, and address issues faced by newcomers. I’m also an active member of Empire Public School Parent Council.

Story continues below advertisement

Q.2 Why do you believe you are the right person for the job?

Because I care deeply about my community. Everyone wants to belong, feel visible, and accepted – by family, friends, and in their community. For many people, belonging to the community feels out of reach due to ethnicity, age, ability, gender identity, lack of adequate housing, employment, mental health issues, and more. When people don’t feel they belong or are visible, they don’t engage fully in the community, utilize services, contribute, and thrive.

I’m passionate about belonging and will be the point of connection between residents of Ward 6 and the city. I will listen, be responsive, and hold space for their concerns. I will provide a safety net for people who feel alone and bring their needs to the city, so they no longer feel isolated and marginalized.

Q.3 What do you think is the most important issue facing your ward and the city as a whole?

Affordable housing: Right now, the City of Waterloo is facing a housing crisis. Many residents struggle to secure safe, affordable places to live that meet their needs – whether they are singles, students, seniors, or families. I am committed to supporting affordable housing initiatives and strategies that help make housing attainable for all city residents along the housing spectrum.

Q.4 Looking down the road, what are your long-term goals for the city?

Story continues below advertisement

  1. A greater sense of belonging and community in my ward and the city.
  2. Tangible, affordable housing options for residents.
  3. A sustainable, healthy, and climate-resilient city.

Read more:

Meet the Waterloo Ward 3 council candidates

Q.5 What is your platform?

Affordable housing: Everyone needs stable, safe, affordable housing for themselves and their families to participate more fully in the community and thrive.

Community building: Residents need to feel accepted, included, and belong in the community. That they are visible and have equal access to work, services, green spaces, and opportunities.

Climate action: We need to continue to move forward with responsible climate action so we can adapt and build resilience within our city and our world.

Q.6 What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I volunteer with local community groups, read, garden, bake, and enjoy walking the neighbourhood with my dog.

Q.7 What is your favourite thing about living in your city/ward?

My favourite thing about living in Ward 6 and the city is the vibrancy and rich diversity of people, their stories, contributions, and experiences. It’s a pretty great ward and city to live in!

Story continues below advertisement

Matthew Nicholas Schwarze

Q.1 Please give a brief background of yourself including what you do for a living and how long you have lived in the area? (If you are an incumbent, please state how long you have held the position.)

I’m Matthew Schwarze, a local community leader that has made Waterloo his home with his partner. I moved to Waterloo in 2018 and quickly fell in love with the city—I’m now running to represent Ward 6 on City Council and continue pushing Waterloo forward on housing affordability, active transit, sustainability, and more.

Q.2 Why do you believe you are the right person for the job?

Especially with the significant turnover on council this year, I want to make sure Waterloo keeps moving in the right direction to make Waterloo the best city it can be.

I know I’m a little younger than your average candidate for city council, but I believe that I have the right mix of experience, care, and the willingness to listen to represent the residents of Ward 6 while bringing new and fresh ideas to the table. I hope to be both a resource for older residents looking for a caring and diligent councillor and an inspiration for young people to take a greater interest in the local politics that have a huge impact on their lives.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:

Meet the Waterloo Ward 5 council candidates

I’ve spent my time in Waterloo dedicated to public service and building an understanding of the complex organizations and governance structures that make a city like Waterloo possible.

  • Lots of that learning has come through my time as the Vice-President, Operations and Finance at the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association where I managed a $9-million budget and $20 million in programs and services, including the health insurance for 20,000 students.
  • I’m serving as a member of the University of Waterloo Board of Governors and as a resource member of the Waterloo Economic Development Advisory Committee.
  • This year, I also attended the Town & Gown Association of Ontario’s “The Road Ahead” conference, where we specifically examined municipal policy issues and solutions in cities with high student populations.

Making the most of this role will take excitement and drive, a willingness to listen to all residents, and a commitment to always looking for ways to improve what the City is already doing. I bring experience in representing people, in working collaboratively to find solutions, and leading changes at complex organizations.

Q.3 What do you think is the most important issue facing your ward and the city as a whole?

The most important issue facing Waterloo residents is the affordability and quality of housing. Like much of the country, the cost of buying or renting a home has soared, and with high interest rates, a growing cost of living, and increased uncertainty, the city needs to take action on improving the biggest expense that most people have.

