Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Good News

Here at Guelph Beat, we like to take a few knocks at the City from time to time. (Of course, by “we” I say mean “I” since as far as Guelph Beat’s concerned there’s only me, myself, to blame.) So for a change of pace this week, I decided to take a time out and give the city a pat on the back.

City wins Silver for going Green

With oil still gushing out of the Gulf of Mexico like a tapped keg at a frat party (at least at press time), it does us all good to know that the City’s fleet of vehicles are not a huge part of the problem, environmentally speaking. The City of Guelph is one of only two municipalities in Ontario to receive an E3 silver rating for sustainable fleet management, said a city press release. The Royal City is also the only municipality in Ontario to receive a silver rating for its transit fleet. “Guelph can take pride in being the first municipality in Ontario to achieve a silver rating for our transit fleet,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “The E3 Fleet rating is proof of Guelph's commitment to reducing our environmental impact, including greenhouse gas emissions.”

So what is E3? Well, it stands for Environment, Energy and Excellence. It’s a rating system that public and private sector fleets can seek based on staff training, idle reduction practices, vehicle purchasing practices, fleet operations and maintenance, trip and route planning, fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas performance. Guelph began the fleet review process under the E3 system starting back in 2008. “We are pleased to be the second municipality in Ontario to be awarded with a silver rating. Earning the E3 rating has been a two year process and involved several departments of our organization,” said Bill Barr, the City’s Manager of Fleet and Equipment.

Burcher doing fourth term on FCM

Ward 5 City Councillor (and recent “Better Know a Ward” profilee) Lise Burcher was re-elected for a fourth term to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Board of Directors last month at the group’s annual general meeting in Toronto. For those that don’t know, the membership constitutes 1,775 community members representing over 90 per cent of the Canadian population. The FCM Board is composed of sixteen elected municipal officials in Ontario and a total of seventy one directors across Canada. “It is an honour to be supported by my colleagues throughout Ontario in my bid for re-election to the Board,” said Burcher in a press release. “I look forward to contributing further to the valuable work of this outstanding organization.” Burcher will also continue her role as a Green Municipal Fund Council (GMF) member. This committee administers $550 million in funds to support municipalities to undertake projects and plans that demonstrate innovations in sustainability.

Book Sale need somewhere to sell from

Let’s end this week’s Guelph Beat with some community service. It seems that The Friends of the Guelph Public Library are in a bit of a jam: they can’t find a space to hold their annual giant fall book sale. The Guelph Mercury did a story on the issue last week, and although the book sale was able to secure a sorting and storage space, they were (at press time) still in need of a sale space.

In the past, sales were held at empty shops in Old Quebec Street and the vacant storefront of former Wyndham Arts location. Virginia Gillham, chair of the FGPL, is hoping to secure a space somewhere in the core for the sale, and to give you an idea of the size of space needed, last year’s sale had over 40,000 books donated. The proceeds from this year’s sale will be combined with the cash collected over the last four years of the sale and will be donated to pay for books and amenities to serve children and young adults in the new and improved central branch of the public library. If you’ve got a lead on an appropriate space you can get in touch with the FGPL at

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