Ward 4 News

Councillor - Christine Billings

Tuesday Dec 31st - 2013

What:   Announcement by Ward 4 Councillor Cam Guthrie re: 2014 Municipal election intentions.

Where: Rear driveway entrance (Elmira Rd.) of Zehrs grocery store and commercial node, across from Costco Development

Time: January 2nd, 2014 arrival at 12:15pm, event begins at 12:30pm


Click here for further details: Notice of Media Event.pdf

Thank you!


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Saturday Dec 28th - 2013

Further email from Staff:


Good morning Mayor Farbridge and Councillors,

The winter storm that we experienced on Sat/Sun has continued but has moved away from freezing rain/ice and into a new snow phase. We have had approximately 5-6cm on new snow over the last 18 hrs. 

Fortunately, this new snow is not wet. Also, we have been very fortunate that we have not experienced the higher wind gusts that were forecasted which has helped mitigate against additional damage to our urban forest.

Right now we have salt/plow trucks out (and have been all night) covering the main and secondary routes in the City. We also have three forestry crews out (aerial bucket trucks) today attending to the higher risk tree issues. Sidewalk plows are also out with focus on the main routes and Downtown. No residential plow out is anticipated at this time.

Forecasted precipitation and wind is expected to remain low which will assist our clean-up efforts. Temperature is expected to rise above freezing over the weekend which should also help.

However, I must caution all that we still have a tremendous amount of ice on both the trees and sidewalks which are proving extremely difficult to address through human and mechanical effort.  Mother nature will need to assist. 

Therefore, in the short term, I implore all residents to continue to use caution when driving and walking outdoors. I realize that post-Christmas holidays and warmer temperatures will bring people outdoors, however all must be respectful of warnings still in effect. In particular City park pathways should be avoided until further notice.


Rod Keller



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Saturday Dec 28th - 2013

Email from Staff:

Good evening Mayor and Councillors,


Just spoke to Guelph Mercury regarding Public Works operations re: the ice storm.


In summary, I told him the following:


We have got on top of the roads situation, and that is a credit to the front line staff and junior leadership of the City, just maintenance for now (weather forecast is supportive)

No. 1 issue right now for Public Works is the state of our Urban Forest

There is still a lot of ice on the trees, fortunately we didn’t get the wind that was forecasted, however that wind may still materialize in the next 48 hrs which could mean more trees/limbs down

Staff are still conducting damage assessment to get a more detailed sense of what work lies ahead of us (experienced staff in Forestry say this is 4-5 times as big as the July 19th wind storm)

Concurrently, staff are working through issues in a priority system (no change from what was previously given, although the Hydro support is becoming less of an issue as power comes back on)

It will takes weeks, not days, to clean up given the resources we have available

Rod Keller | General Manager

Public Works Department

Operations, Transit & Emerge

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Sunday Dec 22nd - 2013

As of 4:55pm


At our last meeting we learned that Water Services has had power restored to the Woods plant. Hydro One assisted with Arkell Springs but we had another setback due to a tree on wires. Robertson well is still down and Guelph Hydro is aware. Fuel is an issue for generators and a delivery has been arranged.


Public works continues to deal with roads and sidewalks and are having good success. A new shift started at 3 p.m. and there is currently a full complement of drivers. Tree crews are stopping for darkness and will be back at first light unless there is an emergency. There is a concern about the possibility of the wind coming up which would down more branches / trees. There are some signals out due to sporadic power outages. Fleet is receiving a fuel delivery tonight.


GWEMS has been busy with accidents and people who have been running out of oxygen. Generators are up at 4 stations. There are two stations without power in the County. Crews have been redeployed.


Fire has been busy assisting PW with clean up. Dispatch has been busy with contract dispatch issues in County.  Fire has had over 60 storm related calls. On back-up generator at two stations. One station without a generator and crews still there.


Police have been busy. Had 87 storm related calls by 2:30 p.m. Mostly downed wires and branches.


Transit has no power at their garage. They have a generator which allows them to fuel their vehicles. Roads are OK. One minor accident involving a bus and a pick-up.


CSS has most of their facilities closed. They are still running the ‘Nutcracker’ at the River Run tonight. We are opening City Hall and West End Community Centre as warming centres for the night.


Wastewater had a power outage but it was no problem. Branches damaged their gate but were cleared by PW. One pump station had no power and a generator was brought on site.


Solid waste has provided information regarding disposal of trees / limbs. This has been sent out by Corporate Communications.


Guelph Hydro indicates that every available staff person is in and working. Main issues are the primary lines on the ground. They have 3 feeders locked out and are clearing them of debris and branches. They have 700 customers affected City wide. They anticipate having the bulk of them restored in a few hours – unless the wind comes up and more branches / trees come down.


