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March 28, 2014


Oh goody!
Yet another left wing nutty idea for wealth redistribution.
Let's make sure we spend 2 or 3 times more than we should for poor quality products from third world countries so we can be fair to those poor people.

You prefer being unfair, Doug?

And the "left wing nutty idea" has been implemented in the Alberta cities of Canmore and Olds, both of which are in the most conservative riding in the country.

Perhaps you should find out a bit more about Fairtrade.
They seem to have some rather large ethical issues and are nothing more than a marketing group.
Try reading this Bloomberg article for starters.
Bloomberg is notably left wing.

If living in the real world and not needing to buy into a scam makes me unfair, then I 'm gladly unfair.


I read the article and can't for the life of me figure out how you got the idea that the concept of Fair Trade is "nothing more than a marketting group".

It sounds like there is a difference of opinion in the direction of the Fair Trade movement and the city should be careful about what part of it they choose to endorse.

I am a bit skeptical of the claims about how the farmers should get ahead by increasing production. There isn't room to get into it, but as an ex farmer I can tell you that a lot of the promises that agronomists make don't pan out nearly as well as they say they will.

Just for fun, here's another one.


Fairtrade, I'm not buying. just more feel good propaganda.

Wow, Doug, where did you find this Peter Griffiths guy? He gives no references or citations for his claims, and also has absolutely zero internet presence beyond his personal web site. What are his bona fides? How are we to know whether he's a random internet crank? Or if he's really a doctor?

At least the Bloomberg piece has some merit (and it's good to keep the heat on disreputable corporations profiting from the fair trade label).


I've read a couple of Griffiths' essays on the website you posted. Very interesting stuff. It does seem very speculative, however. He does argue, however, that it is almost impossible to do any primary research on the situation because of things like there being a lack of a baseline to compare to, the threat of violence that exists in many third world nations, etc.

I do get the impression throughout what I've read, however, that some of his concerns are based on a theoretical (or, perhaps, ideological) belief in the inherent superiority of free markets. The problem with this, however, is that such things rarely exist. The people who support the Fair Trade copyright would argue that independent middlemen/coyotes take far too much money from the farmers, whereas Griffiths argues that in many cases they do not.

The question that comes to my mind is also whether or not the Fair Trade that he is discussing is as monolithic as described. I wonder, for example, if the "Fair Trade" coffee that the Williams Coffee pub sells on campus is anything like the "Fair Trade" coffee that Planet Bean sells.

I don't have an opinion about this, but I certainly think that the questions that Griffiths raises should be part of the discussion that goes on when City Council debates the issue.

One point, however. If you want to influence people I've found that making an argument using evidence goes a lot farther than either making generalized emotive statements, or, throwing articles at people and expecting them to do all the work. It might have been a lot more productive for you to summarize some of the key points for everyone else, then suggest that people read the essays for further edification.

Some good points Fred.
But, as has been the case in other threads, people do not generally accept other people's views and experiences as being factually based.
Foe example, Steve does not accept the credentials of Griffiths.
Nothing I can do about that, but to say his creds are every bit as good as our mayor's.
No point in arguing. We just don't agree.
But, sometimes it's better to let people do their own homework.
Less chance of confusion.
I will take note that Faitrade Canada, in it's publication and marketing manual, requests that participants use the term "Fair Trade" rather than "Fairtrade" for marketing purposes.
Sounds a lot like mediaspeak to me.
My point is this. I don't care what kind of coffee you or anybody else drinks.
I don't even care if you drink coffee.
I just don't want the city to be required to buy only Fairtrade coffee, at extra cost, and I sure don't think they should be promoting any outside products with tax dollars.


I think you miss the point of my comments. I don't know anything at all about Griffiths credentials. He could be a total flake for all I know, but I have worked in community economic development projects and understand that wishful thinking and political correctness can blind people's objectivity.

The point that I got from Griffiths arguments was that he felt that the Fair Trade system is not delivering the help to poor farmers that it says it does. If so, I find that a catastrophic finding. If, on the other hand, it does provide aid proportional to the effort, then I am fully behind the program.

Your statement "My point is this. I don't care what kind of coffee you or anybody else drinks." sounds like you are making another assertion, namely that you don't want any sort of ethical consideration to go into procurement policy. This is most emphatically not the point that Griffiths is trying to make.

