Thursday, February 4, 2010

Protesting Proroguing and Haiti Relief

Guelph Rocked the Prorogue Protest

As one of numerous communities across the country that participated in the call to get MPs back to work, Guelph made its voice heard as loud as anyone on January 23. About 300 people came out on a sunny Saturday to rally in protest of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to prorogue parliament for the second time in as many years. Many of the speakers demanded that rules regarding prorogation be examined by the opposition parties, while others called Harper out for his "complete distaste for democratic processes", in the words of one speaker. A panel discussion at Knox Church on Quebec St was well attended as thoughts and ideas were shared and homemade perogies were eaten. For pictures, head over to my blog at

Transit hike in effect

In case you didn’t notice, you just paid $4 more for your monthly bus pass for February than you did for January. Smoothly and quietly, Guelph Transit has enacted the approved fare increase from this year’s budget starting as of this past Monday. For cash fares this means paying an extra quarter for your trip at $2.75. To get 10-ride tickets will now set you back $23 for adults, $19.50 for seniors and $18.50 for students. For the city’s other students, those that get the universal bus pass through the University of Guelph, negotiations between the city and the university are continuing in good faith. Transit wants to make up a budget shortfall of $70,000 by renegotiating the bus pass, which is currently a mandatory fee for all U of G students at $61.51 per semester. On the bright side though Guelph, you can take pride in the fact that there was no selfish hording of pre-fare hike tickets like our Toronto friends engaged in before the TTC fare hike.

Sandals assists Transportation Minister

Congrats to our local MPP Liz Sandals who was named parliamentary assistant to provincial Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne last week. Among her new duties, Sandals will be helping Wynne move forward on the MoveOntario 2020 plan and the goal to improve transportation infrastructure, like highways, bridges and mass transit service. “Guelph residents are keenly interested in the extension of GO train service to Guelph and the upgrading of local highways,” said a press release. Yes, now let’s make it happen. Especially the GO Train.

Mark Your Calendar

There a couple of pretty big deal events coming up this week that I wanted to highlight. First and foremost is the Haiti fundraiser at the River Run Centre on Sunday. Called “Help Haiti: A Guelph Benefit for Earthquake Relief,” the show will be headlined by jazz musician Jane Bunnett, who’s an extremely well-known face around here because of her multiple appearances at the Guelph Jazz Festival. Additionally the show will feature the University of Guelph Choirs as well as the Guelph Music Revue, which is made up of several noted Guelph musicians like Craig Norris, Tannis Slimmon and Ambre McLean. The goal is to raise $20,000 for earthquake relief in Haiti, will all proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross. Tickets are $30 each, and for more information you can go to the website

The second event to note this week is a lecture by Dr. Ned Franks, Professor Emeritus at Queen’s University, at War Memorial Hall on the U of G campus Monday February 8. Franks’ career spans numerous teaching positions, nearly 100 articles and 13 books that he’s either written or edited. The topic of Franks’ talk will be the need for reform of parliamentary procedures, and he’ll share his ideas on the topic in a lecture entitled “The State of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada.” The lecture is being co-sponsored by the Council of Canadians – Guelph Chapter, the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph and the Central Students Association.

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