Breezy Breakfast Radio Hour
Episode 73: Comprehensive Zoning ByLaw Review

Episode 73: Comprehensive Zoning ByLaw Review

January 24, 2022

What are zoning bylaws?  Why do we need them?  How are they developed?  How are they enforced?  What exceptions can be made?

Guelph has a new zoning bylaw that aligns with the City’s updated Official Plan.  Each and every property in Guelph was considered; new zones and new use permissions and rules were developed.
Why?  Because these zoning bylaws will help us to achieve Guelph's vision of growth.
How?  Zoning bylaws set the rules for things like how a property can be used, where buildings can go on a property, and how big and tall those buildings can be.

Krista Walkey, General Manager of Building and Planning Services at the City of Guelph, guided us through the layered and labyrinthine world of zoning bylaws.

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Episode 72:  In-class school and COVID; Parklands in Guelph

Episode 72: In-class school and COVID; Parklands in Guelph

January 17, 2022

Happy New Year Breezy Breakfasters!

We started 2022 with an OPEN MIC.

Former Teacher and current Union Rep David Del Duca gave us an update about the COVID situation in schools.

We then had a lively discussion about the future of parklands in Guelph.  Topics included the Yorklands Green Hub, the Trestle Bridge, and creative ways to generate funds to purchase parkland.

Life during the time of COVID has schooled us about the mental health of children and teachers, the chronic underfunding of both the public education and health care systems in Ontario, and the absolute necessity for green space in cities.

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Episode 71:  On Guard against Fraud

Episode 71: On Guard against Fraud

December 26, 2021

In 2020, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received 67,294 fraud reports from Canadian consumers and businesses, involving losses of more than $104.2 million.  It is estimated that fewer than 5% of victims file a fraud report with the CAFC.

The top two reported frauds are extortion and identity fraud - over 33,000 reports.
Frauds involving romance, investment, spear phishing, and extortion are the most expensive, costing victims just under $62 MILLION.

Carol Gilmour, Senior Support Unit Coordinator of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, gave us a tour of the world wide web of fraud.  We learned the tricks of the con artist trade; we learned how to thwart the nefarious schemes of fraudsters who are ready to steal your money and identity.  Globally, fraud is a multi-billion dollar business.  We must ALWAYS be vigilant.

If you have been been a victim of fraud, report it to the CAFC online at

https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm

or by phone at 1-888-495-8501

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Episode 70:  Update with MPP Mike Schreiner

Episode 70: Update with MPP Mike Schreiner

December 19, 2021

In this episode, Guelph's MPP Mike Schreiner gave us our yearly update on what's been happening at Queen's Park. 
We learned about the provincial response to the pandemic, Highway 413, housing, the Dolime Quarry MZO, electric vehicles, housing, the possible expansion of the Greenbelt, and much more!

Episode 69:  Funding Growth in Guelph

Episode 69: Funding Growth in Guelph

December 12, 2021

Approximately 150,000 people live in Guelph.
The provincial government hath decreed that Guelph's population be 203,000 by 2051.

How does the City of Guelph pay for growth?
What are Development Charges (DCs) and how are they determined?
How has Bill 108 affected Guelph's ability to pay for growth?
Is it reasonable to expect growth to pay for growth?
Our guests help us to penetrate the perplexing puzzle of paying for growth.

Greg Clark is the Manager of Financial Strategy & Long-term Planning for the City of Guelph.
Susan Watson is a local activist who has lived in Guelph since 2001.

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Episode 68:  The Changing Face of Guelph

Episode 68: The Changing Face of Guelph

December 6, 2021

Between 2011 and 2016, around 700 immigrants per year settled in Guelph.  In 2019, Immigration Services Guelph-Wellington had 1400 new clients; that number is expected to increase in the years ahead.  Newcomers settle in Guelph for a variety of reasons, including its strong community support networks and job availability in the manufacturing sector.  Still, newcomers to Guelph face various challenges such as finding affordable housing, overcoming language barriers, and navigating subsidy programs.

