Thursday, September 9, 2010

Transit Hub, White Night, and Reminders

Transit Hub in Danger (Naturally)

This should come as no surprise given our city’s less than sterling recent track record so far as public transit is concerned, but it appears that our glorious new transit hub is in danger of missing its completion mandate as per government funding deadlines. That’s slap number one. Slap number two was revealed by Rick Henry, the city’s general manager of engineering services, at a council meeting last week. He said that of the 25 local projects that received provincial and federal funding through infrastructure funding programs, only the Transit Hub on Carden St “is at any risk” of not being completed before the required March 31st, 2011 deadline. Naturally.

What’s the hold up, you might ask. Well, like Lex Luthor said, it’s all about land, or make that land that the city doesn’t own. “We’re ready to go with the project but we need that property,” Henry said. “Staff are confident we will acquire the property in time.” As well, negotiations between the city and stakeholders like GO Transit and VIA Rail have been “arduous”, in Henry’s words. “I don’t know what to tell you; whether it’s two weeks or four weeks,” he said. “We think we’re close.” But how close is close, especially given the Federal and Provincial governments’ deadline for project completion by March 2011? “The government will pay us for all work done by March 31st,” Henry said, so if the terminal is 95 per cent complete by that date “we just won’t get the funding for the remaining five per cent.”

White Night This Weekend

Joining such lofty company as Paris, St. Petersburg, Tel Aviv and Montreal, Guelph will be hosting a Nuit Blanche celebration this weekend as part of the Guelph Jazz Festival. On the menu are indoor and outdoor musical performances, multimedia art instillations, interactive performances and dances parties both silent and unsilent. Locations vary but include usual GJF hotspots like the River Run Centre, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Ed Video, St. George’s Church and the Wyndham Street Jazz tent; as well as new spaces like the former Woods plant, Royal City Park, Temple Studios and the Synnema. There’s also stuff going at numerous locations around the downtown, and it all happens Saturday from dusk till dawn. Check out the full program and schedule at

Looking For Special Guests

As part of my self-appointed job to encourage civic participation in our community with the upcoming municipal election, I’m opening the doors of my blog to people who wish to contribute their thoughts and opinions on the issues of Guelph 2010. Interested? Want to know what you have to do? It’s simple. First, you need to have an issue, then you need to get in touch with me with your name, a brief two line bio, and the text of what you want to say. Please remember that I’m interested in issues, which means no name-calling, ideology, demagoguery, or excessive use of colourful metaphors (swear words). For full details and how to submit, head to my blog at

Quick Reminder

If you’re more of the opinion that you’d like to shape policy than rave about it, please keep in mind that tomorrow’s your last chance to do so. Nominations for mayor, city Council and the two school boards close tomorrow (Friday) at 2 pm, and then we’re really off to the races. If you’re running you’ll need to file your nomination papers in person, at city hall, with government-issued photo I.D. and cash or cheque worth $100 if you’re running for council, or $200 if you’re running for mayor. Best of luck to all the candidates, and I’ll be talking to you soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment