Posts Tagged ‘Waterloo Region’

Subsequent to the October 27, 2014 Ontario municipal election, I wanted to offer my list of the good and bad of the Waterloo Region municipal election results, with a focus on my community of Waterloo.

The good:

– Dave Jaworsky, the candidate elected as Waterloo mayor really worked hard for the job, knocking on over 20,000 doors.

– Waterloo mayoral candidate Erika Traub had a strong second-place showing in her first-ever political campaign, with her own high level of commitment and care for the citizens of the community.

– That being a regional weatherman for over 40 years shouldn’t automatically make you the top candidate or get you elected, especially by refusing most interviews and not campaigning much during the summer, which ultimately resulted in a third place finish.

– The candidate who ran for Waterloo councillor because he was “bored” came in last place.

– The former Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo who suddenly declared for Waterloo regional councilor just before the deadline and didn’t get to or choose to participate in any media and voter vetting exercises besides a Rogers debate didn’t get elected.

– The number one challenger to Ken Seiling for Regional Chair, Jay Aissa, didn’t get elected after discrediting the anti-LRT (light rail transit) movement with his various antics, such as his failed court challenge with a shell organization consisting only of himself, unauthorized emails from anti-LRT petition signers to regional councillors, obnoxious robocalls, misleading flyers, a false debt projection claim, a legal threat for some Facebook posts and allegations of sign interference.

The bad:

– The return of both incumbent Waterloo regional councillors, Sean Strickland and Jane Mitchell.

– In 2010, Sean Strickland had said a 9% tax increase proposal was too high for light rail transit, only to support a 12.9% tax increase after the election.

– Prior to the 2010 election, Jane Mitchell had said she was against raising property taxes to pay for the light rail transit plan at the time, only to also support a 12.9% tax increase after the election.

– Not a single anti-LRT candidate elected, but understandable given some of the points mentioned above in the good section.

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On a special 37-minute broadcast of Exposing Faux Capitalism with Jason Erb, I gave my candid take on the October 27, 2014 Waterloo Region election.

Relevant links:

1) Regional candidates list

2) Waterloo Region Record’s mayoral debate

3) My September 30 interview with Waterloo mayoral candididate, Erika Traub.

4) A time capsule show to be opened on 2017 about Light Rail Transit in Waterloo Region.

5) Waterloo regional councillor Jane Mitchell’s site before the 2014 election.

6) Waterloo Chronicle article quoting Waterloo regional councillor Sean Strickland saying a 9% tax increase plan for the LRT was too expensive, only to later approve a 12.9% tax increase.

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From this July 19, 2013 Waterloo Region Record article, Son grassed off by complaint about elderly parents’ lawn:

Chris Parniak could not believe the city’s bylaw department is cracking down on his elderly parents to cut grass in the middle of a heat wave.

Parniak found a notice of violation from the city’s bylaw enforcement office in his parents’ mailbox on Wednesday. The notice mentioned his parents by name and ordered them to cut all grass taller than eight inches.

“I was just disgusted that the bylaw department is going around enforcing something as ridiculous as that in this kind of heat wave,” Parniak said.

“My parents are senior citizens, they are in their 80s. My mother is disabled with lupus, my dad had kidney failure and has been in and out of the hospital,” Parniak said.

Bylaw enforcement officers typically only respond to complaints. That means someone living near the elderly couple called the city’s bylaw enforcement office and complained about the length of their grass in the middle of a heat wave.

Property owners have three days to comply with a notice of violation. After that, a city grass cutting crew does the work and sends a bill. Typically the cost ranges from $100 to $150, depending on the size of the lot.

Despite the article making the neighbour(s) who ratted out the couple about their lawn out to be insensitive creeps, the fact that such bylaws are so widespread and accepted tells me that most Waterloo Region residents, most Canadians, and even most Americans would force this old man (through government) to cut his grass, too, if they were his neighbour.

If, for example, the guy had a dangerous tree on his property, then I think the city would be justified in acting to protect his neighbours, but what business is it of his neighbours, or of the city, to impose force on him simply because his grass is allegedly, and arbitrarily, “too long”?

This is the consequence of not truly owning any real property in Canada, unless you’re the Crown, and in most places in the United States, unless you’re the “sovereign” government. Your “ownership” is only fee simple, which means it is subject to all taxes and regulations imposed on it by the so-called representative government.

Am I saying that I would be happy to live next to a neighbour or neighbours with lawns that more resemble a jungle? Of course not! — but that’s not the point. How is it infringing upon my property rights, unless that grass becomes a danger to my property?

In a twist of irony, the city of Waterloo doesn’t follow its own similar bylaw, as I walked by the University of Waterloo Tech Park, which is operated by the publicly-owned university, and has tracts of land with grass and weeds bigger than eight inches at times, including on July 20.

