The Hat Trick Nobody Asked For

We've got a pandemic, we've got a depression, and we've got a civil rights struggle.

Welcome to the Guelph Politico Tip Sheet, a twice-a-week newsletter meant to “tip” you off about some of the important stuff going on in the Royal City. It arrives directly in your inbox on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Here is the latest from around the world concerning the COVID-19 epidemic:

In Canada, we’ve added about 1,400 more cases of COVID-19 to bring the total to 93,715, while the death count jumped by 300 to now sit at 7,637. In Ontario, we are rapidly approaching 30,000 cases of the virus, and we will likely pass that mark this weekend while 2,357 people have now died from COVID. In Quebec meanwhile, they are rapidly approach 5,000 deaths, while New Brunswick officially lost their first citizen to the pandemic.

The total global impact of COVID-19 is now nearly 6.6 million cases according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States, still the world leader in COVID-19 cases and fatalities, added another 60,000 cases in the last few days to bring their total up to 1.872 million, and they could cross two million by the time you get Tuesdays’ newsletter. At the same time, about 108,000 of the 388,710 COVID-19 deaths on planet Earth are in the U.S., while Brazil is about 1,000 fatalities away from having the third highest number of deaths in the world from the virus.

Still struggling with the effect of COVID-19 in long term care homes, the Government of Ontario seized management of two more homes this week. On Tuesday, it was Forest Heights in Kitchener, and on Thursday it was Woodbridge Vista Care. Also this week, Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dube announced that he was going to make an investigation of long term care homes part of his to-do list.

On Tuesday, the Ontario Legislature voted to extend the provincial state of emergency until June 30.

As of today, the Government of Ontario will start allowing short-term rentals 9aka: AirBnBs and other similar services) to start operating again. Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Lisa MacLeod told a committee Thursday that it could take until 2024 before the province’s tourism business returns to pre-COVID levels.

Former Liberal cabinet minister Jane Philpott has been appointed as a special advisor to the Ontario government to help develop a new health data platform to get better analysis on the COVID-19 outbreak across the province. Philpott, a medical doctor, returned to her practice at the beginning of the pandemic.

In terms of Guelph and area-related COVID-19 news…

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health now has almost 400 cases of COVID-19 in their coverage area at 394, which is nine more cases than what we had on Tuesday morning. The good news is that there have been no additional deaths from the virus, and that count remains at 35. By jurisdiction, there are 150 cases in Guelph, 70 in Wellington County, and 168 in Dufferin County (while a total of 280 people have now recovered).

At the first Board of Health meeting since the start of the pandemic, staff of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health reported that the pandemic has cost nearly $1 million so far in staffing and equipment, while Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer said that she’s willing to have more discussion about regional economic re-openings as suggested by the Premier last week.

Conestoga College announced that they’re laying off approximately 60 full-time staff members as of June 15 as part of their response to the impact of the pandemic. While labs, shops and studios will be open in the fall, the college is still looking to the idea that most courses will be delivered remotely for the foreseeable future.

Although the Grand River Conservation Authority is still slowly opening their lands for day trips, hiking and bird watching, they have now officially cancelled all day camps this summer.

Also in the News…

The City of Guelph is preparing to receive marchers and demonstrators downtown this weekend by keeping City Hall, Market Square, and its public washrooms closed and not allowing parking on Carden Street. At the same time, the Guelph Police Service want you to know that we’re all friends here, and that they are looking forward to hearing about how they can serve the community better.

Thousands of people flooded the streets in downtown Kitchener to demonstrate against anti-Black racism on Wednesday evening in a peaceful protest. There’s no word on how many took part, but CTV Kitchener guess-timated that it was around 12,000.

The Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy and partner agencies are warning that isolation because of COVID-19 might be having a negative effect on the number of overdose deaths in Guelph. In the first six months of this year, there have been 12 overdose deaths versus seven in the whole of last year. In total, there have been 154 overdoses this year so far as compared to 241 in 2019.

The Politico Tip Sheet is open for anyone to subscribe, so if you know a friend or associate that might like to receive this newsletter, send it to them, and get them to click on the button below:

The City of Guelph’s political and community leaders have had a lot to say about the current state of civic action to demand racial equality and the end ant-Black racism. Guelph Politico collected the commentaries.

