Two significant developments in the gathering storm of protest

Posted October 9, 2013

When GuelphRoots Guelph (GRG) was announced August 30, it marked the beginning of a concerted plan to increase voter interest and inform residents of how their city is being managed.

In that regard, it is not a pretty picture.

In the space of a year, the steering committee of GRG has gathered facts and analysis of the perilous path the current administration has taken our city. That information was gathered and presented in a four-page petition to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

The petition, signed by 162 taxpayers and residents of Guelph, requests an independent audit by the Ministry, of the City of Guelph finances and operations. Acting on a little known part of the Municipal Affairs Act, that permits 50 municipal taxpayers to make such a request, GRG presented the petition to the Minister on Tuesday, October 1, 2013.

Copies of the petition are available on the new GRG website –

On Thursday, October 10, 2013, at 2 p.m., GRG will hold a press conference at Queen’s Park, Toronto, to follow up its petition’s presentation to the Ministry and invite the media to ask questions.

GRG feels this development is not just a Guelph story but an Ontario story.

In 2006, when the government introduced the four-year term for municipal governments across the province, it provided no mechanism for recall of elected officials. The taxpayers who fund municipal operations lost their democratic rights without recourse.

That is, until now. Taxpayers in any municipality in the Province can present a well- documented petition to the Ministry requesting an audit of the municipality’s finances.  The key is to conduct a careful analysis of the facts that indicate mismanagement to back up the content, as is the case with the Guelph petition.

GrassRoots Guelph has enlisted more than 200 registered members in just six weeks and is growing every day. The petition and introduction of the website, is attracting other residents who want to be part of an independent citizen’s organization that is non-partisan, non-profit and not beholden to any group or special interest.

Membership is free and requires a name, full address, email address and telephone number.

Sign up at




Filed under Between the Lines

4 responses to “Two significant developments in the gathering storm of protest

  1. Jm

    So because 162 people, aka 0.001% of Guelph’s population thinks there is a problem I now have to pay more provincial tax so you can get your audit? How much is this proposed audit going to cost the other 99.999% of Guelph taxpayers?

    • jm: Two things. the Municipal Affairs Act only requires 50 taxpayer signatures to support the petition. GRG collected 162 in just two weeks and the people are still signing the petition. The cost of the audit will be much less than paying $33 million for an organics plant that after two years, has still failed to reach its programmed capacity. The operating cost of this stinker has never been revealed by the Farbridge administration. Why not ask them why?

  2. Heather

    Jim, well it will cost a lot less than all the consultations we pay for because the Mayor doesn’t know how to run the city properly. She is now paying $100,000 to find out how to be transparent and accountable. My question is, if she doesn’t know how to be transparent and accountable, she should NOT be the Mayor of this City in the first place. And don’t forget all the people she keeps hiring and the cost to taxpayers, i.e. pay, benefits, pensions.We will be paying these people for a long, long time and there is No Need for that many people to work in a City this size. I think she hires just to make sure Guelph looks good when they check the unemployment status in Guelph. Nothing more.

    • Heather: The Royal City is rockin! That great, silent majority is awakening as revelations of administration mismanagement and exorbitant spending increase with each passing day. Your observation about the city spending $100,000 to fund a consultant study on how to be transparent and accountable is a sick joke being played on the unsuspecting taxpayers of our city. For almost seven years the Farbridge dominated Council has acted in the closet.

      The record is there how they have prevented the truth about their abortive projects that have cost millions, yes that’s your money. It will be interesting to see if they reveal the results of this uneeded study. They sure tried to bury the consulant’s report in late 2011 on why the city was perceived by business and industry as a bad place in which to do business.

      That was leaked by a manager of planning who resigned in disgust describing his experience as a Guelph civic employee as the worst operation he had ever experienced in his more than 20 years employed as a planning expert. If anyone is interested in receiving that 30-page report, send your request to and I will forward a copy.

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