Here are my responses to a questionnaire from Hold the Line Waterloo Region which plans an annual celebration of our countryside line in September. Consider going for some sustainable fun and to show your support!

Will you defend the countryside line against amendments and updates to the Official Plan that threaten to weaken its protections?

Yes! I am a long time advocate for the countryside line.

I also support having it included in the Green Belt so long as that it retains the protection of the Region of Waterloo’s Official Plan when that is stronger.

How will you work to protect prime agricultural areas, the Waterloo moraine, and drinking water?

I support the City of Kitchener’s approach to stormwater management that strives to have as much stormwater handled on the property it falls on so it does not carry pollutants into the storm sewer system and ultimately into our water system. I think the city should look at expanding the measures that homeowners and property owners can use to qualify for credits to the stormwater utility fee. Large trees, naturalization of lawns, depaving and plastic or concrete grid systems are among the options to consider adding. Larger credits or incentives to help pay for improvements can also help increase participation and significant diversion of stormwater.

As an environmentalist, I am open to learning about how we can do more to protect prime agricultural areas and the Waterloo Moraine beyond the protections provided by zoning.

As our population grows, how should Waterloo Region plan for new development?

I strongly support intensification within walking distance of the central transit corridor and near iXpress routes. In Kitchener, intensification requires implementing the Planning Around Rapid Transit Stations (PARTS) Plans zoning as soon as possible and in the meantime taking it into consideration when zone change applications are requested.

This development needs to include affordable housing particularly for families and people living on low incomes. Here’s a column I wrote for the Community Edition that outlines how we need to ensure we intensify in a way that works for everyone. It is focused on the core areas but applies to all the local growth zones that have been identified.

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