The Provincial Water taking file (I believe) has been a valuable process for our council, community and staff to go through together. What started out as a very aggressive motion brought forward by Councilor Gordon and Allt, eventually turned into a well focused discussion on how Guelph might influence the governance review of the water taking process in our province. Governance that should always be grounded in science; where priority uses can be established for municipalities and others.
I sincerely want to thank all of the residents and business owners in Guelph who have reached out to me over the past few weeks expressing appreciation that this file was steered away from it’s original tone. Many in our community have felt alienated by things that have been said during this process and to those people, I want to acknowledge that I heard your voices very clearly. While often too intimidated to speak up, I thank you for reaching out to me.
Guelph is very passionate about water, but our passion should always remain grounded in the science of sustainable resource development and priority uses; not on personal value judgements alone. For these reasons I commend staff for their work on this file. For listening to council and the community and for developing recomendations that (I wholeheartedly believe) accurately reflect our collective water security concerns. The recomendations and report are defensible and most importantly are respectful of the relationships we have with our surrounding townships and the businesses where many of our residents work. Residents and their families who are valued members of our Guelph community.