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 in addition to a mayor to form city council.

There will probably be not less than three recent faces in place, as Ward 3 Coun. Angela Vieth, Ward 6 Coun. Jeff Henry and Ward 7 Coun. Tenille Bonoguore have chosen not to hunt re-election.

In Ward 1, Coun. Sandra Hanmer is searching for a second term in office. There have been five people within the race in 2018 but Hanmer’s sole opponent this fall will probably be Robert Parent, who finished second 4 years ago by 426 votes.

To assist 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 an inventory of seven questions and in the approaching days, the responses for each candidate who replies will probably be shared.

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

Sandra Hanmer

Q.1 Please give a transient background of yourself including what you do for a living and the way long you’ve lived in the realm? (Should you are an incumbent, please state how long you’ve held the position.)

My family has lived in Waterloo for nearly 30 years. Along with my husband Greg, we raised our 4 daughters. The women all attended schools in our neighbourhood and took part within the City of Waterloo’s synchronized swimming, diving, soccer and hockey programs. Greg and I were energetic supporters and coaches.

I think being a volunteer and giving back to the community is important. I actually have been a member of several volunteer boards of directors, a committee member, and held various roles as manager/trainer on sports’ teams.

Professionally, I actually have vast experience within the health care field being in a leadership role for VON WWD, COTA Health, and the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network. I also had the privilege of going to Healthcare Recent Zealand where I gained a singular understanding of Indigenous peoples’ issues.
Currently, and for the past eight years, I work for Capability Canada, a corporation whose goal is to bring together the ideas, people, and resources that fuel social innovation. In 2018 I won the election for councillor for Ward One and have been representing residents since then.

In 2008 I used to be honoured to receive the Oktoberfest Outstanding Business Woman of the 12 months Award.

Q.2 Why do you suspect you’re the correct person for the job?

I actually have had 4 years’ experience on the council table. I learned rather a lot! Add Covid to the combo and I, together with the mayor and fellow councillors, were presented with unprecedented challenges. But like everyone else we made the perfect of it and did the job.

An enormous a part of the experience was the possibility to fulfill with members of our ward’s neighbourhood associations, homeowners’ associations and neighbourhood groups to seek out out more about residents’ priorities for all times in our ward and our city. I’m a great listener and know easy methods to take motion – it has been enlightening to fulfill so many residents and listen to various viewpoints and suggestions.

There may be work to be done for Ward One and for the City of Waterloo. I’m very keen to be on the council table and be a voice for my ward as we move forward with strategic planning initiatives.

Q.3 What do you’re thinking that is a very powerful issue facing your ward and town as an entire?

Everyone needs a house. Homes which are available and reasonably priced are a pressing need for young families taking a look at purchasing a primary home, seniors taking a look at downsizing, and folks wanting to rent. I actually have worked with developers to encourage ways in which affordably priced homes, with amenities and green spaces, are made possible for ‘middle-range’ buyers and renters. I even have an interest in encouraging and supporting unique ideas, taking a distinct look, at what an inexpensive home could possibly be like.

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

During my first term, I could see my contribution making a difference. Together, council created safer streets and focused on economic growth. We declared a climate emergency vowing to cut back greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 – our legacy to future generations. We established a team dedicated to Indigenous initiatives, anti-racism, and equity.

These are initiatives that I support and l wish to be a part of the decision-making that makes what is sweet, higher, and what needs improvements, improved.

Q.5 What’s your platform?

In my second term, I support Ward One’s priority to have housing that’s reasonably priced for first-time buyers, families, seniors and others to buy or rent. Home affordability is an enormous issue and particularly during these difficult economic times. I’ll proceed to work with community and neighbourhood associations and developers to support planning measures that provide inexpensive homes, together with amenities like numerous green space.

Traffic safety (measures are) also a priority. Around our schools, I support low speed limits, we must keep our youngsters secure. We must also have a look at reasonable ways to maintain our many walkers and cyclists secure as they’re getting out for exercise and errands. Drivers must be treated fairly with responsible and reasonable limits.

A community for every person – where fairness to people, no matter ages, abilities, cultures, religions or life experiences is a priority. I need the ‘living in Waterloo’ experience to be fair to all. I’m committed to supporting initiatives that help improve communication, break down barriers, foster understanding, enjoy diversity and encourage inclusion.

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

I actually do prefer to work. Monday to Friday is devoted to my jobs, attending events, and meeting with residents. Currently, I volunteer on two boards – Grand River Hospital and KidsAbility. I’m also President of Waterloo Girls Minor Hockey Association.

I attempt to keep the weekends for family, especially now that we’ve got a recent granddaughter. My husband and I enjoy family visits, including visits from our passel of family dogs. We frequently meet with friends or just enjoy running errands around town.

