About the Blog:

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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Editorial Series – Part the First: Labour Pains

If you follow me in Echo, then you know that last week I started a summer editorial series that's not so much news as a vessel for my semi-informed opinions and various semi-witty remarks.The reasons are multi-faceted: burn-out following the impromptu spring election,  slow news in the summer, and another election to prep for in the fall. Sometimes these pieces started as ideas for blog posts on Politico, but in all it's an experiment that's helping me get my head together for a book I want to write about modern politics. 
So unless something rreally huge happens, I'll be chruning these out once a week until the end of August. I'll re-reun them here once the Echo issue is pulled from the racks. If you have any ideas, comments or anything else to say, feel free to post.
[T]he big news everywhere last week was labour disruptions; Canada Post was locked out by management after a week and half of rolling strikes, and Air Canada’s service and sales staff walked out. These types of situations make people question the current status of the labour union in North America. In the harsh, almost heartless environment of 21st century corporate culture, some are asking the question, why do some employees represented by unions get perks and rights the average worker can only dream about, and what nerve do they have in wanting more?
Earlier this year, certain state governments in the United States believed that the solution to budget deficits was simple: eliminate collective bargaining. School teachers paid by the state will take what they get and be darn lucky for the privilege. I know Krusty the Klown once observed on one of his downward slides that, “Everywhere I go I see teachers driving Ferraris, [and] research scientists drinking champagne.” But in real life you’re more apt to see an American public school teacher riding on an actual horse to work before a Ferrari.
But in Canada, we are not immune to such anti-union fervour either. The outdoor workers strike in Toronto in 2009 had more people siding with the City of Toronto than it did with the workers, many of who were garbage men and women whose picket line meant no garbage pick-up for nearly a month in the middle of the summer. One might say conditions were ripe for animosity, but I won’t because that is a pun and puns are the lowest form of humour.
What’s not funny is that unions, once the salvation and inspiration for workers everywhere, are now being seen as an element of the elite. With the erosion of the manufacturing sector, unionized workers are now mostly relegated to the public sector, and if that didn’t make public sector workers an appealing target for scorn by the common man before, it most certainly does now. To said common man, public unions have protection, they have benefits, they have good wages, and they have some degree of job security. They have a lot of nerve wanting more.
Of course getting more is what all workers have strived to achieve through collective bargaining. Whether it was having the right to reasonable working hours and decent pay, or the securing more vacation time and better benefits, workers used to be united in pushing The Man for more perks and opportunities. Like in all things, the landscape between then and now has changed considerably, and now people seem content to complain about the unions that still exist and have influence rather than stepping up and demanding better for themselves.
It’s understandable why though. Trapped in a middle ground, people are on the one hand concerned that direction action in their place of work will result in their unemployment, and on the other hand there’s the fact that the conditions modern workers face rather pale in comparison to the conditions that drove workers to unionize in the first place. Still, it was about as easy then as it is now to get people to take the plunge and risk unionizing. But as they say: no risk, no reward. And perhaps if we have a problem with the rewards other people are receiving, we should be better prepared to take up certain risks to get just as good for ourselves.

