"My work gives me the opportunity to
interact with so many
people who are
committed to making
exceptional place to be.
I am energized
by their enthusiasm and
My journey of discovery that has taken me to a seat as a Waterloo
Councillor has been a half a century and more in the making.
It is the story of a lifetime resident of this city whose boyhood
lessons, adult family life and career here have been interspersed
with some amazing life experiences of national and even
international opportunity and intrigue that have shaped me in to a
person who can confidently represent our citizens in our
neighbourhoods, in our region and indeed the world.
It was my privilege to work as a
social worker for
Regional Municipality of Waterloo for 30 years before retiring in
the year 2000. That experience afforded me the dignity of raising my
wonderful children, along with my wife Charlotte, in the Willowdale
neighbourhood of Waterloo. Throughout their school years until they
completed university, our kids were able to walk to every learning
institution they attended, all of them of the highest world calibre.
That’s Waterloo for you.
was punctuated by several rewarding experiences including being
chosen as a member of the Governor General’s Study Conference, of
which I remain and alumnus, and as a goodwill ambassador for Rotary
International as a member of an international group study exchange.
Along with my arctic adventures as a member of the Trans Global
Expeditionary team, of which I was the Canadian member on the first
modern day attempt at crossing the Bering Strait in winter, these
activities would give me my first understanding of Waterloo’s place
in the world and how fortunate we are as a society.
As a citizen raising a family here, I realized early on the need for
of us who can, to give back to the community in order to give it
stability. My work as a social and environmental activist resulted
in me receiving the first ever Waterloo Award that recognizes
outstanding citizenship and recently I was honoured with the
Canadian Urban Leadership Award as the founder of the 10,000 Trees
Project. In 2009, I was honoured with the June Callwood
Outstanding Achievement Award for Volunteerism in Ontario
and was asked to be the spokesperson at the gala event for all
volunteers across the province, a humbling experience indeed.
As the volunteer chairman of Waterloo’s bid in the International
I had the opportunity to represent this community for three
consecutive years on the world stage. With the reward of two silver
and one gold standard I became convinced of Waterloo’s leadership
capacity and what it might mean not only to our own citizen’s but in
attracting economic interest from other areas. I began to realize
too of the importance of leadership right here at home and
successfully ran for the office of Councillor in the 2003 municipal
elections and two subsequent elections in 2006 and 2010.
My terms as Councillor has been a culmination of many years of
interest and experience in community life in Waterloo. My
neighbourhood activism has allowed me to fight for more bylaw
officers, and to toughen student housing laws. An east side fire
station and a west side library are now on the books. I have spoken
out on environmental issues pushing for a large environmental
reserve in our North West corner and have stood opposed to rampant
development of our moraine lands.
On the economic development front I was the originator of Waterloo's
bid to become one of
world's top 7 Intelligent Communities and was a pioneer in working
for WIFI coverage for the city, being one of the first
municipalities anywhere to do so. Both projects, I believed would
bring more economic prosperity to Waterloo which has proven to be
the case. After several years as a leader in this movement, in 2007
we won our bid to be the most Intelligent Community in the
world. Engaging with other cities around the globe in my role as
ambassador for Waterloo, I began to understand our importance and
impact as a globally significant player.
And, in an effort to beautify our wonderful city I was a leading
in the development of the Veteran's Green Park and sat on the
committee to erect a national monument on the site. I was on the
team to put a green roof on city hall and have been involved in the
push to see urban design guidelines instituted in Waterloo.
Together, we have all created a city that the entire planet is
taking notice of. And, while we achieve the status as a world class
community we still possess the attributes of a place that is clean
and safe and liveable.
I'm proud to be citizen of Waterloo and deeply honoured to be a City
Councillor at this dynamic time in our history.
Councillor - Ward 5
City of Waterloo
October 22, 2018