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MEET THE CANDIDATES: Jim Karahalios, Ward 5

'Galt taxpayers need a councillor who will challenge the status quo and not capitulate to the pressure that’s placed on councillors to just go with the flow,' says Ward 5 candidate Jim Karahalios
Jim Karahalios is a candidate in Ward 5.

Jim Karahalios

Age: 43

Occupation: Dad. Husband. Leader of the New Blue Party of Ontario. Lawyer. Advocate. Grassroots organizer.


How long have you lived in Cambridge?

Over 7 years.

Do you reside in the ward/city you are running in?

I live in the town of Preston and running for city councillor in Ward 5.

Why are you running in this election?

Cambridge City Hall needs change and I have the leadership skills and resiliency to bring the change that will ensure taxpayers are respected, wasteful spending is cut, tax savings are identified, transparency and accountability returns, security and safety is improved, and solutions to traffic congestion in West Galt are implemented.

What qualifies you to represent your ward?

I am the best person for the job. I always bounce back from adversity - whether that’s bone cancer or standing up for people and principle. I also can lead and advocate for West Galt taxpayers even when it requires advocating for positions the establishment class rather not hear.

Why should people vote for you?

West Galt taxpayers need a councillor who will challenge the status quo and not capitulate to the pressure that’s placed on councillors to just go with the flow. That’s the approach we need to accelerate a solution to Ward 5’s traffic congestion, ensure safe and secure streets, and spend tax dollars wisely.

What do you see as the main issues facing residents of the ward?

We need to make living in Cambridge more affordable and to push for a freeze in property taxes that requires saying no to all new taxes or increases to taxation. We also need to push Regional Council for an accelerated infrastructure solution to alleviate traffic congestion in West Galt.

What do you see as the main issues facing residents of Cambridge on a broader scale?

Life in Cambridge has become less and less affordable. We can’t afford a 4 and quarter percent increase in municipal property tax in one year. Cambridge residents are also worried about crime, homelessness, and drug addiction. At the same time, residents are very skeptical that politicians are willing to stand up and push back against ideologically-based proposals that are only making matters worse.

What is the most important thing you want to see changed in Cambridge?

We need an attitude change at City Hall that doesn’t try to silence or vilify taxpayers who oppose or question policy proposals or decisions but instead seeks to keep property taxes low and provides transparency and accountability in its decision making.

What services need to be improved in Cambridge?

West Galt needs accelerated infrastructure solutions from Waterloo Region Council for ongoing traffic congestion. City Hall also needs to challenge provincial and federal governments to step up and fund the services they expect to implement at the local level that should not fall on city council to provide.

Is Cambridge growing too fast, just the right amount, or not fast enough?

Infrastructure is not keeping up with the growth in Cambridge. Federal and provincial governments are dictating policies that have accelerated the growth of
our city without taking responsibility for how that growth will be supported. City Hall needs to challenge the other levels of government.

What can be done at the local level about the rising cost of housing?

Freeze property taxes and keep the water rate affordable. Stop increases to the City’s capital debt. And finally, demand the federal and provincial governments
refrain from policies that recklessly accelerate the cost of housing and the cost of living.

What can be done locally about the homelessness issue?

Re-evaluating current efforts is paramount. The administration of the Bridges shelter has clearly not worked making things worse.

How do we make Cambridge an even better city to live in?

Look at facts, rather than political ideology or social science theories, when deciding policies. We need to focus on things that matter to taxpayers such as freezing the property tax rate, accelerating an infrastructure solution to alleviate traffic in West Galt, and keep our streets safe and secure.

Visit to learn more about Jim.