Tag Archives: CKMS Newsroom

Kitchener City Council approves motion to examine construction of fourplexes on single residential lots

by MP Holmes
Kitchener, Ontario

Kitchener City council unanimously passed a new motion to begin the process to increase the missing middle housing stock by allowing fourplexes on single residential lots.

The housing advocacy group YIMBY delegated in favour of the motion at the Council meeting. “YIMBY” is an acronym which stands for “Yes In My Back Yard”.

The ‘missing middle’ is defined as medium-density housing that sits somewhere between single-family residential properties and high-rise condominiums. The intention behind missing middle housing is that it is cheaper for each resident because costs of living on a property are split between four residents rather than one. Currently, fourplexes need special zoning approvals to be built in Kitchener. This new possible bylaw would legally allow fourplexes under the municipality’s zoning bylaw, so special permission to build will not be needed.

Councillors were mostly open and optimistic although wary of opposition. Councillor Paul Singh encouraged city staff to prioritise issues of parking in their development. Councillor Debbie Chapman raised the issue of affordability and how the city will ensure this initiative doesn’t fall prey to the allure of AirBnB revenue, and Councillor Bill Ioannidis lamented the community’s expectations related to housing.

The idea of fourplexes has been brought forward in other Ontario municipalities. Mississauga has decided to not move forward on fourplexes, while Toronto passed a motion to allow fourplexes back in May.

The motion in Kitchener City Council was similar to a motion the mayor of Guelph brought to a council meeting in Guelph on Tuesday afternoon. That motion was passed unanimously as well. Waterloo City Councillor Royce Bodaly has also brought forward a motion looking at permitting four units on one lot in Waterloo. That motion is set to be discussed at the October 30 Council meeting.

The music on today’s show is called “Maple Music” by Godmode courtesy of by Expectantly Maple Music on youtube.

Listen to the radio story above:


Waterloo Region community responds with generosity after community fridge theft


By MP Holmes
Kitchener, Ontario

A gathering was held on Sunday to celebrate the return of a community fridge and the community collaboration that made it happen.

The fridge, which is run by the 519 Community Collective and located behind the Café Pyrus outpost at the Spur Line and Roger Street, had been at the location for almost two years before it was stolen in August.

Although the theft shocked the community, the theft was not reported to the police and there are no suspects. The incident was well covered by major media outlets, and thanks to that exposure, many individuals and businesses have contributed to the installation of two new fridges.

Several members of the community and the 519 Community Collective spoke to CKMS News about the theft and subsequent response. Lisa Braun, one of the 519 Community Collective Board members, explained the community’s reaction to the original theft, and Tyzun James, owner of the Café Pyrus Outpost, which hosts the fridge, also noted the outpouring of support. Julie Sawatzky, the founder and also a board member of the 519 Community Collective, described the collective’s stoic and resilient response to the theft.

About 25 people attended the early afternoon ceremony on Sunday October 15, including Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic who said, “There are many challenges around the community right now for some folks in terms of food security and this is a very meaningful way to help those who need supports to get access to them.”

The 519 Community Collective is a non-profit Kitchener-based organization with eleven different programs that cater to those who are in need across the region. At this time of year, with Thanksgiving and Christmas weighing heavy on organization’s like the 519 Community Collective, Julie Sawatzky explained that they are focusing their efforts and how they are planning to deal with additional demand.  “We just finished our Thanksgiving community event where we served over 800 hot turkey dinners to the community, and we’re super excited that we’re going to be doing something similar this Christmas.”

The fridge will return to normal operations within the week. Food donations can be made at the fridge directly, and other donations, including monetary donations, can be made by contacting the 519 Community Collective.

The music on today’s show is called “Maple Music” by Godmode courtesy of by Expectantly Maple Music on youtube.

Listen to the radio story below:



The music on today’s show is called “Maple Music” by Godmode courtesy of by Expectantly Maple Music on youtube.

Pro-Palestinian rally in Waterloo Region responds to events in Israel and Gaza

By MP Holmes

Pro-Palestinian supporters gathered in the Waterloo Public Square on Tuesday, October 10 to express support for Palestine after Hamas’ surprise deadly assault in Israel last weekend. About 250 people turned up to the rally, which was hosted by the Palestinian Youth Movement.

