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May 01, 2012

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It is about time..........

People still shop at warehouse stores? Aren't they generally closing more now than they are opening?

There are over 12,000 Guelphites who have Costco memberships. All driving out of Guelph to those locations. Costco will bring between 200-250 job opportunities to Guelph. They pay the highest wages of almost all “big box” stores and offer benefits to their employees. And they’re not union. They will offer consumer choice and pay taxes to the city so the burden of taxes on residential is lessened. As an anchor tenant to the commercial site they’ll also spur on other commercial opportunities for those in Guelph and more specifically in Ward 4. This is what I would call a “win-win-win-win-win”.
Cam Guthrie

Thanks Cam. Other than the major traffic issues and the impact on the surrounding neighbourhood, it does sound like a positive proposal.

Not really sure you needed to note that Costco is non-union, but I guess you are required to wave the anti-union Tory flag every once in while to keep your membership in good standing.

Traffic issues and impact on surrounding neighbourhood? Do you know something I don't? Any development such as this must have a traffic study I would think so we'll see what it says. The land is zoned as one of the four commercial nodes in the city and there's no residential really close to the site D.C. Hope to see you there with me buying our bulk toothpaste and cereal! :-)
Cam

This is great, from all accounts Costco is a fantastic employer who pays well above minimum wage.(I've heard its $14-$17/hr)

"No Residential Really Close" I guess is subjective to Cam. Citizens who have houses facing Elmira Road and Paisley should be thrilled to have cars competing with the bus noise. There presently appears to be a bus rumbling down Elmira every 10 minutes heading Fife way. Breaking the sound up with cars filled with toothpaste and cereal will be a real treat for them. Number one money maker for Costco is toilet paper, which is appropriate as this stinks from start (ripping down the Mitchel farm home, backfilling a woodlot) to finish (allowing Armel to regrade without a permit). Guess where John Wood got the idea for Hwy 124 and his future corn field currently being flatten.

Oh my God!
You mean to say they took down an old ugly firetrap so they could build something usefull?
What has the world come to?
Those nice people on Elmira or Paisley who complain about traffuc or noise are the same type of folks who move under a flight path and complain about airplanes.
Oh, and the non-union thing, GOOD!!
The more the better.

"Oh, and the non-union thing, GOOD!!
The more the better."

The more what, the better?
Working poor? Injured workers? Families without benefit coverage?

No Steve:
More employment, more progress, more free capital solutions to modern problems, more affordable products for those less wealthy and a continuation of what has made North America so much better than than countries who won't embrace the free market system and instead have chosen to languish under the beleaf that they should all have the same amount regardless of skill, ability or talent.

And yes, I know !
I can't spell worth a (you fill in the blank).

You don't see the benefit in unions, Doug. Fair enough.

By the way, kudos to Cam Guthrie for politicizing and dividing people on what otherwise should have been a generally positive announcement. I'm still not sure what the unionization of a potential employer/employee has to do with anything here. Maybe Cam is trying to suggest that Guelph is a great place for setting up non-union shops. Or maybe not. Maybe he felt a need to say this employer can pay a decent wage and provide benefits without having to be unionized. I wonder where he heard that. Win-win. Hmmmmm, interesting.

No D C .
It was you that mad it political.
You posted:
Not really sure you needed to note that Costco is non-union, but I guess you are required to wave the anti-union Tory flag every once in while to keep your membership in good standing.
If that isn't a political statement, then explain why you made it.
BTW. Most employers in Canada are non union and most people seem to be doing OK.
They are the folks willing to work hard and fend for themselves.
They also don't want thier wages tied to the lowest common denominator.
The guy who live on the next street over works at Toyota and can't say enough good things about the non union environment.

Ugh, of course I posted that, Doug.

I was highlighting what was a completely unnecessary and irrelevant statement that Cam made: "They pay the highest wages of almost all “big box” stores and offer benefits to their employees. AND THEY'RE NOT UNION." ... presumably, one of the "wins", otherwise why state it?

He has still not yet explained why he felt a need to explicitly state that this was a non-union shop, quite intentionally juxtaposed with his statement that the company will pay well and provide benefits - clearly a dig, albeit perhaps too subtle for some, at unions.

