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 Kitchener, the region’s largest city, will elect councillors in 10 wards in addition to a mayor to form city council.

There shall be a minimum of three latest faces in place, as Ward 3 Coun. John Gazzola, Ward 5 Coun. Kelly Galloway Sealock and Ward 10 Coun. Sarah Marsh have chosen not to hunt re-election.

There’s a big list of people that have entered the race to interchange Marsh in Ward 10, including Aislinn Clancy, Peter Davis, Daniel Fife, Stephanie Stretch, Lana Hiscock and Phong Tran.

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 a listing of seven questions and in the approaching days, the responses for each candidate who replies shall be shared as received.

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

Aislinn Clancy

Q.2 Why do you think you might be the appropriate person for the job?

I think I can be the most effective candidate for city councilor because I live within the ward and I even have essentially the most relevant experience professionally and personally. My experience as a volunteer, advocate, social employee, settlement employee and academic has prepared me to be an efficient representative who can advocate for the values of our ward on council.

My business degree has prepared me to know and address the fiscal responsibilities as a councilor and be a voice for local entrepreneurs. I’ll have the ability to balance our values of compassion with the necessity for accountability and responsible governance. While my degree in social work, settlement work and social work experience will help me deeply understand the ever changing needs of constituents. I even have the abilities to listen, support and walk with diverse groups to make sure our community needs are met and everybody can reach their potential.

Also, in my work as a volunteer with various climate focused NGOs, I’m prepared to take motion to scale back our carbon footprint and adapt to the impact of climate change. I even have connections locally and knowledge concerning the solutions working in other municipalities to scale back carbon emissions. For the past several years I even have been lobbying government representatives related to climate policy. I’m prepared to work to construct relationships and move policy forward by working with all those on council and collaborating with various levels of presidency, in a respectful and gracious manner.

Finally, as a mother, friend, neighbour, partner and ally, I work in my on a regular basis life to be sure that my kitchen table includes everyone. Inclusion must be reflected in your relationships, not only your words. I hope to bring the voice of many diverse communities to the town council. I hope to accomplish that by constructing community, staying connected to folks within the ward, and having fun with life in Kitchener because the primary fan and ambassador for the town. Once we are all cared for, housed, welcome and empowered, the entire city will thrive.

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

The rising cost of living is having a heavy impact on many people in Kitchener. The rising rents in the town are leaving increasingly people homeless or vulnerable to homelessness. When faced with homelessness, folks can easily turn into hooked on the poisoned drug supply on the streets resulting in even greater consequences resembling crime, health issues and death.  Homelessness is impacting our whole city, because it is a mirrored image of how we take care of our most vulnerable and causes disruptions as people find ways to survive. I might work with our development partners to fulfill the housing needs of our community, collaborate with local landlords to search out greater accessibility to units and address rising rents. I might put money into eviction prevention and support for those needing emergency housing help, because eviction prevention is addiction prevention. Finally, I might collaborate with local partners to take a position in solutions resembling those utilized by A Higher Tent City, the Working Centre, House of Friendship, YWCA and others.

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

The town has made many targets to deal with the climate crisis (increasing the tree cover and reducing our carbon by 50% by 2030). I hope to collaborate with local experts, various levels of presidency, constituents and stakeholders to encourage a transition off of fossil fuel. We will change the way in which we construct to make sure that our city is sustainable, healthy, inclusive and ready. We will implement adaptations for renters, homeowners, vulnerable folks and living beings in order that we will be prepared for increasingly intense weather systems, extreme heat and geopolitical shifts. I hope Kitchener is usually a leader in developing neighbourhoods that take care of one another and the planet.

Q.5 What’s your platform?

I would really like to encourage development that’s in step with our city’s needs and values. I’m excited that the town is growing, but I feel the council must have a robust vision for a way we grow. We will set expectations as to how buildings are built, what development can contribute to the community and the way projects could adapt to suit the neighbourhoods they’re in. I’ll support development that has reasonably priced units, built using sustainable practices and addresses the missing middle.

Many municipalities are working to set clear expectations on constructing using sustainable practices. We will learn from other cities about what has worked of their effort to transition off fossil fuels.  We’ll need to have a look at the business model for our local utility to make sure we’ve got a secure source of income in the approaching years and a secure source of energy to offer for residents. Studies show that we are able to expect an increasing demand for energy, on account of an increasing population and transition to electrification. There are numerous novel business ideas to make sure we are able to offer stable and renewable energy, while generating revenue to offer for residents.

