Thursday, October 8, 2009

Next Federal Candidates and Protest Fall-Out

Parties move on next election

As Michael Ignatieff continues to try, unsuccessfully, to bring down the government of Stephen Harper, two local riding associations are lining up the people their putting forward once the writ is cast. Last week the Guelph Federal Conservative Party Association nominated Marty Burke to be its candidate in the next federal election. The 49-year-old Air Canada pilot, who moved to Guelph with his family in 2000, has solid Conservative credentials as a professional, and a family man; additionally, Burke has 23 years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces under his belt. It’ll be interesting to see how Burke will fair up against Liberal incumbent Frank Valeriote who’s well-liked with years of community involvement to his credit as well as being a natural born Guelphite. In the 2008 election, then Conservative candidate City Coun. Gloria Kovach lost by a little over 3,000 votes.

Meanwhile, Guelph’s Federal Green Party will be holding its nomination meeting on Tuesday, October 27th at 7:00 pm at Norfolk United Church downtown. Nominations are now open, and anyone that’s currently a member of the Green Party is eligible to put their name forward for the consideration of the riding association. Remember to allow at least a week for the Green Party of Canada to review your nomination, so don’t doddle with your paper work. Unfortunately, for potential Greens sitting on the fence, one must become a member, or renew their membership, 30 days before the nomination meeting to be able to vote. For more information, head to the Guelph Greens’ website at
Remember when I said “This ain’t over…?”

Two little nuggets came out of the orbit of the old Hanlon Creek Business Park controversy from last summer. One involved two activists that delivered a letter to the home of the owner of Drexler Construction asking him to part ways with the City in developing the HCBP lands. Julian Ichim and Kelly Pflug-Back returned to the police station where they tried to surrender themselves early in September to let Guelph PD know that they’ve filed two "notices of action," each seeking $30,000 in damages. The dynamic duo say that police defamed them, were negligent in their "investigation of criminal charges" and violated their Charter rights. “[T]he premise of our recent actions has to do with the fact that the media's vilification of activism is unacceptable, as is the police force attempting to take on a political role rather than one of impartial law enforcement,” said Pflug-Back in a response on the Mercury’s 59 Carden St Blog. Paradoxically, the one thing that Pflun-Back didn’t address is that it was she and Ichim that identified themselves to media, they weren’t named in any police press release.

Later that week, a concerned citizen tipped of the Mercury to some movement of dump trucks and heavy equipment on the HCBP lands. The concern was that maybe work was being done on the DL (that’s down low) to avoid a fuss from protesters. After some investigation, City staff told a Mercury reporter that the mounds of top soil dropped off at the site was being used to stabilize the Road A culvert site and would be spread evenly between McWilliams Drive and the Road A Culvert and then it will be seeded to prevent any erosion and sediment issues over the winter/spring months when the development (and the development protests) are expected to continue. Case closed.

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