This Week in Press Releases – March 21-25, 2016

Every week, the City of Guelph and other groups send out notices to announce new events, imperatives, and information that you need to know. Here is this week in press releases.

Quit Fining Yourself!
This was an unusual press release, “City fines itself for not obtaining building permit.” Whaaaaaaaat? “The City of Guelph has charged itself for construction without a permit, resulting in a fine of $1,125 under the Ontario Building Code Act,” said the release. The problem was with a change room renovation at the West End Rec Centre, work was begun and completed before a building permit was issued. (I guess someone really wanted to get it done.) A full inspection was done, “disciplinary action” has been taken against the employees in questions, and everything is back to normal at the Centre, but it was still a little weird for the city to have to put out a press release about how it had to fine itself. On the other hand, this is the first time, so the system works. At least, 99.99 per cent of the time.

City Wants Input on Changing Up Governance
On April 7, the Governance Committee is going to talk about maybe no longer having a Governance Committee, or any standing committees for that matter. According to a press release, some councillors began musing about a new governance model during the Meeting Management Review process. What would that look like? “Under the proposed model, all Councillors would sit as one committee allowing all members to participate in agenda item discussions, address delegations and staff, and vote on decisions while an item is at the committee stage,” said the release. “Under the current structure, only Council members who sit on the standing committee can fully participate. The proposed model streamlines the process by reducing the number of meetings, provides a set meeting schedule, and allows delegates to address all Council members at one committee meeting.” The city’s inviting people to offer their two cents at one of two upcoming meetings: the April 7 Governance Committee meeting, and the April 25 Council Meeting. Follow the link to get deadlines to sign-up as delegations.

Chamber Wants Some Excellence Nominees
The 16th Annual Awards of Excellence Gala hosted by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce will take place this year on Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 at 5 pm at the Delta Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre, but they’re going to need some people to award. Nominations are now open in five categories: Lifetime Achievement, Excellence in Business (50+ employees), Excellence in Business (up to 50 employees), Community Spirit, and Emerging Business. For full details and rules, consult the Chamber website, and if you have a nominee in mind, act quickly, nominations close on April 15.

U of G Gives Thumbs Up to the Federal Budget
Many different sectors had reason to be pleased with Tuesday’s Federal Budget, and the University of Guelph is one of them. In fact, there were so happy they issued a press release to say so. “We are delighted that the federal government is making knowledge and innovation a priority,” said University of Guelph president Franco Vaccarino applauding the infrastructure money and new investment in Canada’s research-granting councils, which the U of G will be a major beneficiary of. “This increased federal support, coupled with the recent provincial infrastructure investment to U of G, will play a critical role in providing our students with access to leading-edge facilities and to keeping our top research talent at U of G and in Ontario and Canada,” Vaccarino said. Of course, it was only a week ago that the Provincial government announced $23 million for renovations and new construction at the Ontario Veterinary College.

Guelph Arts Council Wants You to Be Well, Be Inspired
Guelph Arts Council is going to be presenting “Be Well, Be Inspired,” a wellness workshop for creative people on Sunday April 10. “Artists and arts workers are passionate people who love their work. However, it’s work that’s often undervalued, and characterized by low or sporadic income, few employment benefits, long and irregular hours, requests to work for free, and high expectations” said the GAC press release. “Day to day, how can artists and arts workers nourish their minds, bodies and spirits to prevent burnout and other health issues?” The workshop is being sponsored by The Wellness Collaborative, and will be held at Studio 404, 404 York Rd., from 10 am to 2 pm. Registration fees are $25 for Guelph Arts Council members, and $35 for non-members. A light brunch is included. Register online here or for more information call Guelph Arts Council at 519-836-3280 or visit

Help Clean-Up Guelph on April 23!
Registration is now open for the 13th annual Guelph Clean and Green Community Clean-up where residents are asked to spend a few hours doing some spring cleaning in their neighbourboods by picking up litter along the streets, in public areas, and in the parks. The clean-up begins at 8:30 am and ends with a free barbecue in Riverside Park at noon. To get involved, participants must register in advance and sign up for a pre-determined location by completing the online registration form, emailing or calling 519-822-1260 extension 3305. Registration closes on Friday, April 15 at 4 p.m.

Assisted Death Protests This Thursday
Guelph and Area Right to Life will be co-ordinating protests this coming Thursday on behalf of those “extremely concerned about the safety of Canadians” on the issue of doctor assisted death. These protests, along with others across the province, are being put together with the assistance of Alliance for Life Ontario. “When voting on this issue, the central focus of both MPs and MPPs should be, ‘Is suicide or assisting with suicide a Canadian value?’” said Hanna Caruso, Program Manager of Guelph and Area Right to Life. “Lives are literally on the line, and it’s obvious that no restrictions will be enough to protect vulnerable people – especially the elderly and people with disabilities or mental illness. Legalizing assisted suicide would devalue all our lives.” Locally, demonstrations will be happening from 10 am to 11 am in front of the offices of Lloyd Longfield and Michael Chong, and from 11 am to noon, at the offices of Liz Sandals and Ted Arnot.

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