Tag Archives: Aislinn Clancy

City of Kitchener must decide how to fill vacant council seat

The election of Aislinn Clancy to provincial politics leaves the Ward 10 seat empty.

At City Council on December 4, Mayor Barry Vrbanovic congratulated out-going councillor and MPP-elect Aislinn Clancy on her byelection win on November 30 and put forward the City’s options.

Once Clancy resigns and the Ward 10 seat is officially declared vacant, Kitchener city council will have 60 days to decide whether by appointment or a by-election to fill the seat.

While the cost of a by-election is a important consideration, with roughly three years still left in the mandate, some residents believe the Ward 10 seat should be decided by the electorate.

The last regular municipal election was on October 24, 2022, and the next election is scheduled for Monday, October 26, 2026, which is just under three years away.

Listen to the story above:

Kitchener Centre by-election: candidates’ ideas and approaches to the redevelopment of the former Charles Street bus station

In the middle of downtown Kitchener, in between City Hall and Victoria Park, is one of the last pieces of available prime real estate in downtown Kitchener. The former Charles St. bus terminal at Gaukel St and Charles St, which sits on 2.94 acres, has sat empty and for the most part unused, since 2019.

The building, which still stands, was designed by local modernist architect John Lingwood in 1989. The property, which is currently being considered for a number of projects, is owned by the Region of Waterloo (who own 88%) and the City of Kitchener (who own 12%), but regardless of who owns it, the community, including the member of provincial parliament, will be part of whatever comes next.

With the Kitchener Centre by-election this week, CKMS took the opportunity to ask the four front-runner candidates, what do they personally think would be an appropriate use of that space and how would that benefit the people of the region?

The four main candidates are Rob Elliott of the Progressive Conservatives, Debbie Chapman of the NDP, Kelly Steiss of the Ontario Liberal party, and Aislinn Clancy of the Ontario Greens. Many attempts over 10 days were made to contact the Progressive Conservative candidate Rob Elliott, but we did not hear back from the PCs in time for broadcast.

In answer to our question, Kelly Steiss focused on the importance of collaboration and how her experience will lend itself well to the development of the project.

Aislinn Clancy also focused on the importance of collaboration and in addition the need to include and manifest Kitchener and regional-specific values.

Debbie Chapman talked about the property’s split ownership and the suggestions that she has heard, including turning it into an indigenous centre with a drop in centre and affordable housing, or extending Victoria Park into the site, moving the entertainment centre, the Kitchener Aud, to the site, or building a conference centre for the space.

Advance voting has closed, and reports show over 5400 people took advantage of the early voting. You can vote in person on election day from 9 AM to 9 PM (Eastern Time) at your assigned voting location based on your home address.

This is one in a series of shows about the Kitchener Centre by-election and in which we ask candidates some of the less-asked questions that are important to our community.

Kitchener Centre by-election: candidates explain how progress can be made as a minority party at Queen’s Park.

The Kitchener centre by-election is this week, November 30, and while the outcome is still far from clear, there is little faith that the elected representative will have any impact in the house.

The four main candidates are Rob Elliott of the Progressive Conservatives, Debbie Chapman of the NDP, Kelly Steiss of the Ontario Liberal party, and Aislinn Clancy of the Ontario Greens.

Three attempts over 10 days were made to contact the Progressive Conservative candidate Rob Elliot, but we did not hear back from the PCs in time for broadcast.

The last provincial election was held in 2022 and of the 124 seats in Queen’s Park, the PC have 80 seats, NDP have 28, Liberals have 9 and the Greens have 1. So unless Rob Elliott is elected, the MPP will be in the minority.  So given that the Kitchener Centre by-election this week, CKMS took the opportunity to ask the four front-runner candidates, how will you participate in the process when you are not a decision-maker but rather as a member of a minority party. In what areas do you see yourself contributing? What committees do you want to focus on?

NDP is the only other party in the house, and they are the official opposition. Debbie Chapman attributes the Ford government’s reversal on the Greenbelt to Marit Stiles. Chapman believes the NDP can win the next election.

