News Release

Discover the dramatically re-designed GPL Teen Portal

Discover the dramatically re-designed Guelph Public Library’s Teen Portal, where you can easily find resources and events just for teens! Check out “Life Links” to view work, career, and volunteer opportunities, helpful health information as well as a life after high school section. Interested in learning more about becoming involved with GPL’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG)?  Check out the fun TAG page! Ever had the homework blues? No need to worry. The GPL’s here to help with lots of free eResources available 24/7 – even when the library is closed! Just another benefit of having a GPL library card! Don’t forget to take part in the weekly “Teen Question” and have your say about the GPL’s services. Let us know what your think.

Check out the Teen Portal today

For more information

Meg Forestell-Page, GPL eLibrarian
mforestell@library.guelph.on.ca
519-824-6220 extension 306

Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. appoints new Chief Executive Officer

Posted on behalf of Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc.

GMHI logo

Guelph, ON, July 23, 2014 – The Board of Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. (GMHI), the City of Guelph’s municipal holding company, has appointed Barry Chuddy as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Chuddy formerly served as the CEO of Guelph Hydro Inc. He replaces Ann Pappert, the City of Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer, who has served as CEO of GMHI since its inception.

“We are thrilled that Barry Chuddy has accepted this new role. His extensive knowledge of the Guelph Hydro group of companies, his understanding of the City’s aspirations for GHMI and the Community Energy Initiative, and his strong relationships with City staff will be great assets to the holding company,” said Karen Farbridge, Guelph’s Mayor and Chair of GMHI. “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Ann Pappert for her leadership in developing GMHI to where it is today.”

Mr. Chuddy’s leadership of GMHI comes as the holding company is responding to a number of exciting business opportunities and seeking to build value for the community. Next month, Guelph City Council will review a business case study and related materials supporting a proposal to amalgamate Guelph Hydro Inc., a holding company for Guelph’s electrical utility, and GMHI.

Pankaj Sardana, who is currently Guelph Hydro Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed as interim Chief Executive Officer of Guelph Hydro Inc.

For more information:
Karen Farbridge
Mayor
Chair, Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc.
519-837-5643
mayor@guelph.ca

 

City of Guelph offering transit refunds to all bus pass holders

Guelph, ON, July 20, 2014—The City of Guelph is offering refunds to all bus pass holders as a result of the lockout of Guelph Transit’s union employees and suspension of transit services.

Refunds for both regular and affordable bus passes will begin on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at the following four City locations:

  • City Hall
  • Evergreen Seniors Community Centre
  • Victoria Road Recreation Centre
  • West End Community Centre

To receive their refund, pass holders have two options:

Option A: Hand in their July 2014 pass in exchange for receiving a refund for 50% of its value. The refund will be paid to the customer in the same form of payment as the original pass purchase. If the customer originally paid by cheque, they will receive a cash refund.

Option B: Hand in their July 2014 pass in exchange for using 50% of its value as payment toward a future month’s pass purchase. Must be used before the end of 2014.

For media inquiries

Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260 extension 3356
stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

Statement from CAO Ann Pappert – transit service suspended

Statement from CAO Ann Pappert

RE: ATU Local 1189 members have rejected the offer ratified by Guelph City Council and backed by union executive. As a result, Guelph Transit service is suspended as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 21 and the members of ATU Local 1189 have been locked out.
View release >>

I am extremely disappointed by ATU’s rejection of the offer ratified by our City Council.
Every effort has been made to avoid a disruption to our Transit services. We had reached a tentative agreement with ATU leadership; however, it is clear that the union’s membership remains unmoved.

As a result, Guelph’s transit riders will be left without service until the agreement is reconsidered and accepted by the ATU membership. We know this will create enormous hardship for transit riders and our community. I’m equally concerned for our Transit employees, because this will be a hardship for them and their families.

During this negotiation, the City has been consistently transparent and has shared information at every milestone while respecting the bargaining process.

On Saturday, July 12, we were approached by the union president and agreed to meet the following day. We had a shared interest to avoid the lockout and resulting hardship to those who rely on public transit to navigate their lives.

Both teams worked throughout the day. The negotiations were respectful, productive and focused on the best interests of our employees and the community. A tentative agreement was signed increasing wages from 6.4% over four years to 6.8%—still within Council’s negotiating envelope.

For the City to move any further would drive transit rates up, along with property taxes to an unacceptable level from one service, entrenching that hardship long-term. We also readily addressed the ATU’s publicly stated main concern over workplace respect and working conditions, which fall outside the confines of a collective bargaining agreement.

Guelph City Council ratified the agreement shortly thereafter on Monday July 14th. From that time, ATU leadership has followed through on their legal obligation to recommend the tentative agreement to their members.

