About the Blog:

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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Guthrie Plans New Year Surprise

It appears that there's enough time in 2013 for one last surprise, and Cam Guthrie is it's author. An invite was sent out to media this afternoon for an announcement at the noon hour on Thursday January 2nd. The subject? "2014 Municipal election intentions," the e-vite said. Interesting, right? While it is possible, I doubt that Guthrie would hold a press event first thing in the new year to announcement his re-election campaign for Ward 4 councillor, so it begins the question: does Guthrie have his eye on the top seat? Is he announcing his run for mayor on Thursday? Stay tuned.

Press Release - Ice Storm Clean-Up Continues...

Re-establishing power to all homes was just the beginning, there's still a city full of downed trees and branches to clean-up. As the emphasis is less on the power side of things, the city's looking to start the nitty gritty of cleaning up all the debris. Nearly two weeks later, there's still a lot of loose shrubbery lying around, and that appears to be the next phase of the aftermath efforts as a press release from City Hall today seems to indicate.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Guelph Politicast #2.4 - Andy Best, Guelph Civic League

To close out the year, and to kick off the election year that's coming, the final Guelph Politicast of 2013 is an interview with Guelph Civic League President Andy Best.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Top 10 Documentaries of 2013

If you’re looking to take a break from all your troubles this holiday, might I suggest ploughing into someone else’s? The documentary remains a great vehicle for incredible, true life stories, and the year 2013 had some remarkable ones. Thanks to the boom of online distribution and video on demand, it’s never been easier to get great docs in your home, and there’s always a selection of pretty great ones on the old-fashioned big screen too. Many of the titles below are available online in someway, shape or form, so if you’re looking for something to watch during your downtime this holiday season, these titles should fill your head and feed your soul.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top 10 National/International Stories of 2013

Last week, I looked at the Top 10 Local and Provincial stories of 2013, and, as promised, we now open our scope wider to the national and international stages. I believe I said that last week's list was easier to compile than this one, but the struggle with the National/International Top 10 was a "Sophie's Choice" of which stories make the cut and which to leave off. A couple of the stories below could be easily separated into their own categories, but since the year was jam-packed with activity, I can be understandably forgiven to fold a couple of things together in order to create a more inclusive picture of the year that was. So, without further ado, let's look at the national and international news that made the head of the headlines in 2013.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Press Release - Seriously, Just Stay Home

You know what folks, the mall will still be there tomorrow. The storm system that passed through our area last night and this morning has left a terrible mess in its wake from downed power lines to fallen trees and icy roads. If you haven't been out yet, the City of Guelph is advising people that there's no need to go out now.  The best course of action is to stay at home, and enjoy a snow day (as it were) till emergency services and Guelph Hydro can get the place sorted out. 
So far it seems like the biggest concern is the trees and power lines. Unlike Toronto, which reportedly once had half a million people without power, Guelph's power problems seem localized to a  few places right now, particularly around the Hanlon between Stone Rd and College St and in the Ward. If you do need to go out, take care and take extra time as needed. Guelph Transit is running, but there are delays, and from what I've heard some buses have some difficulties taking more hilly portions of town, so be aware of delays on that end too.

Friday, December 20, 2013

SCOC Gives the Green Light for Red Light

Christmas came early for Canada's sex workers in a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada that paves the way for a very Dutch-like system of legalized prostitution. It's also a victory for all the social libertarians out there, and it re-inspires the belief that Canada is a haven of progressive ideals. Still, is this situation as entirely cut and dry as it seems? Are we just one short year away from red light districts in every major city, or is our current crime conscious Federal government going to put the kibosh on that idea?
The matter of law, for now, seems rather cut and dry. In a paradoxical fact of legal procedure, actual prostitution, that is to say accepting money in exchange for sex, wasn't illegal. What is, or rather was, illegal are activities associated with prostitution, meaning the operation of bordellos, support services for prostitutes like security and management, as well as communicating the fact that one is a prostitute and available to offer sex for money.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Top 10 Local/Provincial News Stories of 2013

It's that time of year for lists and rankings, and Guelph Politico is no exception to all this organizing and numerology. This week, we revisit the biggest news and political stories that affected us locally and provincially in the year 2013. What were my conditions? Mostly, stuff that stuck out in my mind. This may not be your list, or you may find yourself agreeing with some of the contents that make up my list even if you don't agree with the ranking of things. Some of these will be fairly self-evident, and some of them might leave you scratching your head, but I will say that this was an easier list to compile versus the National/International Top 10 (which I will publish next week).

Monday, December 16, 2013

Upcoming "Beyond the Ballot Box" Specials for the Holidays

As per usual with the end of the year, the Gang of Four and Beyond the Ballot Box will be doing some special episodes for the last few weeks of 2013. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

More Cars Behaving Badly

On the eve of the season's first winter storm, the City of Guelph sent out a press release on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and the Ontario Road Builders’ Association asking drivers to not play chicken with snow plows; specifically no speeding and no passing if you should find yourself in the vicinity of a plow, sanding truck, or other kind of road work vehicle.  I've been looking for another opportunity lately to let off some steam about the way some people our driving on our roads, and as the old saying goes, ask and ye shall receive.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Leave Your Condolences for Mandela at City Hall

PM Harper signs the condolence book in Ottawa. Courtesy of Canoe
As world leaders gather in South Africa to eulogize Nelson Mandela, local mourners can leave their thoughts and prayers in a condolence book that now currently sits in the foyer at City Hall. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Farewell Mandela

Though he had spent much of the year ill and in hospital, it still comes as something of a gut check that Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday at the age of 95. The man who became both the face and a symbol of the South African struggle against apartheid, would later become the driving force for peace and reconciliation, walking a very fine line between fulfilling the ambitions of the black population and not scaring off the white elites to create the new "Rainbow Nation" of South Africa.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Guelph Has a Taste for Innovative Waste (Solutions)

There's probably no more contentious issue in the city right now other than waste (although I freely admit that I could be wrong). The roll-out of the new carts, the implementation of an adjusted three-stream collection method and the opening of the new organic process plant have all had their stumbling blocks, but to paraphrase an old saying, if you want something done right, register your own bright ideas with city hall through a survey!
The results of that survey, which was conducted earlier this fall, have been collected and collated, and are ready to be sent back out to the city at large to provoke further discussion. In brief, the results of the survey found that people like the idea of waste diversion, but don't like the idea of paying more in property taxes and user fees in order to explore those methods. Shocking, I know.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Council Votes To Approve Lafarge Development

The back and forth over the development of the so-called Lafarge lands in the west end of the city is back to forth with a unanimous vote at council this week approving a revised plan from Silvercreek Park Developments.

Monday, December 2, 2013

GrassRoots Guelph meets with Ministry Members

As previously reported, a new voter engagement group called GrassRoots Guelph has opened up shop here in the Royal City and they are pursuing a course that assumes there's some fishy accounting at City Hall. In a press release sent out last week, GRG says that they've followed up a petition they sent in to Ontario's Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) by having a meeting with ministry representatives, but was it a simple acknowledgement of the petition, or is, as GRG puts it, the beginning of an investigation.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Movie Review - The Manor

If you live in Guelph, Ontario, the establishment known as The Manor has what you’d call a reputation. On the outside it still looks like the century old mansion that once housed the local brew master and politician George Sleeman, but the inside, for more than three decades, has housed a Gentlemen’s club with an attached hotel where many of the dancers stay. The implication is that the place is seedy, but in the documentary about The Manor, which I finally got the chance to see recently, the eponymous establishment isn’t seedy at all, but home to a colourful cast of characters who happen to be mostly a loving Jewish family engaged in the adult entertainment business.