Monthly Archives: April 2019

The growing fallout of Guelph’s 12-year War on Cars led by the Fossil Fools on council

By Gerry Barker

April 29, 2019

Opinion based on facts

When Karen Farbridge was elected Mayor in 2006, it began the transformation of Guelph into a “world class city” in terms of transportation, power self-sufficiency, waste management and clean air and water leading to her wellness commitment for all citizens.

Was it noble? Yes, but not affordable as it turned out.

It was the defining intention of the majority of her council to establish key targets to reduce the use of fossil-fueled vehicles in the city at the time with a population of 111,000 permanent residents.

Let’s drill down on how the Farbridge interests in control of council tackled change and imposed their collective agenda on the citizens.

It started with a tour of Sweden to investigate how that country dealt with its waste.   Sweden reduced about 90 per cent of all waste that is incinerated, driving turbine generators to deliver power back into the grid.

Waste disposal plans increase traffic congestion

The administration decided in 2007 that was not an option for Guelph because of the perceived dangerous emissions of such an operation. Instead, Guelph spent $34 million building an organic waste facility that has never made any money or permitted residents to obtain the compost produced by the plant.

One goofy prediction that was amusing but confusing

Part of the grand design to change Guelph was to get fossil-fueled vehicles off Guelph Streets. I recall former councillor Maggie Laidlaw, bragging that “in 20 years there won’t be any cars on Guelph Streets.” Ah, a temporary episode of green-based rapture.

Well that prediction was well off as there are more cars, trucks and buses clogging the streets twice a day due to deliberate lane reduction on major routes to accommodate bicycle lanes.

It is estimated that building the bicycle network has cost taxpayers some $8 million.

The policy continues to this day, as the widening of Speedvale Avenue to accommodate new bike lanes, estimated by staff, three years ago, as costing $14 million. At the time, staff did not recommend it.

This includes widening the bridge over the Speed River, removing the Hydro poles and installing underground power transmission corridors.

There are no bike lanes on Speedvale Avenue between Woolwich and Stevenson.

This brings up what the city has already done on many streets and roads. These would include Victoria Road, Speedvale, SilverCrek, Downey, Woodlawn, Stevenson and Norfolk. All these streets were changed by the Farbridge and Guthrie administrations.

This is embedded policy that when a major street is resurfaced, new lane reductions are painted restricting the use of vehicles ergo, growing traffic congestion.

In my opinion, this is a planned restriction vehicular movement and trade designed to meet the environmental movement’s agenda, controlling the city.

The reconstructed railway underpass that stopped the big rigs

Did I mention the Wyndham Street rail bridge? It was reconstructed by the city that does not allow large trucks to use it because it wedges the tops of some the high trailers against the top of the underpass. The underpass was improperly built.

The city engineer’s solution? Install warning signs to stop the big trucks from entering a bridge too low..

Again another restriction of needed supply trucks to service the shops and businesses downtown. Sure there are other routes to get to their destination, but the city did not care and the underpass was never repaired.

Who would like to live in that section of Speedvale?

Speedvale is a major cross-the-city route used every day and the line-ups vehicles at intersections such as Woolwich, exacerbates the congestion. The project will not be completed for nine months.

The fallout of squeezing heavy traffic lanes

Since 2007, the city has added bike lanes to several streets. Often, they start at one intersection and disappear at the next.

One example is on SilverCreek where the street was resourced from Speedvale to Paisley. Then the road painters moved in and reduced a four-lane major road to two, and installed bike lanes plus a left-hand turn lane continuous right down the middle.

So, I’m Joe Cyclist, heading north on SilverCreek to Woodlawn. Whoops! The bike lane is not there from Speedvale north. I am forced to share the road with 3,000- pound cars and trucks on the now narrowed road.

Does this make sense? There are similar examples of the disappearing bike lanes all over the city.

What is the logic of this? What does it accomplish in terms of cyclist safety on major streets where bike lanes just disappear?

More Car Wars links contributing to the clogging of our streets

There are two other factors of lack of leadership that uses its power to pursue its all things environmental-based agenda.

