Ward 4 News

Councillor - Christine Billings

Thursday Aug 29th - 2013

Guelph, ON, August 29, 2013 – Earlier today, Standards & Poor's Rating Services (Standards & Poor's) increased Guelph's credit rating from AA to AA+.

"We are very pleased to see Guelph's credit rating upgraded again this year," said City treasurer, Al Horsman "The AA+ rating reaffirms our belief that the City's financial position is not only healthy, it's getting stronger."

According to the Standard & Poor's Ratings Direct Research Update, "Guelph demonstrates good financial management, which has a positive impact on its credit profile. The City has a robust set of financial policies and annual financial statements are audited and unqualified. Guelph provides transparent, easy-to-access disclosure to pertinent information and prepares detailed operating and capital budgets."

The improved credit rating also reflects Standard & Poor's view of Guelph's strong economy; particularly its solid manufacturing base which fared better than many municipalities in Ontario.

"Seeing our credit rating continue to improve is good for our community, and offers further evidence of Guelph's thriving local economy," said Mayor Karen Farbridge. "It shows Council’s financial policies are strong, and City employees are managing our finances effectively and responsibly."

The Standards & Poor's website offers further information about changes to Guelph's credit rating and the Ratings Direct Research Update.

About Standards & Poor's Rating Services

With offices in 23 countries and a history that dates back more than 150 years, Standard & Poor’s is known to investors worldwide as a leader of financial-market intelligence. Today Standard & Poor’s strives to provide investors who want to make better informed investment decisions with market intelligence in the form of credit ratings, indices, investment research and risk evaluations and solutions.

For more information

Al Horsman
Treasurer/Executive Director
Finance and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260 extension 5606

view comments (0)

Thursday Aug 22nd - 2013

Aug 22nd, 2013

Email recieved from STAFF:

Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 03:09 PM
To: Councillors & Mayor
Cc: Executive Team
Subject: Performance Reporting
Hello Madame Mayor/Members of Council, as a follow up to my email of June 10th, there are now 17 Department Annual reports, as well as  the Corporate Strategic Plan Progress Report and the City’s Making a Difference Report  posted in one location on the City’s website at the following link:


As you are aware, the City often receives enquiries from the public related to much of the information that is contained in the Annual Reports, and from a citizen perspective, having the Annual Reports located in one place is preferable from having a citizen comb the website and search, perhaps at length to find information that otherwise can be readily available in one location.

In addition, these reports move our efforts forward in providing greater transparency about City operations and represents progress toward Open Government.

I include the link above not only for your reference but also for those of you who wish to pass on to your constituents who are interested or have questions that information from these reports may help with.


view comments (0)

Tuesday Aug 13th - 2013

Too bad he never called, emailed or tried communicating in any way to me to discuss:



view comments (0)

Tuesday Aug 13th - 2013

Aug 10th, 2013

Hello Cam,

I live in ward 6 and my name is D.W. Since the day I moved to Guelph 9 years ago, I have been travelling to the Kitchener Costco.

I am enthusiastic that Costco is coming to Guelph. I even wish they had chosen the Clair Rd. and Gordon area. OH well- better here in Guelph than Kitchener.

I just wanted to say that I think you did a wonderful thing by door knocking to find out how residents in the Costco construction area felt about some Sunday noise. I think council way over reacted by voting 10-1 against your suggestion.

We were here during the construction phase of our condo complex. Construction is always finite and in fact, the longer the hours of work, the sooner the job is done.

Those people you talked to, see the benefits of the store serving the community and even the job opportunities for themselves.

You’re the kind of councilor the city needs more of. Well done!


view comments (2)

Tuesday Aug 13th - 2013

Sent: Sunday, August 11, 2013 08:23 PM
To: Cam Guthrie
Subject: Guelph Boy



I am hoping you can up us as we are in desperate times.  We are attempting to promote a virtual 5 k run/bike/swim/ dance/ etc. in honour of a 13 year old Guelph boy who is awaiting an organ donor.  I am sure you have seen the wide media that has been placed on the young girl in Cambridge Ontario and it is so inspirational.  We are hoping to have the city unite and also help out in this time in need.  Those costs of living with a child who is waiting is just overwhelming and unfortunately many many things just aren’t covered.  Ie. Having a sterile home environment, parking, travel, some medications, wardrobe change, dietary needs, regular time off work, and everyday there is just so much more.  Even staying for hospital visits and living for weeks at the Ronald McDonald House can add up.  Changing a 13 year old boys lifestyle from being very active in sports, friends, skateboarding,  scouts,etc has been so difficult.  He was just diagnosed in December 2012 , May he had his put his hemodialysis catheter in and now has had 5 surgeries with complications.  The poor boy can’t even shower anymore as there is no way he can get wet which includes just being in the rain.  He also shouldn’t be sweating as his liquid intake has drastically changed as well.  

I am asking if there is anyway the city of Guelph could promote this virtual race/run/walk et.  Tyrel has a facebook page set up and people can use that to register $25 per participant.  It has been so hard to have one place and time so everyone can do on their own time and upload pictures to his website.  So far their has been likes to his page and people have registered.  Unfortunately we are not getting the support of Guelph that we think could happen.  

Please see the information that we are currently using:

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/runforteamtyrel

Registration Page :  https://www.racemenu.com/events/32121-Team-Tyrel-Virtual-5K-Run-Walk

We are asking local business to help to promote and even set an event within the business and register to participate.  Because it is virtual people can set their own time, place and event to hold.  We are asking for pics of their events.