Now that ATU members have chosen not to ratify the offer, the hardship to our riders will be significant.

Therefore, we are announcing refunds for the second half of July for all pass holders, not just affordable passes, and will share the details soon. Through a contractor, mobility service will operate for pre-booked medical services only. But we know that won’t make up for the inconvenience.

Visit guelphtransit.ca for updates about picket lines, service disruptions and transportation alternatives.

We’ll let you know the minute there is movement.

Ann Pappert
Chief Administrative Officer

Guelph Transit employees reject tentative agreement; transit service suspended

Guelph, ON, July 20, 2014—Tonight, the members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 voted to reject a tentative agreement ratified by Guelph City Council and endorsed by their own union executive.

With the tentative agreement defeated, the City has reinstituted the lockout originally set to begin Monday, July 14. Guelph Transit services are halted indefinitely until such time as the members of ATU Local 1189 reconsider the City’s offer.

The City of Guelph will be offering refunds to all Guelph Transit July 2014 pass holders for the second half of July. Details will be confirmed and shared in a subsequent media release.

A statement has been issued by the City of Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert detailing the City administration’s level of frustration.

For details on picket lines, City service disruptions and FAQs, visit guelphtransit.ca.

For background on the negotiation process, visit guelph.ca/atu.

For media inquiries

Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260 extension 3356
stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

Ontario re-confirms commitment to expanded GO service for Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo corridor

Guelph, ON, July 15, 2014 – Partners in the Innovation Supercluster consortium – including the Mayors of Kitchener, Waterloo, and Guelph and the Chair of Waterloo Region – are pleased that two-way, all-day GO train service is part of the provincial budget that was reintroduced yesterday.

The Ontario government included the initiative in the budget it tabled on May 1, but that budget was not passed by the Legislative Assembly before it was dissolved for a general election.

“We are thrilled that Premier Wynne has been unwavering in her commitment to two-way, all-day GO trains,” said Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr. “This is a game changer for our area, and one that will pay huge economic and social dividends in the years ahead.”

The Innovation Supercluster consortium developed a business case that outlined how increased GO train service will improve the connectivity of the regional economies of Waterloo Region/Guelph and the Greater Toronto Area, and drive the attraction of talent, investment, and innovative companies to the local region. The business case demonstrates the majority of costs to build the system will be met from the potential $542 million in annual personal income taxes that will be generated from increased economic activity.

“I am pleased that the significant advocacy of local municipalities, along with our private sector partners, has been successful. The Province recognizes how transformational this opportunity is, and their commitment is solid,” said Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge.

The re-introduced Ontario budget confirms the Province’s planned improvements to GO’s Kitchener line to prepare for full-day, two-way train service. These include:

  • More trips: by the end of 2016, Metrolinx will double current service frequency between Kitchener and Toronto, with two additional morning and afternoon peak period trips.
  • Upgrades to the rail corridor leading to faster travel times.
  • Building a new train layover facility.

Municipalities in the consortium will work with the Province to implement expanded GO service successfully, for example by advocating for expanded parking near local GO stations.

“I welcome Premier Wynne’s comments that the Province will work closely with municipal partners to deliver on its transit commitments in ways that make sense for local communities,” said Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran. “I’m glad that the Province has not only embraced the vision put forward by our consortium, but pledged to implement it in a collaborative way.”

“This ongoing commitment by the Province reflects a major advance in the Region’s efforts to provide increased GO rail transit to the Region of Waterloo,” added Regional Chair Ken Seiling.

Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech, noted that attracting top talent in this area has always been competitive.  “The number one barrier to tech company growth is attracting and retaining talent,” Klugman said. “More GO train trips in the short term, and faster travel times and all-day, two-way service over the longer term, will make a significant impact on companies’ ability to access and retain the talent they need.”

Background

Click here to read the Innovation Supercluster consortium’s business case. 

The business case, “Innovative Regional Economies and Strategic Infrastructure: the business case for Two-Way Urban Commuter Rail on the CN North Mainline,” outlines the economic imperative and opportunities along the Toronto to Kitchener rail corridor which will help the province and our communities compete for global talent and innovative companies.

The joint request was that a 10-year capital allocation for rail infrastructure be established by the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to support full two-way GO Train service on the Kitchener Line (CN North Mainline) in the 2014 federal and provincial capital budgets.

