Tag Archives: LJI

Blooming roadsides restore habitats for pollinators

MP Holmes
Kitchener, ON

A few years ago, it was common for car windshields to be spattered with bugs after a drive in the country. According to Jennifer Leat of the Pollinator Roadsides Project, that’s not happening so much anymore. There are fewer bugs, and fewer bugs equals fewer pollinators.

A community driven project to help pollinators will be happening on Saturday April 13 to restore habitat corridors for pollinators by planting pollinator-friendly native plants along roadsides.

Backed by a grant from the Region of Waterloo’s Community Environment Fund with support from volunteers and sponsors, the Pollinator Roadside Project seeks to increase biodiversity, support pollinator conservation, reduce maintenance costs, and control water runoff. The project also hopes to set a provincial and national precedent for prioritizing sustainability in roadside plantings.

Jennifer Leat, Lead of the Pollinator Roadsides project talks to CKMS about the project and the importance of pollinators.

The rise of ticks and lyme disease in Waterloo Region

MP Holmes
Kitchener, ON


In 2023, the Ontario government designated Lyme disease a disease of public health significance.

Lyme disease, a combination of skin rashes, fevers, headaches, and fatigue, is contracted from black legged ticks, and if left untreated, can escalate to affect joints, the heart, and nervous system.

Statistics from Public Health Ontario showcase an increase of 300 new Lyme disease cases across the province, From 1, 490 in 2022 to 1, 795 in 2023.  In Waterloo Region, the 2003 data has not been released yet, but by looking at earlier years, a clear upward trend is evident, from 13 cases in 2021 to 22 cases in 2022.

ETick.ca is an online platform where people voluntarily report tick sightings in the environment or when found on humans or animals. Comparing the first three months of 2023 to 2024 shows there has been a threefold increase in blacklegged tick reports for KW on eTick.ca.

The Region of Waterloo’s Public Health Manager for Vector-borne Diseases is Rebecca Piovesan, and she talked to CKMS News about lyme disease  and back-legged ticks.

In addition to resources above:

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association,

 The Ontario government page on Lyme disease and tick removal.



Stories of Hope: Community-Led Food Assistance Programs in Waterloo Region

MP Holmes
Kitchener, ON

In the last three months of 2023, food assistance programs in the region marked almost a 50 percent increase in usage compared to the same period in 2022. In those last three months of 2023 alone, almost 15, 000 unique households accessed a food assistance program, a 43 percent increase over that period in 2022.

These numbers are from the Food Bank of Waterloo Region  and they highlight the surge in demand for food and the growing issue of food insecurity within our community.

However, amidst these challenges, there are stories of hope and compassion emerging through community-led initiatives that are making a difference in the lives of those in need.

These initiatives include the Tiny Home Takeout and Food Not Bombs, which are both operating on shoestring budgets with a crew of volunteers and demonstrate the power of grassroots movements in addressing basic human needs.

CKMS has more on this story

“No St. Patrick’s Day during Genocide” places focus on Palestine

A group of local Irish community members is asking the public to support and advocate for Palestinians this St Patrick’s Day. The group hopes to draw attention to the current deteriorating situation in Palestine.

Justine Rogers Basan, an organizer of the event, explains how the day will highlight the genocide in Gaza and the historical solidarity between the Irish and Palestinian people and draw parallels between the oppression experienced by both communities. The organizers of the event have called for a ceasefire, a Canadian arms embargo, and an end to the occupation in Palestine.

“No St. Patrick’s Day during Genocide” will take place at Waterloo Town Square on March 17 at 11 am.

Irish Real Live Festival focuses on alternative ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up — and with it, a whole bunch of stereotypes about Irish culture. The organizers of the Irish Real Life Festival in Kitchener wants to move beyond the usual narrative towards a deeper understanding of Irish culture in the broader world.

The eight-day festival is in its 9th year and celebrates all elements of Irish culture and not just those which, in 2019, led to a party that at its peak saw 33,000 students converge on Ezra St in Waterloo.

The Festival kicked off last weekend in Kitchener amidst local and international tensions. Organizers of the Irish Life Festival spoke with CKMS News about how they are working to expand people’s understanding of the Irish story by, if not detaching it from the association with heavy drinking, at least showcasing another side of Irish culture.

Within this year’s program, various events draw on Irish storytelling, spirituality and history to demonstrate similarities between different cultures and how, even in the face of war, peace is possible.

