About the Blog:

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

Monday, July 27, 2009

HCBP Protest Update

So I just got back from my venture to the Hanlon Creek Business Park site, as well as a brief layover to change clothes after getting caught in today's torrential downpour.

Anyway it seemed deceptively quiet at first as I approached the site. A few protesters were greeting people in front of a path on Downey that led into the site where they have set up camp. Ominously, two police cars stand as sentries about 25 metres apart on the other side of the road, one of the guys I walked to the site with remarked that he believed they were there to watch in case of trouble.

Before I got to the protesters campsite I was greeted by two people who identified themselves as the protest's media spokespeople. They said their names were "Faren Carbridge" and "Keter Partwright." As slow as I occasionally am sometimes, it wasn't until later that I realized that these were code names, references to Mayor Karen Farbridge and Peter Cartwright, the City's Manager of Economic Development Services.

I talked to "Faren" and "Keter" for about 15 minutes, what was clear was their passion and their disappointment in the city. Apparently, earlier today a city representative had visited the site and warned the protesters that they were trespassing, though it seems that no other action other than the delivery of the warning was taken.

"Faren" articulated that she was "disgusted by city hall" for promoting their environmental friendliness through the building's green roof while apparently overlooking the protection of greenspace by letting the HCBP to go forward. She also said that she's been following the "bureaucratic process," including the recent push by LIMITS, to reach some kind of accord concerning the HCBP site, though she's unsurprised that it's led to a dead end.

Currently on the site there are between 30-40 people, said "Faren" and "Keter," they add though that they're part of a network of people across the city who are actively opposed to the HCBP. A "welcoming committee" was supposed to greet people attending the council meeting tonight made up of anti-HCBP supporters. "Faren" said that the group intends to stay on site until September 15th, the last possible day construction crews can begin work, although she added that the group gathered at the HCBP is ready to talk to city representatives.

More news as it develops.

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