The new Regional Council has been sworn-in, including new Regional Chair Karen Redman
Sentiments of inclusiveness and hard work lined the inaugural speech of the new Regional Chair.
Karen Redman says that the Region of Waterloo is an important part of Ontario and Canada's economy.
She tells 570 News that it's not too exciting, but the budget is the first thing on her agenda.
"Budget decisions are sort of the blueprint about how you go forward," says Redman. "One of the things that really heartened me during the last election was, when I talked to people about investing their tax dollars, it was in paramedics. It was in transportation. It was in housing and social housing."
She notes that the budget was delayed due to the election, and elaborates on what their focuses will be.
"I think that investing in our policing will be a big issue," says Redman. "I think wrestling down affordable housing will be a really big issue. I think whether we can be greener in our footprint when we look at how we acquire buses, and those things. Those are long term impacts about decisions that are made in the budget."
Councillor Tom Galloway echoes Karen's statements on affordable housing, but also has a special eye for transportation as the chair of the Planning and Works Committee.
"We have a pretty major agenda for active transportation," says Galloway. "We're looking for better facilities for other modes of transportation, cycling and pedestrians in particular."
Redman says that she's up for the challenge that the next four years present.
"I sat on Santa's knee at the Waterloo Regional Family Christmas party, and he guaranteed me it would be a very interesting four years," she laughs. "I embrace whatever that entails. I love challenges, I love a lot of issues."
Redman also adds that one of her personal focuses will be getting a sense of teamwork with her new council, noting that some new faces have very relevant, helpful knowledge for the region.