On October 25th, we citizens of Kitchener and Waterloo are being asked to vote on the following question: “Do you support the members of Kitchener and Waterloo councils engaging in discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of merging the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo? Yes or No.”
It is my opinion that this question is an attempt to move the amalgamation issue from the citizens to the politicians. A “yes” vote on the wishy-washy “talk about amalgamation” question just might be all the political clout supporters of amalgamation need to just amalgamate, regardless of what comes out of talking.
Consider that the people who urged Kitchener and Waterloo to vote to have the question put on the ballot are the same people who fund and support the lobby for amalgamation of the two cities. They are also the same people who are currently working hard to get pro-amalgamation councillors elected.
As a Kitchener citizen I have some misgivings about amalgamation. As a Kitchener taxpayer I certainly don’t want Kitchener to assume the debt that Waterloo has accumulated. I also believe that if it isn’t broken, why fix it? Both Kitchener and Waterloo seem to be working quite well as separate cities and members of a working regional municipality. I do not believe that what’s good for business is necessarily good for the ordinary citizen.
I will be voting “no” to the question: I do not want amalgamation through the back door. Neither council should need a “yes” vote on the question to engage in discussions with one another. They are close neighbours and members of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo.