Public gatherings task force

Our Town and Gown Committee has created an unsanctioned public gatherings task force.

The task force has been asked to assess the growth of unsanctioned pubic gatherings, understand the impact on the community and provide potential strategies on how they can be managed.

In March 2019, an update on the work of the task force was presented to city council.

Role of the task force

  • meet quarterly and receive information and create recommendations on ways to reduce, refocus and prevent negative impacts of unsanctioned public gatherings
  • operate for two years with an understanding that implementation of its recommended strategies may take an additional three years
  • outline the challenges and benefits that unsanctioned public gatherings have on the community
  • include research on crowd science and gather information on the experiences and strategies of other jurisdictions

Task force composition

Representatives from several agencies/groups will form the task force. The task force steering committee shall be co-chaired by Mark Dykstra from the City of Waterloo and Tom Berczi from Waterloo Regional Police Service.

Name Title Organization
Mark Dykstra* Commissioner, community services City of Waterloo
Tom Berczi* Superintendent - operational support Waterloo Regional Police Service
Aimee Calma President Conestoga Students Inc.
Brenda Cassidy Director, corporate communications Conestoga College
James Craig Chair Town and gown committee
Shawn Cruz Associate vice-president, university affairs Wilfrid Laurier University Student Union
D'Arcy Delamere** Lecturer University of Waterloo School of Accounting & Finance
Benjamin Easton Municipal affairs commissioner University of Waterloo Federation of Students
Catherine Heale Manager, governance and corporate projects Grand River Hospital
Adam Lauder Executive officer to the CAO City of Waterloo
Ellen Menage Executive director Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate Students' Association
Chris Read Associate provost - students University of Waterloo
Larry Richardson Representative MacGregor Albert Community Association
Peter Rubenschuh Superintendent, student achievement & well-being Waterloo Region District School Board
Naima Samuel President University of Waterloo Graduate Student Association
Jill Schitka Program director, emergency department Grand River Hospital
John Shewchuk Chief managing officer Waterloo Catholic District School Board
Steve Van Valkenburg Chief Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services

* Task force co-chair
** Task force facilitator