Kelly Steiss of the Liberals noted that because the Liberals don’t have official party status, it requires MPPs to be very well connected with and to listen to constituents for when the party does have the opportunity to speak, she will be ready.

Aislinn Clancy of the Greens used the example of how Mike Morrice has been effective in Federal parliament, working collaboratively and across party lines. She focuses on putting the needs of people ahead of partisan politics.

This is one in a series of shows about the Kitchener Centre by-election in which we ask candidates some of the lesser-asked questions that are important to our community.

Kitchener Centre by-election: will the new MPP have any impact in Doug Ford’s Ontario?

Residents of Kitchener Centre provincial election will choose their new MPP this week, in a by-election influenced  as much by party politics as much as local politics.

The former MPP, Laura Mae Lindo, resigned the seat she held for the NDP in July.

The NDP candidate is Debbie Chapman who has served on Kitchener City Council for almost five years as councillor for Ward 9, and she teaches political science at Wilfrid Laurier University.

The Liberal Party candidate is Kelly Steiss, who has worked in municipal government for over two decades. She has volunteered in different capacities to help social inclusion, including as a member of the Mayor’s Task Force for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Steiss has also been the president for the Waterloo Rotary Club.

Aislinn Clancy  is running for the Green Party of Ontario. Clancy is currently the Ward 10 councillor for the City of Kitchener and is also the deputy leader of the Ontario Greens. Previously, Clancy worked as a social worker for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.

Progressive Conservative candidate Rob Elliott has experience in the transportation and government sectors and a former PC party vice-president and regional organizer. Mr. Elliott does not live in Kitchener. He lives in Keswick, north of Toronto.

We spoke to University of Waterloo Political Science Professor Emeritus Robert J. Williams. During his 35 year career at Waterloo, Professor Williams taught courses on provincial, Ontario and municipal government and politics.From 1994 until 2003 he was Academic Director of the Ontario Legislature Internship Programme at Queen’s Park. He has conducted or advised on ward boundary and electoral system reviews in more than twenty-five Ontario municipalities, and testified as an expert witness before the Ontario Municipal Board in several cases involving electoral arrangements. Professor Williams has also served as President of Municipal Cultural Planning Inc., a not-for-profit organization created in late 2009 to advance the practice of municipal cultural planning in communities across Ontario.

Professor Williams provided some history of the Kitchener Centre riding and context for the by-election. He noted that the riding had voted liberal for fifteen years before the previous MPP Laura Mae Lindo and the NDP took the seat in 2018.

Professor Williams noted the fact that Rob Elliott does not live in the constituency is telling and questions why the PCs could not find anyone in the riding to run.

While the PC party casts a long shadow on this byelection, the larger political parties may also influence voters. Professor Williams talks about these wider influences and their possible impact in the Kitchener by-election.The Liberals are currently without a leader and will be holding a leadership convention on December 2. The Green party has one MPP, but the positive reputation of the Green MP Mike Morrice, may also influence voters. And while the NDP have managed to survive a controversy, Professor Williams wondered if it would cause any repercussions at the voting booth.

Professor Williams mentioned the Sarah Jama controversy, which happened when Sarah Jama a NDP MPP from Hamilton expressed sympathy for the current situation in Palestine. Marit Stiles, the leader of the NDP, kicked Jama out of the NDP caucus saying Jama had broken the trust of her colleagues. Then the Kitchener Centre NDP riding issued a statement alleging Stiles was “out of touch with the one million Muslims in Ontario.” The journalist Sabrina Nanji of the Queens Park Observer interviewed Chapman about the situation and she replied she had no knowledge of the letter. She was not aware of the letter and was not involved in its publication, in fact she said the letter blindsided her. Chapman noted three members who were involved in writing the letter resigned, and she stands by Stiles.

Professor Williams was not entirely optimisitic that the new MPP will have a lot of influence, “You are not determining who will be the premier but you are choosing someone who will … contribute as a member of a party to deliberations.”

The former MPP, Laura Mae Lindo, resigned the seat she held for the NDP in July. The Kitchener Centre riding has a population of about 105,260 and is about 42 km2. The person who does win the riding could have approximately 3 years in the job before the next election. The surrounding constituencies – Kitchener South Hespeler and Kitchener Conestoga are both held by PC MPPs, while the Waterloo riding is currently held by the NDP.

