GUELPH POLITICAST #80 - Danna Evans, General Manager of Culture, Tourism & Community Investment

24May

Is Guelph a tourism destination? That's debatable. Certainly many Guelphites would argue that there are reasons that people who don't live in Guelph should visit Guelph. Great festivals, a cool downtown, a big church you can see from everywhere... the Royal City is where it's at, and this week, I talk to the person in charge of making sure you know all about it.

On this week's Guelph Politicast, the guest is Danna Evans, General Manager of Culture, Tourism and Community Investment at the City of Guelph. It's a big job, three different portfolios that all end up being tied together because we create a culture that people want to visit that then turns into investment as people want to become a regular part of that community and encourage more people to visit. It's a vicious circle of delightfulness, and Guelph is well ahead of the curve with a variety of festivals, events and cultural destinations.

You see, the City of Guelph does not do much itself to create tourism, but it leans on partners to create the conditions to draw people to town, partners like the Downtown Guelph Business Association who put on a number of events throughout the summer, or the Guelph Arts Council, or festivals like Kazoo!, Hillside, the Jazz Festival, or the upcoming Guelph Dance. So a big part of Evans' job is co-ordination, but she also oversees operations at the River Run Centre, the Sleeman Centre, Guelph Museums, and now the Farmer's Market.

So on this week's podcast, I talk to Evans about her daily responsibilities and how she makes the long term plans, how she works with groups within and without of City Hall to promote Guelph, what tourism to the Royal City looks like, and all things that make Guelph a great place to visit as well as the things we need to do to make tourism even better. If you think you know Guelph then you should hear how the woman in charge of bring people to Guelph does her job.

Who's coming, why they are coming, and what they're doing when they get here is the topic of this week's Guelph Politicast!

To stay up-to-date on all the festivals and festivities in town, you can go to the Guelph Tourism website here.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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Open Sources Guelph - May 18, 2017

21May

News coming out of the U.S. this week is too heavy, so we're going to focus on some lighter topics on this week's Open Sources Guelph: cultural appropriation, poverty, and electoral reform. We jest, of course, these are all very heavy topics in our own right, and we will aim to address some very key questions. Is it alright for white male writers to mock the idea of encouraging aboriginal people to tell their own stories? Is it weird that we seem to keep overlooking issues of poverty and loss in our community? And how are local activists trying to encourage the government to keep its promises? 

This Thursday, May 11, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Appropriations Fill. I am not the Walrus, Jonathan Kay had to admit when he stepped down as the Editor-in-Chief of the "general interest" magazine last weekend. Kay was a casualty of an online uproar over a Writers’ Union of Canada’s magazine article that discussed having an "Appropriation Prize" for the "best book by an author who writes about people who aren’t even remotely like her or him.” After the article's writer, Hal Niedzviecki, was forced to resign for it, Kay came to his defense in the National Post, when 24 hours later, he himself was forced to resign from his job. So what's the take away from all this drama? Were Kay and Niedziecki martyrs for free speech, or are they two white guys that don't get it?

2) Struck a Nerve. A column co-host Adam A. Donaldson wrote for GuelphToday.com seemed to get some unexpected and widely-shared attention last week. The topic was about Guelph's underclass, the poor, the sick, the addicted, the disenfranchised, and how we constantly seem to be praising our own achievements in the Royal City as being a livable and enjoyable place to be, while there is a wide cross-section of our fellow citizens who are not having such a great time. We'll talk about why poverty and these related issues are under-reported, how we can raise awareness, and what role the media might play in highlighting the needs and issues of people in our community that so desperately need the help.

3) Democracy (Guelph) Now. When Justin Trudeau promised to reform Canada's electoral system during the 2015 election, he got a lot of people in Guelph excited, and when he reneged on that promise earlier this year, he conversely made a lot of people in Guelph mad. A non-

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GUELPH POLITICAST #79 - Hans Zegerius, Petrie Photographer

17May

Underneath that big green tarp near the corner of Wyndham and Macdonell is a world of mystery. The Petrie Building has been a subject of intrigue, speculation and regret for years, if not decades, and it's facelift is opening up that world as the Trycathlen partners proceed with the renovation and restoration of the Petrie, and one man has been there to capture the transformation as it's unfolded.

The guest on this week's Guelph Politicast is Hans Zegerius. He may not be the most well-known name associated with the Petrie, but his job may be the most important. The real estate photographer and designer was brought in at the very beginning of the redevelopment process to capture what was there, what was being done, and, in the end, how the new building will look. It's an epic journey for one photographer.

