About the Blog:

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

GUELPH POLITICAST #96 - June Hofland on the Lafarge Site

What was once an oasis from urban sprawl, a developed piece of land that nature had reclaimed from a century of industry, is once again a big empty field ready for construction. For over a decade, the area residents that enjoyed this natural space, and its tress and trails, have been dreading this moment, and the journey is far from over.
Having said that, we don't know where we're going with the development of the so-called Lafarge lands. Despite the urgent urgency of clearing the land, evident from the sudden approval of an application to remove trees back in July, no rezoning or construction plan has been filed with City Hall. Many of the long-term residents in the area are now concerned that all that work in the past, the 10 year journey to agree to terms and conditions for development between the neighbourhood, the City and the landowners, will be paved over like so many trees. Two-thousand of them.
Considering that the question of what to do with this land goes back over a decade, it's entirely possible that there are people reading this for whom how the start of this story pre-dates their time in Guelph. For context, what we need is to go back to the beginning. What was negotiated? When was it complete? Where are we going now? Why the sudden urgency? Who could help us answer these questions?
That last one was easy to answer. Before she was Ward 3 Councillor June Hofland, she was citizen activist June Hofland. Hofland, along with some of her neighbours, formed a group called the Howitt Park Neighbourhood Residents Association and began the long, difficult process of working with all parties to reach an agreement to development the Lafarge lands in a way that all parties would be satisfied with. The process went all the way to the Ontario Municipal Board, and then.... Nothing happened. Until this past summer.
That part, you probably know about. On this week's podcast, we get into the wayback machine with Councillor Hofland as she takes us on a journey that lead to peace and hope for a reasonable development on the Lafarge lands, and a journey that ended up taking Hofland herself on a side trip to city council. One of the things I think people have found Politico valuable for is stopping the deluge of current events in order to provide a historical context, and here we are again.
Anyway, the wayback machine awaits on this week's Guelph Politicast.

Stay tuned for further developments about development on the Lafarge site, and you can search Guelph Politico's archives to get more information about where we've come from on this issue.
The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.
The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.
Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

Monday, September 18, 2017

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for September 18, 2017


The first report from the first service review comes to council for discussion tonight. You can click here for the agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico's preview of tonight's meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of tonight's council meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Scientology Coming to Guelph?

If certain sources are to be believed, the answer is yes. Edward Pickersgill, who runs a mobile version of the Out of Poverty Centre just outside its old headquarters at 40 Baker Street, says that the Church of Scientology has rented the entire building, and they're moving in.

Democracy Guelph Still Hopeful on Reform at Street Celebration


Earlier this summer, the House of Commons seemed to put the final nail in the coffin on electoral reform when the government voted against accepting the recommendations of the special Commons committee. Democracy Guelph is aiming to say though that the coffin hasn't been nailed shut. In fact, there is no coffin.

Friday, September 15, 2017

MANGEZ! Dine Safe Guide for September 1-15, 2017


Twice-monthly, Guelph Politico posts the latest inspection results from the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit inspection of local restaurants, hotels, cafes, grocery stores and other businesses that handle food. We call it "Mangez!", and this column highlights the latest inspections done by WDGPH, and the results they've posted.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the September 25 Meeting?


This month's council meeting covers the library, downtown expansion, and this year's United Way campaign, as well as any lingering concerns from reports previously brought forward at this month's Committee-of-the-Whole meeting. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for September 13, 2017


More questions concerning the management of Guelph Hydro will be address tonight. You can click here for the agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico's preview of tonight's meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of tonight's council meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

GUELPH POLITICAST #95 - Brad Evoy, OPIRG

You've heard the name, but what do you know about OPIRG aside from it being a group in Guelph that likes hugging trees and being total SJWs? Okay, so those things are technically true, and OPIRG is proud of it thank-you-very-much! But if you've ever wanted to go inside OPIRG and get the bigger picture about how and why they tick, then this podcast's for you.

Monday, September 11, 2017

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for September 11, 2017


Sure, it's a short agenda, but those always seem to be the most controversial... You can click here for the amended agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico's preview of tonight's meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of tonight's council meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Naomi Klein Tells Guelph We're Less Radical Than Peterborough


A hush came over the audience as Naomi Klein entered the room. She hadn’t even taken the stage yet, all she had to do was walk in... This was a crowd that was ready and willing to hear the message, "No Is Not Enough", which is also the title of Klein's new book, and the author/journalist/provocateur was ready to get everyone at War Memorial Hall hyped in order to spread that message.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review Says Solid Waste is "Competitive" on 5 Out of 6 Categories


The week began with concern that the City of Guelph was about to lower the boom on its employees at Solid Waste, but the interim report of the service review on that department says that, for the most part, Solid Waste is delivering its services "in-line and competitive" with other municipalities. At least, that's how they're doing on five out of six categories the review explored anyway.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the September 13 Meeting?


A busy month at council rolls on with a short, but consequential, meeting concerning the organization of the Guelph Hydro board of directors. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

LIVE BLOG: Committee of the Whole for September 5, 2017

We begin the fall session with money matters. So get out your abacus and get ready to go over variances with this month's Committee-of-the-Whole. You can click here for the amended agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico's preview of today's meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of today's committee meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Monday, September 4, 2017

"Dark Clouds" Loom on an Otherwise Sunny Labour Day Picnic


Members of the CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) Local 241 couldn't enjoy their Labour Day as much as they would have liked, for they're concerned that some members might be looking at their last Labour Day as employees of the City of Guelph.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

VIDEO: Some Kinks and Confusion on the First Ride of the #99

Months of hard work led to this: the launch of the new Guelph Transit route system and schedule. The City of Guelph kicked things off with an inaugural ride on the new northbound #99 Mainline as members of city council, transit staff, and commuters all boarded the bust to see if all the prep and promotion had paid off.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

This Week in Press Releases - August 25-September 1, 2017

Every week, the City of Guelph and other groups send out notices to announce new events, imperatives, and information that you need to know. Here is this week in press releases.

Friday, September 1, 2017

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the September 11 Meeting?


This month's planning will have a single, straightforward new planning application to dispatch, but how will the neighbourhood residents feel about it? We'll have all night to consider it...