Region rejects rapid transit referendum

Waterloo Region council came together for an early meeting on Wednesday, June 1 to consider a motion to hold a referendum question regarding bringing rapid transit to the region.

Twelve delegates spoke to the issue, including former Waterloo Ward 6 councillor Jan d’Ailly and Ipsos Reid assistant vice-president Sean Simpson. Overwhelmingly, the delegates were against the motion to hold a referendum.

While Simpson presented data from a recent poll Ipsos Reid conducted that found over 80 per cent of citizens in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge were in favour of a referendum, the more prominent concerns of the added costs in funds and time for delaying any type of rapid transit project was prioritized.

The motion failed with only three councillors — one of which was Waterloo mayor Brenda Halloran, who put forward the motion — voting in favour of it.

Regional council is scheduled to come to a decision on which course to implement rapid transit that has thus far focused on light rail transit (LRT) and bus rapid transit (BRT) on June 15.