Ward 4 News

Councillor - Christine Billings

Tuesday Jun 24th - 2014

Council gets update from staff on Urbacon ruling

Guelph, ON, June 23, 2014 – City Council received information from staff regarding the Urbacon ruling at tonight’s closed meeting of Council.

“Tonight Council listened to the information staff provided and asked questions,” says Guelph’s mayor Karen Farbridge. “There was no direction given by Council tonight.”

Last Tuesday, the City received the reasons for Justice Donald MacKenzie’s ruling in the case between the City of Guelph and Urbacon Buildings Group Corp. Since then staff has been reviewing the court document.

The City has reserved the right to appeal the court’s ruling.

Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert, explains, “Administration’s role now is to give Council its best recommendations for moving forward. We will be doing that at the next closed meeting of Council on July 14.”

•    Backgrounder – litigation regarding City Hall construction
•    City Hall and Courthouse timeline

For more information

Mayor’s Office
City of Guelph

Mark Amorosi
Executive Director, Corporate and Human Resources
Acting Chief Administrative Officer (until July 8)
519-822-1260 extension 2281

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Tuesday Jun 24th - 2014

We would like to personally invite you and your colleagues to join us for this exciting new event coming to Guelph on July 6th. Please share this email with your colleagues, friends and family. Our goal is to have 500 cyclists at our inaugural event. Help us exceed our goal!

The Rotary Clubs of Guelph South and Guelph Trillium are proud to invite you to a brand new exciting event in our community!

July 6 2014 is the inaugural Tour de Guelph cycling event. This family-friendly cycling event is being held at the University of Guelph with various route options to choose from. You can register today for the tour at www.tourdeguelph.ca<http://www.tourdeguelph.ca>.

Tour de Guelph is a fundraiser in support of The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital, and we are offering prizes for our top fundraisers. Encourage your friends and family to sponsor your ride for your chance to win! There’s also a bike to be awarded to the top youth fundraiser (thank you George Vettor  Cycle and Sport!)

There is a route suitable for all riding levels: 5- and 10-km scenic rides through the University of Guelph Arboretum, or longer rides of 25 km, 50 km or 100 km along country roads just outside of Guelph. There will also be a bike rodeo for kids, free lunch and t-shirt for riders, and several exciting vendors and booths to browse.

Register today and help us reach our goal of 500 riders at our very first event! Visit www.tourdeguelph.ca<http://www.tourdeguelph.ca> for details, or contact us at info@tourdeguelph.ca<mailto:info@tourdeguelph.ca> with your questions.

The City of Guelph is pleased to be a partner in supporting this bicycle-friendly event.

Jennifer Juste | Transportation Demand Management Coordinator
Engineering Services, Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment
City of Guelph

T 519-822-1260 ext 2791
E jennifer.juste@guelph.ca

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Monday Jun 23rd - 2014

I attended the City of Guelph Staff BBQ today and it was well attended! One of the great things was the Dragons Den Ideas that were introduced! I beleive there were about 21 new ideas that came foward and here's a summary from the CAO about them. They really were great! Great job by front line staff!

Good afternoon,
On behalf of the Executive Team, just a note to thank you all for attending the staff barbeque today. Great to see more than 500 staff in attendance.  I hope you enjoyed the food, entertainment and the connection with your colleagues across the organization.
 I always look forward to this event. It gives us an opportunity to celebrate our successes and – collectively – recognize everyone’s ongoing commitment and excellent work.
Our Dragons’ Den added some flavor to this year’s BBQ.  21 registered pitches! Such amazing talent we have in our organization. I am impressed with the caliber of entries and appreciate the time folks took to present compelling cases for their ideas – with so much passion. It is inspiring to see our vision of making a difference in action.
Thanks to all the participants and winners in the following categories:
•       Best idea in Organizational Excellence – Ian Hudman and Lonny Crick for the Catch Basin Cleaning Pilot Project
•       Best idea in City Building – Manjusha Pradhan and Mathew Thomas for Ask Guelph Internet Portal
•       Best idea in Innovation in Local Government – Nicholas Rosenberg, Gerald Moore and Tammy Hogg for Building Permit Drawing Software
•       Best crew/work unit idea – Phil Kellman and Marty Brooks for Sidewalk Clearing
•       Best Cross-collaboration idea – Don Harris, Samantha Jansen and Julia Tsai for City Hall Revolving Door
Next step is for Dragons and front line staff to create their implementation plans for funded and supported ideas. 19 of the 21 pitched ideas will be moving forward. Stay tuned!
Thanks to Suzanne Holder who did a terrific job in planning the Dragon’s Den and staff BBQ events.
Ann Pappert | Chief Administrative Officer
City of Guelph
T 519-822-1260 x 2221
E ann.pappert@guelph.ca

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Wednesday Jun 18th - 2014

The judge released his detailed decisions as to why he originally found the City of Guelph wrong to terminate the contractor. Here is the 65 page decision: Urbacon_v._Guelph_Final_June_17,_2014.pdf

Council now has a meeting with legal staff to advise on next steps June 23rd.