Hans' background is in taking pictures of buildings, usually houses for realtors to post in an effort to sell them, but this new mission required the former engineer to not just use his skills, but learn some new ones too. We talked about his process on this podcast, as well as how Hans became the Petrie's official photographer, how he chooses what to shoot, some of the things he's discovered along the way, and what his plans are for all his hard work. (A coffee table book, perhaps?)

So let's head back into the Petrie and capture the moments in time through the camera lens of Hans Zegerius as described on this week's Guelph Politcast.

You can see Hans Zegerius' photos of the Petrie Building right now at the Boarding House Gallery at 6 Dublin St through June 10, or you can see samples of his work at Hans' website here. You can also purchase a print of the various photographs on display, with a potion of the proceeds going to the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario,

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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Open Sources Guelph - May 11, 2017

15May

Comey Who? We've got a lot of Canadian stuff on our plate this week on Open Sources Guelph, so Donald Trump can go about his shady business without our discerning eye. In the meantime, we've got two big interviews in the form of another NDP leadership candidate and one of Guelph's city councillors, and then we'll be looking at the results of the B.C. Provincial Election, which is as close to a nail biter as we ever get in Canada. 

This Thursday, May 11, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Niki Heat. Charlie Angus was in Guelph a few weeks ago, Guy Caron was in Waterloo last week, and this past Sunday Niki Ashton was down at Red Papaya in Old Quebec Street. It seems that our area is key to most of the NDP leadership slate, as Ashton and others look to local members to help bolster their ambitions, and the ambitions of the party going into 2019. We talk about some of that in our interview with Ashton, and we also talk about how the party played it safe in the 2015 election, how they have to go back to their socially-progressive, worker-friendly roots to be on the left of the Liberals again, and how she is uniquely qualified to understand the struggles of Canada's young people.

2) (Barely) Clark County. In a very close election, the B.C. Liberals under Christy Clark now find themselves in a minority position with only a two-seat difference between them and the NDP. On top of that, the B.C. Greens now hold the balance of power by winning an historic three seats in the legislature. So what the heck happened? British Columbia has the best economy in Confederation, so that should have presumably been enough for BCers for endorse Clark and Co. no matter how half-heartedly, right? Apparently, not so much. So what made the difference in this election? And how long can Clark last in this rare minority situation?

3) Gibson Tide. It's been a while since we've had a member of Guelph City Council in our studio, and that's an oversight on our part, but getting back on our local politicians, we're pleased to welcome back to Open Sources, Ward 1 Councillor Dan Gibson. Gibson has been fairly busy in the last couple of months, bring forth a motion to put renewed effort into commercial development in his ward, and he's next bringing forward a motion to take the City of Guelph's assets to a net zero designation, which would be a huge step towards a carbon neutral City Hall. We'll talk about that with Gibson, as well as recent issues at council including affordable housing, online voting, and the allocation of budget variances.

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #78 - Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis

12May

May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Ontario. Isn't it sad that sexual assault is still such a scourge in society at this point in our history that we have to have a while month to raise awareness about it? I think we can all agree on that, but so long as the need is there in our area, there will be the Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis, now helping women in our area for over 40 years.

Women in Crisis is marking its 40th year in service in the Guelph and Wellington area this year. What began as eight women volunteering for a new rape crisis line at the University of Guelph has now expanded to include the Marianne’s Place shelter, the Transitional and Housing Support Program, the Family Court Support Program, the Rural Women’s Support Program, the Sexual Assault Centre, and, of course, the 24-hour Crisis Line. This isn't a sign that these problems are getting worse, but rather that we've come to understand them better over the last four decades, but there's still a long way to go.

On this week's second Politicast, Sexual Assault Counsellor Hannah Graves, and Public Educator Jessica St. Peter, join me to talk about how Women in Crisis has changed over the last 40 years, their campaign this month to raise awareness and education about what consent really means, and how the justice system still fails to understand sexual violence and give survivors the support they need. The Globe and Mail reported earlier this year that 1 out of every 5 rape cases brought to police forces across Canada were being marked as "unfounded," which begs the question: are we making any actual progress in helping survivors?

This is some of the ground we cover in this week's Guelph Politicast, as we try to bring some local awareness to Sexual Assault Awareness month.

You can learn more about Women in Crisis, or get involved by contacting them at their website or by calling 519-836-1110. If you have experienced or are experiencing physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse and/or stalking, you can avail yourself of Women in Crisis' services 24 hours a day by calling 519-836-5710 or 1-800-265-7233.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #77 - The 2Rivers Festival

9May

Water is very important to Guelph, and to prove it we have a two-month long festival dedicated to the awesomeness of our city being here at the intersection of two rivers. Hence, the 2Rivers Festival, which is now running through the rest of the month and on into June, and will now be discussed on this week's edition of the Guelph Politicast.

