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, October 19, 2017

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the October 26 Meeting?


Tax season officially begins next Thursday with the presentation of the 2018 Non-Tax Supported Operating Budget, the 2018 Capital Budget, and the 2019-2027 Capital Forecast. Take heed, this there will only be a one week break between when this is presented, and when council votes on it. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Guelph Hydro to Begin Merger Negotiations With Alectra Utilities


You could cut the giddiness with a knife this afternoon at city hall as the results of the Strategies and Options Committee's search for a potential merger partner with Guelph Hydro has bore fruit. If everything goes according to plan, then Guelph Hydro and Alectra Utilities will merge in the near future, with a completed deal coming before council for a vote in mid-December.

GUELPH POLITICAST #100 - Gerry Barker, Guelph Speaks

It took six long years to get here, but the day has finally arrived. Welcome, to the 100th episode of the Guelph Politicast! To celebrate this auspicious occasion, I wanted a surprise guest. Someone my dedicated audience might never have expected, but nonetheless would enjoy hearing from. In the end,  there was only one person I could think of. For 100 episodes you've heard Guelph speak, well now you'll hear from the guy that does "Guelph Speaks".

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Official Plan is Officially Official


A little more than 65 months after city council passed the latest update to the Official Plan, OPA 48, it is finally the law that governs the development of the land. The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) approved the City’s Official Plan Amendment (OPA) 48 with some modifications on October 5.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

VIDEO: Guelphites Walk for Freedom, and to End Human Trafficking

In a world that is already often dark and disturbing, we rarely like to be reminded of how dark and disturbing it can really be. Guelphites though dared to challenge that darkness Saturday morning by Walking for Freedom, in an event aimed to raise awareness of, and help put a stop to human trafficking.

Friday, October 13, 2017

LISTEN: Chong and May Talk about Government Reform and Turning Parliament Inside Out

As you may have heard, electoral reform is a hot button issue in Guelph, which is why when Fair Vote Guelph decided to bring a couple of high-profile federal figures to town to talk about it, a few hundred people were interested in hearing what they had to say. So if you happened to have missed the talk featuring Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May and Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong on Tuesday, this is your chance to hear it. And if you did happen to the be there, this is your chance to hear it again.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the October 23 Meeting?


The regular meeting of council this month will be pretty straightforward with the presentation of some survey results, the consent agenda from Committee-of-the-Whole, and a simple real estate transaction for the Humane Society. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Schreiner and May Smell Electoral Success in Open Guelph Race

"Guelph is a green town," declared Elizabeth May. The Green Party of Canada leader meant small 'g', not capital 'G' of course, but if it all goes according to plan, then this time next year, May and her Ontario counterpart, Mike Schreiner, will be able to boast that Guelph is both "green" and "Green".

GUELPH POLITICAST #99 - Listener Q and A

You had questions, and I had answers. Last week, I put out a request on the various social media lines for your queries about current events at city council and the City of Guelph, and you responded with about a dozen of them. This is where you get your answers.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for October 10, 2017


A couple of additions to the heritage file, plus a new mid-rise proposal for Gordon Street are on the agenda for October's planning meeting. You can click here for the agenda from City Hall, and you can click here for the Politico preview. For the complete blow-by-blow of tonight's council meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Monday, October 9, 2017

POLITICO FEATURE - The Bridge to Disharmony: Guelph's Complex Reaction to Scientology's Arrival



The Church of Scientology is taking over 40 Baker Street as the administrative headquarters for their organization, which has naturally prompted some controversy. In this first monthly investigative Politico feature, we take a look at Scientology in Canada, why they've come to Guelph, and why people are concerned about what they're doing now that they're here.

Friday, October 6, 2017

SHOCKER: Sandals Will Not Run for Re-Election in 2018.

In a surprise announcement today, Guelph MPP and President of the Treasury Board, Liz Sandals, announced that she will not seek re-election in 2018. "After a summer of discussion with my husband and children, I have made the difficult decision to retire – and so I will not be running in the next provincial election," she said in a statement.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

GUELPH POLITICAST #98 - Tara Baker, City Treasurer

It's the most wonderful time of the year... if math is a hobby, or you fetishize your calculator. Yes, the 2018 budget deliberations are about to start at city council, and to put you in a budgeting kind of mood, we go behind the curtain this week to see how the the ones and zeros add up before they make it to the council floor.

Monday, October 2, 2017

LIVE BLOG: Committee of the Whole for October 2, 2017

Happy October! Let's discuss Governance, Public Services, and Infrastructure, Development & Enterprise. You can click here for the amended agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico's preview of today's meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of today's committee meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the October 10 Meeting?

