I just had a wonderful meeting with University of Guelph masters student Hiba Abdallah today!

She will be having an art project coming up on May 4th hosted at the Art Gallery of Guelph on Gordon Street to showcase these signs and shirts and more!

She has created a sign that people can use to put up in their windows or doors that say “Welcome to Guelph!” You then sign a hospitality contract to maintain the sign and keep it up for 365 days!

Here’s a video of that sign: Click HERE​
I also purchased a shirt that says “Something written in Arabic”

Hiba and I had a great chat about how welcoming Guelph is to refugees and newcomers. Throughout her art project she’s been astonished how Guelph could really teach others outside of us how to embrace those coming from outside Canada and landing in this city! 

Take care,


Call for nominations: 2017 Mayor’s Awards

Guelph, Ont., March 23, 2017 – Nominations are now open for the 2017 Mayor’s Awards, which recognize people who make the city a better place through volunteer service.
Nominations can be submitted online at guelph.ca/mayorsawards, or by contacting the Mayor’s Office at 519-837-5643 or mayor@guelph.ca to request a nomination form. The deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 21, 2017.
“Whenever people from other cities ask me what makes Guelph so special, I always say it’s the people. Guelph is truly a city that cares – and Mayor’s Awards honourees are the perfect example of that,” said Mayor Guthrie. “These awards are a great way to recognize those who go above and beyond and make us ‘Guelph Proud.’”
While it is not mandatory for nominees to live or work in Guelph to be eligible for the Mayor’s Award, they must volunteer in Guelph. Nominees’ achievements may include a mix of volunteer and paid efforts. Self-nominations are not eligible.
The Mayor’s Awards were established in 1997 by Mayor Joe Young to celebrate Guelph’s birthday, and have been presented every year since. Honourees have been recognized for contributions to many aspects of community life, including arts and culture; health and mental health; social services; the environment; and sports and recreation. Profiles of honourees from 2001 to 2016 can be found at guelph.ca/mayorsawards.
This year’s Mayor’s Awards will be presented on June 22 at the Guelph Awards of Excellence gala, hosted by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. The gala is Guelph’s premier appreciation event where the city’s exceptional individuals and businesses are celebrated. For more information about the Awards of Excellence, visit the Guelph Chamber of Commerce website at http://www.guelphchamber.com.
Thank you!


I thought I’d share with you all what the AMO shared regarding the Federal budget announced for 2017 yesterday:

Federal Budget Includes Funding for Infrastructure, Housing, and Child Care

The Honourable Bill Morneau, Finance Minister of Canada, submitted his second Budget to the House of Commons today. The Budget was widely expected to elaborate on funding plans for infrastructure commitments from the government’s election platform and 2016 Budget and 2016 Fall Economic Statement, providing more details on priorities within the five categories of: green, social, transit, trade and transportation, and rural and northern community infrastructure. The Budget also makes commitments to support innovation clusters in Canadian industries, creates funding for child care over the next 10 years, and commits to a National Housing Strategy.
The government’s 2015 election platform promised to increase infrastructure spending by $60 billion over ten years with $20 billion each for Green, Transit, and Social infrastructure. The 2016 Budget committed initial Phase 1 of this funding in each category. The fall Fiscal Update expanded these funds to over $180 billion over 11 years including existing investments and new categories for trade and transportation, and rural and northern communities, as well as the creation of a new Canada Infrastructure Bank.
This Budget provides further details on these funds such as:
Public Transit Infrastructure – Budget 2017 commits previously announced funding of $20.1 billion over 11 years to support expansion of services, repair, and infrastructure. This funding will be provided to provinces and territories based on a formula of ridership (70 per cent) and population (30 per cent). Federal-provincial agreements will be signed to flow funding.
Social Infrastructure – Budget 2017 also commits $21.9 billion over 11 years to funding for culture, recreational, educational, accessibility, and home care infrastructure starting in 2018-19 as announced in the Fall Economic Statement.
Affordable Housing – Guided by a new National Housing Strategy, to be released later in the year, Budget 2017 commits to investments of $11.2 billion over 11 years from the Social Infrastructure Fund. Investments will include a range of measures including homelessness prevention programs, making more federal lands available for affordable housing development, and targeted housing for Indigenous peoples not living on reserve. Further, development of a new expanded, multi-lateral investment framework with Provinces and Territories will commence in 2019-20.
Green Infrastructure – Budget 2017 provides details on the $21.9 billion over 11 years of previously announced funding for green infrastructure to support such priorities as cleaner air, water, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and climate adaptation. This includes $9.2 billion for provinces and territories provided on a base-plus-per capita basis. Other initiatives in this area include:
$5 billion in Canada Infrastructure Bank funding for green infrastructure
$120 million for electric vehicle recharging
$2 billion for a Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund
$2 billion for a Low Carbon Economy Fund.
The government is also committing to provide some funding to renew energy efficiency programs, create a Smart Cities Fund to support ‘smart infrastructure planning’, and support the use of wood in infrastructure projects.
Trade and transportation – The Budget confirms $10.1 billion over 11 years for trade and transportation funding to support trade corridors which get Canadian products to market. Further details will be announced.
Rural and Northern Communities – The government also confirmed $2 billion over ten years starting in 2018-19 as announced in the Fall Economic Statement which can be used for a wide range of needs such as roads, bridges and transportation, renewable energy, and internet services expansion.
Canada Infrastructure Bank – The government provided additional details on this initiative, announced in the fall, which will be capitalized at at least $35 billion and attract private investment such as pension funds to finance major, long term infrastructure projects. The Budget commits at least $5 billion from the Bank to finance public transit and green infrastructure projects.
The Bank is also charged with the creation of a major infrastructure data initiative to collect and analyze comparable information on municipal and provincial infrastructure such as demand, use, infrastructure quality, and analysis for decision making. The Bank will work in partnership with municipalities, provinces, territories, and Statistics Canada to help provide better information regarding infrastructure investments.
Federal Gas Tax Fund:
The 2017 Budget confirms that the Federal Gas Tax Fund will be indexed as agreed at the rate of 2 per cent per year in $100 million increments.
Child Care:
Budget 2016 provided an initial $500 million in 2017-18 for early learning and child care. The government also announced that they will develop a National Framework on Early Learning and Child Care, in conjunction with Provinces and Territories, to guide the investment of these funds. Budget 2017 commits to an overall investment of $7 billion over ten years for child care spaces. The government is proposing to work with the provinces and territories to create 40,000 new child care spaces in three years as an initial goal.

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Thank you!




Well this was a lot of fun! Ward 1 Councillor Dan Gibson joined me for the grand opening of The Royal Garrison – also connected to The Round Table – on Essex St downtown Guelph!

Their website is here: The Royal Garrison and The Round Table Cafe  

I created a little video of what you can experience and I must say, I’ve never “cut a ribbon” by throwing an axe before! 

Click HERE for the video!

Congrats on this new business!