Updated: 11 a.m.
I have decided to retract my support of Kristen Porritt for Regional Council to represent Kitchener based upon new information that I have received.
I knew her position was a bit soft but I thought she was in favour of it in principle if not all the exact details. Given how much I liked the rest of her platform, I was comfortable voting for her. But I now know that during the campaign her position has shifted to being 100% against LRT even if it was fully funded by the senior governments. Since I have stated that I will base my vote upon support for light rail, I can no longer vote for her.
Here is her position in her own words:
> I am not in favour of going ahead with the light rail transit part of
> the Master Transportation Plan. I am stronger in that conviction now
> since I’ve been able to speak with hundreds of people during my door
> knocking campaign. I’ve only met 1 person in favour! I’ve also heard
> from many people who have some really great alternative solutions
> public transportation.
> Not sure your feelings on this – for or against – but to me, even if
> it was 100% paid for I don’t think it works for Waterloo Region.
I sent Kristen an e-mail letting her know that I had changed my decision to vote for her. I am sharing her response here:
Sorry I’ve lost your vote. Over the last two months I have gain more information and listened to many people in our community talk about the LRT and yes I am opposed to the plan of a rail running from Conestoga Mall to Fairview Park. I have learned about some alternatives solutions that I think are less invasive and less expensive.
I would still promote public transit, reurbanization and greater transportation choice in a slow and strategic way that will garner the buy in of more people. I would also promote increased links to park & ride facilities and ensure future connections to GO Transit services as well as improvements in other means and methods of transportation such as walking and biking.
Thanks for letting me know and for giving me the opportunity to share one more time.
Candidate for Regional Council
For the record, here is her response when TriTag asked if she supported the LRT:
I was more in favour of the original Light Rapid Transit plan that linked the transportation system from Elmira all the way to south Cambridge. I envision our region to be completely connected by public transit. This will be very expensive of course but more expensive not to in the long run. The current plan of phasing in the LRT by merely connecting K-W from mall to mall will not accomplish the goals of the Transportation Master Plan.
I believe that continuing with road expansions alone is not a realistic option. We need to promote public transit (trains), reurbanization and greater transportation choice. I think new council must carefully review the Moving Forward 2031,- it is a good plan. It addresses better ways to connect the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, it promotes links to Grand River Transit and park & ride facilities and it ensures future connections to GO Transit services.
It also addresses improvements in all means and methods of transportation such as walking, biking, driving and public transportation.
As I said, it’s softer than I would have liked but I could live with it within her overall platform. However, her position has evolved over the campaign to be something that I can no longer support nor recommend. I now wish I had taken asked her the question directly myself but thank those that did and shared the information with me.