Thursday, August 27, 2009

Trees Saved, Critical Valeriote, and Washrooms Closed

A lot of time, effort and energy over the last month have been absorbed in that little snafu on the south end involving the Hanlon Creek Business Park, but that doesn’t mean time stopped through the rest of the Guelph Beat. Here’s what’s been going down in other areas of interest.

Trees Saved (without protest)

Paradoxically, as the City was fighting to mow down some trees in the Hanlon Creek Business Park site, it was fighting to keep them up in the area around Goldie Mill. Last week, the City announced that a revised plan for the parking lot at the Guelph Youth Music Centre and the Goldie Mill Park will allow for the majority of the mature trees to remain. Moreover, the changes came in consultation with area citizens through comments and input at a meeting on August 5th. The City will implement measures to minimize construction impacts on the trees adjacent to the parking lot, said a City of Guelph press release. The City is also committed to replacing any transplanted trees that do not survive, and planting new trees adjacent to the parking lot.

Valeriote Gets Critical

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff announced last week that our local MP Frank Valeriote had accepted the role of Liberal Critic for the Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The agency, which will be based in Kitchener, had been announced in January’s Federal budget and will spend $1 billion over five years to promote new jobs and economic growth in Ontario. It was only on August 13th that Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially launched the agency along with Minister for Science and Technology, and Cambridge MP, Gary Goodyear. Valeriote’s first act as the new critic was to criticize what he called the government’s “inaction plan at work,” saying, “Southern Ontario has been waiting six long months since it was first announced in the budget to get this agency underway – the government has wasted precious time determining a site for it while thousands more jobs have been lost.”

Valeriote also talked about the sale of Nortel’s assets to Swedish film Ericsson, saying that if Goodyear and Harper really wanted to the Canadian economy a solid, they’d try and make sure those assets stayed in Canadian hands. “If Minister Goodyear is serious about Southern Ontario, he should turn his attention immediately to assisting Minister Clement with a review of the sale of Nortel’s wireless assets,” said Valeriote in a press release. “This review should exhaust all efforts to find a made-in-Canada solution involving one of Southern Ontario’s success stories, Kitchener-Waterloo’s Research-in-Motion.”

City Updates on Public Washroom Repairs

In the ongoing appraisal of public washroom facilities on city land following the death of a teenage girl earlier this summer, the City has released an update for the community. Based on the recommendations from the structural reports from Gamsby and Mannerow Engineers, the City of Guelph has contracted Action Construction Company of Kitchener for the demolition and rebuilding of the partition walls of the public change/washrooms at Guelph Lake Sports Field, Hanlon Creek Park, and St. George’s Park. The repairs began this week at Guelph Lake Sports Field and will be followed by repairs to Hanlon Creek Park and St. George’s Park with all repairs scheduled to be completed by the end of September. The City is also requesting a quote from Action for repairs to the public change/washrooms at the Norm Jary Splash Pad, and another company Group Eight Engineering Limited is performing the structural investigation work at the Larry Pearson Baseball Complex washroom facilities.

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