This is one in a series of shows about the Kitchener Centre by-election in which we ask candidates some of the lesser-asked questions that are important to our community.

Kitchener Centre by-election: candidates offer ideas to solve child care chaos in the riding

The reason the Kitchener Centre by-election was called is because the previous MPP, Laura Mae Lindo, stepped down and one of the challenges she cited was the difficulty of obtaining childcare.

In a presentation this past April to regional council, the Region of Waterloo Community and Children’s Services reported as of February, a total of 7,214 children ages 0 to 4 years were on the waitlist for a licensed child care space in Waterloo Region. The population of Kitchener Centre is about 19.7% of the entire region. (Kitchener Centre’s population, according to 2016 figures, which are the latest available, was 105,260 and the Regional population that same year was 535,154).  The government has announced beginning next year that the starting wage for Early Childhood educators employed by operators in the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system will increase to $23.86/hour.

With the Kitchener Centre by-election this week, CKMS took the opportunity to ask the four front-runner candidates what they think about the state of childcare in the region, the pay rise and, how if elected MPP, they will be able to influence staff hiring and retention?

The four main candidates are Rob Elliott of the Progressive Conservatives, Debbie Chapman of the NDP, Kelly Steiss of the Ontario Liberal party, and Aislinn Clancy of the Ontario Greens.  Three attempts over 10 days were made to contact the Progressive Conservative candidate Rob Elliot, but we did not hear back from the PCs in time for broadcast.

In response to our question, Aislinn Clancy focused on space and labour. She said that parts of the riding are a childcare desert, and Clancy believes more can be done to incentivise underused buildings such as community centres and churches, to develop childcare centres. Clancy also focused on bringing more respect to the profession of early childhood education and in doing so, continue to increase their pay.

Debbie Chapman said that she would like to see free childcare. She also noted that ten dollar a day care is great, but the waiting lists are very long and that puts parents in difficult situations.

Kelly Steiss noted that even though there is 10$ /day childcare, there aren’t enough workers to keep the system going. She was disappointed it took the Ontario government so long to sign on to the federal agreement. Steiss said early childhood educators do important work and paying them well is an investment in our future.  She also noted that $23.86 is a good place to start in relations with these workers.

This is one in a series of shows about the Kitchener Centre by-election in which we ask candidates some of the lesser-asked questions that are important to our community.

Kitchener Centre by-election: candidates discuss how they will attract medical professionals to the riding

Whether you believe the Ford government is helping or hurting the healthcare system in Ontario, there is no question that the system is struggling with demand and labour shortages, among others. Earlier this year, the Region of Waterloo announced plans for a new hospital to meet the demands of a growing population.

However, as the Ontario College of Family Physicians recently noted that in September 2022, there were almost 79 000 people in the Region who did not have a family doctor. The College predicted that in a little over three years’ time, this number could double to 150,000, or about one-third of the local population.

To accommodate this, Health Force Ontario estimated that the Region will need at least 76 doctors, while the Waterloo Region Health Coalition estimates at least 140 nurses are needed.

With the Kitchener Centre by-election happening this week on November 30, CKMS took the opportunity to ask the four front-runner candidates that with these serious shortages and rapidly increasing population, what will they do to ensure the Region can attract these health professionals to the area to meet our current and future needs?

The four main candidates are Rob Elliott of the Progressive Conservatives, Debbie Chapman of the NDP, Kelly Steiss of the Ontario Liberal party, and Aislinn Clancy of the Ontario Greens.

Three attempts over 10 days were made to contact the Progressive Conservative candidate Rob Elliot, but we did not hear back from the PCs in time for broadcast.

First up is Debbie Chapman of the NDP, invoking the name of Tommy Douglas to establish the NDP’s credentials in public healthcare. Chapman is against privatization and notes that it extracts resources from public system. She notes there is a clear shortage of doctors, and much of that responsibility lies with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, who, she believes, need to admit more doctors into the profession. Ms. Chapman said we need to do more to encourage bridging programs for foreign doctors, and that we need to be concerned about nurses and their health so they don’t encounter working conditions like what transpired during the pandemic. Chapman says that private nursing agencies will destroy the public health care system.