Ode to the Graffiti Tunnel

The big news this week was that several downtown merchants had had enough of the hippie-dippy "It'll be worth it," be-cool speak of Guelph Remastered and went all invasion of Panama on City Hall. You don't get something for nothing in this world, and although I'm sure the merchants on upper Carden would appreciate the construction crew stepping on the gas a little (especially after nearly half a decade of construction), the old adage is true: you can't fight City Hall. Or you can, but but you can't really match the time and resources they have at their disposal.
But I'm here to lament another signature piece of Downtown Guelphicana: the Graffiti Tunnel, the underground passageway that connects Neeve St to the lot behind the Greyhound terminal. It's walled up now on both ends, and I believe it will never be unwalled again, which is a shame because it's one of those minor aesthetic touches that I think makes the downtown rather interesting. Even though, ultimately, it was rather useless on a practical level.
While sometimes waiting for the Toronto bus early in the morning on a weekday, I noticed that people arriving to work downtown, but parking on the other side of the tracks, would simply walk across the tracks rather than use the tunnel. No I can understand the fear or dark tunnels... at night, but drug dealers and criminals usually aren't working at 8 in the morning. Still, the obvious functionality of the tunnel, through a combination of fear and laziness, meant it only sat there and left to crumble. 
Instead, the Graffiti Tunnel stood more as a conversation piece, a location of interest, and an ever-changing, organic art gallery. I know some people don't see the art in graffiti, or at least the graffiti that is actually artful (spray-painting your name in a funky font doesn't count). It was a little touch of seedy underbelley that was also mostly safe. A fascinating little detail of downtown that doesn't make much sense and might even be a little out of place. I don't know if the blocks will come off, or if the tunnel will be reopened, but I'll always have a fondness for it. Call me crazy.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

James Gordon Gets Nastee

I enjoy the "From the Editors" blog on the Guelph Mercury website. It ofter offers very interesting insight into the behind the scenes process of putting out the daily paper. 
I noticed a post the other day where a letter from singer,songwriter, Provincial NDP candidate James Gordon was posted, suggesting that the touchy subject matter of his new musical Nasteé Business (hint it's about a local business that also has an 'e' with an accent aigu in its name) was preventing the paper from providing coverage. Managing Editor Phil Andrews asserted that this was not the case, and as it turned out, the whole thing had to do with a miscommunication where in someone assigned to spread the word about the play ended up dropping the ball.
So all's well that ends well, and now I do my part to promote this local production. Not because its Gordon's and he's now a local politician, but because it sounds interesting and its always good to invest time and support local arts. Here's the lowdown on Nasteé Business. 
Nasteé Business is James Gordon's new musical play. An innovative multi-media full-length production, Nasteé Business examines the growing tensions between disparate elements in our modern society: corporations and activists, consumers and environmentalists, those who put the money first and those who cherish and nurture our most sacred resource: water. An entertaining work of fiction loosely based on the campaign to stop the water-taking permit of a certain multi-national corporation, the play asks the question "How can we all get on the same side?" It features actors, singers, giant puppets, contemporary dance sequences, video, karaoke, 15 original songs, spoken-word and hip hop pieces and audience participation!
This is Gordon's 3rd major musical, eagerly anticipated after the success of his earlier folk opera "Hardscrabble Road" and his Hillbilly musical version of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' "Tryst and Snout".
The songwriter/playwright/producer/activist and aspiring politician is joined onstage by an exciting young cast including Gabriella Sundar Singh, Jenikz, Kevin Sutton, Julia Krauss, Tanya Williams, puppeteer Deb Murray and special guests. Designed by Barb Bryce. For information, contact James Gordon.
DATES: June 28, 29, 30
LOCATION: Guelph Little Theatre, 176 Morris Street
TICKETS: $25 dollars, or $15 if you are a starving artist or you are hard up

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Eve of Destruction for Greyhound Terminal

