This riding on the eastern shore of the Grand River consists of the
city of Waterloo and part of the city of Kitchener.
The region is known for its German heritage: 14 per cent of residents
identify themselves as of Germanic origin, and the riding is home to
Canada's largest annual Oktoberfest celebration.
The University of Waterloo, Wilfred Laurier University and a campus
of Conestoga College are all located in the riding.
The city of Waterloo makes up about three-quarters of the riding. Waterloo's
economic activities include computer software development, agricultural
industries, insurance companies and many small businesses.
Following the 1999 redistribution, the new Kitchener-Waterloo riding
combined parts of the old ridings of Kitchener, Kitchener-Wilmot and
John Wintermeyer, the Liberal leader from 1958 to 1963, won the former
Waterloo-North riding in 1955 and 1959. Liberal Ed Good served here
in 1967, 1971 and 1975, followed by fellow Liberal Herb Epp in 1977,
1981 and 1985.
In 1985, Epp beat PC candidate Elizabeth Witmer. Five years later,
Witmer returned to win the seat. She would repeat the victory in 1995
and 1999, and has held cabinet posts under Premier Ernie Eves and former
premier Mike Harris.