Aislinn Clancy of the Green Party says that the government flushed money away by taking the nurses to court. She talked about how agency nurses are very expensive and undermining the public system. She said to deal with staff shortages, we need more spaces for doctors to be trained, encourage more people to take the training, find better opportunities for bridging programs, and provide support for doctors by encouraging them to work in multidisciplinary teams that would relieve their workload.

The Liberals have placed healthcare at the centre of their platform. The liberal candidate for Kitchener Centre, Kelly Steiss, said municipalities need to build infrastructure and support arts and culture to create a thriving city. Liberals support public funding and believe the government is putting the health care system risk.

Chapman and Clancy noted they want to find ways to enable foreign trained medical professionals to work in the riding in their chosen profession. While Chapman and Clancy focused entirely on the system, increasing medical school admissions and restricting private nursing agencies, among other ideas, Steiss also talked about improving the riding through increasing things like infrastructure and arts and culture to increase the desire to live here. The three parties we talked to all disagree with privatization.

This is one in a series of shows about the Kitchener Centre by-election in which we ask candidates some of the lesser-asked questions that are important to our community.

Kitchener Centre by-election: waiting on a train that never arrives

In early November the NDP leader Marit Stiles introduced a motion called on the government to provide a timeline and funding commitment for the Kitchener GO Line expansion, which was then promptly voted down by the Conservatives (66 to 30).

With the Kitchener Centre by-election this week, CKMS took the opportunity to ask the four front-runner candidates if, after all the effort that has been applied, the government still won’t budge, what can they add to this effort?

The four main candidates are Rob Elliott of the Progressive Conservatives, Debbie Chapman of the NDP, Kelly Steiss of the Ontario Liberal party, and Aislinn Clancy of the Ontario Greens.

CKMS News made three attempts over 10 days  to contact the Progressive Conservative candidate Rob Elliot, but did not hear back from the PCs in time for broadcast of this story. The other three candidates responded and spoke to CKMS News about GO train service in Kitchener Waterloo.

First up is Debbie Chapman of the NDP who says two-way, all-day GO service is a top priority for her and her party,  and despite the Conservatives voted down the motion, the fight continues.

The Liberals have also called for all-day and all weekend train service to Toronto. Kelly Steiss, the Liberal candidate explains how people have been pushing for more GO trains and acknowledges the frustration riders feel.

Aislinn Clancy of the Ontario Greens noted how the PCs have said they are supportive of the idea of increased GO service, but then vote against it. Clancy has called on focusing on financial elements of the decision to appeal to the Conservatives. All levels of government to speed up the process to secure increased GO service.

CKMS asked the candidates who agreed to speak about  their familiarity with local transit is and if they actually use it, asking them “When was the last time you went to Toronto on the GO train?” and “When was the last time you took the GRT (Grand River Transit buses) and Ion Rapid Transit Service (light rail)?”

Debbie Chapman of the NDP had not taken the GO transit to Toronto recently, but does take local public transport

Aislinn Clancy of the Greens has had recent experience on GO transit and the GRT and highlighted the problems that she has experienced and heard.

While Kelly Steiss of the Liberals has not had recent experience with GO Transit, her campaign staff have. She also has recent positive experience with the Ion.

This is one in a series of shows about the Kitchener Centre by-election and in which we ask candidates some of the less-asked questions that are important to our community.

 

CKMS News – Greenbelt accountability, “Ford Fest”, and byelection update: Interviews with Debbie Chapman and Aislinn Clancy

CKMS News – 2023-08-17 – Greenbelt accountability, “Ford Fest”, and byelection campaigning: Interviews with Debbie Chapman and Aislinn Clancy

By: dan kellar

Since Mid-January of 2023, following the resignation of NDP MPP  Laura Mae Lindo, the riding of Kitchener Centre has been without representation in the Ontario legislature. While not disrupting the balance of power in government, the conservatives deemed the by-election will occur in January 2024, the maximum time allowed by the Elections Act for the seat to remain empty.