New housing intensification

One is the intensification of housing in the south and Eastern districts of the city. The council allowed these developments composed of strip housing and low-rise apartment buildings. It is based on the Provincial government’s “Ontario Places to Grow” policies that encouraged more housing on less land.

Guelph population grows bringing more vehicles

Between 2007 and 2016, Guelph’s population increased by 20,000 according to the StatsCan census of 2016. That does not include the growing number of University of Guelph undergraduate students.

This has a direct impact on volume of fossil-fueled vehicles, large and small, on our streets. Adding more people means more cars and trucks.

Electric vehicles are years away from becoming the majority using the roads in the city. But if the city continues to squeeze street driving lanes, using an electric car will not result in less congestion. However, the noise levels will be lower.

Somehow, this has not registered with the city administration.

The public driving electric cars using the city thoroughfares impacts traffic congestion as the internal combustion owners. In fact the goal of getting fossil-fueled vehicles off Guelph streets, has had the opposite intended effect.

City council, like the Ostrich, buries itself when it comes to fosil-fuels

So, why is the city building a $22 million parking garage next to city hall, blocks away from the Wyndham Street shopping district? Ms. Farbridge said she was going to turn downtown into a “vibrant centre for everyone to enjoy.”

Other matters of state distracted our former mayor

Here we are 12 years later, with a downtown that has closed businesses, no available parking during the day and used by a weekend collection of students, drug dealers, and outsiders looking for action. It is a combustible crucible. The beneficiaries are the operators of the 33 bars and watering holes downtown.

This is not something new but a municipal failure to make downtown safe and inviting every day. It’s been that way since the parking meters were removed 10 years ago in which the city lost more than $600,000 annually in meter revenue.

In the 2017 budget, there was a staff recommendation to replace the meter heads at a cost of $700,000. Instead, that funding was diverted by council to help pay for the proposed South End recreation centre. As an aside, council has already spent some $3.5 million preparing the site for a $63 million recreation centre.

Consider that in 12 years, the average property taxes have increased every year by 3 per cent. User and development fees have also increased substantially.

Power politics at work

One final thought. Ward one Coun. Dan Gibson, announced that land on Watson Road, owned by Loblaw’s, was being rezoned commercial to accommodate a major grocery store to serve the east end.

Sounds good. But here’s the skinny.

Council Mr. Gibson and Mr. Bell have been pushing to open an east end grocery store on the site since 2013.

Mr. Gibson was quoted as saying the council would “put Loblaw’s feet to the fire” to get them to build a store on the site. Loblaw’s, Canada’s largest grocery chain, has demurred because it owns a large Zehrs’s store on Eramosa. I presume it feels that building another on Watson could cannibalize the existing store. And they do not want a competitor using the land.

In negotiating to persuade Loblaw’s to build the Watson store, is it a good idea to say the city is going to “put their feet to the fire?” Stay tuned.

 

 

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More front lawn politics: Guelph’s socialist advocates advance on Queen’s Park to protest policies of the Ford government

Bt Gerry Barker

April 22, 20

Opinion

Last week, in St. George’s Square downtown, the newly formed protest coalition to stick it to Premier Doug Ford held a “die in.” It was planned to embellish their objections on the front lawn at Queen’s Park. They will join fellow protesters that they are mad as hell and won’t take it anymore.

Okay, what’s their beef now?

Well, the point of this planned rally on the front lawn of the Ontario Legislature is to protest the Ford government’s alleged plans to reduce Healthcare services and Education costs. Editor’s note: The recent Ontario PC budget increased the Heal care spending.

Does one have to “die” before boarding the chartered bus to Toronto at the end of this month?

This is mindful of what occurred last Thursday in Washington. The Attorney General of the United States, Bill Barr, held a press conference in the morning to discuss the Mueller Investigation report. It focused on Russian interference in the 2016 election and obstruction of justice by the President, Donald Trump. The problem was the press or anyone else weren’t told what was in the 438-page report until 11 a.m. after A-G Barr’s non press conference was over.

Cart? Horse? Or is it the other way around?

