Facebook live discussion re: Hydro Merger, this Thursday 6 pm

Friends, council’s decision: to merge or not to merge- may be the most significant issue this term. In my view there is still a lot more awareness-raising to be done before the vote on December 13th… I urge you to check this opportunity for input out… and feel free to send me your views in advance of the meeting. I also urge you to consider a 5-minute delegation in support of your position. You have until the Friday at 10 am to notify clerks@guelph.ca that you’d like to appear before council at our 6:30 meeting on the 13th. Thanks, James


New date: Facebook Live discussion about Guelph Hydro merger December 7
After more than a year of industry research, in-depth financial analysis, and community input, Guelph City Council is considering a merger between Guelph Hydro Electric Systems and Alectra.

We want to hear from you again as City Council prepares to make its decision on December 13.

Facebook Live Thursday,December 7, 6 p.m.
Visit the City’s Facebook Page on Thursday, December 7 at 6 p.m. and post your questions and comments during the live discussion with:

· Derrick Thomson, City of Guelph chief administrative officer
· Pankaj Sardana, Guelph Hydro chief executive officer

City Council meeting Wednesday, December 13, 6:30 p.m.
Guelph City Council will hear delegations and make its final decision about the proposed merger during an open meeting as the shareholder of Guelph Hydro..

To speak to Guelph City Council during the meeting, please register by Friday, December 8, 2017.

About the proposed Guelph Hydro-Alectra merger
Local ownership and dividends

Next year, in addition to its regular annual dividend, Guelph Hydro would pay the City a special dividend of $18.5 million.

Over the next 20 years, dividends payable to the City would be $10 million more than than they would be if Guelph Hydro continued operating alone.

The City would receive a 4.63% ownership interest in Alectra. Guelph would receive one permanent seat on Alectra’s board of directors and have the right to appoint an independent director. Learn more about who owns Alectra

The Guelph Hydro brand would be used for one year following the merger.

Electricity distribution rates

Electricity distribution rates are not expected to go down after a merger, but they wouldn’t go up as much as they would if the City maintained full ownership of Guelph Hydro.

Guelph and Rockwood customers would avoid an estimated 5% distribution rate increase in 2021, and another estimated 5% increase in 2026, and would also benefit from the savings expected from consolidating the two companies. Learn more about electricity distribution rates

Service and reliability

Alectra would meet or exceed service standards and reliability for electricity distribution customers in Guelph and Rockwood.

Protection from privatization

Alectra is 97% municipally-owned, with the remaining 3% owned by a subsidiary of OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System). Alectra’s existing unanimous shareholders’ agreement is the result of extensive negotiation among its shareholders, none of whom planned to privatize.

Provisions in Alectra’s unanimous shareholder agreement, tax disincentives, and the municipal character of its shareholders are all protections against future privatization of the utility.

Green Energy & Technology Centre

Alectra would establish the Green Energy & Technology Centre at Guelph Hydro’s current location. The centre would be a platform for accelerating and integrating new and emerging energy technologies and help prepare Guelph’s local utility company to address Ontario’s changing energy landscape, and the global energy transformation already underway.

The GRE&T Centre would employ eight to ten people, and Alectra would invest $5 million in capital to convert parts of Guelph Hydro’s existing headquarters into demonstration areas, laboratories or showrooms. It would invest an additional $3 million annually to fund pilot projects, demonstrations, salaries, administration, marketing, and partnerships.


Guelph Hydro’s current location would become a Southwest Operations Centre for at least 10 years.

Guelph Hydro employs about 130 people. Approximately 30 positions are expected to be addressed through attrition, voluntary retirement or voluntary separation, whenever possible. An equal number of positions would be offered relocation opportunities within Alectra starting in 2019, with the majority of moves occurring in 2020 and 2022.

Guelph Hydro employees will be treated equitably and with respect. Fair programs will be developed to support employees should they wish to transition from the organization voluntarily.

Ontario Energy Board approval

The merger would be submitted to the Ontario Energy Board for approval. Among other things, the board would have to be satisfied that the merger would not cause harm to consumers with respect to price; and adequacy, reliability and quality of electricity service.

City Council report and presentation for December 13 meeting

Energizing Tomorrow community survey results

Energizingtomorrow.ca: community questions and comments

About Alectra Utilities (print-friendly pdf)

Learn more. Ask us anything.
519-822-1260 extension 3481



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Special Ward 2 Wolfond Park and Goldie Mill Neighbourhood Meeting Nov 30th

After our recent, and packed, Ward 2 Town Hall Meeting it became clear that more time and research was needed to investigate the current crisis in the Wolfond Park and Goldie Mill Neighbourhoods around crime, vandalism and addiction issues. To that end, along with Councillor Van Hellemond, I’ll be hosting a special meeting regarding this November 30th at 7 pm at Guelph City Hall, Meeting Rm A.  Representatives from Guelph Police, City By-law, Wyndham House and the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition will all be there to help lead the discussion. They each have asked for questions in advance, if possible, so that they can do some research on your behalf. You can send questions to me at james.gordon@guelph.ca       Please pass this on to anyone you know in this area, and I hope to see you out for what should be an informative discussion.

thanks                James Gordon



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Riverside Park home to future disc golf course

This just in… a cool new Ward 2 amenity!

More info coming soon btw about the excellent town hall meeting . A packed house with lots of great community input. James


Guelph, Ont., November 15, 2017 – Disc golf enthusiasts will have a new course to play on in Guelph, come next spring.

Construction on a nine-hole course in Riverside Park is set to begin this month. The course will be located near Riverview Drive in the park’s east end.

