City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the June 28 Shareholder Meeting?

An annual tradition at the end of June, Guelph City Council gets to spend a couple of hours not sitting as itself, but sitting as the shareholder of two municipally-owned companies, Guelph Junction Railway, and Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. What kind of year has it been for both companies, substantively and financially? Let’s find out…

NOTE #1: These are meetings where city council is sitting as the shareholder for a municipal corporation, so there are no delegations for the following two meetings.

NOTE #2: The meeting will be closed to the public, though it will be live-streamed on the City of Guelph’s website here.

NOTE #3: The shareholder meeting for GMHI begins at 4 pm and then immediately moves into closed session before continuing with the open meeting. The Guelph Junction Railway shareholder meeting begins at 5 pm.

NOTE #4: The regular meeting of city council begins at 5:30 pm.

City Council as Shareholder of Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. Meeting Agenda

CLOSED MEETING: The shareholders will discuss in closed session an update to District Energy as it’s a matter of “advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege.”

Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc (GMHI) 2020 Annual Report to Shareholders – As you may be aware, GMHI has spent the last few years consolidating operations and divesting itself of the District Energy assets. Work on the latter issue continued in 2020, and according to the annual report, the Hanlon Creek node of DE has been closed on time, and “significantly under budget.” Word on the second and final node downtown is now underway, and it’s expected to be complete by the end of the year. In the mean time, expect “More exciting news to come on this initiative,” says the report.

2020 GMHI Audited Financial Statements and Appointment of External Auditor – KPMG has completed its review of the audited financial statements for GMHI, and they have given them an “unqualified ‘clean’ opinion.” GHMI paid $3 million in dividends to the City of Guelph last year, and it’s expected that there will be further investment income coming in from Alectra as well as reduced administrative expenses.

City Council as Shareholder of Guelph Junction Railway Limited Meeting Agenda

2020 GJR Audited Financial Statements and 2021 Appointment of External Auditor – Like GMHI, the audited financial statements for Guelph Junction Railway have been given an “unqualified ‘clean’ opinion” by KPMG. In 2020, rail traffic was not immune to the effects of COVID-19 as GJR saw a decrease of 50 per cent in revenue in 2020 when compared to 2019. The company earned just $530,000 in 2020, and thus there will be no dividend declared to the City of Guelph for 2021.

Guelph Junction Railway 2020 Annual Report – The report characterizes 2020 as a “year of change” for Guelph Junction Railway as Goderich-Exeter Railway (GEXR) took over the switching contract after a reshuffle at long-time service provider Ontario Southland Railway. Several capital projects were performed in 2020 including the replacement of cross ties and switch ties in the north end of Guelph, scrap tie clean up, new ballasting and surfacing for safety, new emergency signs, signal upgrades, crossing upgrades, and new grading at multiple locations. There are also ongoing projects like work on the Eramosa Bridge, vegetation control, expropriations for the MTO, and a review of human resources and governance policies.

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