Following council's unanimous decision last week to discuss a motion to come out against further water-taking in the area as a political body at November's Committee-of-the-Whole, Mayor Cam Guthrie has upped the ante by announcing a special meeting to be exclusively about the issue.
In a City press release, Guthrie announced that following the Committee-of-the-Whole meeting on November 7, a special meeting at 7 pm will be held in order to make it easier to hear from the community on the matter.
"As a Council, we know that residents have thoughts and concerns about water-taking in and around our city. That’s why I decided to schedule a 7 pm start time dedicated to this issue. People can now attend after school or work and have their voices heard in a focused and deliberate way," said Mayor Guthrie.
After two staff reports are heard on the matter, a technical report from Water Services and a report on the Province’s policy review process from Intergovernmental Affairs, the floor will be open to public delegations.
"I am pleased that staff and the mayor have designed the meeting so there will be a special evening directed just towards the water permit motion," said Ward 2 Councillor James Gordon, who brought the original motion to the September 26 council meeting. "It's a recognition that there is growing public interest. It will be another full house that night!"
"It's clearly better to arrive at the table later than not arrive at all," jabbed Ward 3 Councillor Phil Allt, who seconded the Gordon motion. "People will get to express themselves freely without reservation and hesitation." Allt also gave credit to Gordon's Ward-mate Councillor Andy Van Hellemond for rallying public support last week with a petition at the Farmer's Market, which Allt says was signed by hundreds of people. "The message is getting across that this is not just a debate about Nestle, and that's important.
If you're interesting in delegating, and there will be interest, you have to register by 10 am on Friday, November 4 by submitting an online delegation form by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the City Clerk’s department at 519-837-5603 or TTY 519-826-9771. You can also make your delegation request in person at the ServiceGuelph counter at City Hall. More information about Council’s delegation process can be found at guelph.ca/delegations.