Friday, October 24, 2014

Guelph Politicast #4.6 - Councillor Cam Guthrie


He's was the first one in on January 2, and the momentum has been at his back for the 10 months that followed, and now, for Cam Guthrie, it all comes down to what happens on Election Day. The Ward 4 Councillor and insurance broker has been the presumed frontrunner in the race, holding a steady lead in both support and enthusiasm over the incumbent Mayor Karen Farbridge. But as they say, the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day, and the question remains, in such a close race can the upstart Guthrie get our the vote and take over the city's top spot from the three-term Farbridge? Guthrie is banking on yes with his "A Better Guelph" plan.

Press Release - Books of Condolence Available to Sign at MP's Office


The events in Ottawa Wednesday had a traumatizing effect on the country, and as we struggle with the implications of a lone gunman and his insane suicide mission on Parliament Hill, two families are left struggling over the sudden and seemingly senseless loss of a son to the whims of madman. Doing, at least, some small part to help the healing process, Guelph Member of Parliament Frank Valeriote has two books of condolence available for people to sign in memory of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed Monday in Quebec, and Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was killed in Ottawa Wednesday. Details are below.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Guelph Citizen Sticks Up for Me and Every Media Outlet in Guelph


As they say, if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen, or in my case, if you can't take a little criticism, get out of politics and/or the writing of politics. There's fair criticism, there's constructive criticism, and then there's being a jerk for the sake of being a jerk. That's Gerry Barker. Barker is a former journalist who maintains his own blog called Guelph Speaks, but he's also the founder of GrassRoots Guelph, a purportedly non-partisan organization dedicated to getting out the vote no matter who you vote for. Supposedly. Apparently Gerry, unlike every other group no matter their interest in the Royal City, doesn't like the coverage he's got.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Local Reactions to Events on Parliament Hill


Today's events in Ottawa, which are still unfolding, is a startling reminder that shocking acts of violence can happen anywhere, even Centre Block on Parliament Hill. Even where we are, several miles away from the nation's capital, Guelphites are affected by events, glued to social media, glued to TVs, digesting any update great or small, rumor or fact. Here's some local reaction to the events.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Surveys from School Board Trustee Candidates


By popular demand, I decided to do a candidate survey for those running to represent Guelph's two school boards, the Upper Grand District School Board and the Wellington Catholic District School Board.  The trustee races are kind of the redheaded stepchildren of the municipal election race, and they don't get even a fraction as much attention as the council and mayoral races. That's kind of unfair, and having talked to numerous trustee candidates in person and through social media about closing the coverage gap, I decided to take a second look. I wasn't sure if I'd have the time, but sometimes it's worth making the time, so now I present the Guelph Politico Trustee Candidate Questionnaire.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Guelph Mercury Debate Draws Cheers and Jeers in Packed House


For the first time, to my knowledge, all seven of the mayoral candidates were together on one stage for the Guelph Mercury Candidate Forum Monday night. In the shadow of a now infamous partisan attack ad, it was a packed room at the Italian Canadian Club that came together to see the mayoral candidates clash for one last time before election day as Jason Blokhuis, Andrew Donovan, Karen Farbridge, Cam Guthrie, John Legere, Nicholas Ross and Joseph St. Denis all aimed to make a closing argument for their election. But with partisan politics in the back of everyone's mind, would the undecided get their chance for a clean, compelling argument?

Greg Schirk (Ward 4) - Candidate Questionnaire


Like many candidates, Greg Schirk's pride and dedication to the Royal City comes from spending most of his life as a Guelphite. He grew up in Guelph and then studied carpentry and broadcasting at Conestoga College. Career-wise, Schirk is a licensed glazier metal mechanic and has a successful career selling energy efficient window and door products to home owners and property managers. It's green business, and that Schirk takes pride in the fact they do it on their own without government subsidies. Obviously, Schirk is a fiscal conservative, and his run for Ward 4 is his second turn on the ballot after running for the local Ontario PCs in 2011. He says his focus will be on on improving core services and maintaining our city’s infrastructure while carefully ensuring you get the best return on your tax dollars.On his website, Schirk says he's "committed to eliminating wasteful spending at City Hall and easing the tax burden on hardworking Guelph families." And now he takes a few moments to answer the Guelph Politico candidate questionnaire.*

Sunday, October 19, 2014

An Artistic Critique of Guelph's Election Signs


After all the talk of negativity, maybe what we need is levity. And since there are, apparently, a lot of people in the city interested in collecting signs, I was forced wonder if there was some artistic significance to them. So I decided to consult an expert. Scott McGovern, the programming director of Ed Video Media Arts Centre knows art, and he knows what he likes. He's also politically astute, so when I reached out to Scott (who's currently in Paris where is wife in an artist-in-residence), he was more than happy to lend his keen eye for colour and composition to the concept, and I present his insights below.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Farbridge Campaign Takes Credit For Controversial Ad



It wasn't exactly a "whodunnit?" on par with Agatha Christie, but when the Guelph Tribune appeared on doorsteps across the Royal City Thursday, one ad in particular caught their eye, and it was unknown who might have placed such a provocative bit of negative advertising. The ad, pictured above, features a photo accredited to a Guelph Mercury photographer of Cam Guthrie in conversation with Michael Sona at a Federal Election debate at Lourdes in 2011. The photo is accompanied by the tagline, "A person is known by the company they keep." Although placement of the ad was next to one for the Farbridge campaign, there was nothing to say the two came from one and the same source. Until now. Last night, in a press release, the Farbridge campaign did confirm that they placed the controversial ad.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Quick Note About the Cam Guthrie Podcast


I mentioned this in the last episode of the Guelph Politicast, but in the wake of the incredible partisanship I've been seeing online, I thought it beared repeating. There will be a delay in the posting of the podcast interview with mayoral candidate Cam Guthrie. It will be posted in the afternoon of Friday October 24. It's no one's fault in particular, just one of those things. I was trying to secure a day and time since August, but the campaign schedule is can be very, very busy as we've learned again and again. Gladly, the podcast will be happening, and you will be able to listen to it this time next week. In the meantime, you can listen to all the previous Gulph Politicast episodes here.