Halloran envisions new term
Surrounded by supporters, incumbent Brenda Halloran celebrated her success in being re-elected as mayor for the city of Waterloo. Her victory in the Oct. 25 election marked the first instance since 1994 that a mayor was re-elected for a second term in the city.
“I feel so honoured to be given the trust and support of this community,” announced Halloran, exhilarated after hearing the results just moments before. “I can’t wait to get back to work.”
With 12,247 votes, Halloran earned the support of over 40 per cent of voters. Mayoral candidate and outgoing city councillor Jan d’Ailly followed her with 7,092 votes.
Halloran attributed her success to the strength of her campaign.
Her daughter, Elizabeth Halloran, supported that claim stating, “The last few weeks have been so stressful and busy. I’ve only seen her in all the meetings she’s had at home.”
Experiencing local politics on the day-to-day with her mother as the mayor, Elizabeth expressed the importance of seeing her peers cast their votes.
“I got all my girlfriends and guy-friends to go out and make sure they were aware of who the candidates were,” she said.
Although the total number of students that voted at the universities in the city has not been determined, pending the release of the breakdown of votes for each polling station, unofficial results show that 159 votes were cast at Wilfrid Laurier University — over ten times the votes cast at Laurier in the 2006 election.
Expressing her enthusiasm in hearing about the political engagement within her age group, Elizabeth said, “We’re going to need this for our future.”
Already making efforts to reach out to students while in office, Mayor Halloran echoed her daughter’s perspective throughout the campaign season to garner student votes.
“This was something I was really eager to find the results of because we’ve worked very hard on getting the student vote out because the students are so important to this community,” said Halloran.
This sentiment was shared among the other candidates.
Franklin Ramsoomair, a former professor at WLU, expressed his pride in having 1,987 votes cast in his favour for the office of mayor. With a campaign team averaging 26 years of age, Ramsoomair remarked that he was pleased not only with his team but his success in connecting with youth across the city.
“It makes me extremely happy to see that kind of participation,” he said.
Reflecting on the election campaign, Ramsoomair looked beyond the candidates for inspiring the student vote.
“It’s in terms of The Cord, Brad [Moggach] and Nick [Soave] at the [University of Waterloo’s] students’ union and the ability to connect electronically, these are the things that accentuated student participation,” he explained.
In looking ahead to future elections, Ramsoomair was critical in the organization of the polling stations.
He explained that when stopping at Laurier’s Concourse on election day, students who didn’t live on campus “weren’t sufficiently advised” as to where to vote.
“We should not have them go back to their Ward polling stations, there should be centralized student voting,” Ramsoomair concluded, being concerned that many students didn’t seek out the appropriate station after attempting the one on campus.
Despite this concern, Ramsoomair maintained a positive outlook on the results of the election with the increase in student engagement and shared his hope to campaign again.
For Mayor Halloran, the election results signify an opportunity to continue her ongoing initiatives to connect students with the community.
Hoping to channel the increased interest and the election “buzz”, she shared her intent to resume the Mayor’s Student Advisory Council soon.
“I can’t wait to get back to working with the students and seeing how we’re going to shape the future of Waterloo together,” she said.