About James

I have been deeply involved in community-building in Guelph all my adult life.  Here are some highlights:


*Successful downtown business owner

  • First Artistic Director, Hillside Festival
  • Co-founder of the Wellington Water Watchers
  • First President- Guelph Civic League
  • Founding Chair: Family Mental Health Network
  • Board member: Guelph Wellington Non-profit Housing Corporation
  • Board member: The Elliot Seniors Community
  • Board Member: Guelph Public Library
  • Board Member: Rural Learning Society
  • Co-founder with Councillor Allt of the “Politics And Pancakes” weekly community discussion on civic issues
  • Founder, Guelph LEAP chapter
  • Co-founder, Guelph Arts Platform
  • Has developed an international following for his career in the cultural sector.


Here are some of the things I worked on in my first term:


Put forward successful motions to

  1. have Guelph declared a “Blue Dot Community”
  2. send a message to the province demonstrating a firm city stance on commercial water-taking
  3. initiate the Indigenous Land Acknowledgement given before city public meetings


Advocated for

  1. making Guelph a “Living Wage” employer
  2. banning single-use plastic grocery bags
  3. poverty, housing, transit and active transportation issues
  4. creating a vibrant new central public library
  5. addressing our infrastructure gap in a way that taxpayers can afford
  6. electoral reform at the municipal level, and a re-examination of part-time vs. full time councillors


I Was one of only 3 councillors to vote against Merging Guelph Hydro with Alectra, believing that local control of our utility is essential.

I Held a series of Town Halls around neighborhood safety, parking, crime, addiction, community hubs and other issues particular to Ward 2.