Homelessness is an increasing issue in Kitchener. As rents rise, so too does homelessness and crime. I might encourage partnerships between various levels of presidency to create a rapid response to the present needs of the community for shelter, care and connections. I might work with renters and landlords to make sure folks can proceed to access reasonably priced housing that’s protected and stable.

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

After I am not working, volunteering, parenting and learning, I wish to run on the Spurline, swim at Kiwanis, rollerblade the Iron Horse, bike to my destination, dance at city hall, hike at Breithaupt Park, eat locally, savour summer and spend time with friends from everywhere in the world. I wish to enjoy learning about various cultures, to talk Spanish and French, to go to parks and green spaces. I wish to tell jokes and make people laugh (the Irish genes).

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

I really like so many things about this city and ward, nicknaming myself the “Ambassador of Kitchener” as I encouraged friends from out of town to maneuver here. When friends visit, I like to focus on our cultural diversity, telling stories concerning the communities of refugees and immigrants who’ve made Kitchener home through the years to make it what it’s today. We’d visit parks and luxuriate in the array of families and eat some beautiful food. I often bring people for a tour on our family ebike. We travel along the spur line to a coffee shop, live music venue or market. I enjoy highlighting for folk the murals that went up around DTK in addition to introducing them to the heritage homes and friendly neighbours.

Daniel Fife

Q.1 Please give a transient background of yourself including what you do for a living and the way long you have got lived in the world? (In case you are an incumbent, please state how long you have got held the position.)

I’m a lawyer and in addition work as a deputy judge of the Small Claims Court; instructor at WLU and as a mediator. I even have worked in Ward 10 for 31 years and have lived here for the last six. I’m the daddy of six adult children. In addition to my law degree, I hold an undergraduate degree with a double major in political science and economics.

Q.2 Why do you think you might be the appropriate person for the job?

I think an efficient councillor is one who can solve problems and advocate on behalf of the residents and the town. I even have a wealth of experience – each skilled and personal- that shows I can do each effectively.

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

The homeless and reasonably priced housing. The encampments are a mandatory short-term solution but they have to end – for each their residents in addition to for the advantage of everyone who lives or owns a business in the town. A long-lasting solution requires providing an alternate place to live so that everybody can have a house. That could be a mandatory step to deal with the underlying problems including mental health and substance abuse. We even have to deal with affordability of housing by continuing to encourage growth to extend supply of housing for residents of all income levels. The town cannot solve these issues by itself but should have an strong and effective voice to collaborate with the Regional, provincial and federal governments.

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

In addition to addressing the problems of the homeless and reasonably priced housing, the town should construct on the progress it has made over the past 10-15 years to boost the energy of vibrancy of the downtown core. I envision attracting more businesses, residents, businesses and tourists to the downtown by promoting the usage of an expanded LRT system, bike trials and lanes, and temporarily or permanently closing a number of the streets just like when seasonal festivals are happening now.

Q.5 What’s your platform?

I even have entered the race since I think I could make a considerable contribution as a councillor. I’m very receptive and respectful to different points of view and committed to attempting to improve the lives of residents in my ward and the town. For more details, please see fife4ten.ca.

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

I enjoy many sports as a spectator and participant. I’m lively and committed to fitness including golf and every day walks with my dog, Atticus, through Victoria Park. I also enjoy history and current events.

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

At the beginning, I really like living in the center of downtown. Not only can I benefit from the local restaurants and other businesses, but I can walk to my law office which is in a heritage constructing on Queen Street. The Auditorium holds a special place for me because it has found a technique to maintain its historical charm while expanding and improving to maintain up with the changes of the town in addition to the continued success of the Rangers.

Lana Hiscock

Q.1 Please give a transient background of yourself including what you do for a living and the way long you have got lived in the world? (In case you are an incumbent, please state how long you have got held the position.)

I’m Lana Hiscock, I’m 31 years old and I grew up in Newfoundland. About six years ago I moved to the KW region to proceed graduate studies in chemistry and must be ending my PhD this 12 months. I first moved to ward 10 in 2018

Q.2 Why do you think you might be the appropriate person for the job?

I think that I’m the appropriate person for several reasons. Considered one of my biggest motivators is compassion – I would like to resolve issues, like homelessness or housing unaffordability, in order that we and our neighbours can have a greater quality of life. I also imagine that my voice, that of a lower-income, renting, transgender woman, isn’t one which has been heard on council. My presence would challenge the establishment and provides representation to those whose voices haven’t been heard.

