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, August 16, 2018

Guelph is AA+ For Six Years Running (Financially Speaking)

In spite of all those public masturbators, Guelph continues to hold a very strong AA+ credit rating in the newest evaluation from Standard and Poors. In their humble estimation, Guelph looks very financially stable for the next few years, and, if we play our cards right, we might even get our credit status upgraded.

MANGEZ! Dine Safe Guide for August 1-15, 2018

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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

GUELPH POLITICAST #134 - Building the Cycling City

A few weeks ago, the new Ontario government cancelled $93 million of funding for something called the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling (OMCC) program. The money, which was raised from the cap and trade agreement, was for cycling infrastructure in towns and cities across the province, and the move is proof of just how hard it is to make cycling a priority for governments, but there is hope!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Council and Committee Meeting Dates Till 2019

We're in the dog days of August, a time when there's typically no city council meetings to occupy our political time. But this being an election year, the number of council and committee meetings this fall has been cut way back. Still, for those you making your fall schedules, here are the meetings coming up to make a note of.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

A Note on Guelph Politico Candidate Questionairres for 2018

As you may have noticed, Guelph Politico has begun posting the Candidate Questionnaires for people running to be Guelph's mayor, its city councillors, or for trustee in one of its two English school boards. This would be the third time that Politico has run such questionnaires, but this time, they're really ambitious.

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE - Phil Andrews for Wellington Catholic District School Board Trustee

Phil Andrews once ran the Guelph Mercury, and now he wants to help run the Wellington Catholic District School Board. Andrews is one of six people looking to fill four spots, so does he make his case? 

Friday, August 10, 2018

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE - James Gordon for Ward 2 Councillor

With Andy Van Hellemond taking his leave of council, that leaves James Gordon as the one incumbent for Ward 2 to stand for re-election. Can he make the case for voters to give him a second term instead of starting over with a clean slate?

Saturday, August 4, 2018

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE: Phil Allt for Ward 3 Councillor

Phil Allt won first place in the 2014 Municipal Election among Ward 3 voters, and he aims to keep is seat in the next term of council. Here are his responses to the 2018 Guelph Politico Candidate Questionnaire. 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Local Poverty Advocates Concerned About Ontario Gov's Move on Basic Income Pilot

Yesterday's announcement that the Progressive Conservative government was reforming social assistance, while ending the Basic Guaranteed Income pilot started by the previous government, caught those combating poverty by surprise. In a word, the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination is "dismayed."

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Schreiner's Surprised That Question Period's Not Better on the Inside

It seems that dreams don't come true in quite the way you think. After a rough month in the legislature where the new Ford government has cancelled cap and trade, ended green energy contracts, and generally thrown a monkey wrench into the best laid plans of Ontario's progressives, Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner rose in the legislature yesterday to smack everyone down for their partisan tendencies.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

MANGEZ! Dine Safe Guide for July 16-31, 2018

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.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Ford Decision on Regional Chairs Doesn't Let Waterloo Off the Hook


On Friday, Premier Doug Ford announced that the Ontario government was cancelling the elections for regional chair in York, Peel, Niagara, and Muskoka. But wait a minute, there are already regional chairs established in Halton, Durham, and one more... Where was that regional chair, again? Oh yeah, Waterloo!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

ELECTION 2018: The Final Ballot of Mayor, Council, and Trustee

66. After a spurt of new nominees over the last few days, there are 66 people running for mayor, city council, and school board trustee in Guelph. For your convenience, the complete list of candidates is below, incumbents are marked with an [X]. 

Friday, July 27, 2018

ELECTION 2018: Billings In, Van Hellemond Out

In the final hours of nominations for the 2018 Municipal Election, there was at least one surprise. While Christine Billings finally made official her intention to run for re-election, Andy Van Hellemond withdrew his name for consideration for one of the Ward 2 council seats.

Wettstein Chooses Retirement Instead of Re-Election

As the nomination period races to a close, at least one city councillor will not be standing for re-election on October 22. Ward 6 Councillor Karl Wettstein has opted to take his leave of council at the end of November as opposed to trying for re-election for another term.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

GUELPH POLITICAST #133 - Cathy Downer on AMO

At city council this week, a resolution from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) to support the North America Free Trade Agreement and stand with governments across Canada against Donald Trump's aggression on trade was passed unanimously. You may be asking, "What good does that do?" You may also be asking, "What the heck is AMO again?"