At this month's planning meeting, city council will designate two new heritage properties and rejigger some development fees. Oh, and they hope you like the idea of another mid-rise apartment building along Gordon Street...

Saturday, September 30, 2017

MANGEZ! Dine Safe Guide for September 16-30, 2017


Twice-monthly, Guelph Politico posts the latest inspection results from the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit inspection of local restaurants, hotels, cafes, grocery stores and other businesses that handle food. We call it "Mangez!", and this column highlights the latest inspections done by WDGPH, and the results they've posted.

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Politico Calendar for October 2017


Happy Halloween! And Happy Thanksgiving! And happy a whole bunch of political and culture events unfolding throughout the month of October. Here is your Politico events calendar for the tenth month of the year. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the October 5 Meeting?


The strange case of the future of Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc continues next Thursday with a special, albeit closed, meeting of the shareholders of Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc., AKA: city council. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

GUELPH POLITICAST #97 - Trying to Privatize Toronto's Garbage

Last week, city council heard from an interim report on the first service review being conducted by staff. The result of that investigation into Solid Waste Resources was that the service is almost entirely on par in terms of delivering service for money as many of the municipalities that are compatible to Guelph. There was just that one thing though...

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for September 26, 2017

This year's #GuelphBudget process begins with a staff presentation tonight! You can click here for the agenda from City Hall. For the complete blow-by-blow of tonight's council meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Monday, September 25, 2017

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for September 25, 2017

You can click here for the agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico's preview of tonight's meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of tonight's council meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

This Week in Press Releases - September 18-22, 2017


Every week, the City of Guelph and other groups send out notices to announce new events, imperatives, and information that you need to know. Here is this week in press releases.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Follow-Up: CUPE Still Preparing For a Fight on Private Waste Collection


Monday's special council meeting brought the first report of the City's first service review, and members of Guelph's labour community were spoiling for a fight over privatization. The topic didn't come up too often in conversation around the horseshoe, but the president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 241 isn't letting his guard down.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Committee of the Whole Preview - What's on the Agenda for the October 2 Meeting?


October's committee brings new items from Governance, Public Services, and Infrastructure, Development & Enterprise. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

GUELPH POLITICAST #96 - June Hofland on the Lafarge Site

What was once an oasis from urban sprawl, a developed piece of land that nature had reclaimed from a century of industry, is once again a big empty field ready for construction. For over a decade, the area residents that enjoyed this natural space, and its tress and trails, have been dreading this moment, and the journey is far from over.

Monday, September 18, 2017

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for September 18, 2017


The first report from the first service review comes to council for discussion tonight. You can click here for the agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico's preview of tonight's meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of tonight's council meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Scientology Coming to Guelph?

If certain sources are to be believed, the answer is yes. Edward Pickersgill, who runs a mobile version of the Out of Poverty Centre just outside its old headquarters at 40 Baker Street, says that the Church of Scientology has rented the entire building, and they're moving in.

Democracy Guelph Still Hopeful on Reform at Street Celebration


Earlier this summer, the House of Commons seemed to put the final nail in the coffin on electoral reform when the government voted against accepting the recommendations of the special Commons committee. Democracy Guelph is aiming to say though that the coffin hasn't been nailed shut. In fact, there is no coffin.

Friday, September 15, 2017

MANGEZ! Dine Safe Guide for September 1-15, 2017


Twice-monthly, Guelph Politico posts the latest inspection results from the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit inspection of local restaurants, hotels, cafes, grocery stores and other businesses that handle food. We call it "Mangez!", and this column highlights the latest inspections done by WDGPH, and the results they've posted.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the September 25 Meeting?


This month's council meeting covers the library, downtown expansion, and this year's United Way campaign, as well as any lingering concerns from reports previously brought forward at this month's Committee-of-the-Whole meeting. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for September 13, 2017


More questions concerning the management of Guelph Hydro will be address tonight. You can click here for the agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico's preview of tonight's meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of tonight's council meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

GUELPH POLITICAST #95 - Brad Evoy, OPIRG

You've heard the name, but what do you know about OPIRG aside from it being a group in Guelph that likes hugging trees and being total SJWs? Okay, so those things are technically true, and OPIRG is proud of it thank-you-very-much! But if you've ever wanted to go inside OPIRG and get the bigger picture about how and why they tick, then this podcast's for you.

