CITY PAGES: Activation, Childcare Need, and Committee Members Still Wanted

The City of Guelph, and it’s various partners and agencies, put 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…?

Activation Stations Are Back this Weekend

The big blue crates have been closed since the start of the pandemic, but starting this weekend they’re re-open again at Exhibition Park and Margaret Greene Park. The Activation Stations in those two parks are now open daily until September 2, and on weekends from September 11 to October 2, and they will offer the usual activities to promote physical activity and motor skills like a mini library, chalkboards, magnet boards, and the Imagination Playground.

“Park activation introduces new and unique ways for families to use park spaces, makes it easier for children to get active, and helps to improve a child’s physical and mental well-being. The activation stations allow for a truly interactive park experience,” said Eric Pool, the City’s Programs and Community Development supervisor in a media release.

Naturally, there are COVID-19 health and safety protocols in effect including up to 25 people at a time, masking, health screenings, 45-minute sessions, and the sanitizing of  equipment between sessions.

Council Remuneration Committee Still Looking for People

The City of Guelph is still looking for people to join their City Council Remuneration and Support Advisory Committee. The goal of the committee is to review and analyze the salaries, benefits and staffing support for members of city council, and prepare a report  that will be presented to council during the first quarter of 2022. To be a part of the committee, you need to be 16 years old or over, and special consideration will be given for people with experience or backgrounds in human resources, finance, compensation methodology or similar fields. The new deadline to apply is August 12.

Register for Remote Learning and Public Health Advice

Registration is now open for parents that want to enroll their kids in remote learning with the Upper Grand District School Board for the coming year. If you would like have your kids continue their education at home in the coming school year, you have until Thursday August 12 at 4 pm, to fill out the form. Only students wanting to participate in remote learning need to register, and there will be no hybrid learning models for this year. The default for all UGDSB kids will be in-person learning, and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer recently sent a letter to area parents to tell them what to expect. To read the letter, click here.

Guelph Chamber Screening Local Documentary

The Guelph Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a movie night, but the movie is a locally-made documentary about local businesses trying to survive and thrive through the pandemic. On September 23 at the On The Grand drive-in at Bingemans, the Chamber will screen the documentary they commissioned from Ward One Studios that will “follow the stories of local businesses, highlighting the pivots, challenges, and successes they experienced during the pandemic.” You can buy tickets to the event here, and you can watch a short preview of the documentary below.

Successful Mulch Month for CrimeStoppers

CrimeStoppers Guelph Wellington was able to raise $1,410 during their #MayMulchMonth. During the month of May, $1 from every bag of mulch sold at the three area JL’s Home Hardware locations went to CrimeStoppers, which is a different format for the annual fundraiser. COVID-19 restrictions forced CrimeStoppers to find an alternative way to raise money for operating expenses and Tipster rewards. CrimeStoppers also plans to proceed with shredding events in Guelph and Mount Forest in the fall.

Historic Walking Tours Are Back on Again

The annual summer tradition from the Guelph Arts Council has recommenced. Historical Walking Tours began again last weekend, and they will continue as scheduled every Sunday until October 3. In addition to the regularly scheduled tours, there will also be a special Public Art Walk during Culture Days on Saturday September 25. Space is limited due to the pandemic, and you have to register in advance while wearing a mask and maintaining physical distancing on the tour itself.

Beware of Certain Frozen Mangoes

Nature’s Touch Frozen Food Inc. is recalling various frozen mangoes due to possible Hepatitis A contamination. There are four brands affected including Nature’s Touch, Compliments, Irresistibles, and President’s Choice, and although no hospitalizations or deaths have been reported, Public Health is advising you to throw out any of the frozen mango products if you bought them. In the event that you did eat the mangoes, you can get a Hepatitis A vaccine within 14 days of exposure. Consult the Public Health website for more information here.

Local Construction Update

*Work on the Membro Well at 290 Water Street began earlier this week and will be completed by late April 2022.

*A section of Speedvale Avenue East will be closed between Eramosa and Promenade starting on August 16 for four days in order to install water main valves, a swab launch and repave the road.

*There will be lane reductions on Delhi Street between Eramosa and Speedvale for three weeks starting on August 23 to install a new pedestrian crossing.

*A portion of Eastview Road will be closed between Starwood and Watson for a week starting on August 23 in order to install water main valves, a swab launch and repaving the road.

Guelph Chamber Joins Ontario Chamber Call for Childcare

The lack of available and/or affordable childcare has been frequently cited as one of the things holding back our post-pandemic economic recovery. To that end, the Guelph Chamber of Commerce is joining forces with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to work with governments and groups from across Canada to push the Federal government for a nation-wide Early Learning and Child Care System.

“The message we heard during our roundtable with business owners was loud and clear: Child care is a business issue as much as a social one,” said Guelph Chamber president Shakiba Shayani in a statement. “Families across the province need flexible, affordable, and high-quality child care that meets their individual needs.”

According to the Ontario Chamber’s report The She-Covery Project: Confronting the Gendered Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Ontario, childcare in Ontario is unaffordable and/or inaccessible for too many working families, and even with subsidies, Canada has one of the most expensive childcare systems among developed countries. The Chambers want to see a focus on hiring more educators with better pay, improved working conditions, and more money for recruitment and retention, as well as more investment to create additional childcare spaces.

“The COVID-19 crisis has disproportionately impacted women in Ontario, with more than twice as many job losses reported for women than men, in part because women took on most of the unpaid child care that became necessary as schools and daycares closed,” said Claudia Dessanti, Senior Manager of Policy at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “However, child care has been a challenge for families long before the pandemic.”

Photo Courtesy of CrimeStoppers Guelph Wellington.

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