Thursday, March 19, 2009

Environment and Travel News


It appears that the actions of the environmental activist group Land Is More Important Than Sprawl (LIMITS) quest to bring attention to save the greenspace scheduled to be the future home of the Hanlon Creek Business Park is bearing fruit. Two posts made on the Ward 2 blog maintained by city councillors Ian Findlay and Vicki Beard articulated their concerns with the development project.

“I hear the argument that this development has been so long in the planning that we have to just ‘get on with it,’” says a letter writer identified as JG. “I don’t think we can threaten our futures just because we want to ‘get on’ with something, and I think that there will be a wide reaching negative reaction towards our current city government if we do not offer a public forum at a council meeting to revisit these concerns before it is too late.”

“The proposed irresponsible destruction of the natural heritage on this site is unforgivable,” adds another writer called BK. “I beg you to reconsider the future of the Hanlon Creek Business Park lands. In a better world this property should be known as the Hanlon Creek Natural Heritage Park and it would be a much more farsighted use of this land to be developed as such. The citizens of Guelph now and in the future would be much happier to live in a better world.”

Green Fighting Gets Dirty

Guelph got dragged into Green Party infighting last week when Mark Taylor, an Alberta Green who left the party’s national council after a conflict with leader Elizabeth May, wrote a fairly incendiary comment on his blog. "Money was funnelled into the riding to open two campaign offices," he wrote. "Staff was hired to run these offices. I know, from a personal contact, that requests were made of the Guelph team to turn their focus from (get out the vote) efforts in Guelph to (get out the vote) efforts in Central Nova." May has come under fire over her inability to win even one riding, including her own, in the last election. But on money matters, Elections Canada records show that May’s campaign spent significantly less than allowed under federal election rules in her riding, and May herself said that there was a "lack of focus" on winning Central Nova.

Settlement Ratified

Guelph City Council ratified the negotiated settlement between the City of Guelph and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Locals 241 and 973 at the City Council meeting on March 9. The Guelph Public Library Board ratified the same agreement with CUPE Local 1946 at its board meeting the same night. With the 550 CUPE employees also ratifying the deal, it means that the matter is settled for these city employees. The deal contained wage and salary increases of 2.5 per cent in 2009, 2.6 per cent in 2010 and 2.75 per cent in 2011. The three year contract also contains modest benefits changes to more closely align CUPE benefits with other employee groups at the City of Guelph.

City wants to send Mitch away

The City officially sanctioned Mitch Moffit’s quest to secure the Best Job in the World last week by posting a link on their website. The contest is being sponsored by Queensland Tourism, to find someone to fill the position of caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef and be paid a handsome, six-figure salary to do it. Moffit is one of the Top 50 contests now in serious contention for the job thanks to his 60-second video, a Broadway style musical shot in Downtown Guelph last month. To throw your vote to Mitch got to

Save the Date

This is just a reminder that starting on April 7, you’ll be able to access city services from offices in the new Civic Administration Building. The City’s tax payment system, and the building permits and inspection systems were moved over the March 6-9 weekend, and the moving process of other offices will take place all month long.

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