Late last week our past prime minister Joe Clark arrived in Guelph to give a lecture at the University of Guelph. The lecture series is put on graciously by Bill Winegard and family. 

He was very well received and spoke about “leading from beside.”

There were many Joe Clark fans in attendance too. Some brought out some past memorabilia to show him!

There’s a good article from the Guelph Mercury about the event HERE

Later on I attended a reception and was joined by many others including MP Michael Chong (pictured below), and our MP Lloyd Longfield (sorry I missed a picture Lloyd!).

Thank you to Bill Winegard for providing this annual lecture series for our city!


Friday night was a great night downtown Guelph as LD West hosted a party for their business at Opus. 

Rachel and I stopped by to encourage them and welcome them to Guelph while wishing them nothing but continued success! 

What does LD West do? Well, they create top quality “holsters” for your cell phones and wallet. Rachel and I tried them on for the photo above and they’re really nice!

The owners have landed in Guelph and told me they love the city, the vibe and everything we have to offer!

They’ve been featured on many tv shows and even Forbes lately.

Great to have you in Guelph!


I had the pleasure today to cut the ribbon and drop off a certificate from the mayor’s office congratulating them on 10 years of business within our city! (And they had cake!)

As I say in the video above, they bring choice to our citizens, jobs for city and of course tax dollars into city hall to lessen the burden of taxes on residential properties.

While I was there, there was a surprise visit from The director of Hope House, Karen Kamphuis. The Home Depot presented her with a $3,000 cheque and offered to have many of their employees serve those in need within our community over the next couple of weeks!

Thank you Home Depot for being a great corporate citizen and I wish you many more years of success!

Take care,


A young migrant's hair becomes stuck while crawling under a barbed fence with her family at the Hungarian-Serbian border near Roszke, on August 27, 2015. As Europe struggles with its worst migrant crisis since World War II, Hungary has become, like Italy and Greece, a "frontline" state. So far this year, police say around 141,500 migrants have been intercepted crossing into Hungary, mostly from neighbouring Serbia. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEKATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images


There are a handful of people in our city that have been telling me that we shouldn’t be helping any refugees.

To those that are still not hearing my response clear enough and to those that continue to put down the plans that the city, private groups and citizens have – to save people’s lives – I’ll state it loud and clear yet again:


The most common comment I hear is “you should be helping those within our own city, not people from half-way around the world.” –  We aren’t a city of this “OR” that. Guelph is a city where we can do this “AND” that.

I also found a quote last week that sums up this situation perfectly for me:

We are blaming a refugee crisis for terrorism, when we really should be blaming terrorism for a refugee crisis.”

With news growing over the last two months of several local communities, faith groups and now citizens like Jim Estill sponsoring families to come to our city, I felt it was important to explore a city-wide approach to the settlement of these families that will eventually arrive.

This is why on Dec 7th I will be bringing forward a notice of motion for council to consider (on Dec 14th):

“That the City of Guelph explore ways of working within and outside the City of Guelph on resources, services, programs or placement opportunities for refugees.”

This council already has approved $5100 towards helping to sponsor refugees but it’s time (council willing) we think beyond money and start thinking about how our city will embrace them, provide for them and to help them integrate into one of the best cities in the world. If there’s any city that can do this, it’s Guelph!

There are many pictures of this tragedy that have brought me to my knees. This collection of photos is some of them.


I encourage all Guelphites to step up and support such a noble and life saving/changing cause as this.

Thank you,


P.S – An Update: I recently discussed this issue with Lloyd Longfield a few days ago as our federal representative. He is working on this file locally too, and understands the value in coordinating our collective efforts to help those arriving here. It’s great to have all levels of government working on this so well.

Jim Sanders 10th Anniversary of AODA Award 2015 (2)

Here are my notes that I read last night at our council meeting to recognize MR. Sanders.

It’s my privilege to present the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) 10th Anniversary Champion Award to Guelph resident, Jim Sanders.

I’d like to provide you with a little background on Jim’s significant achievements and contributions –

In 2009, Jim was appointed Chair of the Province’s AODA Accessibility Standards Advisory Council and Standards Development Committee.

In the words of his nominators, as the Committee Chair, Jim was “masterful in listening to all perspectives and issues and helping the committee achieve its objectives.” The Committee is made up of individuals with disabilities as well as representatives from industry and service providers.

The nominators added, “Jim is truly committed to achieving a fully accessible Ontario by 2025.”

In addition to Chairing the committee, Jim is an active volunteer, accepting invitations across Ontario to speak about the AODA and disability issues in general.

He retired in 2009 after a 42-year career with the CNIB. He worked in four provinces, serving for his final eight years as President and CEO of CNIB National. For many years, Jim represented CNIB as Vice President of the North American/ Caribbean Region and member of the International Executive Committee, The World Blind Union.

Jim was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2003.

It is truly an honour for me to have this opportunity to congratulate such an outstanding citizen of Guelph.

Congratulations Jim, on receiving such a prestigious award!


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