Yesterday, the City of Guelph announced that their buildings would be closed so long as the state of emergency is in effect. One lingering question from that news release is the status of future city council meetings, which were only cancelled up till the end of May, and now we know that there will soon be another future special council meeting, and there is the promise of more meetings to come after that.
In a new media release today, it was announced that Mayor Cam Guthrie has cancelled the May 4 Committee of the Whole meeting, and the May 11 planning meeting of city council. Instead, there will be a special meeting of city council on May 11 at 2 pm, which will once again be accessible only through the City’s live-stream, and will also feature the opportunity for people to delegate like they did at the April 16 special meeting.
A new council calendar, including new dates for both planning and regular meetings of council, will be unveiled in advanced of the meeting. No agenda has yet to be released for the new May 11 meeting, but the City’s media release says that it will be posted to the City’s website on, or before, Thursday April 30.
In other council-related news, Wednesday was the first meeting of the mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery. Political leaders from all levels of government, plus business representatives from companies of all sizes in the fields of manufacturing, construction, education, energy, hospitality and tourism met with the mayor via teleconference this morning.
“I am thrilled with how quickly leaders from Guelph’s business community came together to evaluate the burden COVID-19 has put on our local economy, and begin the ambitious work of identifying opportunities and solutions to help businesses weather the storm,” said Mayor Guthrie in a statement.
According the mayor’s office, much of the conversation centred around three clear areas of concern including labour issues, clarity on government subsidies, and the financial pressures of rent, utilities and insurance. The task force will be focusing on strategies to assist local businesses with these and other issues as they start meeting on a monthly basis for the next year.
“This task force represents a wealth of perspectives and expertise, and I feel energized by our collective commitment to innovation, agility, and resilience as we work towards economic recovery,” Guthrie added. “I am also grateful to City Councillors Cathy Downer, Dominique O’Rourke and Mike Salisbury for contributing their knowledge and support as the task force’s Council liaisons.”