Now, the socialist progressives are on the warpath to protest about important issues concerning all Ontarians of which they have no knowledge or expertise as to how government processes legislation. It’s the checks and balances of most democratic parliamentary legislative organizations.

If nothing else, it’s pure poetical theatre to embarrass the PC government. You will recall a while back that the NDP organized a similar rally to protest cuts to parents with autistic children.

It’s a growing trend in the Ontario Legislature. If you can’t beat ‘em in the house chambers, you can’t do it on the front lawn.

This coalition is composed of the Guelph chapter of the Council of Canadians, Ontario Federation of Labour and the Guelph Movement of the People.

Well, let’s bell this cat.

The parallel objectives between the New Democratic Party and the Council of Canadians is striking, so striking that the organization’s social goals are almost identical to that of the NDP.

Here’s their “About us” statement: “Through our campaigns we advocate for clean water, fair trade, green energy, public health care, and a vibrant democracy. We educate and empower people to hold our governments and corporations accountable.” Ah, they forgot advocating proportional voting and alternative transportation (bicycles).

Does that have a familiar ring with a local flavour?

The C of C says they have 60 chapters of activists across the country. That presents a formidable political support group for the NDP, you think?

Along come organized labour unions and their role in advancing the NDP agenda. They are a major political force in the management of Guelph.

Now that last one is a new one for me. Who are they, what do they do and what are they moving? Wonder who is paying for this magical bus trip to Toronto? The likely source of funding the trip is the labour unions that have deep pockets and have always supported the NDP.

Doug Ford has become a lightning rod for Andrea Horwath’s NDP opposition leadership. She has 40 seats; Liberals have 7 reducing them to a position where they are no longer recognized as an official party in the Legislature. Now, take the Green Party of one, our man in the house, MPP Mike Schreiner. He spent a record $119,000 to get elected in Guelph, now, what’s he done for our community in 11 months?

Reason, the Tories hold 72 seats and are the government

They were elected to clean up 15 years of Liberal governments whose legacy of wasted resources and favouritism will not soon be forgotten. For example, the five-year reduction of Hydro rates across the province, called the Fair Hydro Plan. It was financed with borrowed billions to pay for it over five years.

The Ontario Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, revealed this whacko re-election plan to reduce electricity costs in October 2017.

It marked the beginning of the end for Premier Kathleen Wynne. Ontarians are stuck with repaying those limited cost reduction loans when the five years is up in 2022. Predictably power rates will soar to cover the costs of that temporary Hydro Holiday.

The new government was handed a giant financial rock when it took over and quickly learned where the money was leaking. The government had no choice but to reduce overhead and they have set out to do it.

With the constant baying by the opposition NDP and its allies, the organized labour movement in Ontario helped trigger dissent and angst among the citizens, is an abuse of the public interest.

Why does the Guelph administration only pay lip service to public interests?

Full transparency and accountability is a lesson the Guelph administration needs to emulate. Spending more than $9.2 million, hiring some 19 additional full-time employees as recommended by staff without accountability furthers public distrust of the process. Who makes those decisions, council or the staff or visa-versa?

We can be sure of one thing, this council knows how to work behind closed doors.

For example, what did council do with that $18.5 million it received from the former Guelph Hydro when it merged with Alectra Utilities last January?

So the energy of this planned protest posse of Guelph citizens is focused, not on Guelph, but on Premier Ford’s provincial government.

This is what happened when a national political party seizes control over our municipal council. They have held that majority for more than 12 years.

As citizens, we failed last June and October to correct the imbalance of power that has dominated our direction and changed our city.

Instead, we have become over-taxed, isolated, and lacking diversified housing including affordable dwellings and detached residences.

As an observer and commentator of city operations, I have paid both a financial and physical price to inform the public and challenge the costs of the social engineering projects that all of us have been forced to pay for and endure.

I have written more than 1,000 columns on guelphspeaks.ca, Twitter and Facebook.

I remain baffled by the continued citizen support of the controlling progressives on council.

Only we can change course and by organizing preparing for the October 2022 civic election.

I will report more information on this later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The real emergency: Turning Canada into a global economic power without dependence on the U.S.

