Backpack project needs help at Brant Ave.

Hi folks, hope you are having a great summer. I’ll be communicating more with you after Labour Day as council gears up again. ( And speaking of Labour Day, it’s a great annual Ward 2 event at Riverside Park. I’ll be there. Come say hi. )

The Brant Avenue Neighbourhood Group is trying to make sure kids going back to school next week have backpacks, lunch bags and supplies. They are doing great work in our Ward, and I’d encourage you to help.

Here’s the note I received from them this morning. I hope you can make a donation towards this great cause. I did. It felt like a good way to support this great Ward Two organization.

Lynne Kloostra writes:

“We have currently have a wait list of approximately 15 backpacks and wonder if anyone would be willing to help with a monetary donation or an actual backpack, lunch bag and / or supplies.

We have an organization doing a drive now and they may be able to help with some of these but it won’t be until Sept 6th and we won’t know what we are getting until then either. We would really like to see these kids have their backpacks to go back to school with on Tuesday?

Please ask others in your organization as well and let us know.

We can pick money or supplies up if you are able to assist at all?

Thanks and have a great day!

Lynne Kloostra
Neighbourhood Support Worker
Brant Avenue Neighbourhood Group



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7 responses to “Backpack project needs help at Brant Ave.

  1. I don’t think so. It’s shameful there are people out there who can’t provide for their kids.

  2. jamesgordoncouncillor

    wow, Fred, Fred, Fred. You must live in a different Guelph than I do. We boast about having a low unemployment rate, yet all too many of the jobs we offer are minimum wage temp jobs with no benefits and no security. Soaring housing prices mean just coming up with first and last month’s rent is a burden for those working those minimum wage jobs. We have an affordable housing crisis in this city. Is it shameful to be spending the majority of your income on housing and food, leaving little else for backpacks and supplies? Is it shameful to have been cast aside in a city where there is a dangerously widening income gap between those who are thriving economically and those who are trying their best to make ends meet? Is it shameful to be a single mom on disability trying to raise a family on limited resources? I’ll count you as one of those who thinks there are plenty of jobs out there but folks are too lazy to look for them. Try living on social assistance. It’s not desirable, believe me. I know that neighbourhood well. Most are hard-working, dedicated, good parents, trying their best. There are just as many who do NOT fall into that category who are wealthy and privileged. I see so many in the Brant area doing with love and a sense of community what they cannot do with their limited financial resources. Most DO feel ashamed when people like you blame them for being not as fortunate as you are. I can imagine how hurtful your remarks will be to them. Most of them WANT to provide for their kids properly, and do so, but they occasionally need a little help from a sharing, caring community that is willing to chip in because they have experienced poverty too. Our jobs are disappearing. Our costs are rising. Too many of us are left behind. Shameful? I don’t think so. You know what is Shameful Fred? Your comments

    • Counsellor (community organiser) Gordon. Thanks for calling one of your Constituent’s opinion “shameful.” How very partisan of you, but that is how you, as a Socialist, operates, isn’t it.

      I suppose you have never heard of the economic and social damage cyclical hand-outs create in a community, and how it also creates dependancy on the State. But you are fine enabling hand-outs, not helping with a hand up.

      Don’t lecture me about wealth and privilege. You are nothing more than a socialist show-boat who does not believe in personal success – of which includes hard work.

      I speak from personal experience in a field that has me inter-acting with welfare recipients – and not all are the Noble Down-trodden, “experiencing a temporary difficult time.” If fact, many brag about their freebies and how they feel entitled because of aiders and abettors such as yourself, and ar quite happy to remain on the dole.

      Nice little Blog you wrote up about yourself, it speaks volumes about your character as an opposer of capitalism, personal responsibility, and lower taxes. (Mayor’s Award in 2008 – ahh, yes… awarded by another Liberal, Karen Farbridge…) It also boasts you have recorded 40 albums. Tell me, under what label – oh – wait, recorded in your own studio!

  3. Golly Fred, thanks for your interest in my music! To answer your question, I record for Borealis Records in Toronto, Canada’s largest label in the folk genre that I work in. check them out at They distribute my albums all over the world to radio stations and to distributors like Amazon and iTunes. To use your words, I’ve had quite a bit of ‘personal success”… all accomplished through “hard work” as you mentioned. I responded to your post because I felt that you ‘shamed’ an entire neighbourhood of my constituents with your post, so as their representative I felt a ‘personal responsibility’. ( another of your phrases) to respond. You don’t agree with me, which is your right. Many of the children in need have parents who are not welfare recipients, they often work two jobs each and with soaring costs and wages that haven’t kept up with the cost of living, they need a ‘hand up’ just as you described. Night Fred.

    • Chi_ots

      Wow. That was heated. Great responses, Mr G. You’re a great city councilor. Sure, you’re a little more left than most, even myself! Countries with Left-ish governments make for great countries…..

    • James, thanks so much for your kind response. I did start out rough, and I’m not always the best with my delivery. In fact, I was rather unfair to both you and Lynne, in which I truly apologise.

      I guess what I was trying to convey is that I’m a classical Libertarian (small government, and in particular economic freedom. I think there are some issues with a social welfare state, and these otherwise kind endeavours hit me raw.

      BUT, you are correct: People fall on hard times, and deserve our helping hand up, who am I to denigrate their needs? I think I let my jaundiced first-hand accounts in my life where I have seen some who are complacent in a state of dependency? I’ll work harder to differentiate in the future.

      I was so rude to you regarding your musical endeavours, too. I forget you are indeed an international presence and the Internet is our Friend. You are a fantastic guitarist.

      I was wondering if there are local businesses who would be able to offer Internship positions for those in job/career transition? Even for a few hours every 2-3 days?

      With Highest Regards, thank you for all you do for Ward Two.

      Fred (and I like this tube video)

  4. jamesgordoncouncillor

    Thanks Chi_ots for your support, and thanks Fred for this decidedly more conciliatory tone. I like your internship idea. Something positive. Our mayor often refers to himself as ‘libertarian’ which does put us on different sides on some issues, but we’ve managed to keep a constructive working relationship I think. If we all choose respect and empathy we can collaborate despite our political differences.

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