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

I think crucial issue we face is housing unaffordability and availability, since this affects an entire range of other issues. The encampment we’ve got at Victoria/Weber is a difficulty in and of itself, however it is a symptom of a broken system. We’ll must work with other levels of presidency to repair the systemic issues that allow and encourage such inequalities to grow. Fixing the housing crisis will affect other social determinants of health resembling childhood poverty, drug addiction, mental health conditions, and can make our society stronger and healthier because of this.

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

  1. Solve chronic homelessness through a housing-first policy.
  2. Develop in a sustainable manner that takes into consideration aspects like gentrification, climate, traffic, amenity deserts, walk-/bike-ability, density.
  3. A city where housing is reasonably priced and plentiful, and neighbourhoods are protected, walkable, and exquisite.

Q.5 What’s your platform?

  1. Housing for All – nobody must be without housing, no preconditions. This is able to be achieved using the “Housing First” model that many locales in North America and Europe have implemented to drastically reduce homelessness.
  2. Reasonably priced homes means healthy neighbourhoods – Considered one of the highest concerns on the minds of most of the people I speak to is the skyrocketing costs of keeping a roof over one’s head. To ensure that our neighbourhoods to be healthy and the people inside them living productive and healthy lives, we want housing costs which can be reasonably priced. In case you are making the minimum wage, it is best to have the ability to maintain a roof over your head. It’s so simple as that.
  3. Urban Development favouring people over cars – For too long we in North America have developed our cities with the suburban automobile driver in mind. That time period is coming to an end and we want to see urban development that centers alternative modes of travel take priority. This implies more bike lanes, higher walkability, eliminating amenity deserts, achieving 15-minute neighbourhoods, expanded public transit each inside and from the region, and fewer parking lots taking over necessary real estate that might be utilized in ways that will higher influence the community.

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

I enjoy listening to music, often classical (baroque, Bach mostly), figuring out, and meeting a lot of latest people.

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

My favourite thing is that it looks like I used to be born here – type of. I transitioned similtaneously I moved to Kitchener, and I’ve spent my entire life because the “real me” here. The love and acceptance I’ve found here is a gorgeous thing, as are the brand new friends I’ve made and the “found family” I now have. The people of this city are what makes it great.

Stephanie Stretch

Q.1 Please give a transient background of yourself including what you do for a living and the way long you have got lived in the world? (In case you are an incumbent, please state how long you have got held the position.)

I, Stephanie Stretch (nee Seibert), have strong roots in Kitchener’s Ward 10, that is where I used to be born, raised, and currently reside with my family within the downtown area of Ward 10.

I live and work in Kitchener with my husband, two daughters, dog “Snoopy,” and my in-laws. I even have over a decade of skilled experience working within the not-for-profit sector, where I directly support and advocate for youngsters, youth, and families with Pathways to Education at Carizon Family and Community Services. I even have also worked for Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region, and am a dedicated volunteer — giving back to the town as a board member, coach, emergency shelter employee, emergency daycare provider for essential employees, and settlement employee for local NFPs including: Reception House, The Working Centre, Moppet, Truth and Reconciliation Community Committee, and Stanley Park Optimist Ball

Q.2 Why do you think you might be the appropriate person for the job?

I would like to see a change in politics. I’m bored with seeing it at its worst and need to see it at its best. I would like to assist people and I would like to have a bigger impact on my community. It might be my honour to represent you at City Hall. I’m a professional and passionate person with a desire to positively impact the community that I really like and live in. I’m committed; I think that the constituents of Ward 10 are its biggest asset and can profit from my voice at city hall. That is my second time running in a municipal election, further confirming my dedication to local change-making through elected office.

I even have been endorsed by a wide range of community members — including local leaders in business, academic, arts, youth, newcomer, and indigenous initiatives — who trust me to represent them and their diverse needs at city hall. I intend to just do that. I’m the one candidate on Ward 10 endorsed by the Waterloo Regional Labour Council which represents 33 unions with over 26,000 employees in lots of fields, including education.

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

Socially responsible growth and community development: an ecological approach to place-making considers the environmental, economical, and social determinants of a thriving city and weaves them together to create a robust social fabric.

Lack of ecological planning and sustainable motion has resulted in highly visible social breakdown in Kitchener, including: a ballooning homeless population and the proliferation of encampments, affordability and access concerns across demographics, and the marginalization of indigenous, racialized and equity deserving voices in our community.

