Organization that used Niagara realtor's photo to campaign for amalgamation apologizes
A page on Reddit that gained attention for using a photo of a Niagara realtor to champion amalgamation has gained some attention.
The 17,000 subscribers to the Kitchener and Waterloo Reddit subpages were taken by surprise to find out that the picture used for the website’s author is someone else entirely.
The page claims it is penned by a Waterloo citizen named Stephanie Doran, who works for a non-profit organization and is a computer engineer.
A Stephanie Doran is listed on LinkedIn as a human resources director for a company called Galaxy Gate, which says it's a Canadian construction company focused on custom homes and subdivision projects.
In actuality, the photo is of Tanya Petti, a realtor from Niagara.
“I work for Coldwell Banker and I live in Niagara Falls,” said Petti. “So I'm not too sure how or why they’re using me.”
Petti says she's not affiliated with the website nor does she have an interested in Waterloo amalgamation.
On Feb. 11, the office of Barry Kainth sent a statement to CTV Kitchener explaining the use of Petti’s image.
“A soft launch of the website was prepared for the Region of Waterloo which caused some misunderstanding due to the stock images used in the testing phase. Immediate action was taken by pulling down all the images,” the statement reads in part.
It goes on to apologize for the confusion around the project, which it calls a new non-profit organization.
“We thank CTVNews Kitchener and other local media outlets in Waterloo Region for reaching out to us regarding the Mega 7 City campaign and making efforts to clear any confusion around the unknown website,” it reads.
The website went live on the same day that regional officials and local mayors met with the provincial task force in charge of examining amalgamation
“I am a great believer that we need to have a fulsome discussion and everything is on the table,” said Waterloo Region chair Karen Redman. “Is that the only solution? Absolutely not.”
Redman has seen the website and, speaking in generalities, says outside influences have always existed in politics, but Waterloo Region's borders are strong.
On the other hand, the statement indicates the organization is a local one, saying in part, “Furthermore, we are proud to be part of the community of Waterloo…”
In 2016, a Barry Kainth was listed online taking part in a Waterloo federal Liberal Party event.
CTV Kitchener asked around and could not find anyone who says they know him.