The business case contains cost-savings analysis, maps, ridership estimates and development potential organized in six sections:

  • Ontario’s economic growth opportunity
  • Building an innovation supercluster
  • Innovative cities in the Waterloo region to Toronto corridor
  • The geography of innovation
  • Proposed two-way GO Train service
  • Recommendations and conclusion

Quick facts

  • There are 30,000 local tech workers, 34% commute from Toronto/GTA
  • There will be an additional 37,000 tech and creative workers in the area by 2031
  • 32,000 trips are made daily each way between Waterloo Region and Guelph
  • There are 11 million square feet of potential residential growth in transit station areas
  • There is $4 billion construction potential in urban growth centres/station areas
  • Initial prediction of ridership fares total $5.25 million with net operating costs of $750,000

For more information

City of Kitchener
Laura Johnston, Director
Corporate Communications and Marketing
519-741-2200 extension 7935
laura.johnston@kitchener.ca

City of Guelph
Tara Sprigg, Corporate Manager
Corporate Communications
519-822-1260 extension 2610
tara.sprigg@guelph.ca

City of Waterloo
Megan Harris, Director, Communications
Corporate Services
519-747-8513
megan.harris@waterloo.ca

 

Guelph City Council votes to ratify agreement with ATU Local 1189

Guelph, ON, July 14, 2014—Tonight, Guelph City Council voted to ratify the tentative agreement reached with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189.

The agreement will be taken before members of ATU Local 1189 for ratification on the evening of Sunday, July 20.

For media inquiries

Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260 extension 3356
stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

Date set for damages trial between City and Urbacon

Guelph, ON, July 14, 2014 – During tonight’s closed session of City Council, City staff provided an update regarding ongoing litigation between the City and Urbacon—the contractor hired to build City Hall and Guelph’s Provincial Offences Court.

On March 31, the court decided the City did not have the right to terminate Urbacon from the project.  The reasons for that decision were released on June 17.

A trial to determine whether the City will be required to pay damages to Urbacon is scheduled to start on October 14, and is expected to take place over three to four weeks. The result of the trial, including the amount of damages to be paid, is likely to be released by the court in late 2014 or early 2015.

If the City decides to appeal any ruling in the case, the appeal would take place after receiving and reviewing the result of the damages trial.

Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert explains, “The City is prepared to negotiate with Urbacon in hopes of resolving the matter and minimizing the financial impact on Guelph taxpayers.”

As the case proceeds, the City will continue providing regular updates to City Council and the community.

“To minimize the impact on local taxpayers and protect the City’s financial position, the costs for this project must be accommodated within the existing capital budget envelope,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge.

For more information

Ann Pappert
Chief Administrative Officer
519-822-1260 extension 2220
ann.pappert@guelph.ca

Resources

Guelph Transit lockout cancelled – buses will be running tomorrow

Guelph, ON, July 13, 2014—In a joint announcement, the City of Guelph and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 are letting the public know they have reached a tentative agreement and the City has called off plans to lock out Guelph Transit employees as of 12:01 a.m., July 14.

Details of the agreement will be released upon ratification by both parties.

“I am happy to announce that Guelph Transit will be serving the people of Guelph as usual tomorrow morning,” stated Mayor Karen Farbridge.

“The members of ATU Local 1189 have wanted to continue to serve Guelph’s transit riders,” said ATU Local 1189 President Andy Cleary. “For many Guelph residents we are their sole source of transportation, and we look forward to continuing to support our community.”

A day-long meeting, with the provincially-appointed conciliator in attendance, resulted in the necessary progress to cancel the lockout and keep the buses running for Guelph residents. During the course of the day, better understanding was achieved on the key concerns underlying the breakdown in the relationship between City administration and ATU Local 1189.

“We believe this agreement is a key first step to repairing our relationship with ATU Local 1189 and ensuring that Guelph’s residents continue to have the transit service on which they depend,” continued Mayor Farbridge.

All Guelph Transit employees are expected to join the rest of their City of Guelph colleagues on Monday, July 14 as the City’s regular operations continue unabated.

For media inquiries
Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260 extension 3356
stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

Andrew Cleary
ATU Local 1189 President
519-827-8471

 

Transit Update: Affordable bus pass refunds available July 15

Guelph, ON, July 13, 2014—The City of Guelph is offering affordable bus pass refunds for the remainder of July to Guelph Transit’s approximately 1,400 affordable bus pass holders. Refunds will be available at the ServiceGuelph counter at City Hall, Evergreen Seniors Centre, West End Community Centre and Victoria Road Recreation Centre as of Tuesday, July 15 at 8:30 a.m. The affordable bus pass refund is the first step towards compensating all Guelph Transit pass holders for loss of service. Further steps will be taken for all pass holders depending on the duration of the lock out.

Details on Guelph Transit fares and passes can be seen here >>

For media inquiries
Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260 extension 3356
stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca