It's 9 am, Do You Know Where Your Labour Union Is?

There's going to be some labour strife in this edition of the newsletter...

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.

By the time you’re reading this, 3,200 workers with CN Rail might be on strike. Labour Minister Patty Hajdu and Transportation Minister Marc Garneau met with union representatives on Monday in a last-minute effort to avert a strike that could delay the movement of goods across Canada along the nation’s rail corridors. The members represented by the Canadian Teamsters is concerned about job cuts in the wake of longer hours, more fatigue, and an increase in dangerous working conditions, while CN is concerned about lost revenue. Conductors, train personnel and yard workers were set to strike at 12:01 am if no deal could be reached, and they’ve been working without a contract since July.

Speaking of strikes, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) has voted overwhelmingly (95 per cent) in favour of a strike. The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association have also voted to strike, while the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario will start a work-to-rule campaign on November 26. Meanwhile, Education Minister Stephen Lecce urged the teachers’ unions to go into mediation. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO), an association made up of the mayors of Ontario’s 29 biggest municipalities, met on Friday and had a sit down with Minister of Finance Rod Phillips. According to a LUMCO press release, the mayors asked for info about the impact of the fall economic statement and the potential alignment of the provincial and municipal fiscal years. Also, the LUMCO mayors talked about more gas tax funding for transit, and a comprehensive strategy for funding a strategy to answer the opioid crisis.

CORRECTION: Terry Gayman was misidentified in Friday’s newsletter as ‘Terry Grayman.’ All apologies to the City’s new chief engineer for the mistake.

Also in the News…

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Guelph is $1,522 and the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom unit is $1,778. According to, rentals across Canada are going up 5.5 per cent on an annual basis, and Guelph is well ahead of the curve with more expensive two-bedroom apartments than either Kitchener or Hamilton. Read the full story on

The Guelph Storm won two games over the weekend, which means they’re currently running an eight-game winning streak. For the season so far, the Storm are 11-4-1-2 and sit in fifth place in the OHL’s Western conference. The next game is tonight as the Storm head up Highway #7 to take on the Kitchener Rangers.

The Be a Santa to Senior program is back for 2019. Just head over to Chartwell Wellington Park Retirement Residence at 181 Janefield Ave before December 6, find an ornament with a senior’s name on it, buy a gift, and return it unwrapped with the ornament.

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The City of Toronto has cleared a hurdle in imposing zoning regulations on short-term rentals (ie: AirBnB and similar services). The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has dismissed the appeal by area landlords of a bylaw passed by Toronto council in 2017, which includes a proviso that people live in the unit they rent on AirBnB and that they only rent out a maximum of three bedrooms.

Metrolinx has released the updated ridership map; how does Guelph stack up for getting on the GO?

The Royal City got a shout out on Atlas Obscurawith a spotlight on the renovated Petrie Building.

The City of Guelph would like you to take a quick survey on the Guelph Farmers’ Market in advanced of proposed bylaw changes next year. Click here to start.

November 18 – Budget Meeting, Tax Supported Operating Budget.

Council heard staff present the Tax Supported Operating Budget and got the chance to ask questions about key funding decisions and program updates. There weren’t a lot of surprises, but Mayor Cam Guthrie did say that he’s working hard to find the funding for a second year’s worth of initiatives from his Task Force on Homelessness. There was some late breaking news on that front from DCAO Colleen Clack, but she didn’t share what that news might be. The mayor will lay the asks on the table at the December 3 meeting. In terms of intentions, it looks like council is getting ready to nickel and dime on decision night, and Guthrie mentioned a possible supplementary motion to have staff look at resurrecting Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. You can read the full coverage of Monday’s meeting on Guelph Politico here.

November 20 – Budget Meeting, Presentation of Local Boards and Shared Services Budget.

This meeting will cover the individual budgets for the Guelph Police Service, the Guelph Public Library, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, the Elliott Community, the Downtown Guelph Business Association, and the shared social services with Wellington County. The full breakdown of the budget by agency is available in the meeting preview on Guelph Politico.

The meeting will begin at 4 pm and so will the live blog, which you will be able to follow on Guelph Politico, or on Twitter @adamadonaldson.

Also coming up at City Council:

November 25 – Regular Meeting of Council.

Council will approve new appointments to local boards and committees, discuss the allocation of five new buses, and dig further into the motion on Harm Reduction Housing passed at Committee of the Whole. Plus, there will be a mysterious motion about intervening on the Supreme Court challenge of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (the carbon tax). Get more details here.

November 30 – Budget Meeting, Delegations for the Tax Supported Operating Budget, Local Boards and Shared Services Budget.

This is the public delegation night for the Tax Supported Operating Budget and the Local Boards and Shared Services Budget. If you have anything to say about the budget, this is your night to say it!

If you want to delegate on any of the items at City Council, you have until 10 am on Friday November 22 to get in touch with the Clerk’s Office. Here’s how.

December 2 – Committee of the Whole.

December 3 – Deliberations on the Tax Supported Operating Budget, Local Boards and Shared Services Budget.

December 5 - Deliberations on the Tax Supported Operating Budget, Local Boards and Shared Services Budget.  (If Required.)

December 9 – Planning Meeting.

December 11 – Special Council Meeting – Workshop on Transportation Master Plan and the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw.

December 16* – Regular Meeting of Council.

*Council goes on Christmas Break after this meeting.

There will be two workshops for Clair-Maltby Parks and Open Spaces today (Tuesday!), one at 1:30 and one at 6:30, both will be at the the Salvation Army Guelph Citadel on 1320 Gordon Street South.

Journalist Robyn Doolittle will be in Guelph tonight (Tuesday!) to talk about her new book Had it Coming. The Q&A starts at 7 pm at the eBar. Tickets are $8, or $6 for Bookshelf members.

Metrolinx will be holding a town hall at the Guelph Museum on Wednesday night from 5-8 pm.

Habitat for Humanity Wellington Dufferin Guelph will host the second round of their Affordable Housing Symposium on Thursday. You can get all that information on the Habitat website here.

***Upcoming Town Halls***

-A Ward 5 town hall with Cathy Downer and Leanne Piper at Mary Phelan Catholic School takes place at 7 pm on November 21

-A Ward 2 town hall with Rodrigo Goller and James Gordon at the Evergreen Seniors Centre takes place at 1 pm on November 23

-A Ward 4 town hall with Christine Billings and Mike Salisbury at the West End Rec Centre takes place at 7 pm on November 26

Coming up this week on the GuelphPoliticast, you will hear from some of the vendors at Fair November last weekend. From hats, to honey, to handbags, to handmade rowing paddles, there was something for everyone at the U of G’s annual craft fair.

Get the latest edition of the GuelphPoliticast on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, tune in to CFRU at 2 pm for another episode of End Credits. This week, Peter Salmon co-hosts as we review Bong Joon Ho’s Palme d’Or winning comedic horror thriller packed with lots of social commentary, Parasite. We’re also going to talk about whether a PG-13 rating ruins a slasher movie, new trailers for Sonic, Fantasy Island and The Invisible Man, and Peter’s Top 5 of the Decade.

Then, Thursday at 5 pm on CFRU, it will be a new episode of Open Sources Guelph as Scotty Hertz will be on assignment, I will be talking to Ward 1 Councillor Dan Gibson and a second guest that we’re going to reveal as a surprise because we definitely have someone lined up to also appear on the show.  

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.

Winter is here, but don’t worry, so are the leaf collectors!

Abhi Kantamneni is back with another interactive graphic for this year’s budget information. Abhi talked to the Guelph Politicast late last year about how he cooks up these wonderful graphs!

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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,!