Thursday, March 4, 2010

Temple Debate, Farbridge 3-Peat & Valeriote's Guests

Temple debate gets more heated

Even before the city council planning meeting this past Monday, the heat was already turned up on the proposed construction of a Sikh temple in the southend of the city. The proposal to develop a four acre site along Claire Rd between Victoria Rd and Tolton Dr has been highly controversial with neighbourhood residents due to potential increases in noise and traffic to the area, as well as the temple’s planned size and height. Initial community feedback at a meeting in December highlighted these concerns especially, but in that time a new element has emerged in the debate: The Race Card.

A website called Stop The Temple went online last month as a way for people against the construction of a Sikh temple to organize. However, if you go the site (found at and register, it’s not just the power of community organizing you’ll be struck by. Charges of racism and, indeed, hate crimes have been levied against some of the people posting on Stop The Temple. Here’s a sample:

“So any middle eastern minority wants something, they’d better get it! If we oppose we are all racist, and discriminating! God forbid we offend these people. Last I checked, they are suicide bombers, child molesters, they kill their kids because they go out after dark, rapists, Con artists, Scammers. Sorry no offence I don’t want to take the risk of hundreds more moving to this community, and opening hundreds of corner stores, pizza pizza's and subways. Enough is enough. You have Brampton. Move there, stay there, and leave our city alone.”

And then there’s the next comment entitled “Next a mosque”

“First it’s a Sikh Temple. Next it will be a Mosque. Both are violent cults and next it will be a memorial to martyrs aka terrorists. We must stop this eastern influence.”

In 1964, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain the definition of "hardcore" pornography and obscenity. I think his words, in relation to the two quotes above, should be considered in our discussion today about what racism is: "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . [b]ut I know it when I see it…"

Head over to Guelph Politico at for an update on the debate.

Farbridge set to run for third term

Mayor Karen Farbridge announced to a small group of supporters and the media last Wednesday that she was indeed embarking on a bid to win the City’s top job for a third term. “I am excited at the opportunity to serve my community as mayor,” said Farbridge in a City press release. “Our city requires experienced leadership to meet the challenges that are ahead of us, build on successes, and continue the good work we have begun.” Farbridge was first elected as mayor in 2000, but lost to Kate Quarrie in her 2003 re-election bid by 4,000 votes. She then defeated Quarrie by over 5,000 votes in the 2006 election. The Municipal Election will take place on Monday October 25, 2010. To hear Farbridge’s announcement speech head over to Politico.

More Special Guests Courtesy of Valeriote

Our local MP Frank Valeriote has been going out of his way in the bringing of special guest to town in the last couple of weeks. First there was Liberal leader Michael “Iggy” Ignatieff and the week after that it was Justin “You Know My Name” Trudeau. Coming up on Saturday, Guelph will welcome MP for York West Judy Sgro for a townhall on seniors and veterans issues at the Evergreen Seniors Centre. Sgro is the former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the current Liberal critic for Seniors and Pensions. She’ll be taking audience questions and discussing your concerns starting at 10 am. For more information, get in touch with Valeriote’s constituency office at 519-837-8276 or

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