Thank you,


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Tuesday Jun 17th - 2014

Media Release
Process begins to amalgamate Guelph Hydro Inc. with Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc.

Guelph, Ontario, June 17, 2014 - Guelph City Council has approved in principle the amalgamation of its municipal holding company, Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. (GMHI) with Guelph Hydro Inc.(GHI).

Council’s approval is subject to its satisfaction with GMHI’s due diligence and business case for amalgamation, which will be presented to Council this August.

The City of Guelph is GMHI’s sole shareholder. GMHI is, in turn, the sole shareholder of Guelph Hydro Inc. – a holding company for the regulated utility Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. (GHESI) and the unregulated company Envida Community Energy Inc.

The amalgamation would provide a more streamlined and effective governance structure for GMHI that is better aligned with best practices in corporate governance. It would not affect the operation of GHESI, the utility that provides electricity to customers in Guelph and Rockwood.

GMHI was established by the City in 2011 in order to manage City-owned assets more strategically, maximize the value of those assets, and achieve greater alignment with the City’s priorities.

In a review of its current situation, GMHI identified that progress on these goals has been hampered by a cumbersome governance structure.

“A more streamlined structure will provide the agility, skills, and resources needed for GMHI to achieve what it was established to do,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge, Chair of GMHI’s Board of Directors. “It will enable GMHI to capitalize on exciting business opportunities ahead.”

Those opportunities include the potential addition of three new subsidiary companies to GMHI’s portfolio over the next two years: a new real estate-based development corporation to direct select City assets and operations such as downtown land parcels and parking; a thermal utility to deliver on the District Energy Strategic Plan; and Guelph Junction Railway, an established railway with emerging potential.  

“GMHI is at an exciting point in meeting its mission,” said Ann Pappert, the City of Guelph’s CAO and GMHI’s CEO. “However, its multiple holding companies and subsidiary boards – each with different communication protocols, systems, and approaches to risk management – is complicating business deliberations and slowing progress. This amalgamation will enable us to make better use of resources and talent, grow the business, and increase value.”

GHI has indicated support for working with the GMHI board to achieve a corporate structure that fosters and protects the sustainability of Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. and Envida Community Energy while meeting the objectives identified by the GMHI board.

GMHI’s 2013 Annual Report Can be found at: www.guelphholdings.com


Questions and Answers

Q Will the amalgamation of Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. (GMHI) and Guelph Hydro Inc. (GHI) result in additional costs for taxpayers or ratepayers?

A No. In fact, there are cost savings associated with a reduced number of boards and related support costs. These savings will be articulated in the Business Case that will be developed and delivered to the shareholder (Guelph City Council) in August.

Q Is the GMHI Board qualified to oversee Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. (GHESI), which is a regulated Local Electrical Distribution Utility, and Envida Community Energy?

A Both GHESI and Envida currently have qualified boards of directors and managers. They will not be changed. GHI has traditionally done what it appropriate for all holding companies and that is to manage the synergies and business opportunities across assets. The proposed amalgamation will expand those synergies across a broader range of companies and assets.

Q Is this amalgamation designed to set up Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. to be more easily sold?

A No. In fact, the amalgamation of GHI and GMHI will ensure that Council, as shareholder, has full and complete oversight in entertaining any offers to purchase our local utility that may be presented.  

Q Is anyone losing their job because of the amalgamation?

A No. Some employees of GHI, not GHESI or Envida, may have their job descriptions expanded to support other activities within the GMHI family of companies. GHI currently has nine employees.

Q Will this affect my Hydro bill or service?

A No. Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. (GHESI), which delivers hydro service to homes and businesses, will remain unchanged. It is business as usual for GHESI. It is the holding company – GHI- that is proposed to be amalgamated.

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Tuesday Jun 17th - 2014

Hello Cam,


Below are some links that you may be interested in checking out. 






There is one in Stratford that is quite wonderful as well.




I did mention the group in Guelph called “The Seed”. They have several partners at the table but are still in the starting out and trying to get things going stage.  I’m not super involved with this group... yet. 