Anu Saxena immigrated to Canada from India in 1991 and has been living in Guelph since 1994.  As a trained microbiologist, Anu worked as a researcher at the University of Guelph for 17 years until 2011.  She is currently active in the community and gives her time to many local organizations, including the Guelph & District Multicultural Festival, Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington, Children’s Foundation Guelph-Wellington, City of Guelph’s Tourism Advisory Committee, Guelph Women in Crisis and YMCA-YWCA of Guelph.

Sandra Cocco is the Executive Director of Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington.  She joined the agency in 2016.  Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington is the primary settlement agency in Guelph, serving over 2500 clients in the last fiscal year.

Sara Sayyed is the City of Guelph's senior advisor of Equity, Anti-Racism and Indigenous Initiatives.

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Episode 67:  Good Governance in Guelph

Episode 67: Good Governance in Guelph

November 28, 2021

The mayor and 12 councillors make up the governing body of the City of Guelph.  What sort of machinery do they use to exercise authority and perform functions?  Policies, procedures, plans?  How do we know if the government is working well?  What is good governance?

Our panel shared their knowledge of and experiences with governance.  

Alex Smith spent 32 years in the employ of the Ministry of the Attorney General as an Assistant Crown Attorney, a Senior Manager and General Counsel.
Susan Watson is a local activist who has lived in Guelph since 2001.
Luke Weiler is a family lawyer familiar with rules of order and conduct from years of chairing. 
Karl Wettstein spent 15 years on City Council; he believes that the #1 Board/Council responsibility is to ensure the implementation of an effective Governance model and the development & implementation of a sound and effective strategic plan.
Brian Skerrett is the Chair of Heritage Guelph.

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Episode 66:  Balancing Budgets

Episode 66: Balancing Budgets

November 22, 2021

Last year, Chief Financial Officer Tara Baker and Deputy CAO Trevor Lee guest starred in the #1 financial thriller of 2020, "Multi-Year Budgets."

Last Thursday, Breezy Breakfast presented the much anticipated sequel, "Multi-Year Budgets OR: How I learned to stop worrying and love city finances."

Once again, Tara Baker and Trevor Lee answered our inquiries to boost our immunity against break-through budget bewilderment.

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Compost Queen of the Royal City

Compost Queen of the Royal City

November 14, 2021

This Thursday, we had a crash course in composting from Karen Houle, philosophy professor, author, environmental activist, and one of the Compost Queens of the Royal City.

This past summer, these scholars of soil treated the Huron Street Community Garden to a "compost makeover."

Karen was broadcasting from the compost site, which made for an action-packed breezy breakfast!

This formula for finer fertilizer is fascinating.

Don't be milquetoast; compost!

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Episode 64:  Cities Combat Climate Change

Episode 64: Cities Combat Climate Change

November 8, 2021

Did you know that 50% of Guelph's emissions are due to the burning of natural gas in order to heat and provide hot water for residential and commercial buildings?  One way to lower our emissions is to implement energy efficiency retrofit projects.

That's where Our Energy Guelph (OEG) comes into the picture.  OEG endorses a program called PACE:  Property-Assessed Clean Energy.  A property owner borrows money through the municipality, uses it for an energy or water efficiency project, and then repays it over an extended period of time through property taxes.

A local climate bank (LCB) is another tool that Guelph can use to transition to the post-carbon economy.  In a nutshell, the money saved using retrofits is invested in Guelph to produce green energy for Guelph.

Alex Chapman, Executive Director of OEG, got us up to date on Guelph's initiatives regarding climate change.

David de Weerdt, Catalyst and founder of the Local Climate Bank Working Group, an initiative under development in Canada and Kenya, talked about LCBs.

Rob Kerr, former Community Energy Manager (2007 to 2017) for the City of Guelph, shared his experiences working as an energy and climate services consultant to Canadian municipalities.

Councillor Leanne Caron told us of a climate motion coming to Guelph city council on December 6th.   Contact your city councillors to show your support!

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