Congratulations and article

Congratulations on your win .Keep up the great work on your ward 2 blog- by far the best ward blog in the city.
I have attached an article from the Tribune by Alan Pickersgill .He has written a wonderful tribute to Vicki Beard .Vicki will not be sit idle -she is already working on a chicken co-op idea.
Please post on your blog. MD

It’s not easy being a candidate. I found out seven years ago when a few friends convinced me to trade the soap box for the ballot box. They chipped in some money to help me and away I went. Signs were secured, pamphlets were purchased and pavements were pounded. From the end of June to the end of October, I knocked on every door in Ward 1.
When the votes were counted, I came fifth out of six candidates. The issues in 2003 were not much different than now. The IMICO land. The lack of commercial development east of Victoria. In a sense, Wal-Mart beat me. I hated the place before, during and after the fight to keep it out of Guelph. I still do, because of the way it treats its workers, its suppliers and anyone else whose name doesn’t end in Walton.

People with nowhere else to shop didn’t care. They voted for candidates who would bring the quick fix, without regard to consequences. Were it not for Wal-Mart, there’d be a ton of shopping on the east side. Watson Road could swim in neon just like Clair or Imperial. Never mind. It’s all money under the bridge to Arkansas. I’m over it now, as you can see.

Being an unsuccessful candidate can be frustrating. You feel like a voice in the wilderness, shouting truths to deafened minds.

I made up my mind then and there I wouldn’t do it again. At the same time, I have a lot of respect for those who do. Democracy needs the also-rans. Those who don’t win are not “losers.” They keep the winners on their toes.

As we congratulate those who were elected, we should thank those who were not. Especially those who made sense but couldn’t make themselves heard. I sometimes get frustrated with candidates who can’t clearly articulate why they got into the game. It could be something that comes with practice, and they’ll do better next time out.

I particularly want to mention Vicki Beard. She worked hard for four years, giving the people of Ward 2, and the whole city, considerate and thoughtful representation. I’ve known Beard since the mid-’80’s when she moved into Windfield Co-op. She brought the same level of commitment to that community as she does to life in general. I think she cut her political teeth on the Windfield Board of Directors. Coincidentally, another former Windfield member, Tammy Williams, was one of the several Ward 1 candidates.

There is a largely unsung accomplishment of the outgoing council: the creation of the world’s first pollinator park. It is going in on the former Eastview landfill site. It has been written about in nature magazines across the country.

An article in the December 2008 issue of Canadian Geographic described it as “the world’s first sanctuary for the insects that feed us.” Widespread use of pesticides has decimated several species of pollinating insects such as honeybees. A 2007 study by the United Nations Environment Program reported the loss of about one-third of North American honeybees. The effect of this on food production is catastrophic. Albert Einstein is quoted in the study: “No bees, no food for mankind. The bee is the basis for life on this earth.” When pollinator populations start to rebound as a result of sanctuaries such as we started in Guelph, don’t thank Albert. Thank Vicki – she’s the one who steered it through council. Now that she doesn’t have council to keep her awake all night, you’ll find her outside digging gardens.

So thanks for all you’ve done for us, Vicki.