CITY PAGES: Transit Changes, Barrels to Go and Help for 2SLGBTQI Youth

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…?

New Affordable Bus Pass Now Available

As of April 1, the new three-tiered affordable bus pass was launched by Guelph Transit and the City of Guelph. Eligibility will continue to be determined as income below the Low-Income Cut-off (LICO), but deeper subsidies can now be offered based on level of income as a percentage of LICO. The three tiers are $4 at Tier A, $20 at Tier B, and $31-$37.50 for Tier C depending on age.

To take advantage of the new tiers if you’re already eligible for the affordable pass, you need an OnYourWay card, which you can procure at City Hall or the Guelph Transit administration office at 170 Watson Road South weekdays between 8:30 am to 4 pm. To apply for the affordable bus pass program, fill out the online form, and take it to either City Hall, the Guelph Transit office, the Evergreen Seniors Centre, or the West End or Victoria Road Rec Centres.

Transit Fare Review Currently Underway

You have until April 10 to take part in Guelph Transit’s fare review strategy. The fare strategy is an in-depth review of Guelph’s Transit’s fare system including fare programs and policies, pricing payment options and fare structures. The strategy sets out how decisions about the fare system are made, the general modernize of transit service, ways they can get more people riding Guelph Transit, and potential new revenue sources to help keep transit affordable.

There will be three virtual workshop sessions on March 29, April 2 and April 6. Transit will also be polling riders at Guelph Central Station and Stone Road Mall.

City to (Finally) Remove Buried Drums

The City of Guelph will begin the process of removing barrels discovered under Bristol Street Park in April. The barrels were discovered while doing infrastructure work in 2014, and were tested by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks who determined that the undisturbed drums did not pose a risk to air and water quality. City staff have been consulting with specialized remediation to figure out how to safely remove the barrels, and if all goes according to plan, the work should be complete by June.

However, the City is also prepared if it doesn’t all go according to plan.  “We take our responsibility to protect our residents and the environment very seriously,” said deputy CAO of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services Jayne Holmes in a statement . “Air quality will be monitored continuously, and soil samples will be tested regularly during the excavation. Crews will take all necessary precautions to ensure nearby residents are not exposed to any materials or affected soil.”

Guelph Satisfaction Now Underway

The City of Guelph is working with Ipsos to conduct a telephone poll from now until to April 16 for the annual Guelph Satisfaction Survey. This survey will measure satisfaction with City of Guelph programs and services; perceptions and expectations of customer service and communications; and perceptions of quality of life. If you don’t get a call, you can still take part by access this Have Your Say site any time until April 16. Results will be published sometime this summer.

The last survey conducted in 2019 revealed that 89 per cent of Guelph residents expressed overall satisfaction with the delivery of services provided by the City, 95 per cent of Guelph residents rated the overall quality of life in the city as good or very good, and 81 per cent of Guelph residents believe they receive good value for their tax dollars.

Grove Providing Education for 2SLGBTQI Youth Inclusion

The Grove Hubs youth wellness sites are teaming up with Egale Canada to offer a virtual workshop titled “Introduction to 2SLGBTQI Inclusion: Building Inclusive Communities”. The hope is that the workshop will create more awareness about LGBTQ+ youth in rural communities and the challenges they face when it comes to acceptance and inclusion. While these areas, like Wellington County, are often thought of as relatively bereft of queer identifying peoples, one study suggests that approximately 5 per cent of people living in rural areas belong to the 2SLGBTQI community.

“The presence of the 2SLGBTQI youth and their value as equal community members in rural areas is undeniable – it is past the time that we treat them as such,” says Cyndy Moffat Forsyth, Executive Director of The Grove. “You don’t need to be a parent of a 2SLGBTQI youth to care about these issues. 2SLGBTQI youth are valued and contributing members to our community, therefore we should all take interest in more inclusive practices in our homes, schools and workplaces.”

County Launching Housing Awareness Campaign

Like Guelph, all parts of Wellington County are experiencing a housing crisis right now with the median home price in Centre Wellington has increased more than 235 per cent in five years. To help combat that disproportional increase in housing costs, the County is lunching the Make Wellington County Home campaign, which shares stories from people and businesses that are struggling to find housing that meets their needs, and provide examples and facts about the range of rental or ownership options available to communities to add choice and affordability.

“These are the people we need to provide our health care, child or senior care, to fill good jobs at growing manufacturing businesses or in the cafes and restaurants that are vital contributors to our economy and our communities. If these essential jobs go unfilled, or if workers are under extreme stress, it affects all of us” said Jana Burns, Wellington Place Administrator, Museum, Archives and Economic Development for the County.

“We can’t keep on doing what we’ve been doing, which is primarily building single detached homes when there are many options available that will bring us closer to a solution. Our community needs to endorse other housing options in their neighbourhoods. That’s the only way we’ll overcome this.”

Additional Notes

The Upper Grand District School Board is looking to hire some new lunch supervisors.

Wellington County’s RideWell ride share service is returning on April 4. Pre-pandemic pricing will remain in effect.

The virtual open house for phase 3 of the York Road reconstruction project is available for your information and feedback.

Voting is now open for the annual CAA Worst Roads campaign and CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO).

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities has announced that they are extending the tuition freeze for Ontario colleges and universities through the 2022-2023 school year.

The City of Guelph wants you to be on the lookout for the invasive species spongy moths. It seems like they won’t be as much of an issue this year, but residents are being asked to report sightings on City-owned trees, and manage potential infestations on their own trees. (Learn more by following the link.)

New and Upcoming Construction

The Guelph Public Library branch in the West End Community Centre is closed this week as HVAC work on the building continues.

Work begins on April 4 to replace the cast iron water main under Speedvale Avenue West from Hanlon to Edinburgh Road. Work will continue until September.

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