Now you'll recall that water was a big subject of conversation last fall, hundreds of people made themselves known that they were concerned about the protection of water resources from those that want to exploit it. But that's politics, the theme of 2Rivers is more about celebration and education, marking the beauty and significance of the Speed and Eramosa Rivers. It's a pretty important spot this place where the rivers meet, two months worth of commemorations important!

The 2Rivers Festival is now in its fifth year, spanning the months of May and June with a variety of outdoor activities including educational programs about the local birds and bugs, appreciation in the forms of hikes and bike tours, and right in the middle there's one of the oldest annual environmental activities in the city, the 2Rivers Clean-up (formally known as the Speed River Clean-up). The people putting together all this on an annual basis are volunteers, and two of them are guests on this week's podcast, Sue Rietschin and Paul Botros.

In talking about the 2Rivers Festival for this week's Politicast, I asked Sue and Paul about organizing the festival every year, how they co-ordinate the various groups and volunteers that take part, and why they think Guelph's rivers are so central to its identity. So if you haven't already, download this podcast and take it with you for a sunny walk or stroll down by the river with this new Guelph Politicast.

Festivities are currently underway, and will continue through May and June. For a full schedule of events for the 2Rivers Festival check the website for details and the program guide by clicking here.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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Open Sources Guelph - May 4, 2017

7May

This week's Open Sources Guelph will not begin until we're shown to our villa. But seriously, unlike a certain luxury music festival organized by the man that gave us "Thug Lovin'", or a certain American administration that we could name, this week's show will run like a Swiss watch. No guest this week, but we're going to have lots of discussion about 105 days of Trump, ranked ballots, refusing to pay rent, and why some people this week proved why their best work is behind them. 

This Thursday, May 4, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) (100) Days of Bummer. After marking 100 days with an old-fashioned rally with all his classic tropes and memes, President Donald Trump started his second hundred days opining the fact that Andrew Jackson died 16 years too soon to stop the Civil War, while his budget department tried to turn the fact that none of 45's goals were achieved in the Congressional budget deal into a win. In the meantime, the Russian interference investigation ramped up again, and the third attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare seemed doomed to failure thanks to mixed messaging and an intractable divide between the Freedom Caucus and moderate Republicans. Once more unto Trumpland, dear friends.

2) London Polling. The Ontario government opened up the possibility last year, but London has now become the first municipality in not just our province, but across the country, to move to a ranked ballot system. The vote seemed to be along a generational split, with rookie councillors in their first term voting in favour while veteran councillors sat opposed, but in the end, council embraced the future, and just under the deadline to arrange it for 2018. We'll look at why London went where no one else in Ontario has gone before, even Guelph, even though the Province of Ontario has opened the door wide for municipalities to make the leap.

3) Rent Control. People in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood are going on strike! Not against their employers, no, but against the management company that maintains two apartment buildings in the area. The residents are charging that the company  is raising rents while letting their buildings fall apart, which the tenants say is a conscious move on the part of their landlords to force them out and charge even higher rent. So they're going to hit the property owners where it hurts, the wallet. They're withholding $25,000 in monthly rent until the managers agree to no more rent increases and address needed repairs, but will it work? And if it does, will it catch on?

4) Free Fyre. What was supposed to be the hottest spot on a warming planet, saw hundreds of people got on planes and head to the Caribbean last Thursday for the most exclusive party of the year. So what does a $100K ticket price get you? Luxury accommodations in FEMA shelters, a crappy cheese sandwich, and half the top-billed ticket bailing before the show even started. As attendees tried to compare their situation to the plight of refugees, the rest of us enjoyed the proxy torture of over-privileged millennials who stupidly put their faith in Ja Rule, who apparently is still around. Were we a bit too eager to enjoy the suffering of people that put their faith in Instagram spokesmodels, or is their a real story here?

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.

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Open Sources Guelph - April 27, 2017

1May

It's a bit late, admittedly, but since we don't control time here on Open Sources Guelph (yet) we're going to make this Thursday Earth Day, and mark the occasion with a discussion with a couple of local environmental advocates. On top of that, we'll be talking to another NDP leadership candidate who was in town last week, and we'll be discussing a pilot project from the Ontario government to give the poor more certainty in these highly uncertain times. 

This Thursday, April 27, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Charlie in Charge. Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus was one of the first "big gets" we had here on Open Sources, and when he was in Guelph last week we made sure to get him again. Angus was in town to rally support for his leadership bid for the Federal New Democrats, the second of the five major candidates to visit the Royal City in the last month. While meeting with a small group of local politicos, we got the chance to talk to Angus about bringing honour back to politics, turning local issues into national priorities, and why simply giving lip service to change isn't enough anymore.