By Gerry Barker

April 15, 2019

Opinion

Two city councilors, Phil Allt and James Gordon, both former defeated NDP candidates for the Ontario Legislature, and former defeated mayor, Karen Farbridge, are raising the alarm for the city to declare a “Climate Change Emergency.”

It made the bells ring about all the efforts, and tons of misspent public money, of which the three of them planned and were aided by some fellow travelers. They took action to develop what they perceived was power self-sufficiency. Add in the millions spent on squeezing vehicle lanes to provide bike lanes for a tiny but noisy user group operating two-wheeled self-propelled bicycles on major roads, facing 3,000-pound motor vehicles.

I have experienced a few close encounters with those active transportation riders, particularly when the sun goes down. It has scared the living daylights out of me.

These riders are unlicenced and uninsured operating on busy streets without rules or regulations governing their movement on public streets.

I know, I know you’ve heard all this before, but fasten your seat belts because we are going national,

Are the Trudeau Liberals about to do a Wynne swoon?

Let us count the ways.

The SNC Lavelin affair is sticking to the Liberals like stepping on a wad of bubble gum. Complicit is the tag team of the former Attorney General, Jody Wilson Raybould, and Health Minister Philpot, who ended up booted out of the Liberal caucus.

It was the price of defying the boss who caused the problem in the first place. How many times has that happened to you?

The Tories are pounding the table daily, demanding the Prime Minister resign for interfering with a decision by the A-G to pursue SNC Lavelin. As Guelph is Liberal/NDP/Green country, for – fill in your own reasons. Mine is the Guelph Tories have not elected a member to the Legislature or House of Commons in 16 years.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg of the Liberal’s re-election blues. It helps explains why Canadians are angry and feel cheated by the Liberals and the Prime Minister.

Let’s start with the immigration file

Refugees entering from the U.S. are not being controlled. The casual walk-in asylum seekers at border points are allowed into the country. Even those arriving by plane from other parts of the world land without any authority to enter the country but a demanding asylum for fear of their lives.

The Trudeau government has allowed thousands to walk in, an estimated 60,000 in two years to enter our country without prior vetting by Canadian Immigration staff. This practice is the policy of the Liberals who say they are obligated by International Law to admit them. The result is that those folks wanting to come to Canada and who are checked out by immigration before they arrive are sidetracked by the walk-ins.

Some 250,000 immigrants arrive annually and are approved by Canada Immigration. This is designed to replace those Canadians who no longer live in the country. That includes those who apply to Canada before coming to the country. Also, a number of Caribbean citizens arrive to help the agriculture community to grow their harvest. They wisely leave before the snow flies.

Solution? Any refugee who claims asylum arriving from the U.S. is immediately denied entry. If U.S. Immigration let them into their country, they can look after them.

There is evidence that some of these refugees have identification from several countries that would make them ineligible to enter Canada.

Also there is an active industry of immigration groups being paid to get refugees into Canada. A Haitian group based in Florida encourages Haitian refugees to take the bus to the border point just south of Montreal and walk-in claiming asylum. The fact the Haitians speak French is a plus. Many have been temporarily housed in the former baseball stadium known as the Big O.

Southern nights at the border

You don’t have to look too far to see what’s happening along the Rio Grande as the U.S. government has separated families and has custody of 2,700 children and has no record of the parents or their location. Now they are planning to set up tented facilities to hold what they call illegal’s. The Trump government has turned this debacle into a deliberate political issue without compassion or any legal basis.

It is important to remember that following the election victory of the Democrats winning the House of Representatives last November, the president shut down the government for 35 days. His decision caused thousands of federal workers to go without being paid. He finally attempted to obtain $5.7 billion to build a 3,200-mile concrete wall to stop the people attempting to seek a better life in the U.S. It never passed Congress.

Solution? Stop watching the cable news channels. Sorry, I can’t help myself.

The General Motors shut down of the Oshawa Assembly plant

Several months ago, General Motors announced it was closing its Oshawa assembly plant by the end of 2019 resulting in a loss of more than 3,000 jobs. The company chose not to close as yet; its engine plant in St. Catharines or the SUV jointly operated assembly plant in Ingersoll.

