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2022 Ontario municipal election: Meet the Waterloo regional councillor candidates

On Oct. 24, voters across Ontario’s 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 select two people to send to regional council as well as their mayor.

Read more:

Dozens of late entries into Kitchener, Waterloo municipal elections

There will be at least one new face in place, filling the seat of Sean Strickland who announced in August that he would not be seeking re-election. He spent 19 of the last 22 years on regional council.

His counterpart, Jim Erb, remains on the ballot in what has shaped up to be a large crowd of candidates with 10 people vying to fill two seats on council.

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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 regional councillor in Waterloo, with the candidates being listed in alphabetical order. (This page will be updated if more candidates choose to respond.):

Jim Erb

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 was born in Kitchener and have lived my entire life in Waterloo Region. I was raised in Wellesley and moved to Waterloo in my early 20s to pursue my career as a funeral director. I have been a funeral director for over 50 years and owned and operated Erb and Good Family Funeral Home in Waterloo for over 30 years, where I still work park time.

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I was a member of Waterloo City Council from 1980 to 1988 and then took some time away from municipal politics to have more time to spend with my young family and the business. I was elected to Waterloo Region Council in 2018 and am seeking re-election for another term.

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

I consider myself a team player which I demonstrated in my work as a community volunteer, small business owner and a member of both City of Waterloo Council and Regional Council. As a team player, I have been able to develop a collegial relationship with residents and staff that demonstrates a willingness to listen, consult and then hopefully reach a decision that is beneficial to the people we serve.

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

For me affordable housing is the most important issue facing our region. Affordable housing has a broad meaning in our community. It includes some of the most vulnerable who are homeless and those in our Region who have meaningful employment but struggle to pay their monthly rent or become first time home buyers. In addition to the supply of more housing, we need to create a region where everyone feels they belong and are included, eliminate the stigma of those who live with addictions and mental health challenges, and continue to support initiatives to address the challenge of climate change.

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

Long term goals are to create more affordable housing, develop a transportation system that includes active transportation and support the growing of our local economy that recognizes Waterloo Region as a single destination.

Q.5 What is your platform?

Below in point form is what I have included in my printed material and website – www.jimerbwaterloo.ca:

    • Advocate for more affordable housing
    • Create a Region where everyone feels included
    • Grow our local economy
    • Support climate change initiatives
    • Encourage the scaling of resources among our eight municipalities
    • Eliminate the stigma associated with mental health and addictions

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

I like sports.  I play hockey, soccer and golf.

Q.7 What is your favourite thing about living in Waterloo Region?

I like the strong community spirit in Waterloo Region. It results in so many activities organized by the community.

The goal is to get more people included and benefiting from all that the Region has to offer.

Mark Fisher


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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 have recently retired as CFO (Director of Finance) for a large local manufacturer after working there for the past 23 years. Previous to that, I lived and worked in Kingston for 18 years, 14 of those years with KPMG doing audits of local municipalities.  I have lived in Waterloo for the past 23 years. My parents were born in KW and I have always had roots here. I was born and raised in a small town near Barrie, Ont., and moved to Waterloo to attend the University of Waterloo. I have a BMath and I am a Chartered Accountant (now CPA).

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

With my business experience and background I will be able to quickly understand the issues facing council, ask the appropriate questions and come up with ideas or solutions to issues facing the Region.

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

The most important issue facing the Region is affordable housing and dealing with the issues surrounding the tent cities. We need the resources available to assist those dealing with mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction. If we help resolve those issues we may help resolve part of the homeless problem.

We also need to re-examine the way development charges are levied on new home construction. A number of $84,000 per new home is unsustainable.

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

We need to ensure long term that we have housing available for all those that live in the City/Region.

This not only involves those currently in the tent cities, but the first home buyers and those that need geared to income housing. Housing was an issue before the pandemic but has been highlighted now as a result.

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Q.5 What is your platform?

Overall to ensure our tax dollars are spent wisely and not wasted. Look for efficiencies to control spending. We will need to spend more on housing issues and the issues that are related to some of this. We will need to find the money from other areas of the budget to deal with these issues to limit tax increases.

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

I am a member of the KW Granite Club, and hence an active curler. I also golf and ride my bike on a regular basis.

Q.7 What is your favourite thing about living in Waterloo Region?

The Waterloo Region area has always been a clean and safe community to raise a family. The area in which I live is close to schools and recreational activities.


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Gord Greavette

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

During my lifelong commitment of engaging in public service to Canadians, initially as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and later within the academic realm, I have been fortunate to have had leadership opportunities across Canada, and also as a Canadian representing Canada internationally. I have learned so much from these many experiences and am eager to give back to the residents of this region; the folks who have accepted me and my family over these past 24 years.

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

While the most pressing issue at the moment would be tackling the homelessness and affordable housing issue, I believe that the most important issue is ensuring the health and safety of the residents of Waterloo and the entire region; especially from a policing and a comprehensive medical (physical, emotional and mental health) perspective.

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

Like most citizens of Waterloo, I want to continue to enjoy the growth and vibrancy of this city and the entire region. Therefore, I would strive to see that the ION routing to Cambridge is completed and that the bus feeder routes are expanded, as well as better public intercity transit capabilities to and from the region.

