Kitchener-Waterloo·Voter Voices

These voters share their top issues in this fall's municipal election in Waterloo region

Three voters joined CBC K-W's The Morning Edition to talk about their top issues in this fall's municipal election. They included housing, homelessness and climate change.

Housing, homelessness and climate change among top issues

Portrait of a woman in glasses beside portrait of a man who is outside with trees and a blue sky behind him.
Sandra Bray of Elmira, left, and Rudi Schweitzer of Kitchener were part of a voter panel on CBC K-W's The Morning Edition on Monday to talk about their top municipal election issues. (Submitted by Sandra Bray, Rudi Schweitzer)

Shona Kangaloo of Kitchener says the lack of housing that's affordable is her biggest concern in this municipal election.

Kangaloo, who is single and has "a decent job with a decent wage," recently moved in with family because rent had become too expensive.

"I'm not a homeowner, but I'm not homeless. I'm kind of somewhere in the middle and I would like to know that there is going to be a place for me in the community in terms of finding affordable rental properties," Kangaloo said.

"As a single person, I can't afford a one-bedroom apartment in the community in which I live and that's a shame."

Kangaloo shared her experience as part of a voter panel on CBC Kitchener-Waterloo's The Morning Edition. With the municipal election less than a month away, three people joined the morning radio show to talk about their top issues and what they need to hear from candidates running in their neighbourhood.

LISTEN | Three voters on their top issues in this fall's municipal election:

Rudi Schweitzer lives in Kitchener's Ward 10 and runs a plumbing business in St. Agatha. He agreed housing and homelessness are top concerns for him.

He sees the encampments in downtown Kitchener and in Victoria Park and would like to see more done to support the people living there.

"It isn't something that, in the past, we've really been able to grapple with and it's kind of gotten away from us now," he said of more people experiencing homelessness in the region.

"A lot of communities in North America are suffering from the same problem so it's not a problem exclusive to Waterloo region, but it's definitely one of our main issues for sure."

Local politicians need to address climate change: Voter

Sandra Bray of Elmira says she's given a lot of thought about how Woolwich Township and the region need to address climate change at a local level.

"You can think about climate change in terms of public health, in terms of the economy, in terms of our insurance rates, given what's been going on. I think it's just such a big package to me," she said.

"The municipal governments control about 50 per cent of our emissions, so there's a lot that can be done," she said and pointed to the Transform Waterloo Region document, which recommends by 2050, 38 per cent of electricity used in the region is produced locally from carbon neutral, renewable resources.

"Now the bonus for that is, well, first of all, it's clean and will have a huge effect on public health," she said.

Secondly, she said, it would help the local economy. The group Waterloo Region Community Energy has reported the region spent $2.1 billion in 2014 for energy, including gasoline, natural gas, propane, electricity, diesel and fuel oil.

"That money could stay if we have our own clean electricity produced where we are, that money would stay within the community," Bray said.


Kate Bueckert


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