Regional Council – Kitchener – Greg Burns

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About Greg

Greg moved to Waterloo Region in 2009 to pursue post-secondary education in engineering and has attended two of the three major local post-secondary institutions. He has lived in all three major cities in the Region, eventually settling in Kitchener in 2012, in the Centreville-Chicopee area. Greg has a Bachelor of Engineering from Conestoga College. He has been a leader within Ontario engineering education, as the President of Conestoga Engineering Society 2013-14 and the Vice President Financial and Administration of the Engineering Student Societies Council of Ontario. He has had experience in formulating good policy through the development of governing documents and policies for student engineering societies, and provincial and national organizations. Greg has spoken at numerous conferences on engineering education and inclusivity. He has championed LGBTQ* rights within the engineering profession and also within industrial workplaces. As an engineering graduate, he has a good understanding of infrastructure and systems relating to municipal politics. He has relevant and recent experience as a regular rider of GRT for the past five years, and of housing concerns as a tenant in a Kitchener apartment complex.

Excerpts from Greg’s Better Choices Questionnaire

“I believe the best way the council can promote stable employment and quality jobs is to create a community that supports and encourages new and existing businesses to operate in the region. There are three major ways to accomplish this: sustainable infrastructure, promoting and supporting education, and respecting businesses as taxpayers.”

“I will support a buy local and buy Canadian strategy. I will do this by voting for tenders that are presented by local companies (within reasonable bids). I believe that buying local, even when more expensive, cycles more back into our local economy. Investing in our communities gets us the most out of our tax dollars.”

“To ensure positive labour relations I will discuss with current employees of these firms or unions to determine some of their questions, concerns, and needs. I will push to start negotiations on union contracts earlier than at the expiry date. I support unions, and I want everyone employed or contracted out by the Region to have fair wage and safe and comfortable working conditions. When firms are contracted out to bidding companies I will expect to be shown that they are treating employees fairly and giving a proper wage with reputable and above standard working conditions.”

“I would like to see the method of consultation of citizens change. Instead of having public consultations at various public centres around the region, I would like to see the region collecting feedback right from where the service is initiated. For example, surveying GRT transit passengers at Charles St. Terminal for feedback regarding route changes, or even on the bus. Additionally I would like to see social media and the internet used more readily for these functions as well.”

“I would oppose reducing social services and community housing (both already underfunded) reduced funding in these would have major consequences on larger the community. Plus, helping people have livable wages and housing encourages them to be more involved in community, which may, in turn mean more revenue with future tax dollars.”

“I support a living wage for employees of the Region, including contractors. By providing this appropriate and decent wage, we encourage employees to live and work in the region, becoming an active resident and returning some of those earnings back into the region stimulating economic growth. I will investigate about wages contractors pay their employees and this will be a factor on whether or not I award contracts to them.”