Easy Rider Maggie Laidlaw plans to ride again on our shrinking streets

Posted November 23, 2013

Earlier this year, Coun. Maggie Laidlaw ran into trouble allegedly verbally abusing city staffers. This invoked an investigation by the Integrity Commissioner. Later Ms. Laidlaw apologized to the staffers and the Commish dropped the investigation.

At this point Laidlaw announced that she would not be a candidate for re-election in 2014. There was a giant exhaling of relief at 1 Carden Street over her decision.

Maggie is no ordinary councillor, an ardent cyclist who rides in rain, wind and slush. She works at a lab near the University and rides to her Ward 3 home eschewing a car or public transit.

Are you getting the picture? This is one dedicated supporter of the cyclists among you.

Maggie is also known as being thrifty and perhaps parsimonious.

She has been elected as a champion of the working folks and the left slant of the British Labour party. She is no shrinking violet and highly opinionated.

Maggie Laidlaw stepped over the line two years ago when she insisted that cyclists should be given an exception to make a right turn on a red light at Macdonnell Street and Norfolk Street. Vehicles are not allowed to turn on a red light. It is for good reason because of obscure sightlines looking left down the Norfolk hill. Maggie insisted that bicyclists should have a sign that exempts then from this rule.

Her request was transferred to Allistair McIlveen, manager of Traffic and Parking for the city. He pointed out that bicycles are vehicles under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and are subject to the same rules as motorized vehicles. He was adamant in his decision.

So Maggie, undeterred, wrote back that the HTA was antiquated and need of serious updating, then added that she would continue to break the law and make a right turn on Norfolk Street, regardless of the probation of vehicles.

She is convinced that cars in Guelph will be history in 20 years. So should the greater majority of residents be bound by the demands of the minority?

Just because she prefers riding a bicycle to work or shopping, does that mean the city must spend millions to accommodate her choices of transportation? The current ten-year bicycle lane development plan is to cost $13,300,000.

Mayor Karen Farbridge stepped in and unequivocally stated that Coun. Laidlaw was out of line and reminded her that she would be breaking the law. It’s typical of this administration to tut-tut the miscreants.

Using words such as: “It is entirely inappropriate that you will disobey traffic rules,” tells you as lot about keeping the Farbridge coalition intact despite the errant meanderings of its membership.

If Maggie Laidlaw were a ballerina she would be in the back row of the Corps de Ballet.

Now she has changed her mind and intends to run again in Ward 3.

 They deserve better.


Filed under Between the Lines

14 responses to “Easy Rider Maggie Laidlaw plans to ride again on our shrinking streets

  1. Eleanor Ross

    Maggie Laidlaw has never earned a penny that did not come from the taxpayer’s pocket. I knew that her leaving city politics was too good to be true. She has no regard for rules, facts or apparently the feelings of staff at city hall. Maggie first ran as a Marxist-Leninist and then a communist. When that got her no where she ran for the school board and was elected with less than 50 votes. And so it began. She has absolutely no respect for anyone who does not completely agree with her. She has no understanding of prudent fiscal planning and her fiduciary responsibility to all citizens of Guelph. With the massive block of votes coming from the University of Guelph I have no hope that she might be defeated in Oct but it would be my fondest wish.

    • Eleanor Ross: Thanks for the history info on Maggie. She is the first to pull up to the public trough. Why people in Ward 3 keep electing her is beyond me. I can assure you it will not be easy for her this next time. Marxist-Communist, you say? Pity.

  2. Joe Black

    Ever drove on Silvercreek lately at17:00 hrs. to go home when the plants get out .Whom ever decided to reduce those lanes from four to two should drive it at that time.

    • Trevor Wright

      I agree with you Joe. Why they wouldn’t put in a right turn lane going south at Speedvale is beyond me. I have seen many cars. Cut through the Hakim Optical parking lot. Ridiculous. It’s just asking for someone to get run over.

  3. Gerald

    I hope i am wrong but you know what this means…..
    Laidlaw stays than so does farbridge.
    Speeding down the hill with no brakes……just waiting for the wall to jump

  4. Trevor Wright

    One of the employees she berated was a summer student worker who was with the bylaw department and caught her riding her bike on the sidewalk. In no uncertain terms, he was told who she was, what she could do to his job, and where he could go. And she keeps her job. Almost as bad as the cop who deals a controlled substance and keeps his job. Entitlement within this city runs rampant, from the top down.


    Trevor:Surely there’s a record of this incident within the City’s records and,perhaps,a complaint was laid by the employee?

    • Trevor Wright

      I must apologize Mr. Birtwistle. The young lad never made a complaint as he was too nervous about the repercussions. It was hoped that he would make a record of complaint with the city but he decided it was better to make money and pay for his education than it was to stir up trouble. I understand that the whole thing may seem a little bit off as it could be construed as someone just saying something, and perhaps something that shouldn’t have been included in a comment on a forum such as this, however, it does not change the way that Ms. Laidlaw seems to conduct herself (what was that she called Bob Bell at 0:41 seconds, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p88prPaPXV4?). Again, though, my apologies for including this young persons contact with Ms. Laidlaw, as I cannot produce the proof that it happened, as they won’t come forward and admit it happened publicly.

  6. Paul:

    To set the record straight Maggie does own a vehicle (a Dodge or Plymouth Van) and it is a gas guzzler and is used on rainy days and snowstorms and whenever she does not feel like pedaling her a** around Guelph! Maggie’s spouse is a school teacher who is planning to retire this year so that may have forced the change of mind?? After all why give away over $30k?
    Any chance of Dan Schnurr running again? I don’t think the voters will support the left leaning Councillors any more!
    Keep up the good work.

  7. boomer

    @Eleanor Ross–You hit the nail right on the head Eleanor. I fear too that the UofG ‘vote’ may once again get Ms. Laidlaw and her ‘ilk’ re-elected in 2014.
    Regarding bike lanes–it’s a mess. Check out Norfolk between Suffolk and Paisley ANYTIME and you’ll see a backlog of traffic with no one moving. Paisley and

  8. John C.

    A lot of folks in Guelph support Maggie Laidlaw and UofG students, and I am one of them. In reading various mud-slinging comments, one recalls that she once ran as a Marxist-Leninist and later as a Communist. Which makes it truly remarkable that she survives in the political arena, since Guelph is well known as a Christian right-wing cesspool, packed with bigots and small and tired minds.
    My hope is that students nominate a few friends before the 2014 election, and then go online to vote for them. Then, who knows? City Council may finally display a bit of logic and common sense.

    • Trevor Wright

      I would be all for anything that would help city council display a bit of logic and common sense. If it is something as drastic as having some students getting more involved in a municipal election then so be it. Great comment John, except that I was born and raised in Guelph and am far from a Christian right-winger, nor am I bigoted, and I do not have a small and tired mind (wow, sounds like the Ellis Island poem, The New Colossus-Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…..). But my skin is thick enough to have some mud thrown at me (or at least my jacket is mud resistant).

  9. geo

    A small tired mind describes Maggie Laidlaw perfectly.

  10. Key

    A snowball maker and Farbridge throws them for her.

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