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LRT, homelessness and infrastructure all covered in Kitchener mayor's debate

The candidates running for mayor of Kitchener squared off in the latest series of debates hosted by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Chamber, it’s estimated that by the year 2031 the population of Waterloo Region is expected to be at 725,000.

James Rhodes says building new infrastructure for population growth is challenging when you have insufficient funds.

“The only answer is that you obtain the sufficient funds but you get it from savings through 1. efficiencies and 2. officials have to learn to start saying no to certain things, you can’t just keep spending on everything.”

Peter Martin thinks motivating workers that have a significant impact on the city’s infrastructure would lead to better success. “It’s about the leadership you show to them and empowering them to bring out the best in themselves in all their departments.”

LRT, solving homelessness in the region and debt management are the main priorities the four candidates wish to focus on at Regional Council.

Berry Vrbanovic says challenges with Out of the Cold are not going to disappear… “The solution to this problem long term is trying to transition as many people as you can from a homelessness to actually being housed.”

He says his experience as president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities gives him an advantage, when dealing with these issues as he has worked with other levels of government.

Slavko Miladinovic did not participate in the debate.