Municipal elections in Waterloo Region will be held on October 27. With half a year to go until ballots are cast, CBC Kitchener-Waterloo has reached out to every mayoral candidate in the region who has officially filed to run.
Each candidate has answered the same five questions, and their replies will be reproduced. Today we speak to Peter Martin, who is running for mayor of Kitchener.
1. What's the most important issue in your city for the next council term?
Change. We are going to have a new Mayor of Kitchener and the voters need to determine what the change is going to be. Together, my business experience, managing a household, and sincere approach to community service. We need build on the foundation we have, and with a fresh set of eyes to investigate how we sustain growth. Since I have spent more than two decades developing and running my own business, I know what the business community is looking for to attract talented employees to sustain growth. The economy is still recovering. I will work with the various economic development organizations and support them in with their efforts. Positive economic development is the foundation which leads to growth in other sectors of our community.
2. Voter turnout is notoriously low, especially in municipal politics. How will you engage voters?
I will start by using social media to reach out to a younger generation who want a fresh new approach to politics. We have an energetic, young campaign team and we look forward to engaging voters and listening. My campaign group will hear what voters have to say and use their ideas throughout this campaign. In September, I will officially launch my
campaign and release my platform. The insight I gather from the voters will be the foundation of my platform supporting my own values and goals. When the voters feel they are being heard, they will be more inclined to engage in the political process.
3. What would you say is your biggest weakness?
Speaking to large groups. I like engaging people one on one or in small groups. I believe this to be a more meaningful method of communication.
4. Who is your political role model, and why?
John English is my political role model for genuine public service. John has been a friend and confidant to me since I opened my business, 25 years ago. John demonstrates what a politician and a leader should be - committed to public service, listening and responding to constituents and working well with others while developing and supporting clear vision.
5. Forty years from now, how do you picture your municipality?
Green energy, environmentally self-sustainable together with efficient, affordable and family-friendly transportation. I believe it is more effective to plan on 5 year increments. A restaurant business needs to reinvent itself every 5 years to sustain its presence. Embrace change. We must redouble our efforts to keep up to the pace of change in our society. Kitchener will continue to be a leader in Canada for economic output and I will sustain this tradition over the next 4 years. And the Kitchener Rangers will have won a few more Memorial Cups!