There are many reasons why starting a referendum process so close to the final vote on what system we would use for transit is not a good idea.
I am going to speak about the public process for Rapid Transit so far. This process has been going on since 2003 with many, many meetings and a decision in 2009 that generated a lot of public response. There have been two elections (2006 and 2010) of municipal councillors as this process continued. I’m not counting the 2003 election as the process had just begun.
People have had a say and are continuing to have a say. I have had over 100 emails on this topic since January and that’s not including all the mails I had before that time. I have had the most emails ever on any topic. And these are from separate individuals (I counted each person once). 80 percent at least not the “usual suspects” or advocates for one side or the other. My mail has been running 50/50 pro and con. I send all of the emails to staff to put into the count. I also record pro and con of the telephone calls. This doesn’t even cover the many, many people whose main topic of conversation with me when I meet them is Rapid Transit. Everyone from the owner of the manicure shop to my book club to dogwalkers to people at various events.
There have also been various groups like the realtors and the tech industry running their own surveys of members. The Record Metroline survey should be very influential as no one can say they are biased because they are the Region. A friend of mine also told me that she answered an Angus Reid poll recently (Not the Region, I asked) I wait for that one.
I also listen to the Jeff Allan show, Rogers 20 talk local, CTV and read The Record and The Chronicle. The Region has a clipping service, so I have also read all the regional articles about Rapid Transit. Not to mention blogs, twitter and Facebook.
Finally there are all the public meetings the Region has held, not to mention the on-line comment form. http://rapidtransit.region.waterloo.on.ca/comment.html
Councillors get numbers and summaries of all.
Here is the list of the public meetings the Region has had with the public.It is in pdf format because there were and are so many. By the way, I have personally attended a number of these meetings, right back to 2006. And not all the meetings are even listed. I attended the Leadership Waterloo cafe recently and that’s not on the official list. Neither are the Probus and Rotary meetings staff presented at, to mention a few.
If you have not managed to phone me, or send an email , you can still do so. My information is at the side of this blog.
The final public meetings are May 31 and June 1st at council chambers. If you can’t make them, the decision day is June 15th in the evening at council chambers.
Here is what I am hearing from many of the public, most of them before this referendum question came up. “Get ‘er done. We are tired of it. Make a decision.”
I hear you and I am going to.