There is a difference between disagreeing whether or not a given policy lives up to its stated goals, and, refusing to see any value in those goals at all. Personally, I try to live a life that imposes as little suffering on others as possible. I feel sorry for you if you cannot see any sense in such a course of action.

Good for you Fred. You are a far better person than me.
I admire your goals and beliefs.
Help as many people as you want.
Tell your family and friends.
Start a petition at the university.
Pawn the family jewels.
Do a bottle drive.
Collect cans.
Sell apples.
Sell bodily fluids.
Get a job and donate you salary.


I hope that you never need a helping hand in your life and find that it is missing. Unfortunately, most people are not that lucky. We are a community, not a collection of isolated individuals. I am saddened that you feel so alienated from your fellow citizens.

No Fred, we are individuals. Not a commune, a collective or a village. That's how our society was founded.
If I ever need help, I'll ask. but it's not right for me to demand help or con anyone else into providing it.
Charity is not a God given right. It's just a good thing.It's unfortunate that you think luck, how you grew up or your surroundings play such a major role in your life.
I,on the other hand, think that hard work and creativity are far more important.
If only you had been taught how to think rather than what to think.

Whenever I hear someone proclaim themselves a "self made man", all I see is someone who lacks the awareness to see the myriad ways that the world has helped and sustained him, and, who suffers from a profound lack of gratitude.

I recall a few years ago when some stonework was being done downtown. A neighbour who works in that business lamented the fact that the City hired a non-local firm because it came in with the lowest bid. "Why can the City not hire local folks?", he wondered, but recognized it could not because it's own policy prevented it from going with anyone other than the lowest bidder, even on such a relatively small expenditure.

Fair trade is almost always not the lowest priced option. It has built in premiums that benefit the producers, distributors, etc., in the spirit of the fair trade approach. Fair enough. Some people choose to pay more to buy that product for various ethical reasons.

What I wonder is if the City was prevented from hiring local workers because of its own purchasing policies, then how can it pay the premium on any fair trade goods? Frankly, I would it rather hire local folks than buy coffee from a fair trade farmer. Seems like a fundamental contradiction.

Just like Obama eh Fred.
You didn't build that.
He's a socialist to.

No Doug, I didn't build the roads, schools, etc. I find it amazing that living in such a complex world some people think that there is such a thing as "self-made men". The level of denial needed to sustain such a manifest fiction is mind boggling.


I think you raise a good point. It strikes me that if the city is going to bring some sort of preferred purchasing system into play it will have to develop a sophisticated system to monitor contracts. It is all very well to source local, but we don't want to end up wasting huge amounts of money doing so. Moreover, there is an enormous amount of "green washing" in the world, we also don't want to pay a premium for something that is just a lie.

I think that it is a worthwhile exercise to consider doing this, but I am concerned about the details of whatever plan is proposed to be adopted.

You can't be that dense Fred.
Just who do you think builds roads, schools and infer structure in general?
They money fairy?
Or maybe it was magic.
No, it was paid for by people like me and other hard workers.
What government program did the Wright brothers or Bell take advantage of in order to be so innovative?
Too bad you can't achieve anything without help.


Let me see. According to Wikipedia, Orville and Wilbur Wright went to a high school. Government funded public schools in the USA only came about after political battles. They also used information from the US government Weather Bureau to decide where to locate in order to do their flight studies. It also says that while the Wrights were not originally funded by the government, other researchers in the field were, which would have meant that they benefited from this public money through reading the journal articles published by these other researchers. As well, it appears that they had a contract with the US Army in 1907 that did involve government support. See:


As for Bell, he seems to have gone to three prestigious schools: the Royal High School in Edinburgh, the University of Edinburgh and the University of London. No doubt tuition was paid at all three, but he was LUCKILY born into a wealthy family so he could afford it. Beyond the tuition, however, these sorts of institutions have always been subsidized by the state (just like our current ones.) This means that he was both wise in his choice of parents and subsidized by the state. Like the Wright bros, he too benefited from research undertaken by others at government funded facilities.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Graham_Bell

Like everyone else, the Wright brothers and Alexander Graham Bell benefited from the society they inhabited, the particular circumstances of their birth, and the programs of their government.

