Painting the Town Orange and Other Stories: 2022 in Social Justice

Nearly one-year on from a seismic shift on equality and social justice felt in the year 2020, the demands for change were still heard loudly throughout 2021. From a very consequential decision made by the local school board, to a major break in the demand for Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous people, to all the various humanitarian and equity issues in between, this was a very busy year on the social justice file. Let’s recap. Continue reading “Painting the Town Orange and Other Stories: 2022 in Social Justice”

A Tale of Two Protests: Saturday Marches for Indigenous Rights and Freedom (!)

It was a grey and chilly Saturday afternoon, the downtown streets had the usual kinds of people milling about grabbing a bit or doing a bit of shopping, but the real action was political this weekend. At noon, it was the supporters of the First Nations land defenders in the Wet’suwet’en territory, and then later it was time for the Guelph Freedom Rally, one of the largest local gatherings yet for the COVID-19 skeptical. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Protests: Saturday Marches for Indigenous Rights and Freedom (!)”

Local Leaders Share Thoughts on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Today is the first ever National Day of Reconciliation, and there were a number of activities around Guelph to mark the day. Many local politicians have also marked the day by making special statements,  wearing orange shirts, and speaking to the need to address long-standing Indigenous issues that come from centuries of systemic racism and genocide. Here are some official statements from local leaders and all levels of government. Continue reading “Local Leaders Share Thoughts on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation”

This Month at Council: Clair-Maltby, Townhouses, and an Emergency Demo

After a month off, Guelph’s city council got to work again around the virtual horseshoe and handled a lot of business, but September wasn’t as busy as some months this year. There wasn’t a lot of controversy either, but there was a lot of regular order type business taken care of including changes to payday loan businesses, a third-party trails agreement, some planning meetings, and a draft plan for Clair-Maltby. Here’s September at city council. Continue reading “This Month at Council: Clair-Maltby, Townhouses, and an Emergency Demo”

GUELPH POLITICAST #291 – On Trying to Do Better with Truth and Reconciliation

This year’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation comes on the coattails of a Federal Election, and before that almost weekly news about unmarked graves being discovered on the property of old residential schools. Like a lot of communities across Canada, Guelph promised to do better, and thousands came out to march to show their commitment. So how are we doing this September 30? Continue reading “GUELPH POLITICAST #291 – On Trying to Do Better with Truth and Reconciliation”

LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for September 27, 2021

The month at council wraps up with unfinished business. You can click here for the amended agendas from City Hall, and you can click here for the Politico preview. For the complete blow-by-blow of today’s council meeting, you can follow along on Twitter, or follow the tweets below. You can also watch the City’s own live-stream of the meeting here. Continue reading “LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for September 27, 2021”

City of Guelph Calls for a Time of “Reflection and Commemoration” This Week

September 30 is Orange Shirt Day, the nation day to recognize the experiences of residential school survivors, and it’s also the first ever National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. As Monday began, the City of Guelph issued a media release to residents that asks them take some time this week to think about the history and legacy of residential schools, and the families and communities who have have been affected by this tragedy. Continue reading “City of Guelph Calls for a Time of “Reflection and Commemoration” This Week”

Canadian Bishops Formally Apologize to Indigenous People

In this year, when Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous people took on new and urgent importance, there’s been one organization that has hedged on admitting any complicity with the horrors visited on residential school students. That took a change in direction on Friday as the Catholic Bishops of Canada released a statement formally apologizing to Canada’s Indigenous people, even as they’re still waiting to hear from the Pope himself. Continue reading “Canadian Bishops Formally Apologize to Indigenous People”

GUELPH POLITICAST #281 – #CancelCanadaDay

It was a very unusual Canada Day, wasn’t it? In some ways, it was even more unusual than last year’s Canada Day in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic’s first wave, but there was a lot of room for some kind of outdoor festivities, but there wasn’t much in terms of will. In the aftermath of our frightening new understanding of our own history, is there a better way to mark Canada Day in 2021 than protest? Continue reading “GUELPH POLITICAST #281 – #CancelCanadaDay”

Canada Day Words and Thoughts from an Indigenous Elder

This Canada Day was one unlike any other as the country reckoned with the legacy of residential schools, and the hundreds of Indigenous youths discovered so far buried in unmarked graves on those properties. At a Cancel Canada Day march here in Guelph on Thursday, Indigenous elder Maani Anne Cheesequay was the first to speak, and presented below, verbatim, are her heart felt words that began an afternoon of anger, mourning and reconciliation. Continue reading “Canada Day Words and Thoughts from an Indigenous Elder”