Statement from Mayor Farbridge Re: Arbitration Outcome

Statement from the Office of Mayor Karen Farbridge
GUELPH, ON, January 26, 2010

Earlier today the City and the County received Arbitrator Colbourne’s decision relating to the apportionment of prescribed costs for Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program, child care, social housing, and land ambulance between the City of Guelph and the County of Wellington.

Arbitrator Colbourne has ruled the method for apportioning costs for Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program will be based on the residence of recipients, which is how costs are currently apportioned; the method for apportioning child care costs will be based on the residence of recipients for fee subsidy and special needs resourcing, and based on the location of the centre for wage subsidy, which is how costs are currently apportioned; the method for apportioning costs for social housing will be based on the prior residence of tenants, a departure from the current 75/25 split; and the method for apportioning land ambulance average call cost will be based on location of calls for four call codes, another departure from the current method of splitting costs based on population.

We are disappointed with the decision.  While we need time to understand the full implications, at this time the ruling raises more questions than answers.

With respect to accountability and transparency for Guelph taxpayers, our concern is the situation is now worse; it’s not premature to say this will be a key task for Guelph’s new social services committee, the striking of which was approved by City Council last night.

Some of the points in the ruling are in contradiction with the recent findings of the Auditor General, as outlined in his December 2009 annual report—an obvious point of concern.

With respect to land ambulance, we do not understand why Guelph/Wellington has now become the only region in Ontario that shares costs based on location of call, which will increase administrative costs for both the City and the County.

While the City is disappointed with the decision, we feel the process has revealed important information with respect to the breakdown of discretionary versus mandatory services provided by the County, and how Guelph taxpayers’ money is spent.

Mayor Karen Farbridge

Canada’s Most Caring Community Comes Together to Help Haiti

From the organizers of the Help Haiti Benefit Concert:

Following the recent earthquake in Haiti, members of the Guelph community have pulled together to organize a benefit event featuring a wide selection of our amazing and world-class local-area talent. With overwhelming support from the local community, event organizers (Rev. Paul Clarkson, Dr. Ajay Heble, Sam Turton) have set a goal of raising $20,000 from this event, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross.

PLEASE RESERVE A TICKET NOW – or get one for a friend!
For a letter-size printable poster file, contact

Help Haiti: A Guelph Benefit for Earthquake Relief

Sunday, February 7, 7:00 pm
The River Run Centre
35 Woolwich St., Guelph, ON
Tickets $30 (reserved) 519-763-3000
Additional donations will be accepted at the event
River Run Centre facilities donated by the City of Guelph
All proceeds to Canadian Red Cross – All services donated

Kevin Breit & Ted Warren • Scott Merritt • Jane Bunnett • Dionne Brand • University of Guelph Choirs
The Guelph Music Revue:
Andrew Craig, Nick Craine, Craig Norris, Shane Philips, Tannis Slimmon, Sue Smith, Sam Turton (with Jeff Bird, Adam Bowman, Vish Khanna, Jane Lewis, Ambre McLean, Harri Palm, Stu Peterson, Jesse Turton – and more to come!)


Kevin Breit, one of Canada’s most in-demand guitarists (Norah Jones, Rosanne Cash, k. d. Lang, Bill Frisell) will join us from Elora to perform with Guelph’s Ted Warren, one of Canada’s most accomplished drummers.

Scott Merritt is an MCA recording artist and an award-winning singer-songwriter and producer with an always growing and fiercely dedicated following.

Jane Bunnett is an internationally acclaimed Canadian jazz icon with Juno awards, Grammy nominations, and an appointment to the Order of Canada.

Dionne Brand is a renowned poet, novelist, essayist, and film-maker born in Trinidad and living in Toronto.

The University of Guelph Choirs, directed by Dr. Marta McCarthy are a powerful amalgamation of both the University Chamber Choir and the University Women’s Choir.

The Guelph Music Revue is a stellar gathering of Guelph’s award-winning musicians, band leaders, and singer-songwriters.

Rental Housing Reports and Background Information

Further to last evening’s Shared Rental Housing Open House, I have attached links below to some of the documents that were referenced during the discussion.

City of London Near-Campus Neighbourhood Strategy

City of Guelph Committee Report on Proposed Changes to Lodging House and Two-Unit Rentals

Background Reports on Shared Rental Housing and Lodging House Regulations

If you would like to see other reports posted here, just let me know.

Leanne Piper

Shared Rental Housing Open House

A public open house is scheduled for Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm to provide an opportunity for public education and dialogue re: shared rental housing.

Date:     THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2010

Location:    City Hall

Time:  7:00 pm

The format is a casual Open House.  There will be information displays and staff on site to answer questions.

To review background documentation:

Guelph Commemorative Naming Policy

From the Community Design and Development Services department….

The City will be looking for suggestions from the public for naming new and unnamed parks, trails, bridges, squares, gardens, buildings, structures and rooms within buildings.

Early in 2010, the City will post a complete list and map of City-owned assets to be named. First consideration by the Naming Committee will be given to those names that have geographic, civic or historic significance of the neighbourhood/community where it shall be located.   Second consideration by the Naming Committee will be given to those names that fall under at least one of the following criteria:

The individual will have demonstrated excellence, courage or exceptional service to the citizens of the City of Guelph, the Province of Ontario or Canada
The individual will have worked to foster equality and reduce discrimination
The individual will have risked or given his/her life to save or protect others
Where the individual is a current City employee, the individual will have made an outstanding contribution to the City of Guelph outside of his/her capacity and duties as a City employee or he/she maybe recognized for exceptional service once he/she is no longer a City employee.
For further information or questions please contact Rory Barr Templeton at 519-822-1260 ext. 2436.

Brooklyn Ice Rink Now Open

Announcement from OUR 3 Bridges Neighbourhood Group:

Hi Everyone,

This announcement is a little tardy but for those who haven’t been down to Water Street in awhile, the rinks are open! There are 2 rinks this year, an enlarged main rink and a small toddler rink. People were actually skating on them as early as Dec 22. Enjoy!

Volunteers required

1) Flooders – We would like to build 6 – 8 flooding teams. Flooding orientation will be Monday night @ 7:30 starting at 80 Water St across from the rink. We would like it if all Rink Rats were to come out so we could share our collective knowledge and all be on the same page. If you are interested in flooding but can’t make it Monday, please email us at to get on our list and we will train you at a later date.

2) Shovellers – Anyone is welcome to help with shoveling. Snow needs to be shoveled but we also need to clear the rink each time we flood. To get on a volunteer list for this duty please email us at

The more volunteers the better so we can spread the work around fairly.

We would like to again thank everyone who has contributed in making these rinks possible this year. We are nearing our financial goal. This is truly a community effort and shows that with everyone kicking in, we can accomplish big things!

See you at the rink(s)!