I do prefer to cook and I’m told I make a wonderful family-tradition beef pot pie. I really like to read especially a great mystery and I never attempt to work out who done it – don’t prefer to spoil the ending.

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

There are several favourite things. I keep promising myself to get more exercise and I make good use of the paths, strolling through the neighbourhoods, doggy leash in each hand. I appreciate our many sports facilities and the numerous amazing progressive people I meet day-after-day.

I enjoy our library system and all it has to supply in addition to accessing theatre and art exhibitions. During September especially, I feel energized by all the joy that back to campus brings to our community. I also just like the proven fact that I can get almost anywhere I need to go in Waterloo inside 10 minutes or so; all of the amenities of a much bigger city and much less hassle.

Robert Parent

Q.2 Why do you suspect you’re the correct person for the job?

To start out, I prefer to call it a “service” fairly than a “job.”

Prior to running as a candidate in Ward 1 in 2018 and presently in 2022, I attended many council sessions as a citizen/observer to grasp the method and workings of city hall. Looking for advice with staff and councillors enabled me to familiarize myself with municipal level government before declaring my candidacy.  It can be crucial to be prepared, as best as one can, in understanding what the “job” entails.

I’d encourage other candidates to do the identical. All candidates should determine if their work schedules, persona is a great fit for councillor. Have they got the time and work balance to be an efficient councillor? I think I’m prepared and experienced enough to full commitment in representing Ward 1.

Secondly, I actually have volunteered and helped to prepare many community events through the years in Ward 1 . This enabled me to understand and understand what the wants of residents could also be. My running for city hall is an extension of my community involvement. Sitting on community or volunteer service groups gave me opportunity to oversee meetings, budgets, negotiate and compromise.  All requirements needed to serve in the perfect interests of residents.

Lastly, perhaps most significantly,  to be an efficient councillor or any job for that matter, one must also enjoy what they’re doing. I enjoy time spent in community, meeting others, listening, exchanging ideas, sounding off and after all cheering on the nice things that occur in Ward 1 and Waterloo.

It’s for these reasons that I feel I’m the “right person for the job.”

Q.3 What do you’re thinking that is a very powerful issue facing your ward and town as an entire?

Issues in any election are fluid. Current events and decisions by city council can lead to priorities changing rapidly. Nonetheless, for the needs of this questionnaire I’ll highlight current issues as heard and emailed from residents in Ward 1 during this campaign.

The next is inclusive of each ward and city-wide issues:

1) Lowering of speed limits and city council vote. Regardless of staff recommendations and public survey rejecting lower speed limits, city council went ahead and passed the proposed speed limits anyway. Was it lowering the speed limits itself or city council rejecting the findings of staff?
2) Property tax increases
3) City Hall response times
4) Maintaining seasonal services (leaf collection and increased snow clearing of sidewalks)
5) Anticipated growth in Waterloo and the way it will effect green space and housing supply
6) Overnight parking and recreation vehicle permits
7) Rental Licensing Agreements

This list may not appear overwhelming or headline inducing but they’re problems with importance to residents.

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

To keep up sustainable growth while not losing sight of the historical architectural character of Waterloo and its neighbourhoods. We face an incredibly rapid increase in high rise developments and because of this I fear the lack of Waterloo’s natural character and charm. Cities that thrive and prosper allow for downtowns that mirror suburban/rural communities i.e. green space, parkways etc. Looking for growth while maintaining reasonably priced housing options, traffic and alternative modes of transportation in a responsible manner. Initiate steps and work to extend industrial and business in Uptown Waterloo and particularly support small businesses.

Q.5 What’s your platform?

In some ways one’s platform may be determined by the input received from residents. Residents know best what their needs and desires can be.  As councillor, my role can be to supply a possibility to dialogue and supply residents a platform to be heard. To talk on behalf of residents not for residents.

Right now and early within the campaign, I note a wide selection of issues heard on the door and informal survey. I categorize issues as “ward” and “city-wide” issues. Due to this fact based on residential input to this point, the next will function items on my platform: traffic speed, improved accountability for projects that are available in over budget, levies paid by landlords to town, (rental licensing agreements) and spending.

This is just not exhaustive, but as an alternative a start line as more viewpoints forwarded to me will probably be the muse of my platform

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

In my spare time, I exercise (biking, gym…) as much as possible. Reading, playing guitar/piano – as best as I can. Reading and following history/geo and domestic politics.

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

A mixture of small size, urban convenience and proximity of the agricultural countryside. Minutes away to the countryside. Farmers Market. The cleanliness, safety and resident/volunteer involvement that contributes to the sense of community in my ward.


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