The Guelph Tool Library is going to be distributing mask making kits thanks to funds from the Guelph Community Foundation and United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin. Each kit contains pre-washed, pre-cut masks and all the things you will need to complete the 14 masks that each kit contains (with the exception of a sewing machine, but the library has a few you might be able to borrow). GTL is looking for 75 volunteers, so if you would like to be one, call Stephanie Clarke at 519-829-9037 or email at info [at] guelphtoollibrary.org.

If you happen to be walking along the Speed River west of the Water Treatment plant between June 9 and 12, and the water looks like it might have a pinkish tint, don’t panic, it’s just the City of Guelph tracking the flow patterns in the river. The dye is safe and environmentally friendly, and it doesn’t dissolve oxygen levels in the river.

The sixth installment of the Oak Tree Project has been announced with $30,000 new and immediate funding now available through the Guelph Community Foundation. Oak Tree is looking to finance innovative ideas that can help spurn recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to get more information, you can visit their website here.

Planning Meeting of Council – June 15, 6:30 pm.

City staff with present the results of public engagement from the Guelph Growth Management Strategy, which is a document that will help guide how the Royal City continues to grow into the year 2041, and breaks growth down into areas of impact like housing, transportation, and water. Among the insights, people want Guelph to grow up not out, plan for climate change, create liveable neighbourhoods, and concentrate growth in the downtown core and along major streets and intersections. The City of Guelph posted on its website this week that there’s a notice of intention to remove the Holding ‘H’ designation from planning application for 89 Beechwood Ave, but that was not listed on the initial council agenda.

You can see the agenda for the meeting here.

If you would like to delegate on any item at these meeting, you have to get in touch with the clerks’ office by Friday June 12 at 10 am.

COVID-19 Response Meeting of Council – June 17, 2 pm.

Chief Administrative Officer Scott Stewart and his deputies will be presenting an update to the City of Guelph’s pandemic response, but we won’t get those details until the amended agenda is posted next Friday. Meanwhile, in the closed meeting, council will discuss the 361 Whitelaw Road proposal decision again.

You can see the agenda for the meeting here.

If you would like to delegate on any item at these meeting, you have to get in touch with the clerks’ office by Friday June 12 at 10 am.

[Placeholder] Council Meeting – June 22, 6 pm.

[Placeholder] Council Meeting – June 24, 6 pm.

Regular Council Meeting – June 29, 6:20 pm.

Planning Meeting of Council – June 13, 6:30 pm.

To stay up to date with the latest developments, visit the Guelph Politico website, or find @adamadonaldson on Twitter.

For more information on Guelph City Council meetings, from agendas to live-tweets to recaps, you can visit that page on Guelph Politico here.

Obviously, with everyone trying to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, there’s not a lot happening in Guelph at the moment. Wash your hands often, stay home if you’re sick, cough and sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve, and clean and disinfect high touch surfaces frequently, and if you do have to go out, maybe to get some air or maybe to get  some grocery shopping done, keep a healthy two-metre distance from other people.

Subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and be treated to three different shows every week.

On Monday get the new episode of news and current affairs on Open Sources Guelph, on Wednesday, download the flagship Guelph Politicast and hear from interesting Guelph characters and about topical issues, and on Friday we’ll chat about new movies and pop culture and stuff on End Credits.

Listen to all these shows any time by subscribing to the Guelph Politicast channel on your favourite podcast app at iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Of course, I will be covering the demonstration downtown this Saturday, which will be the first time I’ve gone out to cover something since the middle of March. [Note to self: Better make sure the old gear is in working order.]

St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market had a re-opening on Thursday, at least outside its main facility. With both Kitchener and Cambridge re-opening their farmers’ markets later this month, will Guelph be forced to find a solution or else potentially lose regular vendors?

This weekend’s Market Squared column over on GuelphToday.com will talk about how we can promote diversity and representation at City Hall. (Two cents from an old white guy, am I right?)

Share Politico Tip Sheet

And finally, feel free to reach out to be by email at adamadonaldson [at] gmail [dot] com, or find me on Facebook, Twitter, and, of course, GuelphPolitico.ca!

Loading more posts…