Q.5 What is your platform?

Leadership – Integrity – Experience.  Learn more at: gordgreavette.ca

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

During my spare time, I like to keep up-to-date with local, national and international affairs and I also try to spend at least a half hour each day practicing music on my guitar. My wife and I also enjoy taking long walks daily through the many excellent parks and trails systems that we are fortunate to have within our region.

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Q.7 What is your favourite thing about living in Waterloo Region?

This is a very progressive and forward-looking community that enjoys numerous academic, economic, recreational, artistic and sporting opportunities. This is also a caring community where the residents of Waterloo show concern and respect for their fellow citizens and for the people who reside in this region. Maintaining and enhancing the capabilities of our many parks and ensuring the urban-rural divide continues to be a priority that I would endorse.


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Chantal Huinink

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 am a motivational speaker author, and social justice advocate who lives with a physical disability. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Human Development and a double Masters of Divinity and Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University.

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I have had many years of experience advocating for those who are marginalized, those who live with a disability, and those who are vulnerable. I served on the Board of the Legal Clinic of Guelph and Wellington County for 10 years and I have experience advocating for human rights at the provincial level.

I moved to the City of Waterloo in 2011 to attend university and have been employed in the city since 2012.

I am a driven woman who has overcome many obstacles in my life.

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

My education and experience as a woman who uses a wheelchair has made me keenly aware of the need for holistic care including consideration of physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs.

As well, growing up in a single-parent family with limited means has given me real-life knowledge of the need for social supports and affordable housing in our region.

My motivational speaking experience has given me the ability to cast vision of the future. My need to work with various support providers in my daily life has also made me adept at recognizing the skills of others and collaborating with them to achieve optimal results.

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

The most important issues currently facing Waterloo Region is poverty and homelessness. If elected, I will work with fellow councillors and senior staff to expand short-term solutions such as a better tent city. I will advocate for the implementation of upstream resources to prevent circumstances that may cause homelessness. I will also engage representatives at the provincial and federal levels to find the best long-term solutions for people facing homelessness in Waterloo.

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

Addressing climate change is an urgent matter. I fully support the TransformWR strategy to transition Waterloo Region to an equitable, prosperous, low-carbon community.

The region must continue to reduce local greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, lowering our carbon footprint. As your regional councillor, I will work to ensure that Waterloo Region continues on its path to reduce GHG emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050.

Q.5 What is your platform?

My desire is to enhance Waterloo Region and ensure that it is a welcoming place through:

  1. Equitable access to community resources and supports,
  2. Sustainable, accessible and expanded public transit that meets the needs for our community, and
  3. Affordable housing solutions for everyone.

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

I enjoy creative writing, traveling and playing with my dog Mocha.

Q.7 What is your favourite thing about living in Waterloo Region?

I appreciate the ability to form relationships from all different cultures and walks of life while enjoying great food and live music in the green spaces in the city.

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John Vieth

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 have lived in the City of Waterloo for over 40 years. I moved to Waterloo to study Engineering at the University of Waterloo. In due course, I married Angela and together we raised our family in Waterloo because of the excellent quality of life and career opportunities available.

The city continues to be an appealing place to live and work, to the extent that two of our children have chosen to raise their families here. Over the decades I have experienced life as a student, parent, scouter, sports coach, community volunteer and working professional within the community of Waterloo.

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

I feel that my background provides me the skills and insights to be an effective member of council and that I should step up and offer to serve. A graduate of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Waterloo, I have worked my entire career in the high-tech sector of Waterloo region that continues to drive such a significant portion of our local economy. I continue to be involved in the business and could provide a new and very helpful perspective for Council.

My training and occupation as a professional engineer gives me the capability to develop innovative solutions to challenging problems. I feel this could be helpful for the work of council.

Having volunteered for a decade on the governing Council of Professional Engineers Ontario, and on the boards of community service organizations in our region, I gained experience in governance and collaborative decision making. I feel this will enable me to contribute early and effectively to the workings of our regional government.

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

Municipal government has a significant impact on the lives of citizens and visitors. Our regional government affects our health, transportation, water and waste services, to name a few. It is important that our elected representatives make the best decisions to maintain and improve these services.

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Q.5 What is your platform?

I approach my nomination without a preconceived agenda or any “axe to grind” and offers my talents to serve the best interests of all citizens of Waterloo. My priorities are:
1) Maintaining or improving the quality of life for all citizens, including provisions for adequate and affordable housing, access to healthcare and sustainable infrastructure.
2) Achieving the best overall value for citizens from funds the municipality spends.
3) Sustaining our local economy to continue providing a rich and diverse range of employment opportunities

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

Volunteer with the Kiwanis Club of KW and the Waterloo Central Railway. Visit grandchildren. Travel. Continue lifelong learning.

Q.7 What is your favourite thing about living in Waterloo Region?

The excellent quality of life, cultural diversity and career opportunities in Waterloo Region.


Global News has also reached out to Jim Bolger, Peter Neufeld and Cindy Watkin 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.

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