Take a last look around commuters, because the old Greyhound terminal is coming down in next couple of weeks and all out-of-town buses are being moved to the Fountain Street parking lot at the corner of Fountain Street and Wyndham. Sadly, this means that accessing the temporary bus terminal is going to be a pain for anyone coming in from downtown (Wyndham Street is closed between Carden and Farquhar remember), but 'tis the price of progress I suppose. Here's the city's press release:
GUELPH, ON, June 22, 2011 – Guelph’s Greyhound station is being razed in order to build a new inter-modal transit terminal and, while construction continues on the Carden Street site, Greyhound and GO Transit service will operate from a temporary location in the Fountain Street parking lot at the corner of Wyndham Street and Fountain Street.
"Three trailers are scheduled to arrive today," says City of Guelph Project Manager Andrew Janes. “Crews will connect water and wastewater services for two public washrooms, Guelph Hydro, Bell Canada and Rogers Communications will connect all the necessary utilities and, once that work is finished, the temporary station will be up and running."
Greyhound and GO Transit plan to start picking up and dropping off passengers at the temporary station on Tuesday, July 5. The station will continue to serve Greyhound and GO Transit patrons until the new inter-modal transit terminal is completed in November.
Pedestrian routes are also affected by construction in the area. Greyhound and GO Transit patrons can use Wilson Street, Gordon Street or Woolwich/Wellington Street to walk between the temporary station and parking areas downtown.
Also, Guelph Transit has added temporary stops to a number of routes to help riders access the temporary Greyhound/GO bus station.
About the inter-modal transit terminal
Guelph’s new inter-modal transit terminal will be located on Carden Street between Wyndham Street and Macdonell Street. The terminal is designed to improve connections between Guelph’s local bus service and regional public transit systems including Greyhound, GO Transit and VIA Rail. The City began construction on the $8 million facility in June 2010. The project is scheduled to be complete by October 31, 2011 in order to take advantage of $5.3 million in Provincial and Federal Infrastructure Stimulus Funds. Renovations inside the Guelph’s VIA Rail station will continue through 2012.
Further information and project updates are available at guelph.ca/construction

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's This...?

Something strange happened yesterday, I someone in a hard hat on the Gummer Building construction site. And today, there's new fencing up, sounds of tools clanging, and is the crane in a different position than it was once in? I think it might be, which could mean that after nearly three years of going nowhere fast, the construction along Douglas St on the (should be by now) newly refurbished Gummer Building is underway once more.
I think the hows and whys of the Gummer reconstruction and ceasing there of have been pretty well covered by myself and others, so let me just take a moment to utter a sigh of relief. I know the people that live and work along there will be glad to be rid of the eyesore that is the hollowed out husk of a building with its new skeleton, that was supposed to be the start of a building. And let's not forget the ugly construction fence that was slowly getting uglier due to neglect. Given the fact that I see it every day, to me, economic recovery really begins when construction on this site gets back into a full swing. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Legal Battle with Health Unit Heats Up

The City of Guelph’s showdown with the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Health Unit appears to be getting uglier, with City Hall stepping up on legal action against the WDGHU. In a press release last Wednesday, the City said that it’s expanding its legal actions against the WDGHU Board beyond its court action in March to stop the health Unit from proceeding with the construction of two new facilities, here and in Orangeville. The total cost of the construction comes to about $17 million, with Guelph’s share cashing out at about $10 million. The court action in March was to also determine how much of a financial obligation the city has to the project as typically the Government of Ontario kicks in 75 per cent of the Health Unit’s costs.
"We are scheduled to be in court on July 11 to argue the City’s request for a temporary injunction," says City Solicitor, Donna Jaques. "Unfortunately, the Board served the City with additional court documents and is asking the court to make a final determination on the City’s claim on that date. As a result, the City has no choice but to seek an order adding the County of Wellington and the County of Dufferin to the litigation as they are, in the City’s opinion, necessary parties to any final resolution of the issues."
The City also wants to make sure that they have their ducks in row in order to follow up on their threat to withdraw from the WDGHU under the terms of the 1997 agreement with Wellington and Dufferin counties. And while their at it, the city wants to make sure that construction on the Orangeville facility doesn’t go forward while this thing’s still in court on our end.
“We are committed to continuing to work with the Province in the hopes of resolving this issue,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “In the meantime, the court process continues, and we are ensuring that all proper parties are included and all issues are before the court.”
The Mayor was finally able to have a conversation with Premiere Dalton McGuinty about the kafuffle with the Health Unit last month, and the Mayor called their talk “a very good discussion.” In a statement from his office, the Premier asked Farbridge to draft a letter expressing her concerns, which he would to Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews adding “his continuing desire” that the city, health unit and partner counties “find a positive way forward that works for all parties.”
I guess we’ll see what happens as summer rolls on.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Transit's Got Your New Ride

