Ban Ezra-Scale Parties In The Region Of Waterloo

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Does it make sense for people of the Region Of Waterloo to be inconvenienced because a bunch of university students want to get drunk to the point of becoming sick, causing damage, and shutting down key routes of the Grand River Transit system?

Of course not. Yet, that is what happened as a result of the Ezra Street Party on St. Patrick's Day in 2018.

Transit service along King Street was shut down, forcing many to walk as far as Conestoga Mall in order to get to or from home and work. I, a 54 year old man, was forced to do just that. Grand River Transit sent out no notifications of service interruptions along the affected stops. People stood waiting for buses that never showed up for up to two hours.

In addition to this inconvenience, people were subjected to verbal abuse by drunken University of Waterloo and Wilfred Laurier students in the form of swearing and inappropriate contact. Some trash cans were tossed into the middle of King Street, and shoving matches between intoxicated students were witnessed by myself while I made my way to Conestoga Mall on foot.

The washrooms at McDonald's at Columbia were a mess. There was human fecal waste and vomit everywhere, no doubt left by the students who had too much to drink.

I cannot find one reason why the people of the Region should be subjected to the aftereffects of large gatherings like the Ezra Street St. Patrick's Day Party. It causes major traffic disruptions, disorderly conduct and lewd behaviour.

Let me be clear about the most important thing. This was an unlawful, unsanctioned gathering with no permit. The participants there, despite their protestations of exercising their right to freedom of expression and movement, have broken the law. They endangered not only themselves but  those around them. 

Enough is enough. It's time to shut down parties like Ezra Street once and for all. I'm starting a petition to present to Regional Chair Ken Seiling to pass a motion to ban these parties.



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