Housing crisis and climate change are top of mind for these Waterloo region voters

The municipal election is a week away. These three voters from Kitchener and Waterloo say they've got many issues on their mind as they decide who to vote for, including housing, homelessness and climate change.

The climate crisis 'hovers above all other problems' says voter Carol Burrows

Three portraits of women side-by-side.
In CBC K-W's final voter panel before the municipal election, Kerry Kanold of Waterloo (left), Carol Burrows of Kitchener (centre) and Grace Pidduck of Waterloo joined The Morning Edition to talk about their top concerns in this election. (Submitted by Kerry Kanold, Carol Burrows, Grace Pidduck)

Like many other voters in Waterloo region, one of Kerry Kanold's top issues in this municipal election is housing.

Kanold, a voter in Waterloo, says the housing crisis weighs on her mind: from people experiencing homelessness, the price of real estate to rental rates.

"Most importantly, I think the rental market is becoming really price prohibitive for a lot of young people to even get their first apartments on their own," she said.

With the municipal election a week away, three voters joined CBC Kitchener-Waterloo's The Morning Edition to talk about their top issues and what they want to hear candidates address.

In a survey on the CBC K-W website, voters who responded also said climate change was top of mind in this election.

Carol Burrows of Kitchener said the climate is an "existential problem."

"It kind of hovers above all other problems we have in our community," she said.

"I feel like I want to be a good ancestor to my children. My generation has been one of the biggest contributors to this problem and so I feel like it's up to us to deal with it."

Climate solutions fix other problems, too

Burrows said she's glad the city and region have declared climate emergencies; some of the most important changes need to happen at the community level.

"It's where we make our development, transportation and livability decisions," Burrows said.

And good climate policy can fix other problems, too, she said; including "homelessness and the cost of living and housing affordability." 

Grace Pidduck, of Waterloo, agreed climate change is a big concern in this election.

"I actually just think the world is at risk and that we don't do near enough to teach people about climate change," she said.

Pidduck works with newcomers to the region and says more could be done to help them adjust to life in the region. That includes teaching things as simple as how to recycle properly.

"When I say training, it can't be an email or check this [website] out. It has to be actually, let's do a little demo," she said.

"You have to remember, many of them don't read English or write so they can't go online and just look at it and they don't understand how it applies to them."

She said climate change solutions are also often targeted at people who have money, such as suggestions to buy electric vehicles and energy efficient appliances.

"We need to look at the people who can't afford climate action and how we can help them," she said.

LISTEN | These three women talk about their top concerns in this municipal election:

The municipal election is on Monday, Oct. 24. In this latest voter panel, Carol Burrows of Kitchener, Kerry Kanold of Waterloo and Grace Pidduck of Waterloo talk about their top issues and whether there's anything they're waiting to hear from candidates in the final week of the campaign.


Kate Bueckert


Kate has been covering issues in southern Ontario for more than 15 years. She currently works for CBC Kitchener-Waterloo. Email: