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Posts Tagged ‘Waterloo’

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 September 30, 2014 episode of Exposing Faux Capitalism with Jason Erb, I interviewed Waterloo mayoral candidate, Erika Traub.

I extended her an invitation after hearing her on 570 News the previous Friday morning, as she stood out from the other candidates in saying that dealing with homelessness was her number one priority and she explicitly advocated private sector solutions instead of resorting to the usual deflection offered by most politicians of studies and government intervention.

For affordable housing, she described some interesting solutions, advocating local government reducing burdensome parking requirements and reducing development charges.

Election day is October 27, 2014.

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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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I have been invited to speak to a local gathering of libertarians in Waterloo Region, at Benny’s Restaurant McGinnis Front Row in Waterloo, on Thursday, September 19, 2013, at 7 PM.

I will be speaking about the focus of my blog and radio show, Exposing Faux Capitalism, which includes the underreported successes of interest-free and government-issued currencies, criticisms of Austrian economics and the importance and success of limited government dedicated solely to protecting life, liberty and property.

Location details can be found here. All are welcome. Anyone interested should RSVP to Phil Bender at phil.libertarian@gmail.com so he can reserve a large enough table.

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Julian IchimSocial activist, Julian Ichim, is scheduled to be on Exposing Faux Capitalism with Jason Erb on Truth Frequency Radio, June 23, 2013 from 8 to 9 PM EDT.

I plan to discuss the plans for a casino in the region of Waterloo, where I live, the $818 million Light Rail Transit fiasco, Waterloo’s extraction of taxes to go to wealthy developers to “develop” the student ghetto of Northdale, the Region giving corporate welfare to pay for empty airline seats, the bad behaviour of some police and judges in the area, and his activism.

No matter where you live, the principles of widespread wealth redistribution at the hands of government, blatant corporate welfare, and bad government representation and policies are things you will be able to identify with, and my focus is on diagnosing the symptoms and formulating the appropriate remedies.

I previously interviewed him on October 14, 2012.

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English: Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort - Fac...

Ontario towns and cities, desperate for funds in these challenging economic times, are considering casinos in an effort to raise revenues, instead of doing less disruptive things like issuing municipal bonds to employees in lieu of pay increases, as has been suggested by John Turmel, whom I have previously interviewed.

With the vote by Woolwich Township council for the community to be considered by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to host a casino, by being bribed with some of its own taxpayer money, neighbouring Waterloo City Council has sought input through emails, phone calls and an online survey, and I have registered my sentiments:

We shouldn’t be bribed and pitted against each other in our respective communities with our own taxpayer money by our provincial government’s Lottery and Gaming Corporation. If a private consortium wishes to build a casino, then by all means, so long as it pays for all increased social services costs through a fee levied on every gambler.

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Waterloo City CouncilAs reported by the Waterloo Chronicle on August 15, 2012, in their article, A better way:

She now goes out of her way to avoid the Northdale neighbourhood and the surrounding area because she can’t stand the look of the bland, characterless apartments currently being built there.

Yet while city staff and some councillors say the city must walk a fine line to balance the enforcement of visual and aesthetic guidelines with the rights of developers — even going so far to consider using millions of dollars in incentives to rebuild Northdale — there are some builders in the city who have already taken that next step without a handout from the city.

If Waterloo City Council really cared about the property rights of individuals, they wouldn’t take millions of dollars in the form of property taxes in order to redistribute them to other property owners. Particularly, I see favouritism toward well-monied property owners, but it’s become so commonplace these days, even when it’s as blatant as taking money from the unemployed and underemployed for something as blatant as video game research, as I previously documented in my article, Canadian government calls for austerity, awards $5.8 million for video game research.

The last sentence of the paragraph I quoted shows that private developers can succeed in spite of regressive policies such as the one Waterloo City Council has floated.

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