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First council meeting goes to pot — and committee appointments

A week after being sworn-in, City of Kawartha Lakes Council assembled around its custom-designed triangular conference table in the heart of the refurbished chambers. They gathered to hear a presentation on retail cannabis sales and to approve appointments to boards, committees and CHEST Fund disbursements.

Cannabis Retail Storefronts

By the Jan. 22 deadline set by the Province, council must make a decision on whether to opt-in or opt-out of having private recreational cannabis retail storefronts in Kawartha Lakes.

CAO Ron Taylor and Senior Licensing Officer Alix Scarr, provided a presentation that served as an overview of federal, provincial, and municipal responsibilities and powers with respect to cannabis and outlined the financial implications for the decision council will be making.

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Kinmount and Area Food Bank now open; seniors as clients on the rise in province

in Around Town/Community/Local News/Poverty Reduction/Seniors by

The Kinmount and Area Food Bank will officially open to the public Dec. 13, serving 45 families.

According to Kinmount and Area Food Bank Chair Grace MacDonald, it will be open every other Thursday, based on a schedule that alternates with the Coboconk Food Bank and will “serve 45 families who were using either the Coboconk or Minden Food Bank,” says MacDonald.

MacDonald chairs a group of volunteers that have been working over the last year to open the much needed local resource. Finding local sponsors, a location that had a health board-certified kitchen and getting police checks completed were just some of the things that MacDonald and her committee had to accomplish in order to open. In the end the group decided on the Kinmount Baptist Church (4937 Monk Rd., Kinmount.)

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Protect yourself at holiday events

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Welcome to December! The month where we start looking towards the approaching holidays, and planning for all the fun the season has to offer. Whether you are organizing a large company party, a small family get-together, or a charitable fundraiser of any size, part of your planning process should include a quick chat with your insurance broker (or us!) as there are a myriad of insurance options available to the Host of the event.

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Letham meets with Premier Ford, talks growth, job creation

in Around Town/Community/Local News/Seniors by

On December 10, Mayor Andy Letham was invited to meet one-on-one with Premier Doug Ford at Queen’s Park. The meeting was one of seven held with mayors of municipalities across Ontario including Mississauga, London and Guelph.

Among the themes discussed, according to a City press release, were common goals of providing efficient and effective services. The premier recognized Kawartha Lakes’ early adoption of a restructured, streamlined council size. He also expressed approval for the municipality’s long-term financial planning and ability to tackle sizable infrastructure deficits. They discussed how Kawartha Lakes is taking proactive steps to ensure sustainability of the services and amenities its residents value most, as uncovered in core service reviews.

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Local Family Health Team saves Urgent Care more than $700,000

in Community/Health by

A costing by the City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team has revealed that the team has saved the health care system more than $700,000 since 2014 through its emergency room and after hours clinic diversion programs.

Under these programs, the team’s health care professionals assess whether their care and treatment of the patient in the family health team offices resulted in the patient not having to go to the emergency department or attend local after hours clinics.

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Health Unit: Make a stand against poverty in Kawartha Lakes

in Community/Health/Local News/Poverty Reduction by

In the spirit of the season, local residents are being asked to buy into something that isn’t available at any store or online retailer — support a living wage and other income-based solutions to keep people out of poverty. The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit wants people to take a stand against poverty in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Locally, 16.5 per cent of local children and youth live in poverty.

A recent study also found the ‘living wage’ in Kawartha Lakes is $18.42 per hour – what a family of four with both parents working full-time would need to earn to cover basic expenses in 2018. This amount is more than $4 higher than Ontario’s current minimum wage. 

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X-ray vision: The 2018 Ross Memorial Foundation Holiday Appeal needs you

in Around Town/Community/Health/Local News by
This annual fundraiser is very important for the Hospital, as it raises between $175,000 and $200,000 for vital equipment.

It is perhaps fitting that in a year when many residents spoke up about the importance of having a full-service local hospital that the goal of this year’s Holiday Appeal is for the purchase of diagnostic equipment and to contribute towards the redevelopment of the diagnostic imaging department.

Just over 100 years ago — in 1917 — founding donor James Ross himself donated $2,550 so that the RMH could purchase an X-Ray machine — a machine that only larger hospitals in bigger towns and cities had access to at the time. It was pretty cutting edge stuff for such a small hospital.

Jump ahead 100 years, and our community, through the RMH Foundation, is carrying on that tradition started by James Ross.

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Mayor wants to convene community council advisory group

in Around Town/Community by
Mayor Andy Letham: “Never be afraid to stand and up and say ‘I have an idea.’”

In his inaugural remarks at the City of Kawartha Lakes’ first council meeting, Mayor Andy Letham said he will convene a “community council advisory group” to get more public input.

It is imperative we do this, says the mayor, to uncover “vital local knowledge” that many people hold and which can be shared for the betterment of the community.

The mayor also envisions a committee of the whole meeting about once a month, done in a more informal way so as to be inclusive of community members who want to participate. He sees these meetings moving around Kawartha Lakes’ communities to avoid being so Lindsay-centric.

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Doug Elmslie voted in as deputy mayor for one year

in Around Town/Community by

The inaugural meeting of City of Kawartha Lakes Council happened yesterday, with Councillor Doug Elmslie elected as deputy mayor through secret ballot, voted on by Mayor Andy Letham and all councillors.

He beat Councillor Pat Dunn who had been nominated by Councillor Ron Ashmore.

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Ensuring mental health throughout the holidays

in Columnists/Community/Health by
Lindsay basic income pilot: Mental health, resilience will surely improve

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The thermostat slowly drops, snow starts to fall and people are bundling up. Wrapped in their favourite scarves, mittens and toques, people are venturing out into the brisk Canadian winter to take on the day.

Plans are being made for dinners and parties; children are scribbling down hand-written lists with hopes of receiving that one perfect gift. For many, the start of the holiday season means feelings of joy, hope and warmth. For others, it can be a completely different experience.

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Volunteering a good job search activity

in Columnists/Community by

With the holidays approaching thoughts turn to giving and spending time with loved ones.  You might think about donating some time to a worthy cause.

But did you know that volunteering is also a good job search activity?

Volunteering is a great way to add current experience to your resume or show your commitment to the community.  There are lots of charities and non-profit agencies in our community looking for extra help, not only this time of year but all year round.

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