Category Archives: Blog

Waterloo Regional Chair debate 2014

Waterloo Region municipal election debates

The races of candidates clamoring for your votes in the 2014 municipal election are well under-way.

Election signs dot the boulevards and front lawns along busy arterial roadways and neighbourhood streets around the region, mass-mail out election brochures are cluttering our mailboxes and recycling bins and apparently at least one candidate has incorporated the generally maligned yet arguably effective tool of robo-calling into their messaging arsenal. I have heard from two of my friends that each received a call from anti-LRT Regional Chair candidate Jay Aissa.

Another sign that election-season is clearly upon us is the deluge of debate programming found on Rogers TV Cable 20. I have the honour and privilege of moderating these debates on The Local Campaign Waterloo Region. The goal of this high-quality community programming is to help you inform your vote ahead of marking your ballot on (or before) October 27.

We have filmed the debate for Regional Chair, and the mayoralty debates for Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Wilmot. We have also completed all the wards in Kitchener less Ward 1 due to a scheduling conflict and Ward 3 due to John Gazzola’s acclamation. Check the Rogers TV website for a list of air-times. Immediately after one debate airs, it’s uploaded to the Rogers TV website and is archived for your viewing and vote-informing pleasure. So long as you’re a customer of any Rogers product (including cellular and high speed internet), you can create a free Anyplace TV account.

By the end of next week, our team at The Local Campaign will have waded through the debates focused on the eight Cambridge wards, and the Woolwich and North Dumfries mayoralty races. If you would like to ask a question of the candidates vying to be your municipal representative, send a tweet to either my twitter handle or to Rogers TV Cable 20.

Get involved by exercising your right to vote, but please make sure you make an educated decision. Whether that research is conducted through reading candidate websites, media reports, tuning into our debate coverage, or a combination of those mediums and others. Soon, we’ll each be chipping-in to pay the salaries of the people who are ultimately elected into office.

Make sure you do your due diligence to act as the check-and-balance that hopefully elects the best people for the job to represent us.

International Women’s Day

I have shared March 8 with International Women’s Day for my entire life.

From my centre-of the -universe perspective, the late winter date less than two weeks from the first day of spring was once more about birthday cake, seeing friends and family and growing older and wiser.

In fact, as a young boy, International Women’s Day was nothing more than a light-hearted punchline at my expense when various people in my life would inevitably realize my birthday falls on the same date in the calendar that the world honours women.

Even my mother ribs me to this day about the coincidence.

After a few more spins around the sun I have come to realize the greater meaning of International Women’s Day and sharing my birthday with it has become a privilege.

Since its origins during the first world war and after being officially recognized by the United Nations in 1975,  people around the world pause on March 8 not only to celebrate the many achievements made by the women’s movement, but also to cast an eye to the future at the pains still underway on the road to equality and women’s rights.

Because March 8 falls on a Saturday this year, I assume myriad gatherings of women (and men, but sadly mostly women) to mark the occasion will be scattered onto various weekdays. I had the pleasure of reporting on one such early International Women’s Day event put on by the Zonta Club of Woodstock this week at Quality Hotel & Suites.

At this event, I was enlightened (and frightened) by harsh realities highlighted by Christal Earle, the night’s keynote speaker. Earle spoke of continued human trafficking, slavery and the overall exploitation of women and children. These grave injustices are being carried out to this day, not only in the far reaches of the globe, but right here at home in Canada.

I believe it’s important that as a global society we do not tolerate oppression. As passive bystanders to injustice, we allow it to continue.  If we do not raise our voices when we see something wrong, then we have become part of the problem.

On International Women’s Day, remember that we can eradicate the maltreatment of an entire sex of people, if we stand together.

And less importantly, don’t forget to wish me a happy birthday.

Part-time job

I have some good news to share, as the title of this post might suggest.

I am now working part time for 104.7 Heart FM in Woodstock. As it stands now, I understand it is a short term arrangement meant to help the news team as they transition between news directors.

How did this come together, you ask? Allow me to explain.

Earlier this month I applied for that aforementioned news director role, but I didn’t get it. However, I was offered a chance to do some fill-in work, mainly reading news on the weekend but also doing various reporting assignments when needed. I started a couple weeks ago and most recently, I toured the Woodstock Hospital to check out a new digital record keeping system for medication and tests called Healthcare Undergoing Transition, or HUGO. Coming up Wednesday, I will be reporting from the Oxford County council meeting, and on Thursday I will be at an event put on by United Way Oxford. So this part-time job has quickly turned into full-time hours, at least for the interim.

While I would have loved to take on the news director position, getting back to work in any capacity is not only a relief but a breath of fresh air. Yes, it’s a temporary arrangement as it stands, but it allows me to keep my demo fresh and to keep practicing the type of work I love to do.