If Cam Guthrie is anti-union, then he should simply state that outright so Guelph voters will know that when election time comes around again.

Oh D.C. I don't know what you have against Cam, but nitpicking is borderline childish. Cam could say the sky is blue on a sunny day and you would find some issue with it.

Hey D.C. maybe you should go for coffee with Cam and get to know him instead of the continuous drive by smears.

I dare you! Send him and email and setup a 1 on 1 to talk about issues. You may find that you're more alike than you think, or not, either way I think its a good idea.

For the record Cam is a good friend of mine, and I know for a fact he would be delighted at the chance to meet you.

What say you?

OK, in regards to the Costco. I think it's a great idea. That area was planned out as a commercial node years ago, the roads are in place, the location is great so let's do it.

The reduction in traffic going to Costco's in to other cities will yield a reduction in traffic along those roads and GHGs.

I hate going to the Cambridge Costo, I hate the drive and how busy it is. The local one will be far more convenient and accessible. And I'm sure the city will appreciate the jobs and tax revenue! Maybe my sons can get some PT work there.

Also what I would like to see tied into the development is access to Elmira road for the West end rec center. Perhaps the Costco and Rec Center driveways could be designed such that they are across from each other and lighted for safely like the Zehrs exit in Paisley.

Perfect Karl, then you can tell me whether Cam Guthrie is anti-union or not. He doesn't seem to want to answer my question here himself.

You are free to call my inquiry "nitpicking", Karl, but when a City Councillor posts in a public forum that a potential employer setting up shop in town is not unionized, is it not legitimate to ask why he said that?

Why would it make any difference to a City Councillor whether a potential employer is or is not unionized? Should unionized shops be worried?

I too would like to know Cam Guthrie's stance on unions. I think it's a fair question. Care to re-enter the conversation Councillor?

Whoa....I go away for bit and lots of dialogue. First of all, D.C I actually would love to chat over a coffee sometime. I'll await you to contact me through my website. That goes for anyone here. Now, the union thing. D.C was right to pick out my "win-win-win" comment and make it associated with the union comment. I can see how it came across that way so kudos to him or her. However, truthfully it was not meant that way. I was saying it because the common arguments from those that oppose "big box" stores are that they are "underpaid, minimum wage, no benefits" jobs and that the only way they can get benefits, better pay etc…is that they should all be unionized. I had just talked with someone about the Costco development the day before I originally wrote my comment who said exactly that, so it must have been top of mind for me as I was writing. That's all I was trying to get at. I'm not anti-union. I'm pro taxpayer. I don't care if you're union or non-union, just prove to me that you’re the best for the job.
Cam

Frankly D C I don't have to tell you anything, and besides I'm not at liberty to do so.

But I do know Cam would be delighted to meet you at a Tim's for coffee (or beverage of your choice).

It seems you have avoided the possibly of talking to Cam directly, face to face. Really, we're all adults here, nothing to be afraid of, so what gives D C?

Or would you rather just continue with the drive by smears?

DC seems to be great here with his comments. He brings a lot of logical thinking. However, DC, you are out in left field when it comes to Cam Guthrie. The gauntlet has been thrown and yet you do not action the opportunity to meet with Cam. What gives? Even I stand up to what I say. And when wrong I will admit it, after all its all about educating right. The subject is Costco and I think it's great. Union or otherwise and frankly I'm anti-union only because I have never belonged to one.

I don't think DC needs to meet Cam to be allowed to criticize his comments. Cam chose to be a councilor and criticism comes with the job. Cam is very conservative and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if he was anti-union.
That said, if DC is considering a meetup then he should definitely do it. Cam is a great guy who I've met a few times and consider a friend. But I'd never vote for him.

if people are commenting on whether the place is unionized or not then they must have serious issues, it was the same before Wal-mart came to Guelph, someone complained because the candy aisle was the first aisle you see in the grocery section and that it would promote being overweight. If people have to nitpick everything like that then they must have serious issues that need to be checked by a psych.

Well I will say it: I do not like Cam Guthrie's opinion and the reason why is because I disagree with most of what you have to say. Are you a nice person? I don't know, what I do know is that your elected and have a marginal influence on Guelph and that affects me and my family. And no I do not need to meet you for coffee. And Karl et al. I find it amusing that you challenge people who disagree with Mr. Guthrie and elude to hiding when they do not want to meet Cam. I own 3 businesses here in Guelph, have been active in the community for almost 20 years. What I have observed is that Mr. Guthrie is obviously very passionate about his beliefs and obviously has a loyal following. However, some things to consider (which I learned the hard way) Just because you have convictions and are passionate about them, doesn't make you right. Also the more polarized you are the more eventually you will be tuned out. Nothing is black and white and every decision you make does have various consequences.

I think that Costco coming to Guelph is fantastic. The fact that the location is right around the corner is an extra bonus. It doesn't pay to go to Kitchener store for a small order plus the time to get there and back. Just please, please, don't make the same mistake that Home Depot did. The Home Depot store is only about 2/3 the size of the Kitchener and Cambridge stores. Many times the Guelph store doesn't stock the item requested and I have to go to Kitchener or Cambridge anyways. So please, make the new Costco store the same size as the Kitchener store to begin with!!!

I'm all for Costco coming to town but please get the traffic plans right. There is all kinds of space around this proposed development and a cavalcade of highly paid experts on the city payroll. No excuses in three years.

For all you anti-union folks out there, try reading this...

http://www.behindthenumbers.ca/2011/10/03/why-unions-matter/

We got to where we are BECAUSE of unions. Your dad was probably in a union. His dad was probably in a union too. We now have laws to protect workers, thanks to unions, but without a union, if you are wronged, your only recourse is to hire a lawyer if you can afford one or take your issue to a labour review board which is usually anti-union, pro-employer. Don't bother with any in-house dispute resolution process. It would be folly to think they would ever find themselves guilty of any wrongdoing and then sanction themselves. Also, I wish you luck in finding a fellow worker to testify on your behalf. Very few in the workplace will risk their jobs to support your cause even if you are right. Employers at non-union shops know this and many fully take advantage.

Remember, Costco has a lot of great people working in the trenches. What you may not know is that many of them are treated horribly by management. The starting wage is in the low $12 range. Sorry, Ernie, it is only slightly better than Loblaws, Dominion or Wal-Mart. They get VERY small (1% - ish) pay raises that come every 1,000 or so hours. That won't keep up with inflation. After several years, many simply feel that they have nowhere else to go. Most have no skills to make themselves more employable. When the Guelph store opens, ask the employees if they are paid enough to live comfortably.

I have two friends that have been with Costco for several years. Trust me, they are among the working poor and with little hope for a better future. I sincerely hope they DO unionize. In fact, for all of you Costco employees reading this, DO IT - organize yourselves and join a union. For the rest of you, do what I do when I shop at Costco...smile at the hourly employees and try to understand that they are fighting very hard to survive in a tough, harsh world.

Sorry for hi-jacking this thread but some of the pro-Costco, anti-union propaganda got me pretty riled-up. Okay, stepping down from my soapbox now...

I think Costco FINALLY coming to Guelph is fantastic! But Guelph being Guelph, there is bound to be a group people complaining about traffic, trees, air, lizzards, etc...What else is new?

I like costco family coming to guelph thats good for guelph

Cam wrote on May 2, 2012, "Traffic issues and impact on surrounding neighbourhood? Do you know something I don't?"

Hmmm, looks like there are traffic issues afterall ...

Sept 22, 2012 Merc article: "Residents brace for traffic problems as Costco advances through city’s application process"

http://www.guelphmercury.com/news/local/article/804499--residents-brace-for-traffic-problems-as-costco-advances-through-city-s-application-process

Great!
After this is built it will be much easier to get to the Manor! Mr. Cohen will be so happy!

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How can i apply for a job at costco??

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Joanne

Joanne Shuttleworth is the newsroom lead in municipal affairs coverage for the Guelph Mercury. She is a former Guelph YWCA Woman of Distinction honouree and a past winner of an Ontario Newspapers Award for her work as an editor. You can reach her at jshuttleworth@guelphmercury.com

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About Chris

  • Chris Herhalt
    covers municipal affairs and politics for the Guelph Mercury. Prior to joining the Mercury he worked at The Record of Waterloo Region and at The Canadian Press. He can be reached at cherhalt@guelphmercury.com