Marking Worlds AIDS Day tomorrow, I thought I would repost this video I made in 2011/2012 for the Guelph Volunteer Centre and the AIDS Committee of Guelph. When I was making it a few years ago, it was the 30th anniversary of the identification of HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS; 30 years ago from today in 1984, conditions were getting close to crisis proportion as there was still a lot unknown about the disease, and there was still no sign of a treatment or a cure. A lot's changed in the last three decades, and looking back to when I made this video, I'm still humbled by the experience and realizing both how far we've come since those early days, and how far we still have to go. The AIDS Committee of Guelph is now the HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health (ARCH), but they're still doing good work for those in our community with HIV, as well as promoting education and sexual health. You can watch the five minute video below.
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Thursday, November 27, 2014
A week ago today, Michael Sona was sentenced to nine months in prison and one year of probation. From all accounts it was an emotional affair for Sona's family as he was lead away in cuffs, remanded to begin his jail sentence, which could be as short as three months ultimately. In a sense, Sona was sentenced in this case long before last Thursday. Once a valued political operative in the party that so thoroughly stuffed hum under the bus to be run over again and again, he's lost friends, respect, and a career that could have taken him all the way to party leadership or his own elected position in Parliament. Now he's a machinist's apprentice going to prison for a crime that was much bigger than himself. Ultimately, Sona's biggest crimes were foolishness and naivety.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
October 27 marked a bold new venture for the City of Guelph with the election of seven new councillors and a brand new mayor. But campaigns are one thing, how does our city council, new and old members alike, intend to work together? That's one of many questions I put to Ward 2 Councillor-Elect James Gordon and Ward 3 Councillor-Elect Phil Allt when we met recently for a series I'm calling "Fireside Chats," the first of which forms the basis for this latest entry in the Guelph Politicast.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Well that didn't take long. Less than two weeks after Guelph MP and presumptive Liberal candidate for the 2015 Federal Election Frank Valeriote announced that he was not going to seek a third term, one well-known member of the Royal City community is exploring the possibility of filling Valeriote's shoes. Although the concept of an exploratory committee is largely an American political phenomenon, former Guelph Chamber of Commerce President Lloyd Longfield is hoping to crowd source some feedback as to whether or not he should step up for local Liberals leading in to next year's election.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Lost somewhere in the heat of the local election was the fascinating and disturbing discovery of eight drums with an unknown, possibly toxic chemicals, near Howitt Creek at the corner of Wellington St. and the Hanlon. Watermain maintenance led to the discovery of the drums and a scramble to determine if any contaminants were in the environment began, and construction in the area came to a halt as tests were undertaken by government agencies. But examination of the site is now complete and plans have begun to have all the remaining drums removed, the contents dealt with, and construction to continue on the project.
Friday, November 21, 2014
'Tis the season for giving, but it's also the season for AIDS Awareness. Next week marks AIDS Awareness Week here in Guelph and around the world, culminating in World AIDS Day on December 1. The new MedCannAccess Center in Old Quebec Street is doing its part by promoting involvement in the Red Scarf Project, a new endeavour of HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health or ARCH, the new name for the former AIDS Committee of Guelph. How can you help out? Details are below.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
23. There were 23 collisions on Guelph roads in a 22-hour stretch yesterday. Granted, the blizzard-like conditions came early this year, or at least earlier than we're used to, and while it hasn't been quite like what Buffalo is facing here in southern Ontario, it's still a cause for caution when you're out on the roads today. Courtesy of your local boys in blue, there are ways to stay safe while you're out driving to and from, stuff you can keep in mind all winter long.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
The final dangling thread from the October 27 Municipal Election has been tied off. Last night, city council voted in favour of a recount to be performed for Guelph's Ward 3 after five votes separated the second place June Hofland and the third place Craig Chamberlain. The result at stake was the second council seat in Ward 3, the first one already secured by Phil Allt. In the end, it looks like the original count was correct, and Hofland is the winner of that second Ward 3 seat, beating Chamberlain by just five votes.
Friday, November 14, 2014
"Representing the people of Guelph is a great privilege. Service is an honour, but family is paramount. Indeed, fatherhood is a greater honour. It is for that reason that while I will continue to represent Guelph as its Member of Parliament until the next election is called, I will not be seeking re-election."
With those words, Frank Valeriote, the Liberal Party Member of Parliament for Guelph, laid out the new political reality for the Federal Election here in Guelph next year. It is now an open race with no incumbent running in the Royal City, as Valeriote in an emotional address shared with the media his desire to re-focus his attention to his family and find new ways to serve the Guelph community here are home.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
We are no strangers to water issues here in Guelph. Whether it's our system of water use monitoring, or the ongoing battle between local conservationists and a certain bottling plant south of the city, Guelph has been at the forefront of the debate in the ways we use, protect, and replenish the world's most valuable resource: drinking water. At the intersection of municipal politics and water protection is a new documentary called Divide in Concord, which chronicles one woman's quest to ban single-serve, non-reusable bottles of water in her hometown Concord, Mass. That struggle is coming to Guelph this weekend when Divide in Concord screens at the Guelph Film Festival.
Friday, November 7, 2014
|Courtesy of Flickr|
With recent attacks on Canadian Forces soldiers in Quebec and Ottawa still fresh in everyone's minds, not to mention the 100th anniversary of the start of World Ward I, Remembrance Day will carry significant recognition with this year's commemoration. The City of Guelph has many activities to mark the day, from McCrae House to Sleeman Centre to the Cenotaph to Woodlawn Cemetery, it seems like the whole city will mark the occasion, even under the blanket of enhanced security and greater security concerns.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Mental health has become an issue of increasing urgency, and one of the some symptoms of that is the alarming increase in the number of suicides in Canada. A report earlier this year traced a 4.5 per cent increase to struggles created by the recent economic recession, but there was also the rate of suicide amongst Canadidan Forces personal, which one expert recently said had reached "epidemic" proportions. With all that under consideration, Guelph MP Frank Valeriote is hosting a townhall on the subject of suicide prevention next week at the Italian Canadian Club.