Monday, September 11, 2017

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for September 11, 2017


Sure, it's a short agenda, but those always seem to be the most controversial... You can click here for the amended agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico's preview of tonight's meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of tonight's council meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Naomi Klein Tells Guelph We're Less Radical Than Peterborough


A hush came over the audience as Naomi Klein entered the room. She hadn’t even taken the stage yet, all she had to do was walk in... This was a crowd that was ready and willing to hear the message, "No Is Not Enough", which is also the title of Klein's new book, and the author/journalist/provocateur was ready to get everyone at War Memorial Hall hyped in order to spread that message.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review Says Solid Waste is "Competitive" on 5 Out of 6 Categories


The week began with concern that the City of Guelph was about to lower the boom on its employees at Solid Waste, but the interim report of the service review on that department says that, for the most part, Solid Waste is delivering its services "in-line and competitive" with other municipalities. At least, that's how they're doing on five out of six categories the review explored anyway.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the September 13 Meeting?


A busy month at council rolls on with a short, but consequential, meeting concerning the organization of the Guelph Hydro board of directors. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

LIVE BLOG: Committee of the Whole for September 5, 2017

We begin the fall session with money matters. So get out your abacus and get ready to go over variances with this month's Committee-of-the-Whole. You can click here for the amended agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico's preview of today's meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of today's committee meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Monday, September 4, 2017

"Dark Clouds" Loom on an Otherwise Sunny Labour Day Picnic


Members of the CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) Local 241 couldn't enjoy their Labour Day as much as they would have liked, for they're concerned that some members might be looking at their last Labour Day as employees of the City of Guelph.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

VIDEO: Some Kinks and Confusion on the First Ride of the #99

Months of hard work led to this: the launch of the new Guelph Transit route system and schedule. The City of Guelph kicked things off with an inaugural ride on the new northbound #99 Mainline as members of city council, transit staff, and commuters all boarded the bust to see if all the prep and promotion had paid off.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

This Week in Press Releases - August 25-September 1, 2017

Every week, the City of Guelph and other groups send out notices to announce new events, imperatives, and information that you need to know. Here is this week in press releases.

Friday, September 1, 2017

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the September 11 Meeting?


This month's planning will have a single, straightforward new planning application to dispatch, but how will the neighbourhood residents feel about it? We'll have all night to consider it...

Thursday, August 31, 2017

MANGEZ! Dine Safe Guide for August 16-31, 2017


Twice-monthly, Guelph Politico posts the latest inspection results from the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit inspection of local restaurants, hotels, cafes, grocery stores and other businesses that handle food. We call it "Mangez!", and this column highlights the latest inspections done by WDGPH, and the results they've posted.

The Politico Calendar for September 2017


It's September! It's Back to School! It's Back to Council! It's Back to the Politico Calendar!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

GUELPH POLITICAST #94 - The Chairs of Guelph's School Boards


It's the last days of August, which also means that it's the official end of summer. If you're a student anyway. This time next week, students of all ages will back at class, making new friends, learning stuff, and begrudging that their summertime freedom was taken away from them just when they were getting the hang of it. So who do we blame for this madness?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The "Coles Notes" Version of Guelph Transit Changes

So this coming Sunday, taking the bus is going to slightly different than it has been in the last couple of years. There are a lot of new changes to get your head around, so to get you started, here is a break down of all the changes coming to the system as of September 3, which is hopefully the simplest way to explain it all...

Monday, August 28, 2017

City Council Recap: What Happened from June and July 2017?


In case you're more of a reader than a listener, or maybe you just want to reference back to something quickly, over the next three weeks, Guelph Politico will post a recap of the first seven months of 2017 at city council in three parts. This third part covers June and July...

Sunday, August 27, 2017

What Kind of Change.org Does Guelph Want Right Now?

What matters to the people of Guelph? That's a question those of us in the media struggle with all the time. So I decided to look at the website Change.org to see what people in Guelph have been caring about this summer, and what issues, ideas and challenges they're trying to draw attention to. Think pets. Think transit. Think the environment. See what difference some people on Change.org are trying to make for Guelph below. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Committee of the Whole Preview - What's on the Agenda for the September 5 Meeting?


It's time to get back to school work, with the first Committee-of-the-Whole session since July, and money matters seem to matter most in this first gathering of city council for fall 2017.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

At Least Guelph Transit Uses Social Media...


In the year 2017, if you want to complain, you go to social media. A whole industry there is built on rating what rocks and what sucks, and that includes the way you get around your city. Online, there's often not a lot of love for Guelph Transit, so I was curious, where do other municipalities stand when it comes to interacting with their customers online? It turns of that Guelph Transit is a leader in that regard. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

GUELPH POLITICAST #93 - Scott Thomson, Guelph Jazz Festival Artistic Director

September is coming, and everything will get back to normal. Then again September starts with one of the biggest cultural events of the year: the Guelph Jazz Festival. Now in its 23rd year, the Jazz Fest is getting ready again to fill the downtown core with the finest improvised and creative music from across Canada and around the globe, but this year, things might sound a little bit different.