About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Election Guidestones

I was at the Toronto ComicCon a couple of weeks ago and was talking to the creator of the new webseries Guidestones.The series centres around a construct in Elbert County, Georgia, a man-made granite monument erected by an unknown person or group of people in 1980 that outlines 10 guidelines or principles meant to govern a new Age of Reason. The principles, which are written in several languages including English, Hindi, Arabic and Chinese, offer helpful hints for a healthy world, like "Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature," and "Balance personal rights with social duties." 
Well this got me thinking, in the wake of the robocall controversy, and other election shenanigans following the 2011 federal vote, should we be looking at new set of Election Guidelines? Election Guidestones. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Overpopulation Myth (According to a Woman With 19 Kids)

So overpopulation is a myth made up by kid hating liberals who don't understand that if the entire 7 billion-plus population of the world stood shoulder to shoulder, then they would fit inside the city limits of Jacksonville, FL. At least, that's according to noted anthropologist and population-expert Michelle Duggar, mother of the clan in the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting.
Now I naturally don't expect a woman that's spent almost the entirely of her adult life pregnant to cop to the idea that the Earth is dangerous approaching its maximum occupancy, but for her to not just deny overpopulation, but to suppose that her and her family of 21 are environmentally sound comes dangerously close to Secretary of Defense Herman Cain levels of delusion.

Oh, Marty...

Because the robocall situation, at present, isn't wacko enough, former Guelph Conservative candidate Marty Burke has gone to the police. For being harassed. By reporters.
Since the story about the robocalls broke out into a full blown national scandal, with Guelph as its epicenter, everybody's wanted words with not just the architects of the Burke campaign - like Michael Sona - but with the man himself. True to form though, as he was during last spring's Federal election, Burke has been unreachable. That's no mean feat in this day and age with phones, cell phones, and e-mail.
But when all else fails, you can always try and talk to someone in person, and knock on their front door. Which is what reporters from the Guelph Mercury and on up the journalistic food chain to the Globe and Mail have been resorted to doing. Burke interprets this as harassment, as if he were a private citizen plucked out of the blue to be the centre of a massive conspiracy. Burke may be innocent of any of the robocall shenanigans, but he's more or less set himself up as the default spokesman for the Conservatives in Guelph and has remained an active letter writer in the local paper. But he seems only willing to talk on his terms, and for a public figure, especially under the present circumstances, that's unacceptable.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

2012 Budget: CBC (Only Slightly) Chopped

There were a number of cuts announced in the recent Federal budget, but perhaps none as controversial, or as partisan, as those cuts made to the CBC. Canada's public broadcaster is a joy to millions, but a waste of taxpayers' money to millions more, and for those that fall into the category of the former, the announced three year cuts to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are the fulfillment of a doom-filled prophecy they've been waiting for since Stephen Harper first took office.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Present and Accounted For

The attendance records for the last year of city council are out, and if half the job is showing up, then Guelph citizens should be glad to know that many of their city councillors are batting .500. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Volunteer to Help Clean-Up Guelph

The City of Guelph is looking for some help to make our town green and clean. Below is a press release from the City asking people to register and take part, and telling you how to do it. For my part, I say if you can shut off your lights for an hour this coming Saturday, then you can come out four Saturdays hence and make a more substantive contribution to the local environment. Read the deets after the jump:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Press Release - Run for Earth Hour

While I strongly support any activist action to combat global climate change, I have trouble with Earth Hour because if you can shut off non-essential lights for an hour one night a year, shouldn't you do that all year round? When it comes to these kinds of actions, it boils down to it being literally the very least you can do.
But they say it's the thought that counts, and this is a thought I can feel comfortable counting. Here's a press release promoting the 60km Community Relay for Earth Hour, which will take place on a week from Saturday on March 31st. All the details are below.
60km Community Relay Keeps Momentum for Cutting Electricity - Guelph Lights Out Relay asks for mass participation to remind everyone to switch off lights for Earth Hour
(Guelph, On) March 19, 2012 – Once again, Guelph Environmental Leadership (GEL) is encouraging Guelph residents to join over one billion people worldwide calling for action on climate change by switching off non-essential lights for Earth Hour at 8:30 p.m. on March 31, 2012.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

No Tweets from Cam (For a While)

While reviewing my Twitter feed today, I came across this:  

Typically, someone, anyone, taking a Twitter break isn't newsworthy, but Ward 4 Councillor Cam Guthrie has blazed new ground locally for availability and accessibility via social media by our politicians. Hopefully, whatever might be keeping Cam from tweeting will resolve itself and allow him to tweet again soon.