Currently, there is no candidate for the Conservative Party in the byelection, while the NDP are running Debbie Chapman, and the Liberal Party is represented by Kelly Steiss. On September 8th, in the adjacent Waterloo riding, which is held by the NDP’s Catherine Fife, Doug Ford held the political outreach and fundraising event “Ford Fest” at Bingemans. 

Bingemans also borders the Kitchener Conestoga riding which is held by PC MPP Mike Harris Jr., who welcomed Ford Fest into the Region, telling CKMS News in a statement:

Ford Fest is a free, non-partisan community event hosted by Ontario’s Ford family.”, and, Harris added “Ford Fest offers a unique opportunity for attendees to connect with their elected representatives.”

In a piece released by CKMS News on September 8th, Waterloo Regional Labour Council president Jeff Pelich spoke about why folks were heading to protest at Ford Fest. You can listen to that whole interview at radiowaterloo.ca/news

Today’s show will feature interviews with Clancy and Chapman about Ford Fest and the conservative government, the upcoming by-election and what issues their campaigns are focusing on, and the growing calls for accountability around the Green Belt scandal.  Both the NDP and Green Party candidates said the lands removed from Greenbelt protection should be immediately returned to their protected status. The liberals have also called for the Green Belt lands to be returned and for accountability for the actions of the conservatives..

Since the interviews, the conservatives have announced the sites will be “re-evaluated”. 

In response to calls for Ford to step down over the Green Belt scandal MPP Harris told CKMS News that the conservative government will continue with their plan to build homes on “non-sensitive” Green Belt lands claiming this was “requested by many municipalities”.  Harris concluded: “I want to emphasize that, under the continued leadership of our Premier, our Government will prioritize addressing the housing crisis, ensuring more people have a place to call home.”.

 

CKMS News – Local Greens hosting “GreenFest” in response to “FordFest”

CKMS News – 2023-09-06 – GreenFest Aislinn Clancy

By: dan kellar

Through the afternoon on Saturday September 9th, the Green Party of Ontario will be hosting a “GreenFest” in the Kitchener Centre riding that they say will feature “music, food, a group bike parade, and bouncy castle!”

The event follows a summer of campaigning for local Green Party candidate Aislinn Clancy ahead of a byelection to be held in January of 2024 to fill the seat vacated by NDP MPP Laura Mae Lindo. GreenFest is also a direct response to the “FordFest” event PC premier Doug Ford is hosting in the evening on September 8th at Bingemans in Kitchener. Of FordFest, Clancy told CKMS News “there are lots of parts of the campaign that are missing that I don’t think any amount of hot dogs and text messages can offset.” 

There is currently no candidate for the Conservative Party in the aforementioned byelection, while the NDP are running Debbie Chapman, and the Liberal Party is represented by Kelly Steiss. All of the parties have been calling for accountability from the Conservative Party over the growing Greenbelt scandal which has now led to the resignation of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, along with his assistant. 

 Candidate Clancy and the Green Party had called for Clark’s resignation in an August 30th statement also saying “The report from Integrity Commissioner David J. Wake confirms that the minister contravened the Members’ Integrity Act when he failed to oversee the process by which Greenbelt lands were selected for development.

Minister Clark was responsible for the corrupt process that allowed a handful of wealthy well-connected insiders to make $8.3 billion on the removal of their lands from Greenbelt.”

Previous to the 2018 election Doug Ford repeatedly promised he would not develop housing on the Green Belt, now with the Auditor General’s report, the Integrity Commissioner’s report, an RCMP investigation, and now calls for a public inquiry, keeping that promise may be forced upon the beleaguered premier.  On September 5th Ford announced the lands that were removed from the Green Belt will be re-reviewed in a process under new Housing minister Paul Calandra.  

CKMS news spoke with Kitchener Centre Green Party candidate, Aislinn Clancy about Greenfest, FordFest, a bit about the GreenBelt fiasco. 


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, Heritage Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of this program on radiowaterloo.ca/news, and listen to all the LJI content at canada-info.ca.

If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca