Guelph and neighbouring cities promote regional transportation

Mayor Farbridge to lead transportation, energy and open government talks at Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference

Guelph, ON, August 12, 2013 – Mayor Karen Farbridge will lead a delegation of heads of Council for Brant, Brantford, Cambridge, Kitchener, Region of Waterloo, Waterloo and Wellington County to discuss the fast-tracking of an integrated regional transportation initiative and its funding with Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The meeting with Minister Murray takes place next week during the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference to be held August 18 to 21 in Ottawa, Ontario.

Preliminary work on the regional transportation initiative began in 2010 when the Ministry of Transportation, Guelph and nearby municipalities agreed to undertake a Strategic Regional Transportation Planning Initiative to address regional needs of all modes of public transportation.

“A comprehensive travel data study for the area is complete, and it is time to look at the next steps,” said Mayor Farbridge.

The Guelph delegation, which includes the City’s Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert, senior City officials and local business leaders, will also meet with Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli to discuss a stronger role for municipalities in regional energy planning and implementation of Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative.

“Consulting municipalities in regional energy planning will help build more sustainable and resilient communities and provide solutions to the Province’s future energy challenges,” said Mayor Farbridge. “We believe that our Initiative has set a standard for community energy planning, which can inform regional processes.”

“We will also follow up on the status of local energy generation projects currently before the Ontario Power Authority,” said Pappert. “District energy projects like those planned for downtown and the Hanlon Creek Business Park represent millions of dollars in potential investment and could mean new jobs in Guelph.”

The Hanlon Creek Business Park is already attracting global companies such as Wurth Canada. The Park is expected to create approximately 10,000 local jobs.

Guelph’s strategy to create an open government action plan will be discussed with Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The Guelph delegation will emphasize that open government principles – participation, innovation, transparency and accountability – offer opportunities to address key challenges facing public services in Ontario.

About this year’s AMO Conference

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

The theme of this year’s annual AMO Conference is “Communities: Inspiring and Aspiring.” Learn more here.

For more information

Barbara Swartzentruber
Senior Advisor, Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs
Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
519-822-1260 extension 3066