I am really hoping for the Guelph City Councillors to assist with this.  Being from Guelph for 4 generations, I would hope something as serious as this looks favourably within your group.  I really hope for some help to promote/recruit/ and help get participants to register.  Working in Cambridge, Ontario there is so much going on there with such a united cause, I hope we can work towards this goal as well.  

I hope to be hearing from you soon!

Sandi Thomson

view comments (0)

Tuesday Aug 13th - 2013

Guelph and neighbouring cities promote regional transportation

Guelph, ON, August 12, 2013 – Mayor Karen Farbridge will lead a delegation of heads of Council for Brant, Brantford, Cambridge, Kitchener, Region of Waterloo, Waterloo and Wellington County to discuss the fast-tracking of an integrated regional transportation initiative and its funding with  Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The meeting with Minister Murray takes place next week during the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference to be held August 18 to 21 in Ottawa, Ontario.

Preliminary work on the regional transportation initiative began in 2010 when the Ministry of Transportation, Guelph and nearby municipalities agreed to undertake a Strategic Regional Transportation Planning Initiative to address regional needs of all modes of public transportation.

“A comprehensive travel data study for the area is complete, and it is time to look at the next steps,” said Mayor Farbridge.

The Guelph delegation, which includes the City’s Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert, senior City officials and local business leaders, will also meet with Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli to discuss a stronger role for municipalities in regional energy planning and implementation of  Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative.

“Consulting municipalities in regional energy planning will help build more sustainable and resilient communities and provide solutions to the Province’s future energy challenges,” said Mayor Farbridge. “We believe that our Initiative has set a standard for community energy planning, which can inform regional processes.”  

“We will also follow up on the status of local energy generation projects currently before the Ontario Power Authority,” said Pappert. “District energy projects like those planned for downtown and the Hanlon Creek Business Park represent millions of dollars in potential investment and could mean new jobs in Guelph.”

The Hanlon Creek Business Park is already attracting global companies such as Wurth Canada. The Park is expected to create approximately 10,000 local jobs.

Guelph’s strategy to create an open government action plan will be discussed with Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The Guelph delegation will emphasize that open government principles – participation, innovation, transparency and accountability – offer opportunities to address key challenges facing public services in Ontario.

About this year’s AMO Conference

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments.  AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

The theme of this year’s annual AMO Conference is “Communities: Inspiring and Aspiring.” Learn more here.

For more information

Barbara Swartzentruber
Senior Advisor, Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs
Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
519-822-1260 extension 3066


Petronilla Ndebele, MA | Public Affairs Officer
Corporate Communications | Corporate and Human Resources
City of Guelph

T 519-822-1260 x 2407
E petronilla.ndebele@guelph.ca

view comments (0)

Tuesday Aug 13th - 2013


Dear Mayor and members of Guelph  City Council,
Please find attached correspondence from GNPHC regarding Paisley Rd non profit housing regarding status of exemption of education taxes, and surplus funds not allocated to affordable housing reserve.

view comments (0)

Thursday Aug 8th - 2013

Info received Aug 8th, 2013 on bike lanes for Stevenson St.


Thank you,


view comments (0)

Thursday Aug 1st - 2013

August 1st, 2013:

Yet again, I am writing to set the record straight on factually incorrect statements made by some, including the media, regarding construction noise exemptions for the Costco development underway in Ward 4.

It was not, as the Guelph Tribune printed today, a “powerful multinational corporation” that contacted me.

It was I who contacted them.  

There are two questions I pose to all people and/or businesses on a daily basis across this city.
1.    How are things going?

2.    Can I help you in any way?

This is called customer service.

No matter if they’re entrepreneurs, small businesses, home builders, developers, big box stores, manufacturers or sole proprietors, I ask those questions to show that I care, to get a pulse of what’s happening in this city and to let them know I want to help them thrive. These organizations create wealth, jobs and financial security for themselves and others.

After contacting the construction company to see how things were progressing, I asked them if there was anything I could do to help. They mentioned that the weather had been hitting them harder than expected, and delays were putting stress on their completion dates. Even with the extensions already passed at the committee level almost a month earlier, they indicated anymore time can always be helpful. (Fair enough.)

I thanked them for their concerns, and asked them to email me their request for clarity, (which I received late last week), yet I cautioned them that because residents were already canvassed by mail about the earlier noise exemptions,  I’d have to go door to door to the effected neighbourhood to gather their opinions of any further requests. Depending on those responses, I would, or would not bring such a request forward for this council to consider. Of course, they completely understood and thanked me for contacting them.

And so, after knocking on doors for close to 3 hours last Sunday afternoon, the majority made it crystal clear to me they want Costco built faster, had no concerns with construction noise, they wanted to apply for jobs, stop driving to Cambridge and wanted more choice in shopping. (Fair enough.)

First thing Monday morning, I called city staff and informed them of what transpired over the weekend as I didn’t want them to be caught off guard by the request coming forward that night. Also Monday morning I informed both Mayor Farbridge and Ian Findlay ,the chair of the committee, that I would also address this issue. Remember, I only came to the conclusion of asking for this request after hearing the voices of whom I represent less than 24 hrs earlier.

Some may try to frame my request Monday night to council as some sort of sneaky, back-door request from a construction company that was somehow forcing me into doing their bidding. Hogwash. That's being disingenuous at the very least.


I do wonder though, if this same request came forward for a development in the commercially non-existent East end of Guelph, even without surveying the residents, or following exact "processes" what the outcome might have been?


Cam Guthrie

view comments (2)

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

HomeWard 4 NewsLinksAccountability Benchmark SystemReport GraffitiContact Christine