Affordability is top of mind for people living in Ward 10, and a successful city councillor will advocate on behalf of her residents’ quality of life — a high quality of life where people receive value for his or her dollar, and are in a position to make selections about how they take part in public life and the way they utilize public infrastructure. Traditional and social infrastructure are deeply intertwined where an ecologically sustainable city is anxious: a city that prioritizes its residents’ quality of life invests in interdependent and revolutionary, green and socially responsible projects concurrently to construct a livable city that meets the needs of its diverse residents.

Publicly-funded projects must display environmentally responsible infrastructure and operational acumen. I’ll insist on net-zero and carbon-zero public projects: be they facility, transit, park, care, para-medical, medical, or emergency response infrastructure investments. I’m a climate champion and can push for the town to follow the region’s initiatives with Transform WR’s plan. I’m encouraged where I see local not-for-profits, municipally supported organizations, and — to an extent — private developers put money into responsive projects which can be environmentally sustainable, socially and fiscally responsible, and tailored to the needs of residents. Accessible and timely capital projects by The Working Centre and the Kitchener Public Library — that expand on needed resources like shelter, housing, reasonably priced community participation and education — are positive examples.

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

I hope that we are going to make meaningful progress on immediate issues which have long-term implications, including:

  • General affordability
  • A sturdy and sustainable social service that expertly and compassionately meets the needs of essentially the most precarious people in our community — including the unhoused
  • Increased democratic and social engagement locally by residents who feel energized by an inspiring vision for the town, and holistically represented by their municipal officials

Equity-deserving groups will largely guide my priorities on long run municipal issues and future planning. These voices include but usually are not limited to: youth, indigenous peoples, racialized individuals and groups, newcomers, people who find themselves precariously housed and unhoused, and other people living on a limited income.

My priorities shall be the priorities of many principled residents — a thriving community where everyone can have a house, find healing, economic and social opportunity, and democratic agency.  Inside these principles is room for myriad conversations and actions that include representatives from all walks of life and social status — but my immediate priorities shall be informed by systemically underrepresented voices.

Q.5 What’s your platform?

My campaign is guided by three principles that I embody as a candidate:

  • Experience
  • Fresh Ideas
  • Sustainability.

Experience: Over a decade of skilled experience working in responsive social service in downtown Kitchener

  • Motivated by a deep commitment to equitable access and a welcoming city where people can thrive, belong, articulate and collaborate on shared vision
  • A valued and effective worker of Carizon Family and Community Services: Pathways to Education — a community-based, National organization focused on long-term Community Development through access to education via social, academic, financial and advocacy supports to students and families living in under-funded areas in Kitchener
  • A thoughtful and motivated team member at Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region specializing in reasonably priced housing solutions and community development right here in Kitchener

A lifelong resident of Kitchener, with a community profile built from grass-roots participation and thoughtful community development

  • A second-term candidate for City Council recognized by her peers, the press, and elected officials for an revolutionary 2018 campaign that emphasized the gender gap in municipal representation — culminating in an revolutionary event that drew municipal, regional, and provincial candidates and incumbents together to support equitable participation in local politics
  • A board member, coach, emergency shelter employee, emergency daycare provider for essential employees, and settlement employee for local NFPs including: Reception House, The Working Centre, Moppet, Truth and Reconciliation Community Committee, and Stanley Park Optimist Ball

Fresh Ideas: Greater than just words: a demonstrable history of deep understanding and sustainable motion on emergent ideas and community values

  • Researching, initiating, hosting, and attending anti-racism and Indigenous workshops, working groups and trainings
  • Integrating directives and learnings responsibly into social and skilled practices where the stakes are real: when working with youth, newcomers, diverse families, people living in low income areas, traumatized individuals, and other people experiencing compounding complexities
  • Welcoming and settling Syrian Refugees, and supporting the family reunification, everlasting housing, and economic success of the Al Othman family in Kitchener
  • Constructing relationships and dealing in socially revolutionary fields that adapt to the changing needs of the people living in Kitchener – especially where education, housing, access to food, anti-racism, indigeneity, system navigation, and newcomer settlement are concerned
  • Responding with compassion, collaboration, and clear pondering in times of crises
  • Looking forward and initiating flexible, responsive policies, practices and projects that may serve future residents

Sustainability: A dedicated proponent of ecological sustainability: weaving together the essentials of a livable, meaningful, green and robust civil society and city for generations to come back