Although Hamas has been in government in the Gaza Strip since 2006, they have been designated a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union because of its armed resistance against Israel. Now, Israel has declared war on Hamas following last weekend’s planned attack which was the deadliest on the country in decades killing over 1000 and injuring close to 3000 across four locations. The Israeli response has been swift and hard. As of press time, it has been reported that the Israeli military has so far struck more than a thousand targets in Gaza, which is 365 km² in area. These retaliatory strikes have left 1100 people dead and over 5000 injured. Almost a quarter of a million people in Gaza have been displaced and the scale the humanitarian disaster is expected to get worse as Israel has cut off the flow of electricity, food, water, and fuel into Gaza.

In Waterloo Region, flags in the region are at half mast. For several nights this week, Zehr Square at Kitchener City Hall was lit blue and white in memory of the victims. The mayors and regional chair have all expressed shock at the attack, solidarity with Israel, and sympathy for all involved. The Beth Jacob Synagogue in Kitchener held a solidarity gathering on Tuesday evening, which was attended by Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.

The synagogues weren’t available to talk to CKMS news before press time but Temple Shalom in Waterloo did issue a statement that expressed concern for those trapped in the conflict and that Israel has a right to defend itself.

Back at the rally in Uptown, protestors flew Palestinian flags, while others carried signs that read “End the Nakba” and “free Palestine” For a brief time, there were hecklers yelling over the speakers but with a strong police presence of at least 24 Waterloo Region police officers, the heckling did not last long.  Shatha Mahmoud with the Palestinian Youth Movement, one of the organizers of the rally, talked to CKMS about what is happening in Gaza, the decolonial nature of these attacks, and their reaction to Justin Trudeau’s condemnation of these pro-Palestinian rallies.


The Land Back Camp/Willow River Centre provided a strong show of support and allyship, providing volunteers for the rally and march. Amy Smoke of the Willow River Centre provided comment on the rally and their support.

Listen here:

Take Back the Night celebrates 40 years in Waterloo Region and puts the spotlight on personal safety at night.

CKMS News -2023-09-21- Take Back The Night

MP Holmes, Kitchener

The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region is hosting the 40th anniversary of the Take Back the Night event and march this Thursday September 21.

The event and march hopes to raise awareness of the threat of sexual violence and comes in the wake of the city of Kitchener and the Region of Waterloo declaring epidemics of intimate partner violence.

A few weeks ago, CKMS aired a show on Intimate Partner Violence and explained how this Region stands out in cross-Canada data as the least safe place for women to live in all of Canada.

From 2008 to 2019, the Waterloo Region sexual assault incidence rate has been higher than the provincial average, and that rate and numbers it represents continue to increase. This report from The Feminist Shift elaborates on those findings. 

Statistics Canada reported that in 2018, just over one in five (22%) Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo residents aged 15 and older experienced unwanted sexual behaviour in public. 

Many research studies have found that in the vast majority of sexual assaults, the accused is known to the victim. According to a report by the Department of Justice only 20% were victimized by a stranger.

However, sexual assaults are considered significantly underreported to the police. Results from the 2019 General Social Survey on Victimization show that only 6% of sexual assault experienced by Canadians aged 15 and older were reported to the police. 

So, we know sexual assaults are seriously underreported, often committed by someone the victim knows, and that these assaults continue to increase. Contradicting these statistics were the conversations CKMS news had with locals on the street, who said they felt safe at night. Statistics on perception of safety are also available.

In 2020, the Statistics Canada Safe Cities Profile for Kitchener Cambridge Waterloo reported that 42% of women in the region felt very safe when walking alone after dark, while 63% of men felt very safe walking at night. 

Over three quarters of Regional residents thought crime levels in their neighbourhood were lower than the rest of Canada, however the Crime Severity Index tell a different tale. The Crime Severity Index is defined by Stats Can as changes in the severity of police-reported crime by accounting for both the amount of crime and the relative seriousness of these crimes. So while three-quarters of Regional residents thought their communities had lower crime levels than the rest of the country, the Crime Severity Index for Waterloo Region in 2022 was higher than the national average and third highest in the province behind Thunder Bay and Sudbury.