If you're at all interested in seeing what Guelph Transit it going to look like with its fancy new routes and schedules this fall, then you might like to get out to one of the following info sessions and see what you'll be getting into this November. Here's the news from Transit.
GUELPH, ON, June 13, 2011 – Guelph Transit is making it easier and more convenient than ever to travel using public transit. New bus routes, service schedules and bus stops are planned and Guelph Transit is holding information sessions over the next two weeks to share information about pending route and schedule changes.
The route and service changes will start in November this year.
WHAT Information Nights at various locations around the city
WHO All residents, employers, community groups, Guelph Transit riders
Tuesday, June 14 – Guelph Public Library, Westminster Square Branch, 100-31 Farley Drive, 3-7 p.m.
Thursday, June 16 – West End Recreation Centre, 21 Imperial Road South, 3-7 p.m.
Tuesday, June 21– Evergreen Seniors Centre, 683 Woolwich Street, 3-7 p.m.
Thursday, June 23 – City Hall, 1 Carden Street, 3-7 p.m.
Visit guelphtransit.ca for more information, including a sample of the new routes.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Story After the Story

If you read this week's "Guelph Beat" in Echo Weekly, you might have taken it as an afront to the anonymous poster who, on this blog a few weeks ago, called into question my credentials to cover local politics. I was afraid that that's how it might read, though that wasn't my intent. A thick skin is necessary in this business. Not everybody is going to agree with you all the time, and the nature of the internet makes it easy for people to lash out with impunity. So notes of this nature are to be expected, if not encouraged. The galvanizing nature of modern politics makes it more inevitable than ever.
What's interesting is that the post came after I had officially left Marty Burke and the 41st Federal Election in the past. More than enough had been said about Burke and the way he waged his campaign, and the two sides of that argument were never going to concede anything. I was prepared, and am still prepared to let sleeping dogs lie. You may have noticed this week that Burke's restarted his letter-writing to the Mercury that had rather insulting language in regards to the current status of his former opponent Frank Valeriote. Despite the fact that it constituted about as much direct contact between Burke and Mercury as the entirety of the campaign, and no matter how much the reptilian part of my brain wanted to comment, I let it go.
Still, the piece in this week's Echo, despite being kind of self-centred, struck to the heart of something I've been experiencing as of the last campaign. The poster referred to in my column basically supposed that my coverage should be marginalized because a) I'm not part of a party, and b) that by working freelance and using Blogger, I cannot, and should not, be considered a legitimate news source (Even if the Guelph Mercury itself disagrees.)
I hope the piece stands by itself as a warning that our politics are entering dangerous territory, where the media is being treated by the party in power as an enemy to be obfuscated, and that anyone that disagrees with you is someone who should be pushed into silence. The total war to politics is become more and more a real threat with each passing poll.
In case you missed it, here's this week's enhanced "Guelph Beat."
So I was thumbing through NOW (like I usually do) and I came across a letter regarding a past issue about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his push to privatize the city’s garbage pick-up.
“I read your article on the garbage debate and sensed a little bitterness toward our mayor,” wrote Mike Holt. (Of course where he got an idea like that, I’ll never know.) “I, for one, am very proud of the citizens of Toronto for electing Rob Ford and feel he is doing a wonderful job. I savour every defeat of the socialist councillors and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”
He continued, “First Ford, then a majority for the federal Conservatives, and in October a landslide victory for the PCs in Ontario. I have never been prouder to be a Canadian.”
A couple of things concerned me while reading these words. One is the fact that in order for this man to be a proud Canadian, the majority of Canadians must support his political views, and two is the continuing notion of total warfare in politics that I’ve been seeing ever since the commencement of the last Federal Election.
To bring this back to Guelph, someone posted a comment on my blog, Guelph Politico, shortly after I adjourned for the Victoria Day long weekend. The comment was attached to a story I wrote about Conservative candidate Marty Burke a couple of days after the May 2nd election. I don’t think I had given a second thought to Burke or his disastrous campaign since hitting ‘Post’ on that article, but what was it that Al Pacino said famously in The Godfather Part III…