Personally I feel this is needed in our community. ANYWAY... I just wanted to follow up on our conversation with some info for you to take a look at.    

Have a wonderful day!


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Tuesday Jun 17th - 2014

Photo Credit to Guelph Tribune

June 17th, 2014


Link to article here: http://www.guelphtribune.ca/news/election-results-by-the-numbers/

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Tuesday Jun 17th - 2014

 Guelph to fight against proposed Rogers tower  
 (GuelphMecury.com) 16/06-2014

Report on ‘poisoned’ HSR workplace goes to council
 (TheSpec.com) 16/06-2014

Guelph General CEO speaks on county funding issue
 (GuelphMecury.com) 16/06-2014

Gravel pit proposed just west of Guelph  
 (GuelphMecury.com) 16/06-2014

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Tuesday Jun 17th - 2014

AMO has released this overview of the Ontario Liberal Budget and how it applies to cities here:



Thank you,


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Tuesday Jun 17th - 2014

City preparing for demolition of Wilson Farmhouse

Guelph, ON, June 17, 2014 – The City has issued an RFP to demolish the Wilson Farmhouse.  It is anticipated the demolition work will start in July and be completed in early August.

On May 21, at a special meeting of Council devoted to the Wilson Farmhouse, Council heard delegations from several members of the community. In the end, Council passed a resolution to allow for the demolition of the farmhouse.

Physical features from the farmhouse will be documented and salvaged, where possible, as directed by the City’s senior heritage planner.

As per the Council resolution, City staff is currently working to withdraw the Notice of Intention to Designate for the property known as 80 Simmonds Drive, in accordance with Section 29 (14)(b) of the Ontario Heritage Act. Demolition will occur once the Notice of Intention to Designate has been withdrawn.

Two mature black walnut trees will be protected during demolition.

The land area surrounding the farmhouse will be retained as parkland and the City will integrate the parcel into the Wilson Farm Park Master Plan.

About Wilson Farmhouse
Wilson Farmhouse is a City-owned, two-storey farmhouse built about 1880. The building measures 2,263 square feet. Currently, 80 Simmonds Drive is zoned P.2 Parkland. In 2005, the City acquired the farmhouse as part of a parkland dedication in the Northern Heights subdivision.

For more information

Mario Petricevic
General Manager
Corporate Building Maintenance
519-822-1260 extension 2668

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Tuesday Jun 17th - 2014

Email update recieved from STAFF:

Madame Mayor and Council:

As directed by Council at its meeting of June 9, 2014, a submission was made earlier today to the Province of Ontario's Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing providing an Expression of Interest (EOI) to seek compensation for net of budget municipal expenditures (including Guelph Hydro) under the province's Ice Storm Assistance Program relating to the December 22, 2013 Ice Storm. Included in this submission was a signed attestation from the CFO, completed expression of interest forms provided by the province and other supporting documentation required for the claim. An acknowledgment from the Province of Ontario of this on-line transmittal was received late this afternoon.

As indicated at the June 9, 2014 Council Planning Meeting staff anticipate a protracted dialogue with Ministry officials over the summer leading up to the program targeted final claims verification dates of August 31, 2014, with funding decisions ultimately being announced in October, 2014. Staff will keep Council apprised of these discussions as they progress and report out on final decisions once made.

As final note, the link below describes the Ice Storm Assistance program initiative which staff understand in light of the recent provincial election will continue to be supported.



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Friday Jun 13th - 2014

Victoria Rd. North Closure Update – Re- Opening June 13, 2014

As of this morning – Friday June 13, 2014

Re-construction of the Victoria Rd. North culvert is now complete, the road surface has been restored and pavement markings are in place. The roadway is now fully open to the public.

With thanks to staff from the Grand River Conservation Authority and the Ministry of the Environment, work proceeded efficiently and has been completed ahead of schedule. In addition, interdepartmental staff within the City worked together as a team along with various contractors to complete the emergency project as soon as possible.  

We thank the public for their patience during this restoration and ask that they continue to drive safely along Victoria Rd. and remain mindful of the adjacent cycling lanes.