Just repeating platitudes doesn't make them true.

You've touched on a good point, Doug...did the government build those things or did citizens build them through their taxes? The answer, of course, is that they are one and the same. The government is us, and we are the government. We have a system where ordinary people are self-governing through directly elected representatives (as opposed the the old way of rule from above by royalty and nobility).

There is great benefit to building publicly owned infrastructure from pooled resources. It lets us all have what none of us could afford on our own. Public institutions are vital to the innovation and success of individuals, including Bell and the Wrights. They built on the previous work of others with the help of public libraries and research institutions, and were protected by government patent systems after their inventions were complete. Similarly, many of our modern high-tech innovators get super-rich developing programs for the internet, which was invented and developed by American (DARPA) and European (CERN) tax-funded government research institutions, and then claim to be self-made with no government help! What a joke!

Without public institutions and programs, none of us...none of us...would have the relative wealth and quality of life we enjoy today. But people like you seem to want those benefits without having to contribute to the system that helped create them. Doesn't sound fair, does it?

what about people who abuse social programs to get free money or free handouts?

We never touched on that.

Like I don't think my tax dollars should go towards their beer, cigarettes, fast food and video games.

They represent a small minority of social assistance recipients. I'd love to reduce abuse of the system as much as anyone, but the reality is that a more rigorous investigation of abuse claims would cost more than it would save.

Besides, you should be more concerned about corporate abuse of public programs. It's a much bigger problem in terms of $$$ wasted. Are you upset when your tax dollars go straight into the pockets of millionaires? You should be.

The thing is the news rarely ever reports that side of the story, unless I am not reading the best news sources... I never really heard of the corporate abuse of public programs though

Just saying:

I have no doubt at all that people abuse social programs. But I have known people that others thought were abusing programs and learned that they were not. For example, I know one guy who was on a disability pension for years. People couldn't understand why they could see him out working on his truck or riding a motorcycle. What they didn't know was that he has lupus, which means at for about a week every month he was totally debilitated with crazy arthritis. They also didn't know that for the same reason he has trouble sleeping, which means that he can go weeks without anything approaching a good night's sleep, which makes him incapable of getting along with other people because of his wild fluctuations in temper. How could anyone hold down a job with his problem---even though he has many good days where he is quite functional?

I know another woman who is also very intelligent and very motivated. Unfortunately once or twice a year she has a month where she hallucinates like crazy and suffers from wild delusions. These events come totally at random and she has no control over them. When she has them, all she can do is hide in her house and try not to interact with others. No doubt her neighbours would consider her as a welfare abuser. Before she came down with this ailment, she had an exemplary service record in the army and was a very successful retail store manager. But how in heaven's name can she get a job with this condition?

I could cite a lot of other examples.

I do have problems with our welfare system. For one, it discourages people from trying to get out of their problems. (That's called the "welfare trap".) I also think that the world of business is so complex nowadays that it is very hard to find an employer that will make allowances for people with "issues". Part of that is no doubt due to government regulation, but I suspect most of it is simply because everything is so complex and competitive that most businesses would consider it an unfair burden to try and make allowances for people like my two friends.

As for not knowing about corporate abuse of public programs----.

I don't know about you, but I've read about lots and lots of them. More recently, what do you think all the corruption probes against municipal governments in Quebec are all about? Here's just one example that I found at immediately using Google:


There's this thing that philosophers have identified in public discourse: confirmation bias. That's when people seek out information that reinforces their preconceived assumptions and ignore information that contradicts it. It takes a fair amount of self-discipline to try and be objective in the way you look at the world. I would suggest that it is tremendously important for people to actively try and stretch their minds as much as possible by trying to look at things from another point of view, and seek out information to see if it supports or opposes our governing assumptions.

Wow Doug. I cannot believe you have the gall to write what you do. I hope I never run into you in the city. Yuck. Yes, we are individual human beings but we have elected to live in a community and this we are inherently responsible for that community. If you do not feel the need to be responsible for your community and wellness of what surrounds you then it sounds to me like you need to live away from everyone.