Corporate communications is putting out updated messaging regarding the warming centres, avoiding sidewalks with overhanging tree canopy, etc. There have been many messages of thanks to the community for the good work our staff are doing.


Emergency Management took part in a conference call with Emergency Management Ontario. Many communities to the east are faring much worse than we are with large numbers of Hydro customers affected and restoration times of 48-72 hours. We required no assistance from the province. The Premier contacted the Mayor and also offered assistance.

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Sunday Dec 22nd - 2013

Sudbury public works department is sending people our way to help! Kathleen Wynne the Premier of Ontario has called to see how we're doing & this is latest from city staff:

I would like to provide a brief update on our activities. Staff from Emergency Services, Public Works, Guelph Police, Water Services, Transit and Corporate Communications met this morning to discuss operational activities.

We are most concerned with Hydro related issues.

Water Services has a hydro outage at Arkell Springs and their Woods plant. All is functioning properly on back-up generator. Hydro One has identified the issue at Arkell Springs and are committing to having it operational later this afternoon. Guelph Hydro has a number of feeders locked out and they are trying to resolve that issue.

Public Works is working diligently with all resources engaged. Main roads are looking pretty good at this point and attention is shifting to other roads in the community and sidewalks downtown. Work is ongoing to prioritize and deal with trees / branches down with first priority being to keep roads open and assist Guelph Hydro. Guelph Fire Department is assisting Public Works with tree clearing where possible. 

Police and Fire are busy with trees down and alarm type calls. Resources are adequate at this time. GWEMS has an outage at their Fergus base and are implementing contingency plans. Guelph Fire is managing issues in Guelph Eramosa Township due to our contract with them.

Corporate Communications is in the process of getting out supportive messaging to the community.

We are setting up our primary Emergency Operations Centre in the event we need it later. The weather report indicates a slight warm up this afternoon, the possibility of winds picking up and a cool down later. We hope for a period of melt off to assist us.

We are meeting again at 3:30 p.m. and are communicating as necessary in the interim.

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Sunday Dec 22nd - 2013

Email from Staff as of 10:44am:



The following email is to provide an update on which CSS facilities will be open today and which are closed due to the storm. 

Victoria Road Recreation Centre 
Centennial Arena and Pool
McCrae House
Guelph Civic Museum
Evergreen Seniors Community Centre

Any staff and clients impacted by the closures are being notified by phone by the Facility Managers. 

West End Community Centre
Exhibition Arena
Sleeman Centre
Market Square
River Run Centre - 7:30 pmperformance of Nutcracker to proceed as planned. 

These facilities are already open and staffed and so we will keep them open as long as they have power, however we are still encouraging people to stay off the roads and not to venture out unnecessarily. 




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Sunday Dec 22nd - 2013

Email from staff as of 9:55am here:


Subject: Public Works - Storm Update - Sunday 22 Dec 13 

Good morning Mayor Farbridge and Council,


The aim of this e-mail is to update you on Public Works Department activity.  This update is to be read in conjunction with the update that was sent out earlier this morning from Fire and Emergency Services.


Public Works road and Downtown maintenance crews have worked all night to make the roads and right of ways passable.  It has been extremely challenging as we have been fighting against the continued storm all through the night.  As soon as salt is put down, additional precipitation has diluted it.  However, we are persisting.  The current state of the roads is that the mains and secondary routes are wet and passable, but will required continued monitoring and application of material.  Sidewalk crews have also been out, but are struggling to keep up and making a difference given the nature of this right of way (ie. Lack of traffic, pressure and latent surface temperature).  Time permitting, Road crews will go into residential areas to put down some salt/sand but this is proving challenging in some areas as low hanging trees are preventing trucks from getting down streets.


Main concern now is Hydro outages (blown transformers) and hazard situation with our Urban Forest.  Ice accretion has had a significant impact and the heavier load is causing trees to fail.  We have approximately 30 calls of trees/limbs on roads and houses.  As per the storms in April and July, we are prioritizing our clean up efforts.  First priority is to assist Guelph Hydro where we can.  Second priority is to clear roads so that Polic and Fire & Emergency Services can gain access if necessary.  Third priority is opening access to residential homes from downed City trees.


Operational leadership is meeting at Guelph Fire HQ at 10 am this morning to discuss operational coordination and communication.  Stacey Hare is is available to support from Corporate Communication.


Finally, as expected, we are experiencing an extremely high call volume.  I am asking for your support to pass on our priorities and to assist residents in not inflating the seriousness of their issue.  When this is done, it takes us away from the higher priority work we need to be focused on.   If people do not need to travel, I respectfully ask all residents to stay off roads and sidewalks today.