Lest we forget, when the Federal and Provincial governments spent billions to finance GM in 2008 that has already declared bankruptcy. The province, to protect workers, turned over $10 billion while the Feds matched it or more to Chrysler and GM.

The Province was eventually recovered some $7 billion that shored up the two auto corporations. Ford remained solvent. It now turns out that some $3.5 billion was not returned to the Federal government. That was ten years ago.

While Unifor, the Oshawa workers union struggles to save the jobs, GM did not changing its mind. This all occurred while the US and Mexico and Canada were renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Parliament or Congress or Mexico has never approved the new deal. The three leaders portrayed a settlement in a photo-op ceremony in Argentina that was part of the G20 meeting.

Solution 1? The Trudeau government should serve notice on GM to either pay up or transfer the title to the federal government. This would include the plant property, inventory, production equipment and all non-proprietary documents; pertain to the production of vehicles.

This could take time, as a court challenge will emerge. The statement of the Government’s claim should include the entire additional government funding request ted and received by GM since it has operated the plant. That goes back to the time when GM bought the plant from the McLaughlin family who built the McLaughlin Buick in Oshawa.

We’re in deep in this one, folks.

Solution 2? Actively research and attract foreign auto producers to take over the plant for $1 plus other tax incentives and agree to build vehicles to service North America and the world markets.

What Canadians needs now

It’s the right to look back at what we have achieved in 74 years. By declaring an emergency to mobilize our governments, to work together toward exporting our resources, skills and lifestyles across two oceans, selling free trade that works both ways without tariffs, threats and trade impediments.

We can become a world trading power to creating financial stability, justice and health for all in our new partner states, employing ingenuity and instilling pride.

We have the stuff and political democratic systems but are unable to move it and share with other nations who are seeking a better life, jobs, education and freedom.

The beginning would be a series of workshops led by the Federal government to develop an action plan to clear the obstacles facing the oil and natural gas pipeline expansion. In concert, open access for shipping our commodities and products from both the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean ports.

A series of programs will be developed to export our agriculture products and expertise, our forestry and home building products to new customers at fair prices and delivery; exporting our communications expertise including 5G high speed Internet development; building systems to produce ships, aircraft, vehicles, agriculture equipment. The world-class Canadian financial institution’s expertise will play a major role in developing opportunities and systems for our trading partners.

Most of all create more good jobs and opportunities for all Canadians.

Our most important export is our knowledge base professionals that have already made Canada a world leader in all aspects of the human existence.

In short, we can do all of that and bring endless prosperity to our country as well as that of our trading partners.

Is this the end of our trading relationship with the United States? Absolutely not. Canada will be open for business to any society that shares our established Free Trade and democratic principles. This is a long-term project that will survive the changing political leadership facing our trading partners.

Looking back, this is not the first time we’ve mobilized to win

In September 1939, Canada joined Britain declaring was on Nazi Germany. The country with a population of about 11 million became a major power in the European Theater, North Atlantic, Asia and North Africa.

By the end of war in Europe, Canada had the largest Allied land army in Normandy, France, Belgium and Holland. In addition, we had the fourth largest navy in the world and Canadian aircrew made up 1/3 of the RAF. The RCAF operated squadrons in Bomber Command attacking Germany; South East Asia Canadian and Commonwealth pilots supplied Allied troops by parachuting supplies against the Japanese; by air patrolling the east coast and escorting convoys heading access the Atlantic searching and sinking enemy submarines.

On the home front our country manufactured tanks, combat aircraft, trucks, weapons including field pieces, ammunition, food and fuel to be shipped to Britain and Italy where our army units were battling their way through the country fighting the Germans.

We became the breadbasket and quartermaster of the collection of Commonwealth Allies fighting on three fronts.

Canada was turned into a mighty war machine that trained through the Commonwealth Air Training Plan more than 500,000 aircrew on many bases across the country. Almost every citizen who was able rolled up their sleeves and changed Canada in almost six years.

