Four out of five ain't bad

Saturday, November 1, 2003

  • Billy Craven railing at the University

    Billy Craven railing at the University

Written by Sean Kelly (cannon.ca contributor)

Four of Guelph’s mayoral candidates convened in the UC Courtyard on October 28th to discuss their plans and ideas for the future of the city of Guelph. The event drew a sizeable crowd of concerned students, as well as various other interested members of the Guelph community.

The candidates present were: Kurt Krausewitz, Karen Farbridge (the current mayor), Billy Craven, and Kate Quarrie. John Ustation, a fifth candidate, unfortunately could not attend.

Each candidate began by delivering a brief, opening statement that introduced themselves to the audience. The candidates were then asked a set of predetermined questions by the panel moderators, followed by a chance for the audience to ask questions and bring up issues.

The questions were generally very informed and well thought out. The main issues seemed to be Guelph’s transit system, problems with water shortages, waste reduction, the need for more social housing, and the plans for a new multimillion dollar City Hall. There is also controversy over whether Wal-Mart’s request for the city to rezone a patch of land - to allow for a ‘big box’ Wal-Mart store - is valid, and whether the Wellington Detention Centre in Guelph should be converted to a federal holding prison for ‘dangerous’ illegal immigrants.

The event concluded with a closing statement by each candidate (excluding Kate Quarrie, who had to leave early due to another commitment), summing up their political platform. All the candidates encouraged the audience to vote and to get involved with city council; community input is always needed.

Overall, the forum was well-planned and proceeded smoothly. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the mayoral candidates and about the City of Guelph in general.

I encourage you to get informed and get involved if you are an eligible voter. As a student here in Guelph, you will be affected by the results of the election. Election Day is Monday November 10, 2003. There will be no polling stations on campus, but you can cast your ballot at the Cutten Club (190 College Avenue E.), just north of campus. You can also find out more about Guelph’s municipal election, voter eligibility, and polling stations at the following website:

City of Guelph Website

For more information and opinions on current issues in Guelph, and more about the candidates themselves, try out these websites:

Guelph Alert
The Fountain Pen – Guelph’s Online Newspaper

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