Guelpher, I feel sorry for you and others that think like you.
What price do you put on individual responsibility?
My guess is nit much. It's all about the collective.
Want to be a serf, go ahead.
I choose to be a free man and look after myself.
And Fred, I was wrong. You are that dense.
Where do you think the all powerful government gets the money for these fabulous programs and services?
Don't give a lecture on socialism, just answer the question.
Self made men have allowed government to provide for the less industrious and the lazy and rightfully those who can't do for themselves.
The latter being the only ones entitled to those benefits.

Sorry for the typo
I meant not much.


It doesn't matter how much evidence people marshal to show that there are no such things as "self made men", you just will not admit it. You don't offer any evidence, you just keep repeating over and over and over again the same assertions. In critical thinking, I call this the "cement head defense", it is the equivalent of "rope a dope" in boxing. You just ignore logic and evidence until the other side just gives up and finds something more profitable to do with their time.

This is a very effective debating tool, but I doubt if it is a strategy that any successful person ever used to make important life choices. If you used this type of thinking to wire your house, for example, there's a good chance that it would burn down.

And yet again , you avoid answering the question.
Give up Freddy you're done.


There was a question? You are the guy who is opposed to taxes. People work, get some money in the bank, and the government taxes it. What is the mystery? You are the person who suggests that people can boot-strap themselves into existence without any help from anyone else. I never suggested that government did the same thing.

Let me see, this error in critical thinking is called, I believe, miss-direction. You are suggesting that you have some deep point when in actual fact you are just trying to throw sand in the eyes of casual observers.

Still no answer?
Where does government get the money?
Only a hard question for stupid people.

Why do some folks here always want to turn everything into a left-right debate?

Fred thinks everyone owes the government, not only for the benefits received, but anything achieved by individuals after having received such benefits.

Fred misses the point that the individuals paid for those benefits.

Doug points that out.

Fred carefully misses Doug's point, and instead talks about how much we owe the big, friendly government.

Doug points the fact of taxation out again, and again Fred carefully avoids the point.

Interestingly, the math is even worse for government. The taxpayers pay in, and in turn receive services that cost what they put in, multiplied by the efficiency of government.

Sometimes that's very efficient, due to economies of scale and such.

Sometimes the benefits are expensive but intangible, like military security.

And sometimes the benefits are lost in a huge flood of unionized waste and disorganized ineptitude.

I don't think Doug's against decent services for a decent price. My read is that he just wants the waste trimmed to a reasonable level, and for Fred to stop claiming collective credit for individual success that he had nothing to do with.

Interestingly, I like fair trade coffee. It offers the consumer a choice of paying more to support the grower. If that's indeed what happens, more power to them.

I could quibble about use of the word fair. What, exactly is unfair about paying the going market rate for a pound of coffee beans or a shirt from Bangladesh? Cheap, yes, unfair, hmmm.

At the heart of it seems to be some kind of moral belief that there is an obligation to redistribute wealth. If you have something, the very fact that you have it obligates you to share it.

Religious holdover? Not sure. But I think that's the root of why most issues end up as a left-right debate, DC.


No Grumpy you just don't "get it", do you?

Doug is making wild, over generalizations and I am simply trying to point out that there is no such thing as a "self-made man". No one is an island, we all benefit from society. That is not the same thing as saying that the effort we put into our lives has no effect, it is necessary, but not SUFFICIENT.

Doug gave specific examples of people whom he thought were "self-made men", namely the Wright brothers and Alexander Graham Bell. I quickly showed that this is an over-generalization, as both benefited from subsidized educations and the scientific community. In addition Bell came from a wealthy family and the Wrights were subsidized by the US Army. Steve went on to point out that all of them benefited from the Patent law system.

Doug doesn't feel any responsibility to other people in society. All I am trying to do is point out that society cannot exist if lots of people have this attitude and that it is based on a profound lack of gratitude for all the many ways all of us are supported by the community.

Doug simply ignored the points Steve and I made. IGNORED, he didn't rebuff them. He didn't refute them. He IGNORED them. Instead, he just continued to make wild over-generalizations again and again. This is, as I characterized it, the "cement head" defense. It is a profoundly arrogant thing to do in a discussion. It is what trolls do on discussion lists.

As for the Left/Right thing.