Story continues below advertisement

On council, I’ll push to modernize our zoning regulations to build “missing middle” affordable housing, support non-profit housing developments to expand and protect affordable and high-quality rental housing stock, and reevaluate existing requirements that add unnecessary costs to development so everyone can find a place to live. We should continue to evaluate enabling moderate intensification in some areas of Waterloo, such as townhouses and low-rise buildings with multiple bedrooms that provide new families with entry-level housing where kids can walk to school and parents build wealth. In the core, we need to continue the path set by the current Council and allow for larger developments with a mix of sizes to create room for people to enter the market and start putting down roots. We also need to consider what upstream social supports are needed by residents experiencing homelessness to break the cycle of homelessness, such as mental health care, transitionary housing, and skills training.

That’s part of what Waterloo needs to do to address affordable housing—you can read more about what I think needs to be done at vote.matthewschwarze.ca.

Q.4 Looking down the road, what are your long-term goals for the city?

Long-term I see Waterloo as a world-class small city that is willing to innovate and incorporate new ideas from other cities to make for a livable, human-scale city that fosters inclusivity, sustainability, and community. Behind that mission statement are concrete plans that need constant commitment, such as the TransformWR climate action strategy that sets long-term goals out to 2030 and 2050, a complete active transit network that makes it safe and comfortable to get around town for everyone, and many other visions and plans across our community. My goal for Waterloo is as a city that follows through on the plans and goals it sets with dedication and care to ensure we do things well and invest in ourselves and our future.

Story continues below advertisement

Q.5 What is your platform?

My platform is split into three pillars: Affordable & High-Quality Housing, a Robust Active Transit Network, and Climate Action and Sustainability.

The biggest priority that I’m hearing from residents is the housing affordability crisis. I believe Waterloo to modernize its zoning regulations to permit a diversity of “missing middle” affordable housing that will support young families, low-income residents, and others with diverse housing needs not currently served. We also should invest in non-profit housing that can build and protect affordable housing stock, and should continue to allow for much-needed intensification along our urban nodes and corridors. Waterloo should evaluate how it can better support tenants’ rights and ensure that student residents also have affordable, safe housing.

To build a robust active-transit network, Waterloo needs to continue to expand protected bike lanes to roads without them to improve access to safe cycling. Waterloo’s modernized zoning regulations should allow for some mixed-use developments that allow for walkable “15-minute” communities that are aspirationally outlined in the city’s Official Plan. Additionally, Waterloo should explore where new multi-use trails could be installed to facilitate cross-city walking and cycling, as well as to popular destinations outside the city. We also must ensure that our active transit network is accessible to everyone, and that the marginalized groups that rely on it are able to fully take advantage of it.

Finally, to become more sustainable, Waterloo must focus on the intermediary milestones in the TransformWR plan to ensure that we meet our climate action goals long-term—this includes the above support for active transit networks, walkable communities, and more. Waterloo should also expand electric car chargers and other infrastructure that give residents opportunities to be sustainable where it fits their lifestyle. Similarly, Waterloo should evaluate changes to city regulations to give residents more control over their naturalized lawns to empower personal choices to support sustainability. Waterloo should also look at programs in other cities, such as Kitchener’s Urban Forest Strategy, for inspiration. Importantly, as a thread through all of these initiatives, Waterloo needs to ensure that marginalized groups are equitably included in our shift to a more sustainable future.

Story continues below advertisement

There are a couple of other issues that I’ve heard from residents as being priorities for them outside of what I’ve listed—these include a trial of backyard fires, interest in city services around snow removal, and how the city can support residents in acquiring heat pumps and solar panels—these are all issues that I’m interested in supporting as grassroots concerns of residents.

Those are the major milestones of my priorities—you can visit my website vote.matthewschwarze.ca to read even more information about how I think those goals can be achieved, why I think they’re important, and news articles and other links that break down the context behind the issues I’ve presented.

Q.6 What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m an avid biker, both recreationally and to get around the city. I love to spend weekend afternoons on Iron Horse Trail! I also enjoy attending local events, such as the community bike rides this summer and the recent busker festival uptown. I’m a music fan as well—Joel Plaskett from Nova Scotia is a favourite artist of mine.

Q.7 What is your favourite thing about living in your city/ward?

I’m endlessly thankful to the engaged citizens, community groups, entrepreneurs, and local leaders that have built all the aspects of our city that I get to enjoy today. I’m specifically thankful for Iron Horse Trail, the ION LRT, the human-scale walkability of Uptown, the co-op that I live at, and the many other nooks and crannies of Waterloo. We’re lucky to have the diverse crowd that has built our progressive and caring culture, and I hope to be a part of making Waterloo even better for the people that come after me.

Story continues below advertisement


Global News has also reached out to Jonathan Cassels but has not received a response as of publication. This copy will be updated as further answers arrive.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Checkout latest world news below links :
World News || Latest News || U.S. News

Source link

Back to top button