Rod Keller | General Manager

Public Works Department

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Sunday Dec 22nd - 2013

Email received from Emergency Services STAFF. 

We have been monitoring the storm through the night in conjunction with Rod Keller and his team (Rod will updateseparately). 

Guelph Police Service and Guelph Fire Department are reporting a relatively low number of storm related calls, primarily relating to Hydro issues. Their resources are not significantly impacted at this time. GWEMS is not reporting significant calls for service but our Fergus base is without power. 

Guelph Hydro has a number of outages throughout the City and I am awaiting a call which will provide a timeline on likely repair. The general areas affected are:

Woodlawn / Victoria, Victoria / York, Hanlon / Stone / College, Edinburgh / Water.

We expect that as people get up for the day our calls for service will increase as they notice tree limbs down, etc. We will report further as more is known.

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Thursday Dec 19th - 2013

ServiceGuelph to stay open later on Thursdays
Six-month pilot begins January 2

GUELPH, ON, December 19, 2013 – Starting on January 2, the ServiceGuelph counter located on the main floor of City Hall will be staying open later on Thursdays.
The extended service hours, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., are part of a six-month pilot program to measure customer walk-in traffic as well as the type of City Hall services residents would like offered after hours.
“By extending our ServiceGuelph hours we hope to offer residents a more convenient alternative to paying for the most popular City services outside of regular City hall business hours,” says Markham Wismer, supervisor of ServiceGuelph.
Between 4:30 and 7 p.m. on Thursdays, ServiceGuelph will offer the following payments/transactions: marriage licenses, dog tags, payments for parking tickets, property tax bills, or business licence renewals, purchase of bulky item/cart exchange tickets, transit ticket and pass sales, as well as recreation lesson and program registrations.
The City is reallocating existing staff to cover the evening hours, so no additional wages or overtime will be used. The pilot will end on Thursday, June 26.
For more information about ServiceGuelph, including a list of service available at its City Hall location, visit guelph.ca/serviceguelph.
Peter Avgoustis
Manager, Business Services
T 519-822-1260 x 2594
E peter.avgoustis@guelph.ca

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Thursday Dec 19th - 2013

In response to concerns rasied at my town hall meeting from Dec 17th, 2013 & from some emails from residents that couldn't attend the town hall, city staff have sent the following info I'd like to share:


Stephanie Drive – Guelph Transit speeding concerns:
Staff have reviewed 29 different times (and different days) to determine an average speed of route #9 traveling along Stephanie Drive. The results of our analysis, based on historical information, has provided an average speed of 37.3km/h. Since the average speed is less than 50km/h it is therefore not a cause for concern for Guelph Transit; however, if residents do believe a bus is speeding along Stephanie Drive – please record the date and time of the trip and if possible the bus number and Transit can review accordingly (see contact info. below).

Stephanie Drive – Corridor concerns:
This street was chosen for the #9 route since it had the lowest average speed for Guelph Transit and therefore permits passengers to arrive downtown in a timely fashion to transfer. Additionally, there is good connectivity within the neighbourhood, for instance walking paths connect to Stephanie drive, and local streets also connect to Stephanie Drive.

Guelph Transit does operate on streets that do include schools and school related traffic, based on our observations, this has not caused any concerns from our perspective and does not create an unsafe situation on Stephanie Drive. Elmira Road and Fife Road were not considered a feasible option for the #9 route since it is a greater distance for the bus to travel, additionally, #2A (northbound) and #2B (southbound) currently operate along these streets.

Guelph Transit will commit to monitoring our service on Stephanie Drive once Costco construction has been completed.

Stephanie Drive – Passenger Information:
The Stephanie Drive area is when the #9 route is beginning to travel back to Guelph Central Station. It is likely that passengers picked-up along the route (outbound trip from downtown) have been dropped off and the route is now beginning to pick passengers up to bring them into the downtown area (therefore the number of passengers on Route #9 along Stephanie Drive may be a low number). In 2014, Guelph Transit will be obtaining Automatic Passenger Counters (APC’s) for our buses; this will give us a better idea as to how many passengers are getting on Route #9 and how many passengers are leaving our service on Stephanie Drive.

West End Transit Service
In the future, Guelph Transit will be meeting with the community to review the bus routes that service the west end. This will be contingent upon the following construction occurring:
-    The connection of the West End Recreation Centre driveway (from Imperial Road to Elmira Road) and;
-    Silvercreek Parkway connection (from Waterloo Avenue to Paisley Road).