“Just curious as to what you feel qualifies you as any type of political expert?” asked the anonymous poster. Well there’s this monthly cheque I get from Echo Weekly. But seriously, what? Am I being called out? Because that’s what it feels like. But the poster goes further.
“Have you a graduate degree in political science? Have you worked behind the scenes for any of the parties? Are you a party member?” he or she asks.
First, I do not have a degree in political science. I have a plain old BA in History from the University of Guelph, where I also did take a several political courses. You know who else got a BA in History from the U of G? David Akin, an Ottawa reporter for CTV, Global and now host of The Daily Brief on the Sun News Network. Like me, he cut his journalistic teeth as Editor-in-Chief of the student paper The Ontarion.
As for the other two questions, no, I’ve neither worked behind the scenes for a party, nor have I been a party member. Do I have to be in order to better understand politics? One of the reasons I’ve never signed up for a party is because I enjoy by status as an independent. I find it better to keep my political options open, at the very least to make it easier for me to appear impartial as political reporter and commentator. But honestly, I’ve never in my adult life found myself drawn enough to a particular party to be a member.
“Or have you just taken the five minutes it takes to fire up a new blog through blogger, and viola you consider yourself and therefore implicitly demand others respect your opinion because you’ve actually taken 20 minutes and written an article? [sic]”
Well I’m not sure that sentence entirely makes sense, but I get your gist. And it actually took me 10 minutes to set up the blog and that includes choosing the template, and adding the words “Guelph Politico” to a picture of Guelph’s skyline I took for the banner. Oh, and then there’s the over 500 posts I’ve generated in nearly three years, and the hours I’ve invested in writing and doing research and searching out contacts and going to various events.
And I don’t demand others respect, I just seem to get it. Here are the names of a few people that have treated me like a journalist: Frank Valeriote, Liz Sandals, Mayor Karen Farbridge, the entirety of the 2006-10, and the 2011-14 city councils, Jack Layton, Elizabeth May, Stephane Dion, and numerous candidates in elections at all levels of government. And that’s just politics.
“Sorry Adam I see so much horse shit in your articles, plain lies in fact. You’re actually very lucky no one has decided to sue your ass yet.” Well, if they did decide to “sue my ass” as you say, I hope they enjoy their settlement win of X-Men comics and old Babylon 5 tapes (RIP Jeff Conway, AKA: Security Chief Zack Allen).
I won’t bother to ask Anonymous to point out the “plain lies” I’ve perpetuated. “Lying” has become a blanket term used by people of all political stripes to attack people that disagree with them. My conduct and my credentials have never been called into question until this past election cycle, and I’m sorry to say that it’s because of the growing stte of poisonous partisanship.
Speaking on violence after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy said that hatred forces us to look at our brother like aliens, “Alien men with whom we share a city, but not a community.” He asked people to remember that “that those who live with us are our brothers,” and that perhaps “we can begin to work a little harder, to become in our hearts brothers and countrymen once again.”
May the same be said of us after a nasty election.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Shelter from the Storm

