Meet your potential mayor
Councilor for the Central-Columbia Ward 6, d’Ailly lives in the Beechwood neighbourhood just minutes away from the northwest corner of the University of Waterloo (UW). Having lived in his current home for six years and in the area for about 20 years, d’Ailly explained that he moved to Waterloo from London, Ontario after working and commuting for over a year to the tri-city area.
D’Ailly’s community involvement, apart from his two consecutive terms on city council, includes being an active member of his neighbourhood association as well as participating in the area’s recreational activities.
“There’s lots of opportunities to do the sporty-type things and take care of your physical body.” An avid cross-country skier and commodore for the Conestoga Sailing Club, d’Ailly praised the recreational programming in the city. He set this aspect of city living as the bar from which to compare other aspects of city living. “I think one thing we really need to improve is that arts and culture piece to make it as important as the sports piece,” he said, elaborating that improving the arts and culture in the city as one of his priorities.
Prior to his involvement in municipal politics, American-born d’Ailly put his Canadian business degrees to use working for 20 years in the private sector. Expressing his joy in entering public service to contribute to his community, he commented, “Through my work I’ve travelled extensively throughout the world and when you see what we have in terms of the standard of living, the opportunities for education, the opportunities to do what you want to do, you know, we’re at the envy of the world.”
Campaigning for re-election, current mayor Halloran has lived in her house just north of the Laurel Creek Conservation Area for two years. While she is a rather new resident to her neighbourhood, she has spent an extensive amount of time in different neighbourhoods throughout the city having grown up in the University and Glenridge areas.
Like the other candidates, work and personal circumstances have taken her out of Waterloo for periods of time, from obtaining her post-secondary education in Stratford to living in Florida and Toronto.
“I think as younger people need to go out and like I did, travel the world and see things, explore other areas to live in,” she reflected on her experiences. “But to me there’s that old saying ‘there’s no place like home’ and Waterloo is home to me.”
With a nursing degree from Conestoga College, Halloran’s background in health care came through as she explained her two attempts to apply to the Ministry of Health for a “health care centre of excellence.” While her efforts have been unsuccessful thus far, Halloran expressed her determination to win approval on such a facility if elected for a second term.
After a term of building up the city’s physical infrastructure, including the addition of a public square, Halloran is turning her focus back to individual citizens.
“For me the next step is building the social infrastructure, finding out how can we give more support to our neighbourhood associations, how can we create more community-centered ideas in the neighbourhoods?” she said.
“A city doesn’t run itself in isolation, you have to involve the community, you have to invite people in.”
Former professor of management at Wilfrid Laurier University, Ramsoomair has spent his 22 years in Waterloo living in his house in a quiet neighbourhood near Weber Street and Northfield Drive.
Moving to the city after receiving a teaching position at UW, he had previously spent five years working in industry in eastern Canada and obtained his doctorate from the University of Toronto.
Explaining his diligence in gathering practical experience before becoming a professor, Ramsoomair explained, “I wanted to say that I went through the knowledge, the experiences and the politics of industry.”
In addition to being a professor and mentor to the thousands of students that have passed through his classroom, Ramsoomair formed the organization Dream High and Fly which provides business education to under-served youth.
In discussing the changes he would like to see in the city, Ramsoomair said, “I would lobby against the voluminous tax burden that we have to carry.”
“Up to three years ago we were paying one per cent in tax and that has gone to ten per cent over the last three years,” he explained further.
Drawing from his experience in teaching, Ramsoomair intends to provide guidance to council in order improve many of the city’s issues. “My sense of satisfaction comes from facilitating people, providing them with avenues to develop themselves and after 20 years I thought, let me try for a wider community.”
Ross, a Laurier alumnus with a long history in the city, lives in a fairly new home in the older Beechwood area near UW. Although business had him living in Oakville for several years, Ross and his family have been residents of Waterloo for over 40 years.
“You don’t get some of the hustle and bustle that you get in the Toronto area,” Ross explained, having decided to return to Waterloo after his retirement. “In ten minutes you can be out in the countryside … and you still have a bit of a small-town feel for here.”
His passion for business has kept him involved with the Canadian Supply-Chain Sector Council and Central Skills Canada. “I’m still heavily involved with the federal government in developing occupational standards and some of the associations, national and professional associations,” said Ross.
More locally, Ross maintains a presence at Laurier, where he earned his BA and MBA. “I’m on the advisory board for the supply chain research centre at Wilfrid Laurier,” he said. “I’m also a part-time instructor at Wilfrid Laurier.”
Ross became interested in Waterloo’s politics after supporting his friend Andrew Johnson in his campaign for mayor of Cambridge and researching the city’s financial history. “The biggest concern I have with the area right now is just the financial health of the city,” he remarked.
While he didn’t plan on getting involved in city politics himself, Ross pointed to his career for providing him with the necessary experience. “I have a tremendous amount of experience in senior management from private industry, so this is a way for me to take some of the skills I’ve acquired over the years and give something back to the community.”
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