John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, is quoted in response to those that think that raising taxes higher is the only way to go:

The notion that we should just resign ourselves now to the fact that the only way out of this is through big tax increases this year, next year and the year after that and the year after that, I don’t accept it,” Tory said. “I think that’s an admission of failure and I think it is an admission of defeat.”

Well said John. Well said.


Very Cold. Let’s Walk Anyways!

Today I was joined by Minister of education MPP Liz Sandals for the Polar Bear Walk to school event by Holy Trinity student Sean Hutton. This is his third year doing the walk to raise awareness of climate change and to support the World Wildlife Foundation (See the Panda Bear in photos).

From what I was told, there were over 200 that joined in the walk!

Congrats Sean and the Holy Trinity community! It was a cold one, but that was the point! See you next year!


It’s Budget Time Guelph.


There’s a lot of info regarding this budget season so I’ll post several links here for you:

Complete overview is HERE

To appear before council as a delegate click HERE

How does the City calculate property taxes info is HERE

Info on who assesses your property is HERE

Next Dates:

February 25 – Proposed Capital Budget presentation
February 26 – Proposed Local Boards and Shared Services
March 5 – Proposed Operating Budget presentation
March 11 – Public delegation night
March 25 – Council deliberates and approves Operating and Capital budgets
March 31 – additional meeting for budget approvals if necessary

All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and be held in Council Chambers, City Hall, 1 Carden Street.

I only just received the staff proposed 2015 Operating budget information yesterday. I’ve looked through it once, but will need to go through it many more times. The recommended increase from staff is at 3.05% and this includes strategic investments and service investments.

Many have told me since taking office not to worry too much about this first budget. That it’s a “carry-over” budget from the previous term. There is actually some truth in that. The budget cycle started in June 2014, with the election things are pushed forward till March 2015 allowing the new council to get a lay of the land and prepare for the work staff have done. I have reached out to many other mayors over the last month inquiring with them if they too felt that their first budget was a “carry-over” budget? All have agreed that it is. New mayors or councils have not even approved their strategic priorities or shared agenda’s yet. They’re waiting until after their first budget. Just like Guelph is.

I can understand this thinking. Much of it has to do with process. Many, including me have found things out only after taking office that is new information to them that was not known during the election, or in my case even known as a city councillor. Some have adopted past decisions that are coming home to roost now.

Personally, even with the above challenges, I still am up to the challenge of bringing in a budget for this community that is aligned to the average rate of inflation in Ontario from 2014. That is at 2.4%. I hope my colleagues around the horseshoe can help get us there too.

As I said during a speech this week to the development community, “during the election it’s all about “me”. But after the election, when you are now working with 12 other elected people, it’s no longer about “me”, it’s about “we”. And if we are to make things affordable to our community, it is only “we” that can make it happen.

So wish us luck. I know that there are 13 people who care deeply about this community and we have excellent staff that have worked hard to bring us their best recommendation for the 2015 operating budget.

I want to be a mayor that hits the YES button on budgets. I hope this budget is one of them.



Lowes Store In Guelph?


I have been asked a great deal lately about the possibility of Lowes looking at setting up in Guelph.

During my inaugural address to the city on Dec 1st I stated:

I have also met with potential private sector investors who are considering building in Guelph, where they can create jobs, give more choice to residents and generate tax revenue for our city.”

Lowes was one of those companies I met with.

Now that the planning documents and applications have been made public, I can obviously tell the community that yes indeed, Lowes is now wanting to come to Guelph and locate beside Costco in Ward 4, the west end of the city.

Here are some links for you to look at the planning documents:

Thank you,





Mayor’s Awards

Each year, the Mayor of Guelph presents Mayor’s Awards to honour Guelph’s difference makers – people who make our city a better place through volunteer service. 2015 marks the 19th year of the Mayor’s Awards. I’m very excited about this!

Nomination process

Nominations can be made online or by calling 519-837-5643 to request a paper form. Online Form is HERE.

Eligible nominees include anyone whose volunteer service has made a difference in Guelph. It is not mandatory for nominees to live or work in Guelph, but they must make volunteer contributions in Guelph. Contributions may include a mix of volunteer and paid efforts.

The Mayor’s Awards are presented at the Guelph Awards of Excellence gala in June, Guelph’s premier appreciation event hosted by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce where the city’s exceptional individuals and businesses are celebrated.

Deadline is Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.