Monday, July 23, 2018

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for July 23, 2018


Plastic bags, police cars, and NAFTA are among the list of topics on this last council meeting bore summer break (and one of the last council meetings for this term). You can click here for the amended 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 the tweets below.

Mlynarz Runs for Mayor, and Yes, She's In It to Win It

With nominations for the municipal election closing on Friday, Mayor Cam Guthrie had just over four days left before being acclaimed as the head of Guelph's city council for another four years. On Monday morning though, one candidate came forward to say "Not so fast", and she made it clear that she's not going to let you hold her youth and inexperience against her.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Xinyi, Police Cars and NAFTA Added to Monday's Meeting Agenda

This Monday will be the last meeting of council before the traditional summer break, and while it looked to be mostly low key, with only the Plastic Free Guelph presentation being the main point of discussion, there are a couple of interesting additions on the amended agenda.

Mlynarz Decides to Try for Mayor Instead

She came within a quarter of a per cent of  taking second place in Guelph's provincial election race, but it sounds like she's not prepared to settle for second this fall by running in the municipal election. Aggie Mlynarz has announced that she intends to run for Mayor of Guelph against the incumbent Cam Guthrie on October 22.

Monday, July 16, 2018

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for July 16, 2018

The next phase of the Baker District redevelopment will be presented and debated at this special session of city council. You can click here for the amended 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 the tweets below.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

MANGEZ! Dine Safe Guide for July 1-15, 2018

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.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

ELECTION UPDATE: No Mayoral Competition Yet, and 3 Incumbents Yet to Announce

It's now less than two weeks till nominations close for 2018 municipal election candidates, so it seems like a good time to review the field, and look at the trends. Will the mayor run unchallenged? Might the entire council we have now be re-elected? And who might stand in the way of making that happening?

Thursday, July 12, 2018

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

In the last council meeting before the summer break, and the penultimate meeting of this council before the election, we've got one word for you: plastics. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

GUELPH POLITICAST #132 - Plastic Free Guelph

Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean there's a big floating mass of plastic that's roughly three times the size of France. While it's true that much of that plastic is fishing equipment, and about two-fifths of it comes from just five countries in southeast Asia, it's making us all think about our wasteful ways, especially when it comes to plastic.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the July 16 Meeting?

If was about one year ago that council decided it was full speed ahead on Baker Street redevelopment, and over half-a-year since council approved a business plan for the a new main library. The next phase of both these actions happens Monday in a special meeting of city council.

Monday, July 9, 2018

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for July 9, 2018

Council takes care of some unfinished planning business in this final planning meeting before the summer break. You can click here for the amended 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 the tweets below.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Now You Can Call Him "MPP Schreiner"

The election is long done, the work of preparing to govern has begun, but today history was official sealed with the swearing in of Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner as MPP of Guelph.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the July 9 Meeting?

Council's going to take care of some unfinished business before the summer break at this month's planning meeting. Brownfields, commercial space, and a brand new planning advisory committee are all topics for conversation.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

MANGEZ! Dine Safe Guide for June 16-30, 2018

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 July 2018

It's the summertime, and the weather is hot, which maybe why things are slowing down in the Guelph this month, but there's still a lot of stuff to do. Why don't you check out a few below?

Friday, June 29, 2018

Meet Your New Ontario Cabinet and Parliamentary Assistants

The new Premier of Ontario was sworn in under the unrelenting summer sun today outside Queen's Park. We've known for weeks that Doug Ford would be the new head of the province, but what abour your favourite ministries: Health! Infrastructure! Attorney General! Education! Well wonder no more! Below is the complete list of cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries in alphabetical order.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

GUELPH POLITICAST #131 - Back With the Back-Grounder

News is the art of delivering the day's information in an organized and coherent way, but stories don't just happen with a beginning, middle and end all in one day. Some of the biggest stories, including the most important stories, trace their roots back many years. In the news, there's an important function to not just understand the day's events, but the events that led to the day's events.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

RECAP: Small But Inquisitve Group Grills Councillors at Ward 6 Town Hall

It's sometimes hard to get people to think about municipal politics on a warm summer night, let alone come out for a town hall, but a small group of Ward 6 constituents came out to the Clair Road Emergency Services Centre to hear from Councillors Mark MacKinnon and Karl Wettstein on a myriad of topics. Here's what we all talked about.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Committee of the Whole Preview - What's on the Agenda for the July 3 Meeting?