There may be a discrepancy between our perceptions and reality, however as the respondents to our street survey noted increased lighting on the streets and trails, safer transit, and staying closer to built up areas all contribute to the perception of safety. Whether or not we are safer at night than we were 40 years ago, it seems the night remains beyond our reach.

Take back the Night happens at the Gaukel Block from 6-9 on Thursday September 21.

Listen to today’s show above with Karley Doucette of the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region and hits the streets to ask people if they feel safe walking in their community at night.

World Literacy Day puts the spotlight on low levels of literacy in Waterloo Region

CKMS News – 2023-09-08 – Literacy in WR

MP Holmes

World Literacy Day on September 8 coincides with the first week of school under the Ontario provincial government’s new Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, which was passed in June of this year. This new education act overhauls what came before. It broadens the minister’s powers and among other things increases reporting requirements, provides more supports for literacy education, and allows for major changes to the language curriculum

Literacy is more complex than just knowing how to read and write, The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines literacy as “the ability to understand, evaluate, use and engage with written texts to participate in society.”

Statistics Canada defines it as “the ability to use and understand information that is fundamental to daily life at work, at home, and in the community.”

In Canada, literacy is measured with a 5-level scale, 5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. If a person functions only at lower levels, they may be considered to have problems with literacy.

In the International Assessment of Adult Competencies survey, the OECD found that 49% of Canadians (aged 25 to 65), scored at or below level 2 for literacy and 55% also scored at or below level 2 for numeracy on the 5-level scale. Level 3 is the threshold required to compete in a knowledge-based economy.

In February 2022, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released the ‘Right to Read‘ report, which found, among other problems that one-third of students graduate school without attaining the level of literacy that the OECD deems necessary to function fully in today’s economy.

The Waterloo Region District School Board serves more than 64,000 students in more than 121 schools. In 2018 to 2019, only 70 per cent of WRDSB students were meeting the provincial standards for reading proficiency, according to data from the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). There are explanations for this. Historically, local students have typically lagged when compared to students in other areas of Ontario. In a November 2022 article about dropout rates, Jeff Outhit in the Record noted that in times past in this Region, people used to be able to support families by relying on good-paying factory jobs that did not need much education. Outhit notes that more than 10,000 of these factory jobs have disappeared since 2006.

In the fall of the 2021, WRDSB released a multi-year structured literacy plan. Within a year, in October 2022, local grade 10 students taking the Ontario literacy test beat the provincial average by three percentage points with 85 percent of students in the wrdsb meeting or surpassing the provincial standard. Literacy levels in the Region have risen a full 15 points to 85%. Scott Miller, assistant director of the WRDSB explains how this was achieved.

But what about those people who left school before the recent focus on increasing literacy? They may have left school 2 years ago or forty years ago.

Jane Teur of Project Read Literacy Network explains what this looks like, misconceptions about the people who fall below the literacy line, the Ontario government’s return to phonics in language curriculum, and the gaps in the system.

Regardless, WRDSB says they are ready and explain how they’ve prepared.

The music on today’s show is called “Maple Music” by Godmode courtesy of by Expectantly Maple Music on YouTube.

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



2020 Golden MP3 Awards: Video Crown the Radio Star
Video Crown the Radio Star: 2020 – Atardecer Ranchero

Atardecer Rancher | CKMS 102.7 FM Radio Waterloo | Horario de 04:00pm - 06:00pm | Tiempo del Este | Tel: 519-884-2567

The Video Crown the Radio Star award is given to the show that best utilizes the OTF video system to support their program: Felix Ranchero of Atardecer Ranchero / Dusk On Ranch.

CKMS Golden MP3 Awards | Teamwork Transition
Teamwork Transition: 2020 – Wax Jungle & Street Hop

The Wax Jungle with a face between the wordsStreet Hop | Thursdays @ 10PM | 102.7 CKMS FM | DJ CARMELO | RADIOWATERLOO.CA (silhouette of DJ Carmelo with a cane, white on black)

The Teamwork Transition award is given to the best 1-2 seamless transition programs on CKMS: Raphael Kanai, DJ Maciek, Andre Brown, and DJDC AJ Baylee of The Wax Jungle and Carmelo Farruggio of Street Hop.