The issue of Fair Trade is debatable. If it is true, as Griffiths argues in his website, that almost all the extra money paid for things like Fair Trade coffee goes to administrative costs (the several layers of co-ops he describes) and that only relatively well-off growers benefit from Fair Trade, then we should be very careful about locking the city into a Fair Trade procurement policy.

Please note, however, this is a discussion based on facts and details, not wild arm flailing about people being "givers" and "takers". Is it too much to ask people to use logic and evidence to discuss issues on this discussion board instead of making wild over-generalizations?

Nice to see that Grumpy get's the point.
Simple and straightforward.
Without guys like he and I paying for government, there would be no programs.
The guy that invented the wheel wasn't on a government grant.

Doug and Grumpy are rebutting the argument that everything a successful individual creates is owed to the government and none of it comes from the individual's efforts. The trouble is, nobody here has made that argument. Not Fred and not me. They have created a straw man and proceed to argue against it.
This is a common rhetorical tactic used when facts, logic, and evidence aren't in your favour.


You are wasting your time. Fred doesn't cover his share of municipal costs nor does he cover his share of federal costs. You and I pay for Fred so he can afford an internet connection, which allows himself to lecture us on how we should not complain about paying more tax. Here is some logic Fred - either go out and get a second job so that the taxes you pay cover you plus someone else or lobby the government to cut expenses so that your current payments match the expenses. Otherwise, just thank Doug for picking up the tab.


So living frugally now officially being a "freeloader". Welcome to the world of conservative logic.

Some basic rules of life:
1. Don't hurt people.
2. Don't take their stuff.
3. Pay your own way.
4. Mind your own business.
5. Be self reliant.
6. Work hard.
7. Don't concern yourself with what others think about you.
8. Family always comes first.
9. Only help those who can't help themselves. Then, do as much as possible.
10. Don't assume that government is acting in your best interest.

Actually, Steve, there's a lot of waste in the social service sector. And by a lot, I mean most of it.

Actually, Steve, it was Fred who made the argument you mentioned. Several times. You know where to put your straw man.

Actually, I did get what you were saying, Fred. Only too well. You were pointing out that none of us are self-made. You said that we failed to factor in the benefits we received from government, such as education, infrastructure, and security. You provided examples.

I get what you're saying. I've heard that argument for twenty years. It's not new.

Thanks, by the way, for saying that our achievements are not our own. What a sad world you live in.

Then Doug and I pointed out that we pay for all the government services you claim did so much for us.

Did you get that, Fred?

No? Sigh. Smaller words and bigger letters.

If we get free stuff, we are not self-made, and we owe those who gave us the stuff.

If we pay for our stuff, and we use it to get more stuff, we are self made, don't owe for stuff.

There. Five letters, max. Even Fred and Steve should be able to figure it out.


If you pay the guy who comes to pick up the dog crap off your lawn, and then you use the time you would have been picking up dog crap to go make a million dollars, do you owe the guy who picked up the crap from your lawn? Are you not self-made because he was there, heroically shoveling crap so you could go to work?

No! Only a complete communist would say so. You PAID the dog crap guy.

In the same way, I pay the government to make sure that the lights stay on, the roads get repaired, and crap flushes downhill. I don't owe government a damn thing.

(Come to think of it, I'll bet I've invested a lot more in peace, order, and good government than you have, Mr. Freddie not-self-made. And I don't mean money.)

And I'm not happy with the value I've received. (See Doug's examples of waste and inept management.) If a contractor overcharges you, he owes you, not the other way around. If government overcharges me why, in your book, do I owe it?

Do you get that, Fred?

To extend your metaphor....If you pay the dog crap guy to clean your lawn, the value of that is quantifiable. But if you pay a guy to prevent dogs from crapping there in the first place, you have no idea what value you receive. That's the difference between the left and the right in a nutshell...the right doesn't see the value directly so they assume it's zero, or at least much much less than it actually is.
This applies to almost all government services. What is the value of a public library system you don't personally use? Zero? What about social services? Education? Public transit? Parks and recreation? A downtown people use? Reducing landfill needs? And that's just at the municipal level.
I get that you don't see a value in these things because you cant see beyond your own immediate uses and can't grasp the complexity and interconnectedness of it all. You see surfaces only. Look closer.