Waterloo Region Paramedic Services exceed response time targets, but off-load delays remain a challenge

MP Holmes
Kitchener, ON

High patient volumes and staffing shortages within local hospital emergency rooms are impacting the ability of local paramedics in the Waterloo Region to respond to critical calls.

The preliminary Paramedic Services Annual Report was presented to the Community and Health Services Committee at Regional Council (item 8.2 on the regular agenda) this week reporting response statistics, off-load delay mitigation, and changes to the categorization of system alerts and patient acuity.

Although call volumes requesting paramedic help increased only by 1% in 2023, in 2022 call volumes increased by 11% over the previous year, and the paramedic service is still adjusting to these high call volumes.

While the local paramedic service exceeded all of their provincial and regional response time targets, the challenges posed by off-load delays, which happen when paramedics are held up in hospital emergency departments waiting for patients to be transferred to the care of a hospital, are a significant factor in response time.

Kitchener demonstrators demand immediate arms embargo on Israel

MP Holmes
Kitchener, ON

Early Wednesday (Feb. 28), about 50 demonstrators in Kitchener blocked the entrance to local arms manufacturer Colt Canada on Wilson Avenue, demanding that the Canadian government impose an immediate and total arms embargo on Israel.

The demonstration is part of a broader protest across the country which is demanding a Canadian arms embargo on Israel and highlighting military exports from Canada to Israel. It was organized by Labour 4 PalestineLabour Against the Arms Trade, and World BEYOND War, in response to the call by a coalition of more than 30 Palestinian unions and worker organizations to end all complicity and stop the flow of weapons to Israel.

CKMS has more on the story.

Protestors demand change after fatal police shooting, some Black community members question demonstration

MP Holmes
Kitchener, ON

About 60 people gathered in front of the Waterloo Region Police Services (WRPS) building in Kitchener on Friday to protest the fatal shooting by police of Nicholas Nembhard, a 31-year-old Black man.

Nembhard was killed in the evening of Feb. 19, the third such fatal shooting in the region since 2007. Police confirmed Feb. 20 that the Special Investigations Unit was investigating the shooting.

The next day, on Feb. 21, the African, Caribbean, and Black Network (ACBN) put out a statement condemning the WRPS’ killing of Nembhard, a “Black man in distress due to a mental health crisis.”

Organizers of the Friday demonstration explained why they felt the gathering was necessary and explained their demands of police, including changes to responses to mental health calls.

But some people felt organizers had not done enough to include the Black community and had used the killing of a Black man to push their own agenda.

CKMS has more on the story.

New report sounds alarm that Ontario taxpayers’ money is being diverted from public hospitals to private health care

MP Holmes Kitchener, ON

Public hospitals in Ontario have been starved of billions of dollars under the Ford government while private health clinics have received a windfall of taxpayers’ funds, according to a new report by the Ontario Health Coalition.

“Robbing the Public to Build Private: the Ford Government’s Hospital Privatization Scheme” was released by the Waterloo Region Health Coalition, in part with the larger Ontario Health Coalition, at the Waterloo Public Library on Feb. 21.

According to the OHC report, over the last few years, private clinics in Ontario received a 212 per cent increase in funding in one year, rising from approximately $38 million in 2022-23 to over $120 million in 2023-24. At the same time, public hospitals received an increase of 0.5 per cent to their operating budgets. In Kitchener alone, this underfunding has manifested in 140 vacant RN positions due to lack of funding.

CKMS has more on the story.

Housing or Heritage? Kitchener struggles with tough questions

February 2, 2024

Much of the six-hour Kitchener City council meeting on January 29, focused on delegates’ opposition to the City’s proposed Growing Together Plan.  

One of the objectives of the plan is to increase affordable housing stock close to the ION stations and major transit areas.

Most of the delegates to Council were in various ways associated with property development and opposed the recommendations in the report.

There were others, not related in a financial capacity to issues of rezoning, who also disagreed with the recommendations.

Some of the objections raised were about the challenges of preserving the integrity of heritage neighbourhoods during a housing crisis in which the city wants intensification.

Gail Pool of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario North Waterloo Region branch was one of the people who presented opposition to the Report’s recommendations for the Victoria Park Heritage District.

Sandbag structures may provide a safe and warm refuge for encampment residents this weather

Tent fires have become a common occurrence in the winter at the Victoria Street encampment in Kitchener and a local housing advocacy group is helping find solutions.

FightBack KW, thinks it might have found an answer. The organization is building temporary sandbag structures that two people can live in and up to six can congregate in.

Fire is a problem because the tents used at the encampment were not designed for winter use. In order to survive the winter outside, people must insulate or warm their tents, which carries huge risks and can be a difficult balance to achieve.

