In the Oct. 22 municipal election, residents should judge their local politicians by their actions and votes, not their empty words.
Never was that so true in Kitchener where those seeking re-election to council continue to exhibit shallow “love-my-hood” hypocrisy when it comes to preservation of older neighbourhoods and protection of heritage properties.
The same cynical lip service applies to truly caring about provision of low-cost shelter, particularly for young people surviving in an unacceptable and increasing number of drug-infested tent camps across Kitchener and the Region.
Allow this lame-duck councillor to give a few examples of what I’m quacking about:
While a clique of five developer-chummy councillors will insist they care about older neighbourhoods and heritage, there are two Kitchener proposals slithering down the development pipe as we approach a municipal election where voters will hopefully influence the highly-questionable balance of power.
Both troublesome proposals will have a negative impact on neighbourhood heritage plans in Victoria Park and the Civic Centre and I predict both issues are at high risk of being approved by council.
One development will result in relocation of the 0vercrowded Oneroof agency which, since 2007, has provided decent shelter for 12 to 25-year-olds at 242 Queen Street South — the type of homeless young people often found trying to cope with a multiplicity of complex issues in those squalid tent communities.
The two dubious development proposals chomping at heritage areas will surface at Kitchener’s Heritage Committee at 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14 in the council chamber at city hall on their way to full council meeting in September.
The Victoria Park proposal between Courtland and Joseph by Vive Development Corp proposes to flatten the youth shelter as well as historical homes at 242-262 Queen to build an 8-storey apartment building.
The Civic Centre plan by Facet Design Studio would bulldoze houses at 50, 52 and 56 Weber as well as 107 Young streets to make way for a 6-storey residential project.
Those who truly love their older neighbourhoods should get involved in these dubious developments and hold the mayor as well as other incumbent councillors more accountable for protecting our heritage properties and established communities.
I will be voting against or trying to defer both heritage-busting proposals until the new council is in place.