For any further comments and concerns please contact us at Transit@guelph.ca

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Wednesday Dec 18th - 2013

Dec 18th, 2013:


Hugh Whiteley is well known to city hall.

He comes and delegates on pretty much everything. That's fine with me, at least he's interested in what's going on in our community. He’s been very interested as of late on the proposed skateboard park and it’s location near the river. Hugh often comes to remind council of the 30 meter setback that is recommended throughout the city. Beyond that issue, he has now come forward to inform us that he believes we (council) were "misled by Mayor Farbridge and staff". That we've given no direction to staff to pick the Silvercreek location in the past whatsoever.


His document outlining this is attached HERE: Dec_17_memo_to_Council.pdf

All of council was provided with info, prior to all of Hugh Whiteley’s allegations, and it’s pasted below for you. It states from staff that we (and past councils) did indeed give direction on this location.

From what I read, the Sept 13th, 2011 direction clearly states the Silvercreek location.

When his email of concerns was sent around to council, staff, Mayor Farbridge and the media this week, I responded to him that I would allow our staff to comment on his concerns. We’re still awaiting a staff response and if any new info comes from them, then so be it. If he's right, he's right. If not, skate on.

Cam Guthrie


Staff email from Dec 13th, 2013:

Good Afternoon,
CSS committee members requested additional information on the Silvercreek Skatepark Site Selection Process and role clarity regarding the River Systems Advisory Group at December 10th, 2013’s CSS Committee.  Below is a summary  of  information that attempts to provide more process and role clarity for City Council.

Site Selection Process:

Council Direction-October 19th 2009
•    Staff be directed to proceed with a study on the relocation of the Deerpath Park Skateboard Area including a review of locations, site treatments, costs and timing;
•    AND THAT Council approve the establishment of a working group of stakeholders and residents to assist staff with the Deerpath Park Skateboard Area relocation study.
•    Skatepark Relocation Working Group is established. Members include cross-section of community including; 2 youth, a retired police officer, a school teacher, 2 parents of young children, a community recreation worker, representative from a local business, a social worker, and a sitting City Councillor. The group was supported by a City of Guelph parks planner, youth services staff and the manager of GM of Parks and Recreation. This group met 7 times through 2010/11.
•    The Working Group reviewed more than 80 sites throughout the City that were City owned/managed. Sites that were deemed inappropriate were eliminated and the list was pared down to 20 sites for further review. Each remaining site was tested against a criteria of best practices for skateboard park placement. This criteria included; city owned/controlled property, easy to patrol and excellent sightlines for patrolling, close to major transit routes, close to existing amenities such as washrooms, shelter, convenience stores, on or close to major thoroughfares, sufficient distance from nearby residence and proximity to existing parking. The list of 20 sites was narrowed down to 4 sites that scored very well. These sites were: Larry Pearson Park, Eastview Community Park, Centennial/College Heights greenspace and Silvercreek Park. Each of these sites were again rated and critiqued by the working group and further passed on to School Boards, Guelph Police Services, EMS, Parks Planning for review and comment. Through this process the Silvercreek Park site emerged as the preferred site (by a wide margin) and was the only site of  the 4 that staff and working group felt was suitable for skatepark placement. The working group also recommended that the City of Guelph invest in a community wide facility respond to community need demonstrated at the Deerpath location (volume of riders surpassed facility size). The group’s recommendations were presented to Guelph City Council on September 13th, 2011.

Council Direction – September 13th, 2011
•    Council endorse the recommendations of the Skatepark Advisory Group as to both the Silvercreek Park location and the design of a potential skateboard park as per the attached report;
•    AND THAT staff be directed to report back to the Committee the results of consulting with the public, relevant agencies and the skateboarding community on the primary site and design features;
•    Responding to Council’s direction issued contract to van der Zalm and Associates for Site Evaluation and Conceptual Design work. Additionally, topographic study and geotechnical study were contracted to assess site suitability. Each of these studies further supported the Silvercreek site as a suitable location for a skatepark build.
•    Further conversation and assessment were completed with the Grand River Conservation Authority, the City of Guelph’s Environmental Planners, PBEE Engineering team with specific attention paid to existing guiding documents (OPA 42) and planned projects (York Trunk Sewer/Paisley-Clythe Feedermain).
•    CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) Study was completed by Guelph Police Services and the site continued to rate very well.
•    CSS Community Engagement team supported the community consultation process and a Community Engagement plan was drafted/adhered to for this portion of the project.
•    3 Community Consultations were completed (2 with user groups and 1 community session on site). Feedback from each of these sessions was included in design work and community comment on site selection was included in site planning considerations.
•    Grand River Conservation Authority continues to support City Staff and Consultant team in completing permit requirements for build at Silvercreek site.
•    Staff have identified presentation of concept designs and completed EIS Study to the River Systems Advisory Committee for review and comment as a next step in the process.   