FightBack KW is looking for community partnerships with relevant businesses to fund and help build the structures. The next build day that individuals are welcome to participate in is February 3, this Saturday from 11-dark.

Wren Wombwell of FightBack KW talked to CKMS News about the situation and the sandbag structures.

City of Kitchener votes to repurpose instead of recycle old computers

Kitchener City Council voted unanimously on Monday to divert city-owned end-of-life computer equipment from the e-waste stream.

Instead, the City will donate this equipment to the Working Centre’s Computer Recycling program, which already accepts technology donations and provides low-cost computer equipment to the community.

The city examined the possibility of running this program in-house, but collaborating with the Working Centre provides benefit to the community and makes sense logistically and financially.

The Computer Recycling Program at the Working Centre, at 58 Queen St. in downtown Kitchener, is open two days a week to provide the community with access to affordable technology.

Chief Medical Officer warns of potentially deadly disease on the rise in Waterloo Region

MP Holmes

Invasive Group A Streptococcus (IGAS) – which can cause afflictions from a sore throat to flesh-eating disease – is on the rise in Waterloo.

Chief Medical officer of Health Dr Hsiu-Li Wong presented the respiratory disease update at the Region of Waterloo council meeting on Wednesday evening.

While the overall number of people infected is still low as of early January, the Public Health Agency of Ontario noted that 540 infections were reported in Ontario alone from October 2023 to the end of December. Within this data were 6 children under the age of 9 who succumbed to the disease.

Dr .Wong described symptoms of a severe IGAS infection, which include fever, sore throat, neck pain and rash that continue to worsen.

Epidemiologists do not yet understand why the disease has spiked and recommend taking precautions including proper hand hygiene and staying home when sick.

Region opts for wait and see approach for Erb’s Road outdoor shelter closure

The debate over the future of the outdoor shelter at 1001 Erb’s Road was reignited at the Region of Waterloo Community and Health Services Committee on January 16.

The Region must either find a solution to the wastewater management problem at the site or move the shelter altogether before April 2025. While some councillors wanted staff to begin to work on a wind down plan, others thought it could wait.

The site, at 1001 Erb’s Rd, sits beside the landfill just west of the Wilmot line, making it primarily a concern for Wilmot Township.

Councillor and Wilmot mayor Natasha Salonen’s motion was a response to the admission at the November 7 Community and Health Services Committee meeting in which regional staff told council there was no plan in place for the shelter to draw to a close. Regardless, Councillor Salonen’s motion was defeated.

Birds of prey numbers fall in recent Christmas bird count

The 2023 Christmas Bird Count in Kitchener recorded a decreased number of birds of prey, such as american kestrels and rough legged hawks, compared to previous years, according to Ethan Gosnell, the local coordinator for the international project.

The Christmas Bird Count takes place across North America, allowing for tracking of winter bird populations and distributions. It is organized by Audubon in the USA, and the in Canada by Birds Canada. In 2023, the Christmas Bird Count marked its 90th year in Waterloo Region.

Ethan discussed the rising numbers of some more typical summer birds in the Christmas count, in particular, the green winged teal, and what happens to these warmer weather birds when the seasonal freezing weather sets in.

Amidst a tainted drug supply, drug testing in Waterloo Region saves lives

In early January, Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) in Kitchener announced through Instagram that 18 out of 30 – or 60% — of fentanyl samples tested also contained the animal sedative, xylazine.

Leigh Wardlaw of CTS talked to CKMS news about xylazine, why it is added to the supply, the health impacts, and the wider problem of adulterating drugs.

Leigh also explains the importance and impact of testing, and how to access the service. Although, that access may be limited as CTS’s current funding ends at the end of March, leaving the service with an uncertain future.

Some research cited in the story:

Singing for peace in Waterloo and across North America

Over 200 people went to Waterloo City Hall on Tuesday December 19  to sing for peace. The  ‘Mennonite Day of Action Hymn Sing for a Ceasefire’ was put on by the group Mennonite Action, which says it is a movement of Mennonites who believe they have a responsibility to speak out for peace and justice.

Sam Ramer of Mennonite Action talked about the purpose of the hymn sing and why they are focusing on Palestine.

But Mennonite Action’s event was not only in Waterloo. On December 19, over two thousand people came to sing hymns in 42 cities and towns across North America.

Thank you to A.S. Compton, for permission to play their recording of the hymn sing  on the show.

