2022 Ontario municipal election: Meet the Cambridge Ward 2 council candidates

File photo of Cambridge City Hall. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

On Oct. 24, voters across Waterloo Region in Ontario will head to the polls to elect city and regional councillors, mayors and a regional chair.

Residents of Cambridge, the region’s second-largest city, will elect councillors in eight wards as well as a mayor to form city council.

There will be at least three new faces in place, as Ward 4 Coun. Jan Liggett is running for mayor and Ward 5 Coun. Pam Wolf is seeking one of two seats on regional council. Ward 3 Coun. Mike Mann has chosen not to seek re-election.

Ward 2 Coun. Mike Devine is seeking a third term in office but he will have to contend with challengers Piyush Nanda and Matt Rogers.

Story continues below advertisement

To help voters ahead of this election, Global News has reached out to all of those running for regional or city council, mayor or regional chair in Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo with available online contact information. Those running for office were emailed a list of seven questions and in the coming days, the responses for every candidate who replies will be shared.

What follows are the responses received from those running for councillor in Cambridge, with the candidates being listed in alphabetical order:

Piyush Nanda

Q.1 Please give a brief background of yourself including what you do for a living and how long you have lived in the area? (If you are an incumbent, please state how long you have held the position.)

I am a chemical engineer by profession and I work as a process engineer at the Toyota plant in Cambridge. Outside of work I am involved as the vice president of Cambridge Toastmasters, as well as involved in volunteering at a youth shelter and also providing food to the homeless.

I have lived in Hespeler for the last four years and have been in the Region of Waterloo for the last 10 years as I studied at the University of Waterloo.

Q.2 Why do you believe you are the right person for the job?

Story continues below advertisement

I am a calm, disciplined and analytical thinking individual who knows that it is time for a logical approach to fix the city’s problems. For too long, high emotion and personal projects have guided the decisions made by city council which has resulted in long term problems not having been fixed.

I am the right person for this job as I have a long-term vision for the city, as well as solutions to fix the problems at the short term and long term level.

Q.3 What do you think is the most important issue facing your ward and the city as a whole?

For the ward and the city, some of the biggest issues affecting the city are high property taxes that residents are paying, and the lack of affordable housing. Residents are seeing their property taxes skyrocket without seeing the benefits of this increase from the city. I will be taking a hard look at what the city is spending these funds on and ensuring that the taxes we pay are fair and the benefits to the residents exist. Whatever costs are not needed will be removed.

As for lack of affordable housing, this issue is not limited to the ward or just the city, but at city hall level I will get more housing built by advocating for higher density housing throughout the city for new developments and also get city hall to pre-approve land throughout the city to get construction started faster.

Story continues below advertisement

Q.4 Looking down the road, what are your long-term goals for the city?

My long-term goals for the city are to see a prosperous, united city where the residents can live happy, safe, affordable lives and where a sense of community exists among neighbours.

Q.5 What is your platform?

My platform is focused on three key pillars- fair taxes, affordable housing, and better for businesses.

Fair taxes is my promise to the residents by taking a logical approach to what we spend in the city on administration and projects, and cutting out things that don’t need to be done right now, or at all.

Only by taking a proper look line by line on city expenses and cutting out inefficiencies and non-value added projects, can we reduce the city administration costs and not require such high taxes from the residents.

Affordable housing is the second pillar of my platform. At the city level, affordable housing can be achieved by increasing the supply of housing and I will do this by advocating for higher density housing in the city where suitable and having city hall pre-approve land throughout the city so construction can get started faster.

The third pillar of my platform is making the city better for businesses. I will do this by cutting red tape that is required for businesses to set up shop in the city, reducing the time for permit grants to businesses, encouraging an innovative business environment, and improving infrastructure in the city to attract more businesses.

Story continues below advertisement

Q.6 What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, my favourite hobbies are reading (fiction and non-fiction) and outdoor activities, particularly hiking and canoeing.

Q.7 What is your favourite thing about living in your city/ward?

I love living in Cambridge because of the variety of things to do in the city, whether it’s sports, outdoor activities, or the diverse restaurants which offer food from all over the world.

Global News has also reached out to Mike Devine but has not received a response as of publication. Global News was unable to locate an email address for Matt Carter in order to send them the questions. This copy will be updated as further answers arrive.

Sponsored content