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 2, Royce Bodaly is looking for a second term in office but can have to carry off challenges from Khaled Berbash and Shaheen Mujahid.
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 Waterloo, with the candidates being listed in alphabetical order:
Q.1 Please give a transient background of yourself including what you do for a living and the way long you will have lived in the world? (In case you are an incumbent, please state how long you will have held the position.)
My name is Royce Bodaly, I’m the present Ward 2 City Councillor for the City of Waterloo, I used to be elected in 2018 and am just completing my first term on council.
After graduating from Laurier in 2004 with an honours degree in economics and accounting, my wife and I selected to remain here to lift our family. My skilled background is in sales and product management in the patron products industry. Of late, I even have been doing contract work with an area sustainability focused not-for-profit organization. My family and I even have lived within the Columbia Forest area of Ward 2 for 15 years.
Q.2 Why do you suspect you might be the proper person for the job?
I’m pleased with the work I even have done on council in my first term, in some fairly difficult times. I’m still keen about representing the residents of Ward 2 and tackling the problems facing the City. I like working with community members to make the town a greater place to live, tackling problems large and small. I even have worked extremely hard to interact with residents, in person, at events, on social media, through town halls and thru my website where I provide monthly newsletters to my constituents.
I’m excited to proceed tackling the challenges we face as a city, including climate change, inexpensive housing and secure streets. I’m keen about constructing an equitable and inclusive city, where all are welcomed and belong and I’m desperate to bring my passion, commitment and experience back to council.
Q.3 What do you think that is an important issue facing your ward and the town as a complete?
A very powerful issue facing the ward is making our streets safer and more livable so our youngsters, seniors and all road users can get where they should go throughout the neighbourhood in a secure fashion. I’m pleased with the work council has done to commit to Vision Zero principles inside our transportation network, increasing lively transportation options for pedestrians and cyclists, reducing speed limits on our residential streets and increasing traffic calming initiatives across the town. In the approaching term of council, I’m committed to advocating for a rise within the transportation budget for more low-cost traffic calming implementations, to be sure that our children can safely walk to highschool, the park and their friends’ houses.
Probably the most pressing issue facing the town is tackling the inexpensive housing crisis. Again, I’m proud that council embedded inexpensive housing as a priority in our 2019-2022 strategic plan. Doing so led to the establishment of an inexpensive housing reserve fund with a stable funding source. This funding has been used to support inexpensive housing initiatives across the town, that are having a big positive impact on residents. We now have also recently created the town’s first ever inexpensive housing strategy; a 10-year plan to create and retain inexpensive units across the town. It’s imperative that the subsequent term of Council begins the essential work of implementing the 30 actions throughout the strategy. Particularly essential is the implementation of inclusionary zoning; a tool which requires developers to construct a small percentage of inexpensive units inside recent developments. We also need to take a look at allowing more gentle density and missing middle options to create more attainable housing in our community. Reasonably priced housing is a fancy topic, requiring the cooperation of many levels of presidency, but in addition requires the town to make use of all of the tools in our toolbox to tackle this issue.
Q.4 Looking down the road, what are your long-term goals for the town?
My long-term goals for the town are to construct an inclusive and welcoming city where everyone feels as if they’ve a way of belonging to their community. A community where folks can access their every day needs inside their very own neighbourhoods, without at all times needing a vehicle. A community that accommodates our growth in an environmentally friendly manner, without sprawling into our townships with the intention to not only preserve pristine farmland and our drinking water, but in addition the rural-urban fabric of the Region that makes us so unique. Lastly, a community where everyone has an inexpensive place to live and might benefit from the incredible advantages of living in such an exquisite, forward-thinking city.
Q.5 What’s your platform?
My platform is to tackle the 4 primary priorities I see for the town; Secure Streets, Reasonably priced Housing, Climate Change and Inclusion & Belonging. I even have already addressed a few of my ideas related to secure streets and inexpensive housing, so I’ll elaborate on the latter two. We only have two Council terms remaining to satisfy our greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of a 50% drop by 2030. In the subsequent term of Council, I’m committed to working on implementing our Energy Road Map for City-owned facilities to show leadership in reducing our directly controlled emissions. Having ensured this term that the brand new West Side Employment Lands are built with sustainable development guidelines, I’m committed to using the knowledge gained to assist guide a community green constructing policy. Every constructing built today that isn’t Net Zero or Net Zero Ready, is a constructing that can have to be retrofitted within the not-too-distant future, underscoring the necessity to implement these policies.
With respect to Inclusion & Belonging, I even have demonstrated my commitment to calling out racist, homophobic, or xenophobic behaviour in my community. I’m also desperate to work closely with our local faith-based organizations, neighbourhood associations and the City’s recent Anti-Racism, Indigenous Reconciliation and Accessibility team to work towards inclusive policies, spaces, and events across the City.
Q.6 What do you wish to do in your spare time?
I like sports and play hockey and supreme Frisbee as often as I can. I’m also a board game fanatic, I like learning recent games and playing them with my two children or with friends. I’ve loved skilled wrestling since I used to be a child and haven’t kicked the habit of watching it in my spare time. I enjoy spending free time Uptown Waterloo with family and friends, having fun with the range of bars and restaurants. My wife and I like going for walks through the neighbourhood and just spending time with family.
Q.7 What’s your favourite thing about living in your city/ward?
One of the best a part of Ward 2 is the incredible diversity of the neighbourhoods. The chance to satisfy with neighbours from many various backgrounds and to be exposed to different cultures is incredible. We now have extremely passionate and engaged community members and volunteers, who’re a pleasure to work with. Perhaps what makes us most unusual is the access to Columbia Forest, which provides not only access to nature, but a plethora of recreational trails to enjoy!
Global News has also reached out to Khaled Berbash and Shaheen Mujahid but has not received a response as of publication. This copy will probably be updated as further answers arrive.