About the Blog:

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

Friday, August 8, 2008

Plans and Acquisitions

It`s been a busy week in press conferences for Tom King in matters both important and trivial. First, Wednesday morning's press gathering at City Hall tackled the matter of the NDP’s Green-Collar Jobs Strategy for Guelph and Southwestern Ontario. King was joined by Windsor MPs Joe Comartin (Windsor-Tecumseh) and Brian Masse (Windsor-West), as well as federal candidates, Malcolm Allen (Welland) and Ryan Dolby (Elgin-Middlesex-London).

“We cannot sustain continued job losses with no plan from either Harper or Dion to do something about it," said Comartin in a press release. "We need to talk about good paying, high quality sustainable jobs that are part of the new energy economy. Those are green-collar jobs.”

“High skills training will be needed to power the new energy economy," added King. "The University of Guelph is a world-class institution and Conestoga is a leading community college. We have the infrastructure and capacity in Guelph. Now we just need the political will to make it happen. And that’s what the green-collar jobs plan is all about. New clean, green opportunities for Guelph.”

The NDP green-collar job plan includes:
• grants and training spaces for green-collar jobs
• new training partnerships with Provincial and Territorial Governments and with First Nations
• new labour market tools to measure needs and gaps in the new energy sector, so that recruitment and certification match up with trends and future needs
• expanded national green building and retrofit programs, including specific programming for low-income households.

Today, the topic was the new, additional fees for cell-phone text messaging. Jack Layton returned to Guelph to make an announcement on the matter, coincidentally or not so coincidentally, on the same day that Bell Mobility implemented their new fees.

“Cell phone companies want to charge consumers 15 cents for each text message they receive, including spam. While the average CEO in Canada makes more on New Year’s Day than the average Canadian employee makes in a year,” said Layton in a press release. “It’s no wonder a record number of corporations want to hike up prices – the people ordering the price increases can afford them.”

Sure text messaging fees are an important issue to some people, and the Conservative government's response of business is as business does (also known as the never-faltering belief in the free market no matter how many people get screwed, see: Enron), but is it really that close to the top of the list, I wonder. Certainly Layton doesn't need an excuse to come to Guelph. He's been here so much I say let's make him an honorary citizen. Oh, and he's so right about that CEO thing.

Finally, let's everyone take this opportunity to acknowledge candidate number five: Karen Levenson of the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada. "This is an important election, and we believe this is an important riding," Levenson told the Guelph Mercury adding that she's pushing for Guelph-specific policies, in particular an anti-trapping bylaw for the city. "A little dog was killed in December of 2006 in a conibear trap while walking in an area used as an off-leash dog park in the city. There shouldn't be traps set within the city limits of Guelph."

"The Green party probably has the strongest stance in terms of the environment, but nobody is really talking about animals," Levenson added. "They are the voiceless and they need to be talked about."

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