In what will be last Committee of the Whole meeting before the election, city council will be going over the future. Future schedules, future heritage plans, future community centres, and sign bylaw variances will all be up for discussion. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

GUELPH POLITICAST #130 - Reviewing the Service Review

Is our waste collection and processing the best it can possibly be? That was the simple question at the heart of the Service Review of the City of Guelph's Solid Waste Department. Solid Waste was the first of three pilot Service Review projects approved by city council, an immense months long project that yielded 11 recommendations.This is the rest of the story.

Monday, June 18, 2018

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for June 14, 2018

The annual general meetings for Guelph Junction Railway and Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. takes place tonight. You can click here and here for the agendas 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 the tweets below.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Friends of the GPL Desperate for Space for Book Sale.


Unless they have some very good luck very soon, there may be no 12th annual Friends of the Guelph Public Library used book sale. A lack of a space big enough to organize and hold the sale may scuttle the annual event unless an appropriate venue can be found in the very, very near future.

MANGEZ! Dine Safe Guide for June 1-15, 2018

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, June 15, 2018

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

For the regular city council meeting this month, we've got the next council's paycheques, board appointments, a notice of motion, and the last kick of the can for the second phase of Clair-Maltby on the agenda. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for June 14, 2018

This special meeting of city council is all about the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan. You can click here for the amended 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 the tweets below.

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the June 18 Meeting?

If it's June, it's time for Guelph City Council to act as shareholder of both Guelph Junction Railway, and Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. The audits and general reports for both organizations will be discussed in two back-to-back meetings on Monday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

GUELPH POLITICAST #129 - Xicotencatl Lopez

In as much as the murders of Colten Bushie and Tina Fontaine were shocking, it was somehow even more shocking when those murders went unavenged as both perpetrators were found not-guilty of second degree murder. It's enough to make you wonder why more Indigenous youth aren't angrier and more active. Well, this is a podcast about one who is.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Proposed South End Rec Centre Needs 150 Square Feet and $59 Million

Progress on the South End Rec Centre looks surprisingly speedy as city council was given an information report last Friday detailing the broad strokes, and some initial designs, for the City of Guelph's next great recreational and community meeting place. It's going to have a footprint of 150,000 square feet, and it will cost $59,130,204, but there's still a lot of work to do before shovels are put in the ground.

Monday, June 11, 2018

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for June 11, 2018

This month's planning meeting of City Council features some demolitions, a proposed Official Plan amendment, and a revised plan for a very big south end development. You can click here for the amended 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 the tweets below.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Schreiner Makes History in Competitive Guelph Race

Guelph made Ontario political history last night by electing the province's first Green Party Member of Provincial Parliament. Mike Schreiner's victory came after what looked like a very tight race in the riding, but in the end, Schreiner won his seat in what can only be described as a "blow out" result for the Green Party of Ontario leader.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the June 14 Meeting?

If you're one of the people that was upset with what the City of Guelph was cooking for the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan, then you may like what they're cooking now. As we close Phase 2, it seems that public criticism has been taken in stride as we get ready to move to Phase 3.

Letters from the Candidates

As Ontarians across the province race to the cast their ballots, some of the candidates running in the riding of Guelph have offered some final thoughts/last pitches before the votes are counted.

Driveway Town Hall Had Sad Stories and Hard Feelings

Who would have guessed that the most contentious issue of this municipal election year might be the width of driveways in certain neighbourhoods? This topic gathered people from across the east end of the city, and from other parts of the Guelph to attend a town hall hosted by the mayor and the Ward 1 councillors.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

GUELPH POLITICAST #128 - Guelph Wellington Oral Health Action Committee

The saying goes, "let a smile be your umbrella," but there are a whole lot of people out there for whom their smile is a source of grief, and not a source of relief. Before we go into Election Day, let's hear from some people talking about one of the election issues that has not gotten a lot of press, but is nonetheless factored into every major party platform in someway: dental care.