I need your help here. Yes, it’s my home ward but based upon what I know so far I’m not sure how to vote. I have said that there were two viable candidates but that neither of them excited me. There are now three viable candidates but still no excitement. So I’m hoping that you can help me figure this one out.

Here’s what I do know. I won’t be voting for Gary Ferguson based upon what I know of him from his past political campaigns and experience. I am also reluctant to support Terry Marr because of her opposition to light rail transit and other misguided positions such as wanting to cut or freeze city councillors already modest salary.

So where do you think that leaves me?


12 thoughts on “Initial thoughts on Ward 10

  1. I know Denis Pellerin supports light rail. Dan Glenn-Graham wants a light rail referendum, which is truly a terrible idea and a cop-out. Terry Marr opposes it, as you mentioned. I have no interest in Gary Ferguson. On that issue, I know who I support.

    I can also get behind Pellerin’s answers to the MHBPNA questions.

    I’m waiting to see the results of the ACO‘s candidate survey before I make a final decision.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts Sylvan. They echo my own. I’ll need to take a closer look at the MHBPNA results along with those of some other groups such as the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council that have done candidate surveys before I make my decision.

  3. I have known all four candidates for many years. I have also been very active in our downtown for over twenty years. While I respect each candidate and what they stand for, I would suggest that Mr. Dan Glenn-Graham does deserve a second look. To base a decision on who to vote for on an issue that he/she will ultimately not vote on makes me wonder what people really understand about how our municipal political system works.
    Mr. Zehr will be the only vote from the City of Kitchener Municipal Council. He will consult with his council and I can promise you that Mr. Glenn-Graham will listen to his constituents. Mr. Glenn-Graham has spent years working with at least 8 neighbourhood associations over the last 10 years. Mr. Pellerin has spent a lot of time on Committees of Council with politicians, business people but little time in the trenches with the people who work, live and play in the downtown. Mr. Pellerin prides himself on his ability to “get along with everyone”. I hope Ward 10 elects someone who questions and seeks real answers to issues.

    1. Thanks Karen! I know how long and how active you have been so I appreciate knowing your perspective on this race. Dan’s Neighbourhood Association experience is definitely an asset in his favour. I know that should he be elected that this background could prove to be very helpful in my own efforts to get an active association in my end/side of downtown. You also make a good point that there are no plans for any LRT votes at Kitchener City Council. Still for several reasons it is a part of my own decision-making process that I hope to elaborate upon in a post later this week.

  4. The Kitchener Fire Fighters Association are supporting several candidates in this year’s election. In Ward 10, they support Denis Pellerin.


    He has my support as well. I am glad John Smola is not running, he was on council too long. We need new voices at council and I think Denis is the best candidate this year. I believe he has a good handle on issues, has experience at many levels of community service, a proper understanding of how municipal government works. He was honest with his opinions and considerate of mine when I talked with him. I am encouraging people I know to vote for Denis.

  5. Well, I’ve gone back to being undecided. At the Ward 10 all-candidates meeting yesterday, Dan Glenn-Graham made a strong case for himself as a listener and a collaborator. I liked his perspectives. I still feel his position on light rail is misguided, but his primary objection seems to be that the region hasn’t done a good job of marketing the proposal (which I agree with) — on the other hand, it doesn’t follow that we should hold a referendum. But Pellerin didn’t come out in support of rail either, as I’d hoped. Glenn-Graham’s answer regarding built heritage was the most satisfying to me. None of the candidates seemed really deeply committed to heritage preservation, but he sounded like he understood it best. (Pellerin prefaced his answer to that question by questioning what counts as heritage, which makes me worry that he would second-guess Kitchener’s heritage committee. Not a promising sign.) I came away from the meeting feeling that Glenn-Graham was more progressive than I’d previously thought, but that may have had something to do with the audience he was addressing (the Queen Street Commons crowd).

    One of those two men will get my vote, but beyond that I’m undecided. There really is no standout candidate in our ward. Too bad.

    1. Thanks Sylvan. I agree that the choice comes down to Pellerin and Glenn-Graham and that both have assets and cause for concern. For me, Glenn-Graham’s endorsement by Stephen Woodworth is problematic and may end up costing him my vote.

      I hope to be able to take a more in-depth look at both over the weekend to determine how I will vote.

  6. In mid September, I wrote to all of the candidates in Ward 10 with four specific questions. My questions were on two themes – immigration & transportation.

    Immigration questions: 1. Can you name 1 specific action that you will take to ensure Kitchener is a welcoming community for immigrant/refuge families? 2. What is the one thing that you will do to support the successful integration of newcomers to Kitchener?

    Transportation questions: 3. When was the last time you used GRT on a regular basis. Do you have or have you had a monthly GRT pass in the last four years? What specific action will you take to promote the Pedestrian Charter and encourage cycling, i.e., what will you do to discourage car traffic?

    All four candidates responded in a timely fashion.

    On the immigration questions, Gary Ferguson provided vague responses – i.e., “more supportive financially of the Multicultural Centre” and a promise to “meet with them on a regular basis to determine what services they require” (meaning immigrants). For me, this response was weak and reflective that Mr. Ferguson isn’t aware of the research (locally as well as provincially and federally) about newcomer needs. Supporting the Multicultural Centre is great, but how much would Mr. Ferguson “support”? What percentage of the budget, for example?

    Daniel Glenn-Graham surprised me with an idea of volunteer ambassadors to welcome newcomers but his suggestion to create a “welcome package” in many languages already exists, and like Mr. Ferguson, I feel that this candidate didn’t do his homework around the issue.

    Terry Marr would “support grant requests” from newcomer agencies. No details, amounts, etc. Like Mr. Glenn-Graham and Mr. Ferguson, Ms. Marr made a suggestion for an initiative that already exists – a a collaborative partnership of agencies to extend, expand and ensure cohesion of services. It’s called the Local Immigration Partnership Council.

    Denis Pellerin’s responses to my questions about welcoming immigrants was also not specific enough for me and he echoed suggestions already made and/or initiatives already in place. However, his words somehow rang a little clearer for me. I felt that he had given real thought to the issue and of all the candidates, Mr. Pellerin’s response was clearly articulated and he provided enough background on the issue to satisfy me that he is aware that Kitchener needs to do better at welcoming immigrants and supporting their integration.

    Now for the answers on transportation:

    Gary Ferguson outright said he does “not use GRT on a regular basis” but wants to see it expand.

    Terry Marr said she had “not been a regular GRT patron” and did “not have a GRT pass in the last 4 years”.

    Due to his work, Denis Pellerin said that “public transit is unfortunately not a viable option”. He did not respond on whether or not he’d held a monthly GRT pass in the last 4 years. Mr. Pellerin was informed about the issue and when he came to my door (the only candidate to do so, so far), we also talked about the need for incentives to use public transit. His email reply also included other transportation alternatives and ways to make downtown/Ward 10 more attractive to pedestrians.

    The funniest suggestion came from Daniel Glenn-Graham who said he would like to “designate certain sidewalks as bike friendly”.

    Finally, some numbers:

    Visits to my door:
    – Mr. Ferguson – zero
    – Mr. Glenn-Graham – zero
    – Ms. Marr – zero
    – Mr. Pellerin – twice.

    Flyers, brochures, info left:
    – Mr. Ferguson – zero
    – Mr. Glenn-Graham – zero
    – Ms. Marr – zero
    – Mr. Pellerin – 3 items.

    I remain undecided.


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