CKMS Golden MP3 Awards | SoundFM Soldier
SoundFM Soldier: 2020 – Bob, Jeff (COVID support)

The SoundFM Soldier award is given to two members who have put in a lot of work behind the scenes to keep CKMS Community Radio alive. The term “SoundFM” was once used as the name of the station as community members put in countless hours of volunteer work to keep the station alive: Bob Jonkman and Jeff Stager of the Technical Committee.

2020 Golden MP3 Awards: Sonic Boom Award
Sonic Boom Award: 2020 – Pressure Drop & Requiem for Rock

Poster: Winter Dance Party | Buddy Holly and the Crickets | Big Bopper | Ritchie Valens | Dion and the Belmonts (and much other text)

Sonic Boom is a throw-back to the old CKMS Sonic Boom awards and is awarded to the best music based program of the year: Nat Persaud of Pressure Drop and Mr. Smart of Requiem For Rock.

2020 Golden MP3 Awards: Robot Apocalypse Remote Broadcast
Robot Apocalypse Remote Broadcast: 2020 – Mano A Mano (COVID & ISO fest)

The winner of the Robot Apocalypse Remote Broadcast award is Rob McKenna of Mano A Mano.

2020 Golden MP3 Awards: Most Original Program
Most Original Program: 2020 – Klausterfokken

The Most Original Program award is given to an original program that you will not find on radio anywhere but on CKMS! Dr. Tikl of Klausterfokken.

2020 Golden MP3 Awards: Local Liaison of Canada
Local Liaison of Canada: 2020 – CKMS Newsroom

N on a coloured background

The Local Liaison of Canada award is given to a DJ who puts local stories on a national level: The winner is the CKMS Newsroom.

2020 Golden MP3 Awards: Best Graphic Material
Best Graphic Material: 2020 Rob’s Rewind

The Best Graphic Material award is given to a program that is creating the best accompanying images for their podcast or program: Rob Curwain of Rob’s Rewind.

2020 Golden MP3 Awards: FUNdraiser of the Year
FUNdraiser of the Year: 2020 – DJ Steel

The FUNdraiser Of The Year award is given to a FUN spirit during our fundraising efforts: DJ Steel.

2020 Golden MP3 Awards: Freshest Beats
Freshest Beats: 2020 – Changemakers Without Borders & Val Scheer’s Eclectic Garage

Changemakers Without Borders | with May Cooper (May Cooper next to a globe with a swirly pattern)

The Freshest Beats award is given to a great program that is in its first 3 years: May Cooper of Changemakers Without Borders and Val Scheer of Val Scheer’s Eclectic Garage.

2020 Golden MP3 Awards: Best Cultural / Culturally Diverse
Best Cultural / Culturally Diverse: 2020 – Caribbean Spice

Portrait of Narine Dat Sookram

The Best Cultural/Culturally Diverse Show is awarded to a show that either features many different cultures or represents a culture that is under-represented in the area: Narine Dat Sookram of Caribbean Spice.

2020 Golden MP3 Awards: Best Talk Focus
Best Talk Focus: 2020 – I Am Everything

The Best Talk Focus award is given to a show that has had the best talk focused programs for the year: Shyun Atøwn of I Am Everything.

2020 Golden MP3 Awards: Best LP Show
Best LP Show: 2020 – Denim Entertainment Radio

Denim Radio | Friday 8pm EST | 102.7 FM Kitchener-Waterloo | www.radiowaterloo.ca/listen | @Denim_Entertainment

The Best LP Show (LP is “Long Playing”) is awarded to the years best show that has been running for 3+ years: Cam Matthews of Denim Entertainment Radio.

2020 Golden MP3 Awards: Community Radio Award
Community Radio Award: 2020 – Community Connections

CKMS 102.7 FM Radio Waterloo | Community Connections

The Community Radio Award is given to a show that exemplifies what Community Radio is all about: Jenniefer Stronge (Executive Producer), James Jordan, Jeff Stager, Dylan Bravener, and Bob Jonkman of CKMS Community Connections.

2020 Golden MP3 Awards: DJ AdRock Memorial Award
DJ AdRock Memorial Award: 2020 – Indira Singh

The DJ AdRock Memorial Award for Exceptional DJing is given to a DJ who exemplifies the qualities of the EDJ Academy: Indira Singh of Sargam.