Some background: 

A few weeks ago Councillor Gordon brought forward to council what’s called a “notice of motion” regarding Nestle Waters, asking council to consider the following:

The only change made before last night by Councillor Gordon from what was above was the removal of the September 30th, 2016 deadline.

After discussing the motion with Councillor Gordon, city staff, fellow councillors and others I came to the conclusion that I just could not support it as it was currently written. I had suggested that the current motion could be withdrawn so that council could instead discuss it (along with any other issue surrounding this item) when the staff report on this very matter was earmarked to come to council in November. I wrote about that HERE.

So what happened last night at council? 

After some back & forth, Councillor Gordon’s motion got amended by Councilor Gibson. His amendment removed reference to Nestle and with help from Councilor Wettstein softened the involvement of our city staff at this stage. 

When that amendment came to a vote, only Councillors Allt & Piper voted against it with all others (including myself) voting in favour.

The resulting main motion as amended was: 

Moved by Councillor Gibson, Seconded by Councillor Van Hellemond

1. That Council, with administrative assistance from Intergovernmental Relations, Policy and Open Government staff, submit comments through the Ontario Environmental Registry Process expressing Guelph’s concern about the future sustainability of water-taking from the watershed shared by the City of Guelph.
2. That this motion be referred to the November 7, 2016 Committee of the Whole meeting.
VOTING IN FAVOUR: Mayor Guthrie, Councillors Allt, Bell, Billings, Downer, Gibson, Gordon, Hofland, MacKinnon, Piper, Salisbury, Van Hellemond and Wettstein (13)
VOTING AGAINST: (0)                                    CARRIED
So the end result was basically what I had hoped for from the outset. That council have this issue come to the November meeting when a staff report on this matter was planned for, and with hopes that the Nestle Waters application for water taking is made public by the Provincial EBR (environmental registry) where comments are officially accepted. We could then form our best response that included public feedback (delegations), city staff input and council discussion. I still believe these three elements are important on this matter. Especially when it’s about our natural resources, in or surrounding our city.

If however the Province hasn’t made the water taking application public, we’ll move ahead with hearing delegations at that time as our procedural bylaw allows for that – (unlike last night where they are not allowed on notices of motion.)

This is a good outcome from my perspective. 

I’d like to thank all members of council for working together on this and getting behind a referral motion we all endorsed.

I have heard from many citizens today so very pleased of how it came together. 

Lastly, I’d also like to thank the public who came out and made their support towards this issue known to council and the community at large. 

Thank you,


The City of Guelph, a Gunner’s Town, and its own 11th Field Regiment celebrated ‘150 years of Artillery in Guelph’ through a ‘Freedom of the City’ Parade at Old City Hall in Guelph this morning. 

As you may know, the 11th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) is the local Primary Reserve unit of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) here in Guelph. 

Gunners from the Regiment, most notable of whom include Lt-Col John McCrae, have taken part in almost every major combat mission since the Boer War, most recently, Operation Impact in Iraq. 

A Freedom of the City parade is an occasion to signify a town council’s mutual respect with the military unit and to allow it to march through the city streets “with drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed”. 

As the town has already conferred a Proclamation to grant this unit this freedom 50 years ago in 1966, this parade is considered to be an ‘Exercise of the Freedom of the City’. I also had the opportunity to perform an inspection of the troops were I thanked them each for their service to our city and country.

What a fabulous way to start the day!


More jobs and more choice for the citizens of Guelph! 

I was pleased to bring greetings on behalf of the city to the 50th Marshalls store opening in Canada this morning! They arrived in Canada only 5 years ago so they have certainly been growing fast!

Michelle, their store manager, welcomed everyone and pumped up the employees, many from Guelph, to greet the well over 150 people lined up to check out the store!

The new addition and renovations happening at Stone Road Mall are going very well and more new stores are about to open soon!

They also made a generous donation of $5,000 towards the Kids Help Line! 

Congrats again for choosing Guelph and we’re happy you’re a part of the community too!


Over the past year Wastewater Services staff has received a number of complaints from residents related to anonymous spills of substances into Howitt Creek (near Silvercreek Parkway South). 
In such situations, City staff are trained to monitor the storm sewer discharges to the creek to determine the source of the substance, take appropriate action to remove the substance and report to the Provincial regulator—the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. 

You can report a spill to city staff following the process described below and posted on our web site at the following link: HERE

How do I report a spill?

In the event of a spill, immediately notify the Ministry of the Environment’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060 and/or the City of Guelph’s Environment Protection Officer at 519-837-5629. To assist the Spills Action Centre and/or the City in promptly responding to a spill, you will need to provide the following information:
· Name of the company or resident and the address of the spill
· Your name and the telephone number where you can be reached

· Time of spill

· Type and volume of material discharged and any other hazards

· Actions being taken to control/contain the spill

 If you observe the discharge of chemicals, oil, paint or any other suspicious materials into a storm sewer catch basin, sanitary sewer or land drainage works (i.e. ditch), call the City of Guelph at 519-837-5629 (24/7).