Transit and traffic congestion are dominating local media reports, and candidates are all vocal about their solutions to the problem. The most heated debates are in the Region of Waterloo for the position of Chair. The Waterloo Record published an article on November 8 titled “Public transit choices divide Seiling, Verdun”. The article had this to summarize about each candidate:
“Seiling, who has been regional chair for 21 years, wants a light-rail transit line in Waterloo Region.The trains would run through the heart of Kitchener and Waterloo, eventually extending to Cambridge and Elmira.
Verdun, a development consultant and former newspaper editor and owner, says his top priority is GO service. He wants GO trains ferrying people between Waterloo Region and Toronto and the surrounding area.”
Later, the Record says this about Sieling’s views of GO:
“Although a big supporter of light-rail transit within the region, Seiling said he hasn’t ruled GO out. The worry is that Waterloo Region will become strictly a commuter region.”
The article also discusses some data pointing to the number of commuters in the area, but the information is already 5 years old:
According to the 2001 census, 12 per cent of local residents with jobs commute to work outside the region.
Of the commuters, most go to Guelph. Four per cent, or close to 10,000 people, go to Toronto, Peel and Halton”"
The Staff of GOKW.ORG are experienced commuters and would like to remind people that in 5 years, a lot can change.. there has been significant commuter traffic growth for directions towards the GTA and it’s only getting worse.
Other media profiles of the various wards in Waterloo each mention a candidate supporting GO Transit expansion. Of course, you don’t have to look to your media reports for that information, you can find it yourself by clicking our “candidates respond” section, and locating the responses from the people you voted for.
There was a second all candidates debate for Regional Chair in the Canada Room of the Market Square and the author was in attendance. Very similar issues were also brought up, and there may be more media coverage in tomorrow’s papers. It’s clear to me that the battleground over Transit lies in the Waterloo Regional Chair and Councillor seats.