About the Blog:

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

Friday, February 28, 2014

Church at the Manor. Yes, You Read that Right

While killing time on the Guelph Reddit page this morning, I found a post too bizarre to be believed. A man named Jack Ninaber - a pastor by trade, a dreamer by reputation - has announced on his blog that this spring he will begin a missionary initiative called "Church at the Manor." That's right, the place in the city's west end where you go to see naked woman dance naked for the crowd (or for you personally for a few bucks more) will be transformed into a place to hear the word of God every Sunday morning. Believe it or not, it might not be as crazy as you think.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Poore Makes it a Race in Ward 6

It's been nearly two months since nominations for the 2014 Municipal election were opened, and since those first fast and furious couple of weeks in January, things have kind of chilled out when it comes to the local ballot. That might explain why when a new name joined the race earlier this week, I missed it. In re-dressing that oversight, I introduce to you now Keith Poore, the latest candidate to thow his hat into the ring to join city council.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MMAH Declines GRG's Request for Audit

The headline I used for covering this announcement was far more diplomatic than the one the City of Guelph used for their press release: "Ministry confirms audit would be waste of time." I'm not sure that was quite the intent that Minister Linda Jeffery wanted to convey, but I suppose that headline nicely conveys, and in a succinct manner, the finding of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing: that there's no grounds for them to conduct a full audit of Guelph's finances as per a petition by GrassRoots Guelph.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Thank God That's Over

Really. If you don't live or die by hockey, or scrum together a false sense of superiority from seeing your country beat other countries at sports that only matter every four years, the last 16 days have been excruciating. That's not to demean or denounce the importance of sport, or the mean athletic feats of human beings in peak physical performance, but the degree to which we've been bombarded by news of something euphemistically, and simply, called "The Games" is insane. These Olympics more than most, even the last one's held in our own backyard, seemed particularly insufferable. And as the rest of the day's news fills with stories of people under fire, under pressure and debating issues of ongoing, and far-reaching importance, we've spent the last two weeks breaking in over what is, really, just a bunch of games.

Friday, February 21, 2014

That Tim Hortons Cup Thing

I mentioned this on "The Gang of Four" yesterday, a piece of art by Guelph's Gabriel Parniak called Cup (24 Ounces of Misrepresentation). It was part of Ed Video Media Arts Centre's contribution to the Supermarket art exhibition at Kulturhuset in Stockholm, Sweden. The piece caused a bit of a fervor on Reddit when it was posted by Ed Video's programming director Scott McGovern, which is exactly what you want from a piece of art. Is it a commentary on how a corporate brand has become so integrally tied to our national identity, or maybe the skill and precision of the beadwork mocks the middling cup of coffee that this cup usually holds? What do you think?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

DIY Taxes for the DIY Set

It's tax time! (Yippee?) But for those that make their living through the arts, the process of creating your tax return is a little more complicated than getting your T4s together, buying a copy of Quick Tax and inputting your vital data. But don't let that stop you, or turn you off, from embracing that typically artistic acronym: Do-It-Yourself, or DIY.
In a new workshop from the Guelph Arts Council, Leo Medeiros of the chartered accounting firm Weiler & Company will take participants through the process and give them the information they need to know to do their taxes right and without the intervention of someone, well, like him. Details from the GAC press release are below:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Do By-Election Results Point to Spring Election?

Guessing whether or not if there's going to be an election if the government's in a minority position is a fool's game. In 2008, Stephen Harper decided at summer's end that the opposition parties were just too intractable to work with, and pulled the plug. In 2011, the House fell suddenly in the spring as the government cabinet was found in contempt of parliament. Here in Ontario, pretty much all last year, the Magic 8 balls were out as people supposed that within weeks of Kathleen Wynne's election as leader of the Liberals there would be an election. Not that there might be an election. But Wynne's been Premier for a year now, and with another pair of by-elections behind us the 8-balls are out again. Could they yield different results this time?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Best Stepping Down as GCL President

The election year has barely got under way, so if there's a good time to bail on the presidency of a civic action group for personal reasons, it's now. Andy Best, now outgoing president of the Guelph Civic League gave me a heads up Thursday night that he was stepping down from the position. Citing his changing family and the demands of his day job, Best is taking his leave of the nearly 10-year-old organization effective immediately after, what I think, was a very positive and insightful shake-up in the look and scope of the GCL. You can read Best's farwell address for yourself below. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

City Needs Your Feedback on Some Things

A city can't run on its own ideas, so from time to time, the policy makers and politicians reach out to us, the hoypoloi, to get our opinion on pertinent policy, decisions and plans. The City of Guelph currently has two important issues it wants your feedback on, and two highly contentious subjects at that: garbage and parking. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Highlights from the 2014 Federal Budget

Booooooooooring. It's called the "Boring Budget," but the 2014 Federal Budget has a great many interesting implications for the nation was he head into an election year in 2015.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ford Caps One of Those Weeks With a YouTube Return*

Why does he do the things he does? How does he get away with it? How does one man have enough gaffs to sink any 20 politicians, but can still stand well enough to be a contender and hold on to his job in the next election? I'm more than halfway though Robyn Dolittle's book Crazy Town, and I still don't know the answer to those questions and many more. What I do know is that no matter anything else that might be going on, Mayor Rob Ford just can't stop himself.
Meaning? Well, in a week that included the release of a not-so-flattering book that was all about him, the Mayor got busted jaywalking in Vancouver, got caught in repeated acts of drunken clubbing while supposedly being in B.C. to attend a memorial for a friend's mom, he proudly and pointedly stated his refusal to attend Pride 2014, and then made a fuss about the hoisting of a Pride flag at City Hall to protest Russia's anti-gay laws before taping up a Canadian flag in his office window in protest to the protest. And then today, there was this...

Friday, February 7, 2014

City Reminds You: Safety First During Winter Weather

A lot of people claim to have had enough of winter, as if the weather was some conscious thing that thinks we deserve payback for enjoying warmer, sunnier days during the rest of the year. However, winter doesn't have a "wrath," no matter how much you might think winter is punishing you. (And by the way, what it winter punishing you for?) Still, it would be inaccurate to say that winter doesn't come with some extra work, and the city's sent out a couple of reminders to that fact.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Region Wants more GO to Get On

Not to sound either pessimistic or bitter, but how likely is the campaigning outlined below going to yield any real results? The following press release, which I received from the City of Kitchener's Director Corporate Communications & Marketing Laura Johnston, discusses a consultation meeting in the Tri-Cities today where local politicians met with provincial counterparts about expanding GO Transit service in the Toronto-Kitchener corridor, including two-way train service. But between the present mayors of Kitchener and Waterloo stepping down after this fall's election, and the strong possibility that the Liberal government will fall after presenting its budget, what are the chances, if any, that this proposal will bear any fruit?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ward 6 Puts a Name on the Ballot

The long dought is over. After nearly a month with no new names on the ballot, another Guelphite has thrown his hat into the ring of the October 27 municipal election, and he's done so by being the first in the field to represent Ward 6. Mark MacKinnon (no relation to the Globe and Mail reporter of the same name), filed his papers today and let local media - including this blog - know that he'll being “Engaging Our Community” and campaigning to represent Guelph's southern most ward in the next council.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Presses Stop at the Guelph Mercury

In a surprise move, the Guelph Mercury has announced that they will be closing their printing presses later this week and moving the printing operations of the nearly 150-year-old paper to Hamilton. The paper itself will stay in production and continue to be published six days a week, but that physical copy will be made in Hamilton, not the Royal City.