Accomplishments

"I’m proud to be a citizen of Waterloo and deeply honoured to be a City Councillor at this dynamic time in our history."

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT LEADERSHIP: LIME SCOOTER COMPANY

As Economic Development Liaison, I am often involved in business attraction activities in Waterloo, many times as the first point of contact and oftentimes making the ‘cold call’ to initiate conversations.

One recent case provides a telling example of the importance of being proactive for Economic Development in Waterloo. I recently reached out to a California-based transportation company, which is one of the fastest growing business categories in North America. Lime Scooter Co (www.li.me) was initially hesitant about expanding operations into Waterloo. But, during our conversations, I was able to share with their leadership team the many strengths of Waterloo as a market for growth - and they decided to make Waterloo the launch pad for their product roll-out across the entire country!

Soon, these environmentally sustainable - and, having taken a spin myself during the launch event, very fun - scooters will be seen in Waterloo and across the country, further cementing the reputation of our city as the “Innovation Capital of Canada”.

GREEN BURIAL LEADERSHIP

As many Waterloo residents know, I am committed to environmentally sustainable projects and initiatives, and have demonstrated my commitment by proactive voting in Council and by rolling up my sleeves to make things happen. Thus, I am happy to be a leader in the ‘Green Burial’ movement in our city and across the nation. Earlier this year, I cut the ribbon on 108 ‘green burial’ sites at Parkview Cemetery in Waterloo, and hosted a major conference on the broader concept of more sustainable burial practices.

With these efforts and more, I am proud that I’ve played a role in helping to make Waterloo a leader in providing ‘green burial’ options and I look forward to continued progress on this important initiative.

SUSTAINABILITY

As one of the founder of the Waterloo Citizens Environment Advisory Committee 25 years ago, I am well-versed in the trickiness of balancing environmental protection with economic opportunities. In the past year, I am pleased to advise that I have been able to utilize my wealth of experience in this area to become the first Council Representative in a broader mandate with the formation of the Waterloo Sustainability Committee. This group will be working diligently to ensure that the principles of Environment, Social Inclusion and Economic Sustainability are embedded in all the work we do at the City.

INTELLIGENT WATERLOO

Mark was one of the key originators of the "Intelligent Community" movement in Waterloo. He continues to seek out ways to capitalize on the recognition (and expand the impacts) brought to the city by being chosen the global "2007 Intelligent Community". Local employers and universities have stated that being recognized as the "Intelligent Community" is one of the most successful economic development exercises that Waterloo has ever undertaken. It has helped job creation and economic development in the broadband economy in Waterloo.

10,000 TREES PROJECT

Mark is the founder of the 10,000 Trees Project, a national and international award-winning organization whose mission was to plant 10,000 trees in Waterloo, on public lands, at no cost to the taxpayer. In 2008 the organization commemorated reaching their goal by planting their 10,000th tree, a four metre tall Autumn Flame Maple, in a special location near the entrance to city hall. Even though they have reached their goal, along with their partners, they continue to grow the tree canopy in Waterloo which has a positive environmental and economic impact on our city. An example of their work is the Clair Creek Restoration project.

JUNE CALLWOOD OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR VOLUNTEERISM IN ONTARIO

Ontario’s highest award in honour of superlative voluntary contribution to the quality of life in his community, Mark was presented the award by the Minister of Culture at a gala reception in Toronto. He was chosen among the 20 recipients from across the province to be the spokesperson for all volunteers. In his remarks to the minister and audience, Mark commented on the privilege of community service and how volunteerism gives back in equal measure to the giving.

HONOURARY MEMBER OF THE 31ST COMBAT ENGINEER REGIMENT

On September 12, 2009 the 31st Combat Engineering Regiment known as the Elgins, along with the local 48th Engineering Squadron were given the "Freedom of The City" honour bestowed upon them by the City of Waterloo. At a gala dinner following the ceremony in the Public Square, Councillor Mark Whaley was given the special sappers coin designating him as an Honourary Member of the Regiment.

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY

Effective financial management that ensures that obligations are managed and opportunities can be pursued is a key role for a city Councillor. Over the past 15 years as an elected official, Mark has been involved in developing and approving financial budgets that have been designed to bring fiscal order back to the operations of the city.

We have put a plan has been put in place to properly finance Rim Park debt with no expected future budget increases for this item. Further, a strategy is in place to renew the levels of the city's financial reserve funds to protect us from future fiscal uncertainty. Finally, an operational review has been completed that has resulted in a new corporate management team and strategic plan for the city. Mark continues to deliver the much-needed oversight, experience and leadership to support the economic viability to underpin today’s plans and tomorrow’s vision

TOP 7 INTELLIGENT COMMUNITY

Mark has been the originator and driving force behind Waterloo being selected as one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities in the world in 2006. The Intelligent Community Forum is an international think tank that focuses on job creation and economic development in the broadband economy.

Waterloo competes for ‘knowledge workers’ on a global basis. For the city to continue to compete on a world scale such programs are integral to sustaining business and employment opportunities. Mark has demonstrated his ability to attract leading businesses to Waterloo, and is committed to increasing these efforts over the next four years.

WIFI PIONEER

Mark continues to be the leading advocate for expanding WIFI across the community. He believes remaining on the cutting edge of new technologies will give Waterloo the competitive advantage in business, government and personal success in the 21st century.

At present, all city facilities including our Town Square, have WIFI access. As this network expands it will allow emergency workers, city service staff, students, businesses, visitors and citizens to tap in to the world of emergency, business, educational and social applications.

FOUNDER 10,000 TREES PROJECT

Mark is the founder of the 10,000 Trees Project, a national and international award winning organization whose mission is to plant 10,000 trees in Waterloo, on public lands, at no cost to the taxpayer.

Mark received the Canadian Urban Leadership Award in recognition of his visionary work that has had a profound impact on the air and water quality in Waterloo and is a template for other communities to follow. He continues to advocate on behalf of environmental issues in Waterloo and across Canada.

LIVCOM AWARDS

Even before he was elected, Mark promoted Waterloo on the world stage as the Chairman of its three bids in the International Awards for Liveable Communities where Waterloo received two silvers and a gold award as one of the world’s most liveable communities.

The LivCom Awards were launched in 1997 and are endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme. LivCom is the world’s only Awards Competition focusing on Best Practice regarding the management of the local environment. At the competition, International Best Practices may be observed and developed, inevitably leading to mutual technical advances and more effective use of resources, including finance and the creation of ‘liveable communities’.

CITY CENTRE GREEN ROOF

Mark is a member of the team of experts who worked to put a green roof on city hall in Waterloo, the first municipal building in Canada to do so. Fundraising for the project resulted in no extra cost to taxpayers for a roof that will save money on energy costs, provide extra oxygen and moisture to the atmosphere and have a useable lifespan that is twice that of a traditional roof. Mark believes that Waterloo’s ‘environment first’ policy should be more than just words if we are going to build a more sustainable future for all city citizens.

MILITARY LEAVE

Mark has worked to bring recognition to Canada’s military, both past and present.

He has worked closely with the Canadian Forces Liaison Council to ensure that members of Canada’s Armed Forces Reserves who work for area governments, universities and school boards are protected in terms of job security, pensions and benefits while they are serving their tour of duty.

VETERANS GREEN

As a member of the Veterans Green Project, he worked to turn a derelict city property into a revered place of remembrance to Canada’s war veterans. Known as Veterans Green, the revitalized parkland at University and Hazel streets in Waterloo features a national war memorial and space for quiet contemplation.