The State of the City is hosted annually by the Chamber of Commerce, a chance for businesses to network with each other, talk about what they’re doing, and then hear from the mayor about the latest selling points of the city from 1 Carden Street. This year, there was the usual positive spin, but the long shadow of COVID was everywhere, so what is the State of the City according to the mayor?
Usually, the State of the City event is held in the Delta Hotel and Conference Centre, and it comes with breakfast. You can catch up with old friends, make some new friends and then here the mayor talk about the success and challenges at City Hall. Along the way, the mayor will also lay out his or her vision for the coming year, inspirational and aspirational ideas meant to sell Guelph’s appeal to the people that sell Guelph.
But how do you sell Guelph in the era of COVID? That was going to be one of the many challenges of this year’s State of the City for Mayor Cam Guthrie. The speech was made in early February at the tail end of the last lockdown, and there was already a sense of ennui and struggle because of the pandemic’s persistence. So perhaps now is a good time to revisit the speech, which speaks to our resolve, but also speaks to kindness and hopefulness.
So this week on the podcast, we will replay Mayor Guthrie’s 2021 State of the City, which, unlike previous speeches, was off the cuff from a long list of issue headings instead of the immaculately prepared talking points plus props and a theme. Guthrie touches on the local pandemic response, struggling to get help from upper level’s government, working to solve homelessness and the opioid crisis, and the City’s efforts to address last summer’s reckoning around social justice and racism.
So let’s recap the State of the City on this week’s Guelph Politicast!
You can revisit the coverage from this year’s State of the City back in February here and here, and you can also revisit Mayor Guthrie’s most recent appearance on this podcast back in December by clicking here.
Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.