Friday, March 16, 2012


 Did you line-up for an iPad 3 this morning? Then you probably have too much time on your hands, either that you love redundancy because those are the only two reasons I can figure why someone would get up in the wee small hours, or even camp out overnight, to get the new version of a product that's already on the market, with small improvements, that's readily, and plentifully, available.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Movie Review – Game Change

In modern politics, if you’re not on the attack, then you’re a target, and nobody appreciates that – or practices it – better than Sarah Palin. In the week leading up to this past Saturday’s airing of the HBO movie Game Change, Palin, as well as her supporters and surrogates, launched a salvo decrying the film as a hatchet job on the former Alaska governor based on spurious information given by vindictive former staffers. Of course, if Palin and Co. had watched the film they would have understood better that Game Change does the impossible: it makes her relatable to people that could never in a million years get behind Palin’s politics.

Monday, March 12, 2012

State of the City at 10 Carden

The Guelph Civic League will be hosting a State of the City address with Mayor Karen Farbridge next Wednesday, March 21st from 7 pm to 9 pm. According to the GCL website, the address will take place at 10 Carden Street and those coming are asked to bring a few questions along to ask the Mayor. Light refreshments including snacks and beverages will also be served. The event is free and open to the public.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Press Release - Call to a Rally this Sunday

It started in Vancouver last weekend, and has moved across country now to Toronto and Guelph this Sunday. I got this press release today about the Guelph Rally for Democracy this Sunday downtown. If you're in the mood to protest after church or CNN's Reliable Sources, then make thee down to St. George's Square and follow the below instructions:
Guelph Rally for Democracy, Sunday March 11th, St. George’s Square at 1pm, City Hall at 2pm
This Sunday citizens of Guelph will come together to raise their voices against electoral fraud and to show their support for democracy. This is the same day that similar rallies will be taking place in Toronto, Montréal, Calgary and Peterborough.
This non-partisan event will be focused on specific demands of government, including: an immediate  independent, public inquiry into the fraud; full accountability, including up to the Prime Minister’s Office, if necessary; and by-elections in each affected riding.
There will be speakers from the Council of Canadians, Guelph Labour Council and the University of Guelph’s Central Student Association.
People will meet at St. George’s Square at 1pm with signs and banners, and will walk to City Hall at 2pm.
Supported by: Council of Canadians-Guelph Chapter, U of G Central Students Association, OPIRG, Beyond Occupy, Guelph Wellington Coalition for Social Justice, CUPE, Guelph Labour Council

Raising Cain

In the Republican primary race, no one goes gently into that good night. Take our old friend Herman Cain. The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza - not satisfied with proposing an utterly implausible but phonetically pleasing tax plan, able to offer literally nothing in the way of a point of view on major foreign affairs issues, willing to quote song lyrics from the soundtrack of the Pokemon movie after showing up late for his own concession speech - is keeping his name in the national conversation thanks to his ubiquitous Super PAC.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Guelph NDP Issues Robocall Press Release

Robocall, not Robocop!
The local NDP has sent out a press release, declaring that they are helping to unearth answers in the growing robocall scandal, and are expressing their dismay about the entire affair. Quotes inside include comments from Ontario election candidate James Gordon and other riding association officials. Read through the statement below:
The local NDP Riding Association is doing its part to help find answers in the robo-calls scandal that currently impacts over 45 ridings across Canada.
Recent probes have unearthed information that the same type of robo-calls, allegedly harassing voters and directing them to incorrect polling stations, were made during the provincial election in 2011.
“As a candidate, I’m saddened to hear that these tactics may have been used to discourage people with a real desire to take part in the democratic process.” said James Gordon, the local NDP candidate in the fall 2011 election. “This kind of behavior that makes people feel that the system, and their representatives, aren’t working for them.”
“I can promise you that I’ll continue to work in our community, to earn the votes of Guelphites, in a spirit of transparency, equality and fairness.”
The Guelph NDP (GNDP) encourages anyone who received such a call to be in contact with the Riding Association. The GNDP are collecting any details you may remember, such as the time of the call, any information you may have about the caller, and whether they said that they were calling from Elections Canada.
“The unprecedented campaign of interference with the May 2 election, national in its breadth, represents a very serious threat to the democratic process in Canada,” said David Josephy, Vice-President of the  Federal Riding Association. “The NDP's investigation of this interference would be assisted by any information that our members can provide to us.”
“If you received one of these calls, or any other misleading or harassing phone call on or before election day, we would greatly appreciate it if you would let us know about the incident,” Josephy added.
The Riding Association will forward information that it collects to the federal party, and to Elections Canada.
The Globe and Mail reported February 28th that Cameron Adams, who managed Guelph NDP candidate Bobbi Stewart's campaign in 2007, estimated the campaign office heard from between 10 and 12 people who had received an automated call directing them to another polling station on election day.
“It’s clear to us that voters deserve answers about what took place in our Riding, and so many others across the country,” said Cecilie Rosairus, President of the local Riding Association. “We expect that political parties will conduct themselves with integrity, and in a way that shows respect to their constituents.”