Waterloo Region Votes 2018: New leadership coming to Region

On Monday night, someone will replace long-serving Ken Seiling as regional chair. There are four candidates in the running.

Ken Seiling says goodbye after 33 years

The four people running for regional chair in Waterloo region are (from left) Jay Aissa, Jan d'Ailly, Karen Redman and Rob Deutschmann. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

When Ken Seiling retires this fall, it will be the first time in 33 years someone else will serve as chair of the Region of Waterloo.

There are four people seeking the position: Jay Aissa, Jan d'Ailly, Rob Deutschmann and Karen Redman.

Aissa, a businessman, ran for regional chair in 2014 and finished second with 25,611 votes compared to Seiling's 63,884 votes.

d'Ailly is a former Waterloo city councillor. Deutschmann is a personal injury lawyer, and Redman is a current regional councillor and former MP.

Affordable housing

The four candidates agree affordable housing is the top issue in the region, largely because it intersects with other areas, including the ongoing opioid crisis.

Redman, who has worked with Habitat for Humanity, has said in some cases, the region needs to get out of the way of people who are making strides in this area.

Deutschmann, however, said there are too many different people doing different things.

"There are too many organizations that are working, almost in silos, and the Region needs to take a role in terms of leading the charge with respect to this issue," he said.

Regional Chair Ken Seiling waves to the crowd. This year's K-W Oktoberfest was his last as regional chair. After 33 years as regional chair, Seiling is not seeking re-election. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Need for better transportation options

All four candidates list transportation as one of their top issues for this election.

Aissa largely opposed the LRT in the last election. This time around, his platform says he supports a rapid transit system "that will benefit every community" in the region. On his website, he said the public must be consulted on transportation plans and that could include a referendum.

d'Ailly said he would like to see an active transportation plan for the whole region, not just the urban cores. He also wants to advocate for two-way, all-day GO service to the region.

In his platform, Deutschmann said he wants to see continued investments and improvement to transportation, including bus service that feeds into the LRT route. He would also like to see a GO Train in Cambridge and like d'Ailly, he would continue to advocate for two-way, all-day GO.

Redman said she looks toward expanding the LRT into Cambridge.

Listen to our full panel discussion with the regional chair candidates:

The four candidates for regional chair sat down with The Morning Edition host Craig Norris for a lengthy conversation on the issues important to the region. The candidates are: Jay Aissa, Jan d'Ailly, Rob Deutschmann and Karen Redman. 41:07

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