2022 Inaugural Remarks – Diane Freeman

I was raised in Woodstock on Treaty #29 Lands that were a part of the Huron Tract Purchase.  In 1986, I moved to Treaty #4 lands the Haldimand Tract where I have stayed and chosen to live and raise a family.

Thank you to the citizens of Ward 4; they have once again shown their confidence in me and I am humbled to have their support.  This job is about serving the community and it is with this heart of service that I look forward to working together with my Council colleagues.

As a part-time, 24/7 Councillor, I could never serve this community without the continued love and patience offered willingly by my husband Peter and my children Adam, Scott and his fiancé Alessandra.  I am also thankful for my parents, Fred and Betty Freeman who taught my brothers Jim, Bill and I that volunteering is truly the rent we pay for the privilege of living in such a wonderful Country as Canada.

Lives are full of many firsts: Birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s and Father’s Day.  This is my first inauguration with my Parents walking this earth.  They are missed.  I was loved.  I remember them today.

I am grateful for the many communities including friends, work and City that supported me through challenging times such as when my parents passed away – kindness like this changes the dynamic of working relationships, into friendships.

Democracy is about people; and the people who have served with me since 2006 have taught me so much and challenged me to be a better decision maker and a better person.  Knowledge can be empowering when shared and isn’t that want for our community?  I look forward to learning from all of you as we journey together, through these next four years.

I know that we are all aware of the changing nature of politics – so I feel strongly that we as local politicians, who are very much connected to our communities speak out for those who do not have a voice.  We have a responsibility to build consensus and a positive way forward.

We need to be strong for each other as we navigate the new terms and conditions of this provincial government.   We need to fight against the divisiveness of politics.  Waterloo has got it right for so many years, it is worth fighting for.   I remain hopeful, that if we put the people of Waterloo first, in an inclusive manner, we will hold the line on our democracy.

There is a desperate need for compassion these days.   And my intention, is to lead with love and knowledge.  

We will be challenged as a council, like never before to do more with less.  We will need to be courageous and support the values that we all bring to this table.  

I want to ensure that the investments we make in our community impact the people we serve and make a difference. At every turn, we will need to explore the impact on our most vulnerable in our communities – and make sure that their voices are respected and that they are seen as the neighbours that they are.

I have every confidence that if we work together, we can prioritize all voices – if we do so, we will be stronger and more resilient.

In addition, Climate change is our collective challenge as a society – I know we all care about looking at policy and legislation through this lens. 

We are not alone on this journey because we are well supported by staff who care deeply about this work and I believe, there is nothing we can not accomplish together.