But we paid a huge price. In World War 1 more than 52,000 Canadians were killed and thousands more maimed for life. In World War 2, 44,000 Canadian lives were lost and many others severely wounded.

In August1945, the war ended when the Japanese surrendered. Our returning service men and women were given opportunities to go to university, own property and get jobs. Most important, it created the biggest baby boom in our nation’s history.

The end of the war was the beginning of Canada’s Golden Age of growing up. Our country was led by the wartime Liberal government of Prime Minister MacKenzie King. He was critized through his long tenure as PM. Both Churchill and Roosevelt tolerated him regardless he got job got done.

Our country opened it doors to refugees from all parts of the world that made great and noble contributions to our country. Even in the Seventies, following the defeat of the U.S forces in Viet Nam, Canada accepted 65,000 Viet Nam refugees escaping Communism and called the “Boat People.”

As Canadians, that is what we do.

Today we are at a crossroad in which our largest trading partner, the United States is trying to force us to knuckle under to destroy a Free Trade Agreement that has benefited both our countries.

In my opinion, this is ultimately not going to work out well for Canada at all. We are facing a despotic president who doesn’t care, has no compassion for his two major trading partners, Canada and Mexico.

He is in the process of destroying the greatest free trade agreement the world has ever seen.

This is not the time to make hollow declarations of emergencies of climate change. It is time to collect ourselves and protect and enhance what we have.

It’s time for us to mobilize as a nation and take care of number one.

Our imperative should be to open our resources and establish free trade with China, India and all members of the Trans Pacific free trade organization of which the U.S. refuses to belong. We should also reopen the free trade agreement with the European Union without Great Britain that is bifurcated by Brexit.

Until we take action we will remain at the whims of a megalomaniac president with power to destroy what we have achieved in good faith

By any stretch, that’s a dangerous position in which to be.

How bad can it get?

Think what will empower Trump if he is re-elected in 2020 for another four years.

Prime Minister Trudeau, your time is now to unite our country and take it forward without the baggage of division, denial and negativity that is flooding the airways, Internet and social media.

October will come soon enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What are they thinking? Council agrees to bid on Provincial Guelph Innovation District property

By Gerry Barker

April 8, 2019

Opinion

A staff report recommended council should bid on the sale of the Guelph Innovation District (GID) lands, owned by the Provincial government. Council unanimously approved bidding on 245 acres to create its green satellite community.

The desired lands are part of the former Reformatory and Turf Institute properties, totaling 1,074 acres. The decision was made despite the absence of important details that are in the public interest.

Details such as how is the bidding to be conducted; who can bid; financial details of the transaction; the public’s risk in such a transaction; is the process going to be transparent and made public and who pays the land transfer tax and development fees if the bid is won?

Apparently, a new plan concerning the Provincial properties, will be sold through Infrastructure Ontario, an arms length provincial agency, and CBRE Canada, the agency’s real estate broker.

The city wants to bid on 245 acres to develop its planned green satellite community that has been on city staff planners drafting boards for six years, at public expense.

CBRE, a Los Angeles-based real estate firm, oparates more than 450 offices worldwide, including Waterloo Region.

According to reports, Infrastructure Ontario employs CBRE as its real-estate broker. It would appear that CBRE directs the disposal the firm does not report to any Legislature committee to ensure that oversight and accountability is part of the process. Remember, Infrastructure Ontario is an arms-length provincial agency.

The province has announced it will start the process of disposing the surplus lands starting in 60 days. And should be completed when the new owner is successful by March 2020.

According to CBRE spokesman, Michael Cztsochowski, Executive Vice President of CBRE, the land services group, revealed the land would not have a set price. He describes a “modified auction.” He estimated that the market, once the disposal marketing materials are offered the pro[erty wuld be on the market for about two months. The bids would be treviewed and select the approved bidders, including the City of Guelph.

He outlined that because CBRE is a global company, purchasers will include developers, investors, and potential bidders thoughout the CBRE global network.

Sounds exciting, right?

But here’s the problem. The Ontario Municipal Act allows real estate transactions by municipalities to be conducted in closed-session. However, the public interest is deflected as the sale of this publicly owned property is being conducted by a third partyin closed-session.

