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Victor Kreuz with a ring he found in the Otonabee River and a selection of his late brother's paintings. Photo via Victor Kreuz Facebook

Interview with Mayoral Candidate Victor Kreuz

Written by
Sebastian Johnston-Lindsay
and
and
October 14, 2022
Interview with Mayoral Candidate Victor Kreuz
Victor Kreuz with a ring he found in the Otonabee River and a selection of his late brother's paintings. Photo via Victor Kreuz Facebook

One thing is for certain, Victor Kreuz is the only mayoral candidate who offered up Bob Dylan quotes and openly pondered the idea of using a Grateful Dead tune (“New Speedway Boogie”) as his campaign song. He claims to have been inspired by Hunter S. Thompson’s run for Sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado in 1970. He is an ordained minister of the Church of the Latter Day Dude and when I reminded him that Thompson, too, was ordained by the Universal Life Church, he was intrigued.

Speaking with Mr. Kreuz was like talking with one of my parents’ friends around a campfire late at night. I connected with him one afternoon when he was fresh out of a debate and he spoke to me from the parking lot of a hotel. He occasionally apologized for not hearing a question as a truck backed up near him or he shielded himself against the wind to light a cigarette.

Mr. Kreuz is a former teacher who has been unable to work since he was hurt on the job in 2017. He studied philosophy at Trent University, graduating in 1986, and would have received a dual major in psychology had it not been for his compassion for lab animals.

His platform is primarily focused on social issues, which is one way of saying he is concerned with “greedhead” developers in the area exacerbating an already desperate housing affordability crisis.

He recalls his feelings around the sale of Peter Robinson College and how it reflected upon the larger concerns of Trent in his eyes, even twenty years ago.

“I was really angry to see how Trent sold off Peter Robinson College, all that housing, that they had power to control what students were paying, and, you know, possibly even make a bit of money. But instead, they sold it off to somebody else who wants to make as much money as possible. And, you know, isn’t really that concerned about students. They just want tenants.”

When I mentioned the name Bonnie Patterson, he almost held it against me that I’d put that name in his head. I swiftly apologized for reminding him.

Mr. Kreuz feels a deep compassion for Trent students who are unable to find adequate housing in Peterborough during and after their studies. He told me he feels that during his education, there was “a philosophy that universities and colleges used to have, and society actually had as well, that you should make it as cheap as possible for students to continue their education.”

On the topic of housing, he related a story of attempting to contact Trent to get some statistics on the number who had been unable to find housing over the past few years. He was told that none existed, which, while convenient for Trent, is also deeply questionable. One wonders if such numbers would materialize had the deep pocketed students deigned to subsidize Trent Housing Services in last year’s housing referendum? We will never know.

Mr. Kreuz’s quest for transparency from Trent was borne out of an experience he had a few weeks prior when he was with a supporter late at night when they were approached by a couple of students whose stay in a hotel had run out before they could find housing.

“It was 12:30 at night when we were both approached by a couple of international students and their five day coverage of accommodation in a motel while they looked for accommodation on their own, had expired, and they had nowhere to go. It was 1230 at night. And this guy he works at for the John Howard Society is a residential worker. And yeah, he stuck with them and ended up checking the male into the yes shelter, and the female into another shelter. But yeah, he didn’t get any sleep that night.”

The issue of Trent and Fleming students requiring shelters around the city has recently been reported on in Peterborough Currents with three out of four being International students. At the time of writing it would seem that Trent remains unaware of this issue in the midst of its celebration of the 16% increase in first-year enrolment.

When I asked Mr. Kreuz about how he would help students find work, he said he was a supporter of the Canada Homeshare Program and that he could see the creation of housing and working hubs wherein students work together to maintain a property.

“When it comes to those big houses, I would like to see the city buy some of those houses and turn them into rooming houses. And like, I don’t know, I think there’s some bylaws right now against rooming houses where there’s somebody that runs it, provides meals and does the cleaning, or you know, make sure the cleaning is done. And, and then make sure everybody behaves sort of like the boss. And with the power, you know, if you don’t behave, they can kick you out.”

I was intrigued and momentarily taken with the boldness of this anarchic vision, but could not for the life of me see this transpiring given what I’ve seen and understand of the Trent student body.

The main part of our conversation concluded on the topic of addiction. Mr. Kreuz is keen to see Peterborough declare its intention to become a “centre of excellence in research and treatment for addiction and mental health.”

“I would like to declare that ambition, which I think would make it more likely that we can attract and solve the healthcare problem in Peterborough like no doctors or the doctor shortage, what doctor wants to come to Peterborough the way it is now, without any kind of really great plan to be improving.”

There were other conversations over the course of our time together, but I enjoyed them too much to share the specific details here. Sure, William Lyon Mackenzie King’s ties to MK-Ultra and the Rockefellers came up, but we also shared the first songs we learned how to play on the guitar and talked about what open mics he hoped to make it to. These details don’t shed light on his ability to act as Mayor, nor on any key platform points. Mr. Kreuz himself has been open about the fact he won’t win this race, but he seems to be enjoying the ride.

Arthur Spring Elections 2024
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Arthur Spring Elections 2024
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Arthur News School of Fish

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