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Another long-time Waterloo regional councillor not seeking re-election


After 28 years on Region of Waterloo council, Tom Galloway has announced he won't seek another term this October.

Galloway made the announcement Thursday, becoming the sixth directly-elected regional councillors to say he's won't run in the upcoming municipal election.

"It was a difficult decision but one that I am very satisfied with," Galloway says. "It has been a true honour to have represented the citizens of Kitchener on the three civic bodies. The trust given to me has been truly humbling."

First elected as a school board trustee in 1988, Galloway won a seat on Kitchener city council in 1991. In 1994 and 1997 he was re-elected as Kitchener South Ward councillor and selected to also sit on regional council. In 2000, when the electoral process for regional council changed, Galloway ran and won a seat representing Kitchener on regional council. He's since been re-elected five times.

Galloway says highlights of his 34-year political career include the successful launch of Light Rail Transit ION project, the establishment of the Huron Natural Area in Kitchener, and "significantly moving the needle" on upstream strategies to address the social determinants of health as they relate to criminal justice, health, and education systems.

"I think the pandemic has something to do with it," Galloway says of his decision not to seek re-election. "The issues have been difficult. People have been cranky. A lot of projects you've been really excited about have had to be shelved."


Galloway's announcement follows similar ones from fellow regional councillors Geoff Lorentz (Kitchener), Elizabeth Clarke (Kitchener) Sean Strickland (Waterloo), Karl Kiefer (Cambridge) and Helen Jowett (Cambridge) – all of whom have said they're not seeking re-election.

Including Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky, who also announced he won't seek another term in February, seven of the 16 seats on regional council are currently open.

Galloway sees it as a chance for new perspectives.

"Make room for maybe a new person on council. Somebody maybe who is a woman or somebody with diversity," he explains.

Melissa Durrell, a former Waterloo city councillor, says the change is overdue.

Durrell helps coach women and people from diverse backgrounds to run for office in the region through Waterloo Region Women's Municipal Campaign School.

"It's as simple as this -- look around this community right now, what does it look like? It does not look like what that regional council looks like," says Durrell.

Durrell says we need more people with different ideas and backgrounds in order to grow in the right direction.

"I can guarantee that a women's perspective is going to be a little bit different than a man's perspective [or] someone who has immigrated here, or who is a refugee and has come here," she says.

As for Galloway, he offers this piece of advice for whoever takes his place.

"Make sure you're doing it for the right reason," he says.

The deadline to file nomination papers to run in the October municipal election is Aug. 19.

The full list of candidates is available here. Top Stories

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