Hear, hear Steve!
Interesting to note how heated and personal Doug gets in his rebuttal to Fred and how fact-based and rational Fred is to Doug.

Steve, for once, you're right.

Public libraries I don't use: $0.
Public transit system I don't use: $0.
Social services I don't use: $0.
Not having to pay for stuff I don't use: priceless.

Pay for what you use, I'll pay for what I use!

Leftys always think we can't follow their arguments.

Yes, I get that social services aren't quite zero value because they keep people off the street where they would be troublesome, they allow kids of useless parents to have a shot at being productive, and they provide a safety net for people who are only temporarily unproductive. And yes, I get all the other lefty arguments about how valuable government is. In fact, if you've thought of one I haven't heard before, I'll buy you a beer. Good, luck, I've been arguing with socialists for a long time.

Hell, having seen what happens when there's no security, I place a *very high* value on some government services: military, emergency, and law enforcement. (Sometimes you need security a lot more urgently than you need food, water, shelter, or anything else. It's not nice and should be strenuously avoided.) Incidentally, I've also seen what happens when cities don't have sewer systems, so government engineers also get high marks.

And I'll bet I can follow the economic incentives better than you can.

That said, you've put your finger on it in one very important respect. I've been wondering for a long time why otherwise intelligent individuals can be so very left-leaning fiscally. I like and respect some of these people. Their brains are demonstrably not fried. They can do simple arithmetic, why do they choose to ignore it so stubbornly?

You said it, it's the value judgement. They put a very high value on equality of condition, emotional well-being, charity, and community.

I value freedom, self-determination, equality of opportunity, and private property.

You can pretty much trace all the arguments back to that.

You like the idea of people who buy their books from iTunes also paying for other people's paper borrowing, and see lots ways that having others reading on my dime benefits me. My choice in the matter doesn't bother you. You figure we should all pay for social programs together, from each of us according to our means, and see plenty of upside for those whose ability earned the means to do the paying.

I don't. At least not for social services, much.

Not being an extreme Libertarian, I suspect that I can agree with you on collective payment for some things. I can also predict that we'll disagree over funding and taxation levels, and on what programs. It'll probably be on the same old right-left lines.

You accuse me of being unable to appreciate the beautiful kumbaya interconnectedness of how we're all on this planet together and have to help each other as part of a community. You probably agree with Fred that none of us are self-made, because each of us depend on the others. Heard it before.

In return, I accuse you of an emotional or religious disconnect with reality to the extent that you cannot clearly differentiate between a logical case for collective assistance and a mindless waste of money. Funded by others, of course, because you are equally blind to the coercion required to build your pricey utopia. You've probably heard that before, too.

None of this is new. Been argued since before I was around. Same old, same old.

(The difference, BTW, is that your way might be more emotionally fulfilling, but my way doesn't need so much state coercion. If you think that's not a big advantage, ask a Tunesian fruit seller.)

Here's what interests me: What is the right balance?

It's pretty clear that some kind of social safety net, Darwin forgive us, is necessary. Same for a lot of other stuff that I can tolerate in moderation.

Where's the right mix? The Americans aren't bothering to try for middle ground, but their checks-and-balances system rattles, creaks, and groans to more-or-less force them into some resemblance of an ideal compromise. Expensively and under protest, but intact.

My conclusion is that we've swung too far to the left in many ways. Self determination is fading, freedom is undervalued. We over-regulate and under-perform. We sue too often and take responsibility too seldom. We baby our kids and leave them unprepared. Unions get fat and protect the incompetent. We force people to wear helmets, force them to pay taxes, and force them to speak PC. And the whole time we spend, spend, spend with no thought for tomorrow.

Can we hang on to the good stuff from the swing to the left over the last century? Things like a middle class, a (relatively) informed electorate, reasonable social safety, and social freedom, while fixing what's wrong?

(For examples, you could try the pages of this blog. It's hard to mess up the contract for the new City Hall if you don't build a new City Hall in the first place. Ditto museum.)

Let's do so before the leftys happily spend and regulate away to the point that we are no longer arguing about this minor stuff, but instead have actual serious problems to deal with.

Steve and Fred don't get it and never will.

Like the Borg in Star Trek, "to resist is futile" is their recipe for a happy life.

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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