In my opinion that’s only the start of these proposal’s problems.

We just went through a similar situation with the merger of Guelph Hydro with Alectra Utilities. The public was denied access to the details of the merger that, to me, was a giveaway of a city-owned successful power distribution system with a book value of $168 million, plus cash of $18.5 million cash reserves.

What did Guelph get in exchange besides a $18.5 million return of Guelph Hydro’s customer’s money? What did the city do with that gift from Hydro?

Alectra got former Guelph Hydro chair, Jane Armstrong, as the city representative of the Alectra Utilities board. Her salary is $25,000 per year plus travel expenses per diem for each meeting. All this resulted in a minuscule share of 4.86 per cent but only 60 per cent of Alectra Utilities profit. This whole takeover was conducted in closed-sessions. This occurred except for one council meeting in which council ignored the protests of 22 citizens who respectfully asked council to study and review the Alectra proposdal. Instead, council voted 10 to 3 to approve the merger.

That was the night that transparency and accountibility took a beating.

Some Guelph residents, who opposed this terrible deal, were later denied making their case before the Ontario Energy Board that approved the deal.

Strike three against public participation and the right to express public concern and interests.

Is GID about to cost the city millions more to fulfill the ambition of a small group of supporters of the environmental disasters of the past 14 years?

Is this about to happen to us again?

Who pays for the provincial mandated environmental study on the lands if the city plan contains wetlands?

Will CBRE explain in detail what CBRE means by a “modified auction?”

How is CBRE being compensated orchestrating the sale of the property?

Who pays for the extended city services links such as power and gas mains, water, sewer, police, fire, EMS, medical and hospital services, cable and telephone hook-up and Guelph Transit?

If the city wins the bid, does it absorb the development fees for the project?

As GS pointed out in a recent column, the administration was hoping for a sweetheart deal from the province that would allow the city to flipping the property to a developer. Thereby, avoiding costs of obtaining the property.

This could be shaping up to a simultaneous closing between the province, city and an unknown third party developer. Having been through one of those in my life, anything can go wrong if one of the parties questions or reneges.

When can residents learn how much the property is worth?

Can anyone tell us how the city plans to pay for this in the next 12 months, if it is the winner of the “modified auction?

Now the staging of this party is just beginning

Outsiders with major league credentials that impress our administration despite once again, influence council with pitches that leaves us in the minor leagues.

We are being told that this proposal is in our best interest.

In my opinion, no, not true. It’s in the council’s best interest to avoid becoming a third rate community while the rest of southern Ontario prospers.

Can anyone explain why or how this proposal is in the public’s best interest? Especially when there remain hundreds of acres of vacant land in the city that can developed.

Why have two successive city administrations speny our money attempting to build Green-oriented showcases for the world to decide we are a world-class city?

Adding it up for 12 years, estimates come to more than $250 million in capital wasted building monuments, driven by social engineering.

This project is just another exercise to spend money to prove we are something we aren’t.

Two councillors pushing the city to declare a climate change emergency

Coun. Phil Allt and James Gordon seem to forget why they were elected. It may come as a surprise to them that most people in the city understand the risk of climate change to their planet.

They also understand that the climate change problem is global and Guelph’s footprint in solving the problem is miniscule considering the magnitude of the problem.

I see their job as serving their constituents to fix the pot holes, plan a city that moves efficiently and safely without catering to the chattering, demanding alternative transport advocates, aka the bicyclists.

The best thing that can occur is that the city is outbid for the GID lands and our attention returns to common sense and fixing what’s broken.

There is no shortage of projects to be managed by our elected representatives.

One potential problem facing Guelph General Hospital and the entire medical community is the growing inability to handle the surging population of the city. We have lived in Guelph for 16 years and the current StatsCanada population’s figure shows an increase of some 35,000 new permanent residents in that time frame.

Today, there are 131,000 folks living in Guelph and the nimbers are projected to grow at each StatCan survey conducted every five years.

Further, this does not include the 22,000 University students that arrive in September and leave, for the most part, in April.

It’s something to think about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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