2) Basic Instinct. Following the example of other jurisdictions, Ontario has decided to experiment with a guaranteed basic income. Three cities in Ontario, including nearby Hamilton and Brantford, have been chosen as test sites for the new initiative that will aim to close the income gap by giving people enough money to live on with none of the usual string attached. It's a bold move, and one that a lot of anti-poverty activists have been pushing for, but will it make the difference needed for people below the poverty line? Also, is the Wynne government really serious about this, or are they trying to outmanoeuvre the NDP on the left after the New Democrats announced their universal Pharmacare plan?

3) Local Solutions. This past Saturday was Earth Day, and a fairly depressing one given recent events. Any progress meant to address global climate change at an international policy level in the last couple of years seems stymied by the election of a climate denying president in the U.S., and the growing focus on nativist populism in the west. So what are people doing? Returning to local solutions, it seems. We'll welcome Shayne Ward of Plastic Free Guelph and Susan Carey of Transition Guelph to the show to talk about fighting for environmental justice by doing the little things - banning straws, starting a tool library and repair workshops - and whether there's still hope in these disappointing times.

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #76 - Charlie Angus in the Green Room with a Story

26Apr

This time next month, the federal Conservative leadership race will be concluded, and we will know who the new leader of the Opposition is going to be. But when that race is over, there's still one more left to go, the competition for the leadership of the NDP, and there's a 1-in-5 chance that Charlie Angus will get the job.

Angus was in Guelph last Thursday in what might euphemistically be called "Charlie Angus Day." Angus made multiple stops around town, from a breakfast town hall to a local high school to a small gathering of curious politicos at the Bookshelf Green Room. This week's Guelph Politicast was recorded there as Angus tried to make a case for social justice, less cynicism, and more than just saying the word "reconciliation" in regards to how we treat our First Nations friends.

So in this week's Politicast, Angus reads from his book Children of the Broken Treaty, talks about why he's idealistically in love with Canada, how we need to find the will to enact progressive change, and how the people in industry he's talking to are preparing and waiting for the day that the government is finally going to lower the boom. He also makes a case for fairness, and how we need economic justice along with environmental justice, and how the two go hand-in-hand.

So let's go up to the Green Room and back in time a week, grab a coffee and listen to Charlie dream. Here's this week's Guelph Politicast.

To find out more about Charlie Angus' leadership campaign for the federal New Democratic Party, you can click here. We will also have an exclusive interview with Angus on tomorrow's Open Sources Guelph at 5 pm on CFRU.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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Open Sources Guelph - April 20, 2017

23Apr

With just a couple of days till the French go to the polls in a very consequential election, it was inevitable that we were going to talk about it on this week's Open Sources Guelph, so perhaps seeing how much fun they were having, Theresa May decided that she would call an election too in the United Kingdom. We're going to talk about those two races on this week's show, and then in the second half we'll bring things back home as we get to know another area Member of Provincial Parliament.

This Thursday, April 20, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) English MacGuffin? In a surprise move following the Easter weekend, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election about three years ahead of schedule. Why? She needs a strong mandate in order to get the best deal in the Brexit, she says. One would have thought that the referendum on the matter almost exactly one year ago would have settled that, but there you go and now Britons, Scots, the Irish and the Welsh will all head off to the polls in June. Is May looking for political cover on the controversial matter of Brexit, or is she just taking political advantage of perceived weaknesses among the opposition?

2) The French Connection. Meanwhile, across the Channel, the French are going to the polls this Sunday with the precarious race to replace Francois Hollande seen to have a high potential for a populist style upset akin to votes in favour of Brexit and Donald Trump. The National Front’s Marine Le Pen has politicos across Europe sweating because her victory will surely mean a France pullout of the E.U. and a likely collapse of the Eurozone, and now that polls are showing a tight race between her three competitors: independent Emmanuel Macron, Republican Francois Fillon and Communist-backed Jean-Luc Melenchon. Is the failure of the European Union almost complete, or is France going to turn the populist tide?

3) Harris Spiel. In exactly one week, the Ontario government will deliver its budget, the first in a long while that will be deficit free, according to the Finance Minster. A cause for celebration, right? Well our guest this week might disagree. Michael Harris is the Progressive Conservative MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga, and he's one of Premier Kathleen Wynne's most vocal critics. We'll talk to Harris about his budget expectations, the government's move on out of control housing prices and auto insurance, and the moves his own party is making as they look to next year's general election and the strong possibility that they might be taking the government side of legislature.

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.

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