“Riverside Park is a perfect fit for a disc golf course as it integrates into the existing park without affecting current uses,” says Ian Ferguson, supervisor of Turf and Sports Fields with the City of Guelph.

The construction project includes installing targets (baskets), stone dust tee pads/decks, course signs, seating areas, and planting trees. There are no impacts to the use of the existing trail and park system during construction.

The work is expected to be done by spring 2018 and the official course opening is tentatively scheduled for Friday, April 6. Players using the course will do so on a first come, first served basis and must provide their own discs.

Disc golf is a low-impact sport in which players throw a specialized flying disc into a target, with rules similar to golf,

“Disc golf is easy to learn and provides physical and mental exercise for all ages and abilities,” says Ferguson.

According to the Ontario Disc Sports Association, there are 38 courses in the province. In Guelph, the only other course is located in the Arboretum at the University of Guelph.

The $12,000 project is funded through the City’s Innovation Fund—a corporate fund that supports employee ideas that are pitched, reviewed by a peer panel, and, if successful, implemented.


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Ward 2 Town Hall Meeting November 14th

Hi there. Andy Van Hellemond and myself will be hosting our annual fall Town Hall meeting Tuesday November 14th at 7 pm in the heart of our ward, The Guelph Youth Music Centre, Cardigan Street, in Rm 108.

We’ll keep it informal, and we’re hoping you have questions and observations about our ward and the City. Save the date and we hope to see you there!  James

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City seeks community input on Guelph Trail Master Plan

Twould be great to get some Ward Twovians out to this! Just sayin’ !

Guelph, Ont., October 13, 2017 – The City of Guelph is gathering community input as part of the Guelph Trail Master Plan (GTMP) Update project.

The Guelph Trail Master Plan provides strategic direction and specific guidelines for work related to City trails, including trail planning, land securement, funding, design, implementation, operation, promotion and maintenance.

“Updating the existing master plan is an opportunity for us to incorporate additional items such as new trail design guidelines, a trail promotion strategy, revised trail routes, and new types of trail facilities,” says Helen White, a park planner with the City.

Trail user groups are invited to attend an information session, including presentation, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17 at Guelph City Hall. A drop-in session for land owners and developers is being held between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18 in the Galleria inside City Hall.

For the public, a drop-in information session is being held on Thursday, October 19 between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Guelph Public Library, 100 Norfolk Street. A second session takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre, 683 Woolwich Street.. A formal presentation gets underway at 7:30 p.m.

Residents are also invited to stop by the GTMP booth on Saturday, October 21, between 7 a.m. and noon, at the Guelph Farmers’ Market, 2 Gordon Street.

Starting October 19, residents can also provide input by completing the online survey at guelph.ca/haveyoursay. Deadline for input is November 10.

An updated GTMP will reflect best practices, be consistent with the Official Plan and coordinate the City’s other trail-related guidelines, policies and strategies such as the Facility Accessibility Design Manual, Cycling Master Plan, and Active Transportation Network.

For more information, including study area and the Trans Canada Trail Route Selection Study, visit guelph.ca/plans-and-strategies/parks-trails-planning/ and click on Guelph Trail Master Plan Update.


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Once-a-month evening community meeting begins this Thursday

“Pie And Politics”, the evening version of the popular “Politics and Pancakes” Breezy Corners breakfast conversations, begins this Thursday Oct 12th.
The Thursday morning sessions hosted by councillors Phil Allt and James Gordon have become an important way to get public input on important city issues. They have been an overwhelming success, with the Breezy Corners Family restaurant filled to capacity with a great cross-section of Guelphites interested in contributing their ideas and learning more about our city. Often with special guests who make presentations on topics like transit, energy, the new library, taxation, waste and water issues, the meetings have become primers for upcoming council meetings.
There’s been a demand for an evening session for those who have trouble getting to the breakfasts, so Allt and Gordon are presenting the first of a once-a-month ‘second Tuesday” session THIS THURSDAY Oct 12th at 7 pm.
For more information contact james@jamesgordon.ca or pallt@me.com


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Survey about our library ends this week.



Hi again Twovians. This fall council will be considering how to proceed with plans for a new main library branch, which is about 30 years out of date! We’d love to have your input. Here’s a note from Virginia Gilham from the Friends of the Libary, encouraging you to participate in a short survey to help gauge the direction we should be going in.

It just takes a minute. Go for it! And as a member of the library board AND a councillor, I’d be happy to chat with you one-on-one about this.

Virginia writes:
What is your vision for the Guelph Public Library? How do you use the current facilities? The Guelph Public Library needs your help to articulate a new strategic plan for 2018 – 2022. This is your opportunity to let the library know how you use your library, how you find out about what’s going on, and what you would like to see offered in the future. YOUR input into this process is critical as this is YOUR community library!

A short, online survey is available until August 31 at

Please take a few minutes to complete it!

This strategic planning process is an opportunity for you to provide input into how a new main library may serve the public for decades to come. The need for a new main library has never been more critical, but a replacement is still far from a “sure thing”. The building does not meet current barrier-free accessibility standards and is in dire need of repair. The City’s archives, which are housed in the basement, are at risk of flood damage. Librarians have to cull still-current resources as there is not enough shelving to house everything the public demands.

Community support for the library has never been needed more than right now..

Wouldn’t you like to enjoy the same services, programs, and resources that are already being provided in other communities across the country? Show your support for your community library by completing this survey, and encouraging others to complete it, too.

If you have already completed the survey, thank you!

Virginia Gillham,
Friends of the Guelph Public Library

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