Northdale candidates discuss referendum

Before the Ward 6 candidates announced their platforms on issues affecting students in the area just north of WLU, they discussed their opinions on the referendum questions.

On being asked their stance on fluoridation of the city’s water, Jeff Henry, supporting the additive, said, “There is a significantly better rate of cavity prevention in areas with fluoride.”

Candidate Anne Crowe shared a similar belief, in that “I know how important dental health is to general health.”

The other candidates however, opposed the use of fluoride in the city’s water. Ed Korschewitz, stating that he will be voting no to fluoridation, noted the importance of the public having their wishes met on the issue.

“Let the people decide; let’s not have Quebec-style referendums over and over and over again,” he said.

On the issue of amalgamation, the candidates all agreed that it was an unnecessary endeavour. “There are so many other issues we should be focusing our time on and our money on,” said Henry, providing student housing as an example.

Addressing a question from the audience on the candidates’ view of light rail transit, Korschewitz answered, “This is going to be ten times the RIM park debt.”

Mike Connolly, sharing Korschewitz’s reluctance towards the project, said, “Let’s improve what we’ve got now.”

He went on to suggest re-evaluating the bus system to expand the service.
Planning for future growth was a factor Henry brought attention to. “I hear enough traffic congestion comments in the Region of Waterloo already, and it’s only going to get worse,” he said.

Crowe, concerned about the environmental implications of transit in the city, explained, “Whichever rapid transit line you choose, if you don’t intensify along that transit system you’re not going to be able to [to ensure its success].”

A question posed by a student brought the debate back to the issue of students within the community. With the growing number of students, Korschewitz stated regarding housing issues in the area, “The answer is to plan and develop a Northdale with appropriate student housing … [and] also for the high tech firms near by.”

To better integrate students, Henry expressed that the city and community should show greater recognition for student leadership, such as the Canada Day festivities by University of Waterloo students, and promote more of those types of projects.

With students first moving in to the city, Crowe suggested, “[We should] get the city more involved in the orientation programs at the universities.”
In his concluding statements, Henry returned to the idea of the diversity of the area, stating, “I think one of the things Ward 6 needs is a better understanding of the full range of community members we have in our city, and that includes students.”