Thursday, February 11, 2010

Negotiations and Special Guests

Union to City: No dice.

The city’s unionized workers have said forget-about-it to taking five unpaid days off in 2010 and instead temporary lay-offs may be implemented in order to save $1.2 million from this year’s budget. Both the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1189 and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 241, which represent the city’s transit and outsider workers respectively, voted against the budget proposal by a “very clear majority,” according to CUPE 241 President Brad Kelloway. The result, according to director of human resources Mark Amorosi, is that some city services could be outright closed for five days, and that might include Guelph Transit. Exact details weren’t given, but chances are good that the disruption to city services isn’t going to be nearly as invisible to citizens as city hall had hoped. CUPE Local 973, which represents the city’s inside workers, have yet to vote on the proposal. For updates, see my blog at

Cool Deal for Family Thrift Store

Milan Lesic is undoubtedly a happy man. The businessman landed a cool $1.25 million in selling the Wyndham Street storefront that he owns that was most recently the home of Ray Mitchell’s Family Thrift Store. The final figure Lesic’s receiving for the sale was revealed last week after the deal to buy the property was officially closed. Next items up for bids are the buildings on either side of the old Family Thrift Store including the former Wyndham Arts location, which has a closure date set a few months hence. But if you were ever a patron of the Family Thrift Store and that amount seems exorbitant to you, Mitchell himself agrees. “It's funny, because the standard formula to estimate the value of a building is to multiply by ten the yearly gross rent,” said Mitchell in an online post. “In this case, the three businesses fully rented paid about $85,000 a year, so we should have paid at most less than a million. And, in this case, since two of the three stores had no working furnaces and therefore no tenants the amount should have been even less.”

City Wants you to name stuff

For your information, today’s the last day for you to be able to submit your suggestions to name new city properties. As part of a new Commemorative Naming Policy, the city wants your suggestions for what the name of six new city assets should be. These sites include the Northern Heights, Morningcrest, Conservation Estates and Westminster Woods subdivisions; a park on the former Eastview Landfill site; and the Civic Square in front of City Hall and the new Provincial Offences Court.

“Names will be reviewed by the City’s naming committee,” said a City of Guelph press release. “First consideration will be given to those names that have geographic, civic or historic significance of the neighbourhood where the asset is located. Second consideration will be given to names of individuals who have achieved at least one of the following: excellence, courage or exceptional service to the citizens of Guelph, Ontario or Canada; worked to foster equality and reduce discrimination; or risked or given his or her life to save or protect others.”

For more information, visit the city’s website at

Valeriote bring in Trudeau

With Parliament prorogued and nowhere to go it seems, our local MP Frank Valeriote is welcoming Member of Parliament for Papineau, PQ (and son of a former Prime Minister that needs no introduction) Justin Trudeau to the Royal City. Trudeau’s coming into town Friday to be part of Our Lady of Lourdes high school’s annual Flag Day festivities where the school will give the Liberal MP their National Leadership Award. The award’s ceremony will take place in the morning, and will be followed by an open house at the Italian Canadian Club where members of the public can meet and greet with Valeriote and Trudeau from 1:30 to 3 pm.  For more information contact Valeriote’s office at 519-837-8276 or

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