Taking the piss(oirs) out in downtown
This week you may have noticed something new and different downtown, especially if you were caught with the sudden desire “to go.” Yes indeed, the highly controversial open air urinals, or pissoirs, are being installed this week, two of them anyway. The pissoirs will be set up at the Macdonell Street municipal parking lot (behind the ticket booth), just west of Wyndham, and at the northwest corner of Carden and Wyndham and will remain their for an eight week trial period as the Downtown Night Life Task Force assess their success in cutting down on public urination. The pissoirs are part of a three-part program with that goal in mind, the other two parts involve a public education campaign and stepped-up enforcement of the anti-fouling bylaw, which allows for a $240 fine for public urination. In July, Guelph City Council approved the $8,400 pilot project, which will cover the rental and maintenance cost of the two pissoirs for eight weeks. An additional $4,200 from downtown stakeholders will be spent on a public education campaign that includes posters for downtown establishments and signs for the pissoirs.
Valeriote: Show us the cash for clunkers, or don’t
Last week in the U.S., the government’s highly popular “cash for clunkers” program ended after running out of funds, but could something similar be enacted here in Canada to help our auto industry? Our local MP and Chair of the Liberal Auto Caucus, Frank Valeriote’s not sure, but he’d like to see the government make a decision either way. “Instead of stimulating car sales, one way or the other, people are now holding onto their vehicles on the chance this government may be offering a significant incentive at some point in the future,” said Valeriote in a press release. The release went on to say that although the U.S. program saw sales go up to 750,000, it’s difficult to know if people were acting out of need or out of the bargains offered. Also, international trade law prohibits establishing a proviso that says a program can only apply to domestic automakers, so there’s no guarantee that money will go to the companies that need it. Either way though, Valeriote wants the Conservatives to quit stalling. “While the merit of a scrappage program, and the model used is ultimately relevant, at this point this government’s ongoing speculation must stop. Either provide a substantial program or stop chatting about it—it’s a simple as that.”
MNR says HCBP is AOK
Well, it took the Ministry of Natural Resources about half a month to come back to the City and say, all’s cool on the Hanlon Creek Business Park front. Donna Cansfield, Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources, last Thursday that Drexler Construction, the company contracted by the city of Guelph to do the work, can finish a culvert and water main already started on the site’s east side, according to the Guelph Mercury. There are restrictions however. This is the only work that can be done on the site, no work is to be done at night, and further testing in the area for the Jefferson Salamander must be done next Spring before any more construction on the site can move forward. “We’re pleased on two fronts,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “We’re happy with the time it took to come to a decision; well within the 30 days. And we’re happy with the content of the decision.” But what of the protesters that occupied the HCBP site for three weeks, what’s their reaction? “If this development continues, it will be a loss for everyone… The minister’s decision does not legitimize the destruction this development will cause,” Shabina Lafleur-Gangji wrote in an email to the Mercury. Construction is expected to move forward immediately, with the deadline of September 15th for the completion of this phase expected to be extended.
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