2010 awards and achievements

Guelph Fire Department is the fourth Canadian Fire Department and the second in Ontario to be recommended for accreditation by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). Guelph’s Fire Department (GFD) voluntarily decided to work toward becoming an accredited fire department in 2007. This extensive three year process entailed an evaluation of its performance and professionalism using a comprehensive assessment. There are only three other Fire departments in Canada and one in Ontario (Kitchener) that have achieved accredited status.

59 Carden Street – Old City Hall – was renovated this year and restored to become the new home for Guelph’s Ontario Court of Justice – Provincial Offences division. The first Court operations in the building occurred on August 3, 2010.

Guelph took third place in National Commuter Challenge. Two hundred and five people in Guelph saved a total of roughly $2,652 by using carpools, transit, cycling or walking to work during Environment Week May 30 to June 5. Commuter Challenge participants in Guelph travelled 14,889 kilometres using more sustainable transportation methods, and prevented 5,274 kilograms of carbon emissions by choosing not to drive to work alone during the event. Compared to cities of the similar size across Canada, Guelph came in third place with 0.18 per cent participation.

The City of Guelph received an E3 Fleet Silver rating for sustainable fleet management. Guelph is one of only two municipalities in Ontario to receive this designation. It is also the only municipality in Ontario to receive a silver rating for its transit fleet. The E3 Fleet is a made-in-Canada Rating System to recognize fleet performance in terms of Environment, Energy and Excellence. Under the E3 Fleet program, public and private sector fleets can seek formal ratings on staff training, idle reduction practices, vehicle purchasing practices, fleet operations and maintenance, trip and route planning, fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas performance.

The City of Guelph was recognized in May for creating career development opportunities for foreign trained professionals by the Employment Co-ordination Committee of Guelph Wellington (ECC) at the 20th Annual Guelph Wellington Employee Recognition Event.

Guelph’s Official Plan entitled ‘Envision Guelph’ has been updated to offer increased protection for the city’s green spaces. After extensive public input, Guelph City Council has adopted the Natural Heritage policies and mapping included in Official Plan Amendment (OPA 42). The intent of the Natural Heritage Strategy is to protect natural features and create a green legacy for the city. Incorporating Natural Heritage policies into the Official Plan provides permanent protection for Guelph’s Significant Natural Areas and their buffers. Wildlife crossings are identified to ensure that measures are taken to mitigate potential harm to wildlife. The Plan also identifies and protects areas where further study is needed before development may be permitted.

For the second year in a row the City’s Conservation Calendar won gold for best municipal calendar in the Municipal Waste Association’s annual Promotion and Education (P&E) Awards. The calendar was praised for its vast range of environmental topics, visual appeal, use of residents’ photos from around Guelph, and its State of the environment report. The 2010 Conservation Calendar also won gold in the Recycling Council of Ontario’s Waste Minimization Awards in the Municipal Promotion – Communication category.

The City’s optimization program at its Wastewater Treatment Plant received high praise from Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner, Gord Miller, in his Redefining Conservation annual report.

By modifying its people practices and processes, the City has achieved dramatic performance improvement. What’s more, it has eliminated the need for approximately $13 million in equipment costs and may offset a $20 million plant expansion.