RSAC Involvement and Information:

Role/Purpose of RSAC

The purpose of the River Systems Advisory Committee (RSAC) is to provide advice and assistance to staff and Council on issues that impact on waterways and adjacent lands within the City of Guelph.  RSAC is a citizen advisory group made up of nine members.  They meet approximately 6 to 7 times a year.  This Committee is lead by the Planning Services Section of Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment.  The Development Section’s Environmental Planner is the lead staff contact with this Committee.  
Primarily RSAC is circulated and involved on all new and existing subwatershed studies as well they would be circulated on selected public and municipal projects involving lands within the River System Management Plan corridor or lands abutting watercourses.  

RSAC’s involvement with the Silvercreek Skateboard Park

•    Development Planning-Planning Services cannot confirm RSAC’s involvement with this proposed skateboard facility prior to July 2012.   
•    Since then we can confirm that earlier this year the CSS Project Manager contacted our Environmental Planner and asked for direction on this particular site which we directed that a EIS would be required should the City proceed with this proposal and that the proposal would need to be circulated to the RSAC.  
•    The steps for an EIS would begin with the development a Terms of Reference for the EIS.  Once completed the EIS would be circulated to RSAC for their review.  
•    The responsibility to bring the proposal forward to RSAC is that of the Project Manager on this phase of the file which is currently Adam Rutherford.  
•    Once this site selection process is complete then Rory Templeton will be taking carriage of this project as the Construction Manager for the remaining two phases of the file which are detailed design and construction.
•    Staff have received the Terms of Reference earlier this week.  We will be circulating this T of R to RSAC this week.
•    The CSS Project Manager has provided comments regarding the policies related to OPA 42.  
•    However, Development Planning still has the current Official Plan policies that are actually in effect and these policies may not be as supportive of this type of proposal on these lands.  
•    However that being said, the zoning Floodplain (FL) permits the propose skateboard park use subject to the approval of GRCA.  The current Official Plan (Section 6.9.4 and 6.7.2) due to proximity to fish habitat and significant environmental corridor requires an acceptable EIS for this type of proposal.
•    Staff understands that RSAC is an advisory committee pertaining to Guelph’s river systems and look forward to the groups support as staff move forward on this project.

OPA 42
The proposed skatepark location is not;
•    located in an area recommended for the City of Guelph’s Natural Heritage System,
•    is not identified as a “significant natural”, “natural” or “area recommended for restoration” and
•    is not identified as an area requiring “minimum watercourse buffers”
•    the area proposed for skatepark development is not constrained by boundaries outlined in OPA 42

Staff are following OPA42 direction through the completion of EIS (Environmental Impact Study) as noted in OPA 42  6.1.4

OPA 42  6.1.4
Permitted development and site alteration within and adjacent to the Natural Heritage System (as outlined in Table 6.1) shall be required to demonstrate, through an EIS or EA to the satisfaction of the City, in consultation with the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), the Province and federal government, as applicable, that there will be no negative impacts on the natural heritage features and areas or their ecological and hydrological functions.

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Wednesday Dec 18th - 2013

Two-way GO train service to Kitchener needed: “Canada’s Innovation Supercluster”
KITCHENER –The cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph, the Region of Waterloo and partners in the region’s technology and financial services sectors, including Communitech, Google Canada, Open Text, Desire2Learn, Manulife, and The Co-operators, are calling on the provincial government to provide full two-way GO Train service on the Kitchener Line by including an allocation for this service in the 10-year capital portion of the 2014 provincial budget.
A comprehensive 90-page business case, documenting the benefits for the regional and provincial economy of this service, has been presented to the Minister of Transportation, as well as to officials in the Office of the Premier, the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment and at Metrolinx.
The recent report from the Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel further strengthens the case for investing in transit. Importantly, the panel notes that the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is not the only area requiring this investment, and any revenues generated outside of the GTHA should be spent in those regions.
The Toronto to Waterloo region corridor, known as Canada’s Innovation Supercluster, represents one of the most significant economic growth opportunities both provincially and nationally.  Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr noted that two-way rail service is essential to leverage the significant economic and city-building momentum already underway along this 100 km corridor.
“This is about job creation and our ability to attract and retain the best and brightest minds,” said Mayor Zehr.  “The Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto innovation corridor represents one of the most significant economic growth opportunities in Ontario and Canada.   Two-way GO train is the catalyst we need to accelerate urban intensification and enhance sustainability — both key provincial and community objectives.”
“We have the opportunity – and the obligation – to leverage the talent and minds our innovators need.  We are calling for a forward-thinking commitment and investment from the provincial and federal governments to create one large and internationally competitive corridor of innovation,” Mayor Zehr added.
The business case for two-way urban commuter rail cites compelling stats:  two out of every three new tech companies in Canada are founded in Waterloo region.  An enhanced intercity transit service, from Toronto to Waterloo region, would create a globally-competitive tech ecosystem, with over 12,800 companies, 2,800 start-ups and 205,000 tech employees. Job growth forecasts estimate that more than $800 million in personal income tax would be generated.  
“We are seeing incredible opportunities and advances as we link our regional strengths together. Guelph’s innovation contribution is unique but dependent on the whole to succeed,” said Guelph’s Mayor, Karen Farbridge. “We recognize two-way GO service as a key piece to unleash the potential of this entire region.”
There is a growing need for improved transit between downtown Toronto, Guelph and Waterloo region.  Full-day GO bus service would establish a ridership pattern and address the immediate need for improved transit.
“Commuter travel to Waterloo region from the GTA has been steadily increasing since 2006,” said Ken Seiling, Regional Chair. “Two-way GO service and more trains daily between the GTA and Waterloo region is essential to helping our local companies recruit and keep the workers they need to continue to expand not only the region’s tech sector - which employs more than 33,000 people and is valued at $30 billion – but also our other key sectors including manufacturing, insurance, business and financial services.  The Region continues to work with Kitchener and Cambridge to improve GO services to our community.”
Canada’s Innovation Supercluster is renowned for private sector success in several economic sectors including finance and insurance, manufacturing, post-secondary and research, and, of course, technology.  
“The growth in our region is impressive and connectivity to the GTA and the potential synergies that could occur would result in a globally significant supercluster, comparable to Silicon Valley,” stated Mayor Brenda Halloran, City of Waterloo. “The distance between San Francisco and San Jose is similar to the Toronto / Waterloo region corridor; even our populations are similar. Silicon Valley has successfully attracted talent by providing a balance between work opportunities and easy access to the urban lifestyle. Waterloo region and Toronto could easily provide the same.”
The business case “Innovative regional economies and strategic infrastructure:  the business case for two-way urban commuter rail on the CN North Mainline” was developed, researched and produced in collaboration between the City of Kitchener’s Economic Development division and the City of Waterloo, the City of Guelph, the Region of Waterloo and the following private sector partners:  Communitech, Google Canada, Desire2Learn, Open Text, Manulife and The Co-operators.  
The document presents the case for extending the two-way GO Train service from Union Station and Brampton to Kitchener.  The business case contains a number of maps, cost-savings analysis, ridership estimates and development potential, and is organized in six sections:
-          Ontario’s economic growth opportunity;
-          Building an innovation supercluster
-          Innovative cities in the Waterloo region to Toronto corridor
-          The geography of innovation
-          Proposed two-way GO Train service
-          Recommendations and conclusion
The recommendation: a 10-year capital allocation for rail infrastructure be established by the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada to support full two-way GO Train service on the Kitchener Line (CN North Mainline) in the 2014 Provincial and Federal capital budgets. Read the business case here.
City of Kitchener
Laura Johnston, Director
Corporate Communications and Marketing
T 519-741-2200 x 7935
E laura.johnston@kitchener.ca

City of Waterloo
Megan Harris, Director, Communications
Corporate Services
T 519-747-8513
E megan.harris@waterloo.ca
City of Guelph
Kate Sullivan, Communications Assistant
Office of the Mayor
T 519-822-1260 x 2558
E kate.sullivan@guelph.ca

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Wednesday Dec 18th - 2013

December 16th, 2013

Your Worship and Members of Council –when I provided a verbal update to members of PBEE Committee last Monday outlining the successful roll out of the second phase of carts,  I provided the following statistics verbally.  Here they are in email format as requested.

The second phase of the cart rollout has been as successful, if not more so, than the initial rollout.  This is demonstrated by the following metrics.

Customer service inquiries from start of distribution to end of November

2012 =12,700
2013 = 7,900

Number of exchanges from end of distribution to end of November
2012 = 2517
2013 = 2108 (which includes 615 exchanges completed by SWR at 110 Dunlop Drive as an improved customer service)

Amount of collection hours in the first four weeks of the rollout (includes bag and cart collections)
2012 - 3098 hours
2013 - 2881 hours

If there are any questions, please contact me.

Dean F. Wyman
General Manager
Solid Waste Resources Department
City of Guelph

P: 519-822-1260 ext.2053
F: 519-767-1660

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Wednesday Dec 18th - 2013

GUELPH, ON, December 18, 2013

Guelph’s new water and wastewater rates take effect January 1.
The rate increases, which were communicated to residents earlier in the fall and approved by City Council on November 5, amount to an approximate increase of $0.52 per household each week, or a 3.5 per cent increase on the average residential bill.
Successful water conservation and infrastructure renewal programs have led to the lowest rate increase in more than five years.
The 2014 rates are driven by increases in:
•    financial contributions for future water and wastewater infrastructure and infrastructure renewal;
•    staffing support and proposed expansions to enhance service; and
•    costs of service support for items such as source water protection, energy and fuel.
These drivers reflect the City’s commitment to taking care of what it owns, and enhancing city services.
Residents and businesses can decrease their water bills by reducing the amount of water they use. The City offers a variety of resources to assist residents and local businesses to conserve water and reduce water/wastewater utility bills.
For more information on 2014 rates, and for water conservation tips, visit guelph.ca/water.

Peter Busatto
General Manager
Water Services
T 519-837-5627
E peter.busatto@guelph.ca

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Friday Dec 13th - 2013

Dec 13th, 2013

I've been wondering a lot lately about the right to access issue regarding the rental licensing. Does the city have the right to enter or not? Some say we need the licensing to gain access for the "health and safety" side of this issue. While others have been telling me a licensing program initiated by the city will not give anymore right for inspections to take place and that the right to do so already exists. Confusing isn't it! So I asked staff this week and the link takes you to their answer. However, some follow-up to this is coming from our fire department so stay tuned:


Link: Rights_of_access_to_rental_housing_properties.pdf




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Thursday Dec 12th - 2013

Dec 12th, 2013

Staff email to council:


Good morning Mayor Farbridge and Members of Guelph City Council,

Attached please find an Internal Memo from Ann Pappert, Al Horsman, and Loretta Alonzo, regarding Fiscal Sustainability Levers and Tools, as requested by the Governance Committee (per the Service Rationalization report).


Please be advised that hard copies will be provided at the December 16th Council meeting. 



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Thursday Dec 12th - 2013

Dec12th, 2013:

The city (the taxpayers) pays your money to their employees. Both unionized and non unionized. This post is in reference to the Non-Union Municipal Employees, or NUME as we like to call the group.
This email was sent to all of council and I’m posting it here for you to see, and here's an ARTICLE from the Guelph Tribune about it as well.

1.    How many non union employees do we have – 260
2.    What is the difference between the current step system and the proposed progression pay program – Currently, there are 5 ‘steps’ in each non union salary range, and subject to satisfactory performance employees move through the steps in the range each year following a performance review/evaluation. The progression pay program establishes 0-3.5% as the amount available for non union employees to earn based on performance to move through their salary range, allowing the City to distinguish between levels of performance. Where the current system is an all or nothing i.e. an employee either receives a step increase or does not, the progression pay program enables a distinction between those employees who meet and/or exceed expectations with those who may not be meeting expectations.
3.    Will it take longer for someone to reach the maximum of their salary range – Yes
4.    Are there cost savings associated with the program – While implementing a progression pay program does not have as a primary goal to save money – it is more to modernize our practices – inherently budgeting for 0-3.5% is less than budgeting for 5% step increases – Staff will be developing options for how to budget for progression pay to bring back to Council that enables transparency in how funds are proposed to be budgeted.

Mark Amorosi |Executive Director
Corporate and Human Resources
City of Guelph
T 519-822-1260 X2281 | F 519-763-2685
E mark.amorosi@guelph.ca

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Wednesday Dec 11th - 2013

Email recieved from STAFF on Dec 11th, 2013:


Chair Hofland:

At its meeting of September 15, 2013, the Corporate Administration, Finance and Enterprise Committee received the June 2013 Year End Variance Report that identified a projected year end unfavourable variance of $2.36 million (as of June 30, 2013). CAFE Committee further directed staff to provide monthly updates on progress towards mitigating the projected variance. This e-mail is provided as the last of these updates for 2013 and identifies the current adjustments achieved to date to offset through cost containment and mitigation strategies the $2.36 million described in the June 2013 Year End Variance Report. In total, save other unexpected pressures and/or savings occurring between now and year end 2013 staff currently project as of October 31, 2013 that there will be no (zero) year-end variance in 2013. However, due to staff to date only meeting the lower end of the ranges identified in previous monthly update e-mails to Council a draw from both the Legal and Winter Control reserves would be required to meet the current (as of October 31, 2013) favourable forecast of $92,000. The details for this forecast are found in the 2013 Operating Variance Report that was received by CAFE at its meeting of December 3, 2013.

Projected Variance (as at June 30, 2013)  
                              $2.357 million


City Departments Cost Containment                                       $0.558 million
Reduced Benefits (new Contract September 2013)                $0.190 million
Lower Utility Costs (Community Energy Program)                  $0.140 million
Lower Debt Servicing & MPAC costs                                       $0.628 million
Unfavorable Local Boards / Shared Services                          $(0.337) million
Lower Tax Write Offs / Higher Supp Revenue                         $0.570 million

Sub-Total Mitigation / Cost Containment Strategies               $1.749 million

Projected Shortfall / (Surplus) Before Reserves                     $0.608 million
(as at August 31, 2013)

Legal Reserve                                                                         $0.350 million
Winter Control Costs Reserve Offset                                    $0.350 million

Projected Shortfall / (Surplus) After Reserves                       $(0.092) million
(as at October 31, 2013)

The overview provided here relates to City departments and Local Boards and Shared Services. It further assumes that the 2013 Efficiency Target will be met. As described in the December 3, 2013 CAFE Report on the Efficiency Target staff have identified $447,000 in efficiencies ($683,000 annualized). In summary, staff continue to seek means to further reduce the need for drawing on the Legal or Winter Control contingency reserves, but remain confident that budget will be met for yearend 2013 either way.


Albert Horsman, Executive Director and CFO
Finance and Enterprise
City of Guelph
T 519-822-1260 x 5606
E al.horsman@guelph.ca

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Wednesday Dec 11th - 2013

Guelph appoints General Manager of Guelph Transit

Guelph, ON, December 11, 2013 – The City of Guelph is pleased to announce the appointment of Phil Meagher to the position of general manager, Guelph Transit.  
Meagher has been serving as the acting general manager since early August.  During this period, Meagher has demonstrated his skill and ability to lead Guelph Transit in an inclusive, collaborative manner that has been well received by staff at Transit and the organization as a whole.
"Phil's skills and abilities have resulted in positive change visible to those that work closely with Transit.  Further, and as importantly, his customer-first focus has resulted in improvements in system performance and customer service to our ridership," noted Derek McCaughan, executive director of Operations, Transit and Emergency Services.  "My congratulations to Phil on this appointment and best wishes for continued success."  
Meagher’s professional portfolio includes extensive management experience in the transit industry, including superintendent of Queensway (Bus) Division at the Toronto Transit Commission, general manager of Oshawa Transit Commission, and deputy general manager of Operations at Durham Region Transit. Most recently, in his role as the manager of transportation at the Niagara Parks Commission, Meagher oversaw the introduction of the WEGO Visitor Transportation System.
For more information

Derek McCaughan
Executive Director
Operations, Transit and Emergency Services
519-822-1260  extension 2018

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Monday Dec 9th - 2013

Town Hall Announcement:

One of the promises I made during the last election was to have town hall meetings. Yes, emails, phone calls, social media and the random coffee chats are still a great way to communicate, but - having town halls bring the community together in a format that can help educate, let city staff take back ideas to city hall and finally to have me hear and feel the pulse of things in the ward I represent.

With that being said, the next town hall will be on Tuesday December 17th, 2013 at the West End Centre in the Lion’s Room. It will start sharp at 6:45pm and end at 8:30pm. We will discuss the following:

1.    New Transit routes in the west end, specifically discussing changes made earlier this year on Stephanie Dr.
2.    Parking and driveway issues, concentrating on the Curzon Crescent area.
3.    An overview of the new garbage bin system in Guelph.
4.    Open Q & A to end the evening.

As usual, my wife and I will provide some treats, coffee and tea! AND...because it’s Christmas time we’ll even bring some egg nog. If you are so willing, I’ll bring an empty basket that maybe we can fill with food donations that can go to a needy family at this time of year. So bring some canned goods if you can!

I often get asked that if you don't live in Ward 4, can you still attend the town hall? My answer is a resounding YES! We'll spend a lot of time during the open question and answer period at the end of the meeting, so please feel free to come. If you need anything, I’m here, just give me a shout or email me!



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Thursday Dec 5th - 2013

Myself, Gloria and Jim moved a motion within the Audit committee meeting for this chart. Although defeated by the rest of council (excluding Bob & Andy), we have the chart now available. Some on council didn't see some value in this or could not understand the context of why we would want it. For myself, I wanted to see year over year where employees were being added, and compare that with the departments within the city that were seeing large amounts of overtime ect...

It's an interesting read: Headcount2014.pdf




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christine.billings@guelph.ca | 519-826-0567

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