Is it the case of a bylaw exemption, of the government not actually being servant to the people, and, instead, master? As a friend told me, when he worked on Ontario Works public housing projects, he was told that the government’s excuse was that there was simply too much grass to cut.

Too much grass to cut within 24 hours or a few days, perhaps, but it’s not a valid excuse at all if it justifies hardly ever cutting the grass while employing bylaw officers to force their benefactors (tax-paying residents) to cut their grass.

Until enough residents stand up and prove otherwise, I have no reason to believe that most of them wouldn’t also use the power of government to force their neighbours to cut their grass, too.

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Chuck Kuntz

What’s more zany? His hat, or his call for 200,000 signatures in a Region with fewer voters in the last election?

Forget Waldo — where’s Chuck Kuntz of LRT Opposition?

Chuck Kuntz came to the attention of those opposing Waterloo Region’s $818-million Light Rail Transit plan with this February 1 article announcing his intended petition calling for cancelling it.

“This train has left the station,” Wideman said. “The region has expended a lot of money at this point.”

But Waterloo resident Chuck Kuntz is going to give it a try anyway.

He’s started an online petition which he plans to present to regional councillors in the spring and hopes to get 200,000 signatures.

Kuntz said he’s seen a lot of comments in the media from people who aren’t happy with the region’s plans for light rail trains that will run from Conestoga Mall in Waterloo to Fairview Park mall in Kitchener.

He’s acting now — nearly two years after rapid transit was approved in June 2011 — because he didn’t think politicians would approve the plan.

“When they started talking about the light rail transit, I thought it was a joke that would never go through,” he said.

He has concerns about the cost and whether anyone will actually ride the trains. The provincial and federal governments are chipping in a combined $565 million to the region’s $253 million for the $818-million project.

“My tax dollars are going to pay for all of it,” he said.

In his local February 7 570 News interview, he made a lot of sense — that is, until he called for 200,000 signatures on his petition — more than the number of voters who turned out in the 2010 regional election.

Regardless of his intent, the consequence is that anything less than the target would be perceived as a failure, and anything far less than the target would be perceived as an embarrassment, and it created the false impression that such opposition would be required in order to kill or amend the plan.

On January 23, the first post had been made to the Facebook group, LRT Opposition.

Chuck_Kuntz - Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 9.58.46 AM

Then, just one day later, this was the public face put on the leadership of the opposition to LRT:

Chuck_Kuntz - Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 9.57.35 AM

Is this the face of serious opposition?

In this message, five days after the article, he says he has 300 emails to review, and is heartened by positive comments.

Chuck_Kuntz - Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 10.00.03 AM

Here is my invitation to Chuck Kuntz, two weeks after the article about his petition, to appear on my Sunday radio show, Exposing Faux Capitalism. By this point, I had already interviewed 19 others, including three of the alternative candidates in the preceding local byelection in the Kitchener-Waterloo riding, which demonstrated the local listenership of my show.

Chuck_Kuntz - Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 10.01.27 AM

Then, on April 16, when he should no longer be receiving 300 emails, especially since his last page update was made on February 7, I sent this message:

Chuck_Kuntz - Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 10.02.03 AM

And, finally, on May 16, I sent this email:

Chuck_Kuntz - Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 10.03.18 AM

All two messages and one email went unresponded to, and there’s no mention about the petition he intended to present to regional councillors in the spring, which leaves me with the question: Where’s Chuck Kuntz of LRT Opposition? Was this intended to be a serious petition, and serious LRT Opposition?

For more on the $818-million LRT boondoggle, listen to my interview with local activist, Julian Ichim, on June 23.

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Exposing Faux CapitalismOn the June 23, 2013 episode of Exposing Faux Capitalism with Jason Erb on Truth Frequency Radio, I interviewed social activist Julian Ichim in the first hour and Pastor David Whitney of the Institute on the Constitution in the second hour.

Hour 1: Interview with social activist, Julian Ichim, about local initiatives to provide solutions to unrepresentative government, with specific reference to my local community, and his — Waterloo Region.

We discussed the plans for a casino in the region, the Light Rail Transit fiasco, Waterloo’s extraction of taxes to go to wealthy developers to “develop” Northdale, and his activism.

Hour 2: Interview with Pastor David Whitney of the Institute on the Constitution at theamericanview.com on the U.S. Constitution, the types of government, the limited role of civil government and the U.S. federal government.

When the types of government are discussed, one often thinks of municipal, state and federal, but those are all types of civil government, which is supposed to be relatively limited compared to self government, family government and religious government, which we also discussed, and the distinct purpose and limits of each.

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