I guess today we all know why now we're the Guelph Storm in OHL hockey. But all kidding aside, did you see that storm last night? Between the recent storms and the heat wave, one wonders how the weather this summer is going play out considering it isn't even technically summer yet.
But back to last night's storm. This morning's Police Blotter said that Guelph Police received over 60 calls concerning storm related damage through the night, and more were still coming in this morning as sunlight brought a better chance to measure the full extent of the damage. 
On her blog, Mayor Karen Farbridge offered a sampling of what City crew were dealing with out there today, and its pretty incredible. Hopefully all you people out there in blog-land have weathered the storm well, and didn't have to deal with too much of this:
  • Staff have received approx. 250 storm calls as of approx. 1:00pm today.
  • Staff first received calls at ~1:30am, including a report from Guelph Police Services reporting at 300m stretch of Laird Road being blocked by trees
  • I can’t confirm how many city trees had been impacted city-wide, but suggest at least one tree per call on average
  • I can’t confirm the number of downed trees that will require complete removal at this time, as staff hasn’t had full opportunity to assess
  • The damage from this storm was worse than last Saturday’s event, and is the worst storm damage I have seen during my 4 ½ yr. tenure with the City.
  • Staff are dealing with trees on houses, cars, and blocking roads and sidewalks—opening our roads was a priority as a matter of access for EMS vehicles.
  • A number of hydro lines were down which precluded immediate access by Forestry staff in some instances—Hydro was required to ensure safe access.
  • As of 1:00pm, we were aiming to have the last of or our residential roads opened by 3:00pm—-where closed, the local residents had an outlet; however, there was no through traffic.
  • As well, staff were assessing our park/trail system for damaged/hazard trees—such trees found/reported have been cordoned-off with safety tape until such time as Forestry staff can address them, i.e., Sunny Acres, Silvercreek, John Gamble and Drummond Park. Forestry staff plan to get into the parks tomorrow, however, soft turf conditions will make for an additional challenge for our heavy equipment to remove the wood debris.
  • Staff will be working into the evening and we’re planning for another 12 hour day tomorrow.
  • Staff anticipate this latest storm will require 2-3 weeks to fully address the clean-up and this clean-up activity will directly impact our planned activity for forestry service requests.
  • We do not provide assistance for damaged private trees, apart from those blocking roads and sidewalks and that homeowners should seek assistance from private forestry contractors who are both ISA certified and fully insured.

Steve Dyck Will Be Green for Guelph

The Guelph branch of the Green Party of Ontario voted between the two men who put their names forward to represent the GPO for the Royal City in the upcoming Provincial Election last night, and Steve Dyck seems to be the man they want Guelph to send to Queen's Park. Dyck, a long time Green Party campaigner, beat out former Ward 4 City Councillor Mike Salisbury for the honour. 
So who is Steve Dyck? Here's his GPO bio:
A long time enthusiast for the Green Party’s approach to environmental, social, and economic sustainability, Steve decided to run for the GPO candidacy because he believes he has the energy and skills to engage people in the democratic process. A highly creative and socially engaged problem solver, Steve is equipped to represent Guelph and serve in Provincial Parliament, bringing long-term solutions to Ontario’s challenges. Steve takes action in the community.
  • He is President of Guelph Solar Mechanical Inc., a solar heating solutions company which leads Guelph business owners and residents to participate in energy conservation programs.
  • Steve stands up for democracy, the University of Guelph’s intellectual integrity and the environment, by continuing to raise Chancellor Wallin’s actions as a Senator to end debate on climate change.
  • A trained mediator who voluntarily assists community members to mutually resolve differences, Steve builds bridges between people by using democratic processes to identify common values and create solutions.
  • Steve coordinates the Guelph chapter of Green Drinks, a social networking group connecting citizens and businesses in the environmental industry.
The time is right for Steve to seek political office: Ontario’s energy crisis requires renewable energy expertise. As he and Vera, his partner of 20 years, send their two teenagers out into the world, Steve is enthusiastic about bringing his years as a parent, volunteer, activist, project manager, and small business owner to the political arena.
“Community building is central to the future of the Green Party,” says Steve, a philosophy he has demonstrated by opening his home for events that have become known as “Fun with Steve” nights, engaging neighbours and building Green Party membership while enjoying locally sourced food.
Steve’s central values are long- term commitment to the things that matter: building healthy relationships and communities, and having a great time doing it.
Next up, the NDP will officially make James Gordon their nominee on Monday. Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath will be in town that night to welcome Gordon to the campaign. Interestingly, GPO leader Mike Schreiner was the key note speaker at last night's AGM, which I believe was the second time in as many weeks that Schreiner's been in Guelph. 
Is Guelph a seriously in play riding this provincial election? I guess we'll know that if Dalton McGuinty and Tim Hudak roll up the Hanlon Expressway this summer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Women Build Launches Saturday

