On Tuesday, 29 May 2018 some of the candidates in Kitchener–Conestoga were invited to a debate by the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. The debate was moderated by Jeff Pickle of 570AM News, and recorded by Rogers Cable.
Afterwards I received a lovely letter from a local resident:
Hello all, Thank you to all of you for making it to the candidates meeting yesterday afternoon in Elmira! I attended for the first hour, after which I unfortunately had to leave. I would have loved to hear the whole discussion, but I am a single mom and my kids were home alone. I appreciated how Bob addressed each question directly with the Green party’s platform and his own beliefs. I do not like the tactic of putting other parties down.
Mike, you mentioned that the best way to get housing prices down is by building more houses. In order to do this, you said, we have to get rid of the ‘red tape’ and you specifically mentioned environmental studies that “take over a year to complete!”. Developers will not build affordable housing out of their own good-will (most will not). They make their money by building houses and selling at the highest price possible. They will not flood the market with a surplus of houses, as this will push prices down (but not to an affordable price for low-income families or people on social assistance). Environmental studies are necessary to protect the natural environment, including species at risk. Without such studies and guidelines, developers would cut down forests and remove wetlands and kill wildlife. Environmental studies take a full year to complete because of the seasonality of species (e.g. frogs breed at different times in the spring; birds migrate in spring and fall and breed in June; bats have to be studied in June; different types of vegetation grows at different times of the spring and summer; wildlife use the landscape differently in the winter). I admit that I work for an environmental consulting company, which is why I know a little bit about this. Climate change is a huge issue that the government needs to address! If we do not address it in a very solid and practical way, our children (who you also spoke of) will have a very difficult time to live, even if we would get everything else right.
I think the Liberals have done a good job for the most part during their term in office. Thank you! I support the environmental initiatives you have brought forward. I have also voted NDP in the past and believe they have many good ideas. However, on June 7 I will be voting for the Green Party! Their platform aligns best with my beliefs and I found Bob to be the most well spoken and most passionate.
P.S. By the way, Mike, it was extremely difficult to find your email address!
Letter from Katharina used with permission