Thank you to local organizers: Benny Monico and Sandra Pobega, President of the Association Treirsani nel Mondo
, along with many others from the community and the ICC who setup a wonderful visit with Matteo Guidolin, the Mayor of Riese Pio X, Italy – and Mario Zenta, his Vice-Mayor!

They were celebrating the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Pope Pius X Committee. The Pope was born in their town, in this house pictured below. It’s a historic site now for their community:

We had a great time discussing the many blessings of the Italian community here in Guelph, especially the efforts to bring the beautiful “the family” statue to St. George’s Square in our downtown!

He invited me to visit him! I just might take him up on that offer!! That would be fun! 

Take care,


Good day Guelph!

During the Guelph Poverty Dialogue this week I was asked to share two of the slides and to post the video that was unfortunately not able to be shown due to time constraints. Please see below! (Click on the slide to open a PDF of both slides.)

Take care,


14 Hidden Rules from Bridges Out of Poverty

News Release

Share Your Ideas for the 2018 Ontario Budget

October 12, 2017

Up to $5 Million Available to Bring Ideas to Life

Ontario launched Budget Talks today, an online consultation that allows the public to help shape policies and programs that will be part of Ontario’s future.

The government will provide up to $5 million to fund up to five proposals identified and voted on by the public as part of the 2018 Budget.

Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, and Yvan Baker, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance, made the announcement today in Toronto.

This is the fourth year in a row the government has engaged the public in the development of the Ontario budget through Budget Talks, and the second year that funding will be allocated directly to citizen-led proposals.

Through, people are invited to share ideas on five focus areas, including child care, seniors, small business, students and healthy living.

To be eligible, proposals must:

  • Be submitted online by midnight on November 3, 2017
  • Be for a new fund, pilot project, study, event or digital service
  • Fall within the scope of the Ontario government to deliver
  • Help support one of the five focus areas outlined on Budget Talks
  • Require a one-time investment of no more than $1 million
  • Show progress or completion by spring 2019

Engaging the people of Ontario in the budget process is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.


  • In January 2018, people will be able to comment and vote on ideas generated during the first phase of Budget Talks.
  • In 2017, people submitted 404 ideas, wrote 923 comments and casted 19,229 votes as part of Budget Talks. Reducing and preventing food waste, improving digital services for libraries and accessing digitized health data were the three ideas that received the most public votes and were included in the 2017 Budget. View the project tracker to follow our progress, as we work to implement the ideas.
  • Ontario is the first province to commit to funding ideas from the public as part of its budget.




“Innovation is the driver of good policy. The ideas brought to life through Budget Talks have shaped policies that are delivering results for people in communities across the province. Each year, we look forward to tapping into the skills and experiences of Ontario’s best and brightest as we deliver on the priorities that make a real difference in people’s lives.”
— Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance


“Ontario is making it easier for more people to get involved in developing our plan to grow our economy and support programs that they rely on. Budget Talks is an innovative online consultation that provides people with a unique opportunity to engage with their government and their communities. ”
— Yvan Baker, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance 



Orli Giroux Namian
Minister’s Office

Scott Blodgett
Communications Services Branch

Ministry of Finance

Link is HERE to watch this update from the event a couple of weeks ago!

Take care,


Starting this week, the property owner will begin the first phase of compensation plantings and restoration work in areas adjacent to Howitt Creek.
The work will include:

• removing invasive buckthorn shrubs, including the roots;

• improving the existing soils to help new plants establish and grow; and

• planting new native shrubs and trees.

It is expected the work will take about three weeks to complete, weather permitting.

Staff will work with the property owner to monitor the plantings over the next couple of years to ensure the proper care to help the plants thrive and grow.

The second phase of work will include further soil improvements, plantings and plant care for areas along the northern railway berms once they are rebuilt. The timeline for the work is unknown at this time.

More than 1,400 plantings are being provided through this phase and, in total, more than 3,400 trees and shrubs will be planted. Financial compensation was also provided to the City to help plant trees in other areas of Guelph at the time the tree permit was issued this past July.

The City is asking the public to stay outside of the work zones and not to disturb the new plantings.

The property owner removed trees from the site this past summer to get the site ready for future development. No specific development or site plan application has been submitted to the City.

Questions and answers:

How is the City ensuring that the trees and shrubs being planted will survive and grow?

Soil improvements and the removal of invasive plant species will help support the establishment of new plants being added along Howitt Creek. Plantings will receive watering and mulching to help them establish and grow. 

The new plants will be monitored and cared for over the next two years to help them establish and grow. After two years, any plants that die will be replaced.

Why is more vegetation being removed?

Invasive buckthorn plants are being removed from the creek corridor so that new native plants species can be planted.

Why is equipment on site?

The work requires heavy equipment to perform the soil improvement work, which involves breaking up the existing soil and mixing in new soil. In addition, equipment is needed for buckthorn removal, specifically root removal.

If you have additional questions about the tree planting and restoration work you may direct them to: April Nix, Environmental Planner,