Women in Guelph are banding together this summer to build a house for a family in need and it begins with a blessing of the foundation on Saturday June 4th, 9 am to 10 am along with a Meet the Neighbours.
Habitat for Humanity Wellington County’s Women Build are looking for women who are willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in. They’re building a single detached home at 439 York Road and they need volunteer builders on site from June through to September, Tuesdays through Saturdays. Tools, lunch and training are provided. Registered volunteers can also attend free skills workshops so they can feel more comfortable with power tools before their build day.
Additionally, volunteer builders are being asked to raise a minimum of $150. That will get you up to three days on the build site. For a $25 administration fee, you can have eight days or more on-site. And if building doesn't appeal to you, you can still participate by fundraising. Anyone who raises $500 will be entered into a draw for a hot air balloon ride for two.
Women can also put together a team of 10 and build with friends and family. The fee is $1,500. Women Build is also looking for corporate sponsors for financial or in-kind donations.
Men are also allowed to participate, but the point of Women Build is to promote women as leaders and provide an opportunity for women to learn new skills, to build confidence, to work in solidarity, and to really make a difference to a family.
Stable housing is a critical factor in raising a family out of poverty. Habitat for Humanity homes are sold to the recipient family at market value and the organization holds the mortgage with payments geared-to-income. Mortgage payments help to fund subsequent builds.
The recipient family also puts in 500 volunteer hours building their home. It’s very likely you could be working along-side a family member.
Registration and payment is easy online. You'll also find out more about how to get in shape for build day, ideas for fundraising, and information about our special events.
During Saturday morning’s event you can meet the participant family, meet the Women Build project leaders, see the unveiling of ‘The Powder Room,’ the prettiest outhouse on a construction site and learn more about the project.
As well, you can follow Women Build on Twitter @hfhwc and join the conversation with #womenbuildhthwc, or you can join the Facebook group at www.facebook.com/hghwc. You can also check out the website at http://www.habitatwellington.on.ca/womenbuild.html
Construction will begin on June 7th.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Valeriote Three Times Critical

Behold! The first press release from Frank Valeriote's second term as Guelph's MP.
For Immediate Release
Ottawa – Recognizing Guelph as the epicenter for agricultural and food research in Canada and home to Linamar and numerous other auto parts manufacturers, today Liberal Leader Bob Rae appointed Guelph MP Frank Valeriote to three critic portfolios: Agriculture and Agri-Food, Rural Affairs and Auto Policy.
As a member of the Agriculture and Agri-Food committee Valeriote constantly brought experts from Guelph to Ottawa to testify on important matters concerning the competitiveness of Canadian farms and other farming and agri food issues. Valeriote has also worked diligently with agricultural organizations and experts from Guelph towards the development of a national food policy and a better understanding of farm and food issues.
As the former Chair of the Liberal Auto Caucus Valeriote fought hard to save thousands of jobs in the Canadian auto sector and helped to successfully prevent the closure of 13 automobile dealerships, including one in Guelph.
Guelph MP Frank Valeriote said “I’m delighted to have been made the Liberal critic for Agriculture and Agrifood, Rural Policy and Auto Policy. In these roles I will continue to rely on Guelph-based expertise to fight to keep Canadian farms and the Canadian auto industry vital and competitive. I will also fight to make sure we thoroughly review the benefits and risks associated with newly recommended agriculture and agrifood policy coming from the Agriculture and Agri Food Committee to ensure it is to the benefit of producers and consumers alike.”
Valeriote continued “when I was elected I pledged to bring the voices of the people of Guelph to Ottawa and I will continue to rely on Guelph based experts and organizations to help shape national agricultural, food, rural and auto policy.”