Nello Violin | Manager Roads and Right of Ways
Public Works Department
Operations, Transit & Emergency Services

City of Guelph
T 519-822-1260 x 3346 | F 519-821-0839

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Tuesday Jun 3rd - 2014

City staff recommends community centre for Guelph’s south end
Potential site is City-owned land south of Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School
GUELPH, ON, May 30, 2014 – On June 11, Guelph’s Community and Social Services Committee will receive a staff report recommending a new community centre in the city’s south end—an area that has seen significant population growth.
Staff will ask City Council to endorse the proposed location, refer the proposed costs—an estimated $59 million—to the 2015 capital budget process, and direct staff to continue discussions about possible shared space uses with potential partner organizations.
The recommendations are based on the results of a citywide needs assessment and feasibility study of existing recreational facilities and programs.
“We collaborated with residents and recreational user groups, online and in-person, to determine and develop a plan that best reflects the community’s recreational needs, now and in the future,” says Derrick Thomson, executive director of Community and Social Services, adding, “The feasibility study reaffirms the need for a south end community centre.” The need for a new facility in the south end was first identified in the City’s 2009 Recreation, Parks and Culture Strategic Master Plan.
The seven-month study involved an inventory and analysis of existing conditions, programs and facilities; a needs assessment to identify and prioritize current and projected recreation needs,; identifying and evaluating community-generated ideas; identifying a preferred option with costs and concept drawings; and creating a plan for implementation.
Following an evaluation of five potential sites, the City-owned land located within South End Community Park and immediately south of Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School on Poppy Drive has been identified as the most feasible and cost-effective location for the new community centre. This was based on several criteria including land size and configuration, access to local public transit, proximity to other municipality-owned facilities, and Guelph’s official plan and zoning.
“We think the site will work well, and allow for a mix of indoor and outdoor recreation facilities and programming because it’s close to the high school, South End Community Park, and the Larry Pearson ball diamonds,” Thomson explains.
The proposed 150,000-square-foot facility includes two ice rinks, an aquatics complex, seniors’ programming space, multi-purpose gymnasium, and meeting rooms. Further design work and engagement with community members, stakeholders and key user groups will continue into 2015 to finalize the specific building components.
Colleen Clack
Interim General Manager, Recreation
T 519-822-1260 x 2588
E colleen.clack@guelph.ca

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Tuesday Jun 3rd - 2014

City tests draft concept plan for St. George’s Square redesign
City seeks further public input on draft downtown documents; hosts open house
GUELPH, ON, May 30, 2014 – In advance of Monday’s open house on the future transformation of downtown Guelph streets and public spaces, City staff will paint temporary lines in St. George’s Square to help demonstrate the proposed concept for the redevelopment of the square.
“We are using temporary paint to mark out what the draft concept plan looks like on the ground and test how a redesigned square could feel,” says David de Groot, a senior urban designer with the City.
In 2012, Council adopted the Downtown Secondary Plan, which anticipates more residents and businesses downtown. To continue supporting growth and intensification in the downtown core, the City is updating the Downtown Streetscape Manual and Downtown Built Form Standards as part of implementing a detailed vision of the community’s and local businesses’ needs for the area’s squares and streets.
On June 2, community members are invited to provide input on the draft documents. The open house, being held at City Hall, begins at 6:30 p.m., and includes a presentation at 7:15 p.m.
Community input will be used to prepare the final draft of the documents which provide direction for future capital projects including road reconstruction in the downtown core as well as the review of future private development, applications and projects.
For more information about the project or to review the draft documents, visit guelph.ca/placemaking.
David de Groot
Senior Urban Designer
Planning Services
T 519-822-1260 x 2358
E david.degroot@guelph.ca

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Tuesday Jun 3rd - 2014

‘No board report’ received in City and Transit Union negotiations

Guelph, ON, June 2, 2014 – A no board report regarding negotiations between the City of Guelph and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 has been issued by the Ministry of Labour and was received by the City of Guelph this morning. Receipt of the no board report means that as of June 16 – which is 17 days from issuing the no board report – while both parties continue negotiations, the ATU and City are in a legal position to strike or lockout respectively.
The no board report in no way prescribes a deadline for the end of negotiations and does not predetermine any future actions for either the City or ATU Local 1189.
“The City is working hard to avoid any disruption to local transit service and continues to negotiate towards a fair contract for Guelph Transit employees; one that balances competitive compensation for operators, reasonable prices for transit customers and affordability for Guelph taxpayers,” said City of Guelph general manager of Human Resources, David Godwaldt.
Further negotiations are already scheduled for June 10, and the conciliator will assist the two parties on June 11, 12, 25, 26 and 30 in the hopes of reaching an agreement. An accurate account of the negotiation timeline and updates are posted at guelph.ca/atu, on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information
David Godwaldt
General Manager, Human Resources
519-822-1260 extension 2848

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

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