– Fiscal responsibility and affordability

  • A deep understanding of the housing crises, and the way inequities available in the market affect residents from all walks of life: young people, newcomers, residents experiencing homelessness, seniors, and families
  • Practical knowledge of the Federal, Provincial, Regional and Municipal economic models and responsibilities that impact local affordability and access to housing, employment, education, and healthcare
  • Dedicated to balanced decision-making at community and intergovernmental levels that end in affordability, and equitable access to the resources all residents of Kitchener require to make a protected and sustainable home in the town

– Social responsibility and togetherness

  • Fiscal responsibility as community care: ensuring that the town invests properly and collaboratively on behalf of present and future generations
  • Investing in community services and supporting local initiatives that construct into the social fabric of Kitchener
  • Protecting human rights, honouring indigeneity, demanding equity, and retooling systemic structures to create a balanced and fair administration that serves people of all walks of life
  • Having the courage and resiliency to make structural changes that support an inclusive bureaucracy

– Environmental sustainability and investment

  • Build up, constructing human, and ensuring a sturdy countryside line: protecting and celebrating urban and rural agriculture, complex ecosystems, and humane access to green spaces
  • Insisting on environmentally responsible infrastructure that’s ecologically revolutionary, and prioritizing these projects for our city centre — be they public or private enterprise
  • Considering our place in a world of rapidly changing climate: Kitchener as a world city whose ecological and economic future is tied to a collective response to our warming climate

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

Play. I really like to play silly imagination games with my kids. I enjoy coaching and playing sports like volleyball and basketball.  I stay physically lively in my day-to-day by climbing, biking, playing pond hockey, canoeing and swimming. I take my dog for long walks and enjoy green spaces. I even have a passion for nachos in a pub after the sport, hanging out with friends, supporting live music and attending community events. I wish to paint and love poetry. Yow will discover me on the Kitchener Market on most Saturdays, wandering and taking my time picking my haul.

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

Ward 10 is where all of the motion is. I adore it here. That is where Kitchener’s biggest successes and hardships are collocated. There’s a gorgeous tension to the downtown area that’s value celebrating and acting on — a fancy, cosmopolitan city centre that’s reconciled to itself every day via the paths, cultures, conversations, intentionalities, events, initiatives, and neighbourhoods that connect and bind a ward and city together.  Ward 10 is a hopeful ward, a bellwether area that wears its heart on its sleeve: I feel home here.

Phong Tran

Editor’s note: Phong Tran provided the next in response to the questions:

I even have lived in lots of cities, but no place so long as Kitchener. This city has been home for the past 20 years, especially in Ward 10.

My family and I immigrated to Ottawa at the peak of the Vietnamese Boat People. It was a struggle to learn a latest language and adjust to a latest culture. Winter in Canada was fun for the primary week, then it got real. I graduated from Glebe Collegiate High School then moved to Manhattan, Latest York to start out my film profession. Within the early ’90s I moved to Toronto to work on Imax features, and TV series. A catastrophic event happened in (911 & SARS) that brought the film industry to a halt.

In 2002, I moved to Kitchener with my wife Dawn.   We saw a chance to start out a business, so in 2004 we opened Matter of Taste Coffee Bar within the Downtown core.

For over the past 20 years living and operating business Downtown, I even have seen many changes and faced many challenges. Probably the most recent is the COVID-19 pandemic.  During this time, we wanted to maneuver quickly and find ways to survive. Our biggest supporters were our neighbours and our local communities. We’re still here due to their support. I’m so appreciative of the love.

Being an entrepreneur for many of my adult life, I made many mistakes and fell repeatedly. The most dear lesson I learned is to maintain moving forward and never be afraid of failures. I would like to bring this energy to the City Council. I would like to maintain pushing the City forward.

This is the reason I’m running for City Council.

Downtown Kitchener is transforming right into a high-density urban center and with this come urban challenges.

For the subsequent 4 years, my priorities are:

  1. Safety and beautification.
  2. Promoting a walkable Downtown:

– preserving green spaces,

– creating parks,

– arts and cultures.

  1. A master vision for development of Downtown.

Now we have many smart people in our city. Let’s use their expertise.  Let’s forward these conversations into actions.  Let’s take motion.

For the past few years, I even have taken up woodworking, joined a KW Woodworking Club till the pandemic hit. I’m also a novice sailor, working on my skills and confidence in navigating the waterway and dealing with mother nature.

Global News has also reached out to Peter Davis but has not received a response as of publication. This copy shall be updated as further answers arrive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here