Homelessness organization obtains funding amid accusations of unfairness and inequity

Tensions simmered when the topic of A Better Tent City (ABTC) came up at the last Waterloo Regional Council meeting of 2023. ABTC is tiny home community in Kitchener that currently houses 50 chronic homeless people.

On one side were those who supported the motion from Councillor and Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic which granted $236,390 for the next two years to ABTC. On the other side were those who said the grant was unfair and inequitable.

Several Councillors insisted the wording of Councillor Vrbanovic’s motion be removed as they felt it was insulting to staff. Another criticism arose because six other groups had been denied original funding but did not afterwards ask Council for money, some councillors felt this was unfair and inequitable

Despite the criticism, Council carried Councillor Vrbanovic’s motion granting ABTC $236,390 for the next two years

Cambridge MP leads the right-to-repair revolution

On October 18 of this year, the House of Commons unanimously passed the right to repair amendment under the Copyright Act (Bill C-244). The bill, originally tabled by Cambridge MP Bryan May, will allow the circumvention of a technological protection measure (TMP) so long as it is for diagnosis, maintenance, or repair purposes.

TPMs are meant to protect proprietary information or software, but they also inhibit an individual’s right and ability to repair any device that they own, and so often devices end up in landfills. Waste diversion concerns are among the key reasons for this amendment, as is the expense that repair places on people.

Murray Zink is the founder of 4RepairKW and the UW Repair Hub and has been promoting repair for many years. CKMS News talked to both Bryan May and Murray Zink.



Increased number of firework-related complaints sparks concern and action on Kitchener City Council

Of the three firework celebrations allowed in Kitchener in 2023, Diwali fireworks drew the most complaints, leaving Mayor Berry Vrbanovic to speculate if this reflects less tolerance in the community towards the Hindu festival.

Other councillors believed it was more of a lack of education by both those setting off the fireworks and those calling the bylaw office to complain.  To counter this, new fireworks regulations include a comprehensive education campaign to educate residents and an increase in the number of bylaw enforcement officers on duty from two to eight for firework days.

Councillor Ayo Owodunni announced that 184 complaints were made to the bylaw office regarding fireworks in 2023, with Diwali accounting for 63 of these, Victoria Day, 54 and Canada Day, 32. Complaints are likely underreported as email/phone complaints after the fact are not included in these totals.

The motion introducing these new regulations about non-compliance with city’s fireworks regulations was carried.

The people versus a developer: Kitchener City Council defers tough decision

The rental housing crisis was on full display in front of Kitchener City Council on Monday night.

A proposed 13-storey mixed-use building at 93-99 Benton Street and 39-43 St. George Street, within the Cedar Hill neighbourhood in Kitchener, would offer 96 new units but would also demolish the 13 current affordable units, evicting the current tenants.

Eric Schneider, Senior Planner at the City of Kitchener laid out what the developer is asking for and the arrangements with the current residents.

The applicant, Ideal Capital Limited from Mississauga, a self-proclaimed ‘premium’ real estate developer, answered Council’s questions and, after their request, indicated he would meet with residents.

Thirteen delegates asked Council to reject this proposal. Delegates included three representatives from a local tenants’ rights group (ACORN WR), several current residents of the townhouses, and neighbours from the Cedar Hill community.

Against several of the delegates’ wishes, City Council chose to defer their decision until the January 22, 2024 meeting.


Listen to the show above:

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people marked by Scotiabank protests in Uptown Waterloo

The UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Wednesday was marked with a protest outside Scotiabank in uptown Waterloo.

November 29 is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, marks the passage of the United Nations Resolution 181 on November 29, 1947, which partitioned Palestine into Arab and Jewish states.

The group was protesting the bank’s involvement with Elbit Systems, which is the primary provider of drones and land-based equipment to the the Israeli military, and called on them to divest from the company.

The protest itself was peaceful and lasted for about 90 minutes during which Scotiabank locked its door and called police. Police questioned protestors but left soon after. Scotiabank refused comment, but in an email to Reuters earlier this week, the bank accused protestors of spreading misinformation and hate speech. Scotiabank stated their exposure to Elbit is via mutual funds managed by their asset management arm.That mutual fund is Scotiabank’s 1832 Asset Management mutual fund which is the third-biggest shareholder in Elbit.

In 2021, Elbit reported revenue of 5.28 billion USD.

This protest against Scotiabank follows several others in recent week, including on November 14, at the Giller Prize ceremony, which celebrates Canadian literature and which is sponsored by the bank, and on November 17 on Bay Street in Toronto.

Listen to the story above:

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.