CITY PAGES: Pandemic News, Newcomer Help, and Snow Plow Names

The City of Guelph puts out a lot of information on a weekly basis, and while it all ends up on the City’s website somewhere, wouldn’t it be easier to just scroll through it all on one easy-to-read article on Guelph Politico here…?

Mayor Guthrie Marks One Year Since Pandemic Start

This past week marked the first anniversary of when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and Mayor Cam Guthrie released a statement to share a few thoughts on the matter. He thanked Dr. Nicola Mercer and the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health team for their hard work, and that every effort is being made to get everyone a COVID-19 vaccination. But there’s also still a bit of work that’s left to be done.

“We all need to keep following the public health guidelines, keeping our distance, and wearing our masks just a little while longer,” Guthrie said in a statement. “I know you’re tired. I know you want to see family and friends again. But we have to hang in there just a little bit longer. Thank you to our community, for coming together and doing your part of the past year.”

Medical Officer Asks You to Be Nice to Staff

Along with the Mayor’s message of patience and perseverance at the one-year mark of the pandemic, there’s a slightly different message coming from the Medical Officer of Health, be nice. In a letter to the community, Dr. Nicola Mercer asked for area residents to show compassion and empathy for public health staff who have been seeing an increase in the number of aggressive and negative comments being directed at them in emails and social media comments.

“When we feel stressed or scared, our first response may be to translate those feelings into anger and frustration. However, there is never an excuse to bully or abuse anyone- including Public Health staff,” Mercer said in a statement. “Our team will continue to do everything we can to support you and tackle COVID-19. As we do, please exercise patience and kindness if you are engaging with Public Health staff for any reason. Treating each other with compassion and empathy is the only way we will get through this pandemic.

For Newcomers: Vaccine Advice That Speaks Your Language

Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington is teaming up with WDG Public Health to deliver vaccine information nights to Guelph newcomers. Noting the lack of COVID-19 vaccine info for people for whom English is not a first language, and the fact that many new Canadians work in areas with a higher risk of catching the virus like food service and manufacturing, the executive director of ISGW can’t understate the need for this program.

“Unfortunately, there are too many unreliable resources available on the Internet that don’t adequately educate our clients about the country’s vaccination plan,” said Sandra Cocco in a media release. “We want to ensure that newcomers are well-informed before making that decision.”

Information sessions in Vietnamese, Arabic, Mandarin, Tigrinya, and Nepali start next week.

Meet Your New Snow Plows!

Submissions are closed, the results have been tabulated, and the Guelph Storm have revealed the winning names for the City’s new snow plows.

  • Blizzard of Oz – Liam Pollon / Ken Danby Public School (21 per cent)
  • Flocon  (French for Snowflake) – St. Rene Goupil (19 per cent)
  • Darth Blader – Vaughan & Lachlan Rocha/ William C. Winegard (16 per cent)
  • Sir-Plows-a-Lot – Tricia Mellor and Anna McDonough/Central (9 per cent)
  • Frost Bite – Josh Spencer/ Guelph Montessori (8 per cent)
  • Lil’ Plow Wow – Andrew Hyatt /John McCrae (8 per cent)

Mr. Plow, Gryph, Curb Crusher, and Big Poppy were the four honourable mentions.

Golden Memories Revealed!

Despite the pandemic, 2020 Artist-in-Residence Jenny Mitchell has finished her project, #GoldenGuelph. For the project, Mitchell collected items and memories from people all over the city. These items and memories were of people, places and things that carry a special historical significance to Guelph, and Mitchell then interviewed community members about these things, and paired that audio with the image and artwork. If that wasn’t enough, you can also get one of the memories on a t-shirt like Mitchell’s own popular “Gone Guelph” line.

“#GoldenGuelph was a massive undertaking,” said Tammy Adkin, manager of Museums and Culture in a media statement. “Jenny has done an incredible job navigating pandemic protocols to complete this project and her hard work throughout the course of the residency deserves to be celebrated.”

You can see the whole #GoldenGuelph collection by clicking here.

LIP Collecting More Info About Guelph’s Immigrant Community

The Guelph Wellington Local Immigration Partnership (GWLIP) is teaming up with the City of Guelph to gather feedback about the lived experiences of people who have been victims of racial discrimination in the area. This work will compliment the implementation of the Community Plan, and will be presented to council later this year. The survey is being done through Forum Research, and will be conducted anonymously with Guelph residents.

“More than ever, the Guelph and Wellington communities understand that, despite progress, discrimination continues to be a fact of life for many residents. As with any issue, we need to take an evidence-based approach to understanding the problem if we hope to create real solutions,” said Leen Al Habash, GWLIP Project Manager in a statement. “Through this survey, we will attempt to collect a representative sample of the undoubtedly wide variety of experiences residents have had, ensuring that the voices of our community can lead us to a better tomorrow.”

GRCA Warns That Spring Flooding is Now a Concern

With the weather warming up, the Grand River Conservation Authority is warning about what will likely be increased run off in area lakes and rivers due to rain and melted snow. A flood watch was issued last week for all areas in the Grand River watershed and has been continually updated ever since.

Run off is one concern, and so is ice on local waterways, which is now extremely unstable and will break up and shift, increasing the risk of flooding in areas prone to ice jams. Consequently, all ice fishing has been closed in conservation areas for the season.

In the most recent update a flood warning remains in effect for the Nith River area in New Hamburg and Ayr, while a flood watch remains in effect for areas around the Grand River watershed. Major reservoirs, including the one at Guelph Lake, will be storing runoff to reduce the risk of flooding downstream, and all municipalities in the GRCA are being asked to keep their flood co-ordinators on-hand to monitor conditions, and to make area residents and businesses aware of the risk and make them familiar with flood plan responses.

The current advisory will remain in effect until Monday at 4:30 pm.

Short Notes:

*The Guelph Humane Society have moved into their new home at 190 Hanlon Creek Boulevard, and have returned to normal business operations.

*The City of Guelph will be installing sewer and water pipes in a stretch of York Road between Ontario Street and Brockville Avenue starting on March 29, and work will continue till the end of October.

*The Market Square rink is closed for the season.

*Starting on March 15, the City of Guelph will be collecting yard waste every other week on your grey bun collection day.

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