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Journey is never complete when it comes to developmental services

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Developmental Services in Ontario is a dynamic sector that is constantly striving to learn its way into a better state of inclusive communities and responsive services.

Like so many things it is a history of rethinks and trials that have led to something better and better. At the turn of the century, institutions were new and seen as progressive, but society slowly learned that this was a disastrous way to meet people’s needs.

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Community Care recognized for commitment to quality improvement

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The Community Care Health and Care Network was in the spotlight recently when it was recognized by provincial peers for commitments to making improvements when processing clients and their caregivers.

Community Care received the Commitment to Quality Improvement Award from the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA).

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They were called in from the glen: Remembering our Great War nursing sisters

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They were called in from the glen: Remembering our Great War nursing sisters

A stroll through Lindsay’s Riverside Cemetery is always a rewarding experience for the amateur historian, particularly when they happen upon the marker of a well-known local resident like Sir Sam Hughes (1853-1921), Canada’s controversial Minister of Militia and local Member of Parliament.

A few yards away lies the plot of the Hon. Leslie Frost (1895-1973), one-time Member of Provincial Parliament and Premier of Ontario. The Hughes monument is prominently placed on a hillock and is visible almost as soon as one enters the cemetery; Leslie Frost’s final resting place, meanwhile, is marked with a provincial heritage plaque.

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Basic income panel talks about hope, human rights, and the choice we make to allow poverty

in Columnists/Poverty Reduction by
Basic income panel talks about hope, human rights, and the choice we make to allow poverty
L to R: Andrew Wallen, KLCFDC, Tim Ellis, Bert Lauwers, Rob Rainer, Josephine Grey, Chief John Hagarty.

While a panel discussion about basic income was happening in Lindsay last Friday, there was a three-hour line-up to sign up for basic income at the Lindsay Public Library – a line that spilled out onto the street.

The parallel events show there is great community support for the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, certainly from an growing number of ‘average citizens’ who are increasingly made up of the so-called working poor. These working poor are tired of a corporatist world that demands austerity from the people and yet retention of benefits for a privileged minority – and their numbers are rightly growing.

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Let’s remember care for the caregiver

in Columnists/Health by
Let's remember care for the caregiver.

When someone struggles through a mental illness, the hard work that comes with moving towards recovery is undeniable.

Days spent with doctors, counsellors or specialists. Hours spent practicing new self-care techniques, even changes to sleep, diet and exercises regiments. All are a testament to the work that is required to maintain good mental health.

While we could never downplay the efforts of someone in recovery, sometimes we forget a big factor; a major cog in the wheel that moves us towards recovery — the caregiver.

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‘Welfare recipient’ asks: How will you judge him?

in Columnists/Poverty Reduction by
'Welfare recipient' asks: How will you judge him?
There are few extras but when there are they are celebrated.

Change is what we talk about. A possible Colborne Street bridge has been argued about in coffee shops in Lindsay since before there was a Tim Horton’s.

If you’re of a certain age, you might have argued about widening Highway 35 northbound into Lindsay — as your A&W waitress delivered your Teen Burger and root beer to your car on roller skates.

I don’t know about you but I have been in a ‘Will they ever build a Walmart?’ conversation a thousand times. With the possible exception of municipal amalgamation, we and our forbearers have been used to change that is often glacial in these parts.

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Why did the Toronto politicians cross the road?

in Columnists/The Arts by
Why did the Toronto politicians cross the road?

Laying hens will soon call Toronto home, thanks to The Most Important City on the Planet recently lifting a ban on backyard fowl in four of its wards. That any mammal — human, chicken, lawyer or otherwise — can find a way to live in a city where the average home mortgage term is only slightly shorter than the time it takes coal to become a diamond, is encouraging.

And I recognize the allure of raising hens for low-income families — especially those hoping to save money by honing their cooking skills. Eggs are very forgiving. Screw up one egg recipe and you have 11 more chances to correct it. (Mind you, screw it up a second time, and it’s probably time to crack open that box of Pop Tarts for supper).

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Desire or pressure: What motivates us to get out of bed and work?

in Business/Columnists/Poverty Reduction by
Desire or pressure: What motivates us to get out of bed and work?
Can we have self-interest that is socially useful?

Three days ago, we ran a story called ‘Mariposa Dairy struggles to find young adults who want to work five days a week.’ At last count, more than 52,000 people had read it, a huge number for an online news magazine not even two months old.

Why did this story strike such a nerve?

Is it because the people who read it want to work there? Or did they know someone else who needed a job and so shared it with friends? Is it because they couldn’t believe it was true – that such a large percentage of younger people couldn’t handle, or didn’t want, full-time work?

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Hank, the starfish, and the poverty in front of us

in Columnists/Poverty Reduction by
Hank, the starfish, and the poverty in front of us

One day, a man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.

Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, sir.”

The man chuckled. “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

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Clearing away the roadblocks at Community Living

in Columnists/Community/Social Service Organizations by
Clearing away the roadblocks at Community Living

Just like that, my usual short commute to one of my offices was made twice as long.

I am not necessarily complaining, I can understand the need to for sturdy, new, giant culverts for me to drive over for years to come, but what I marvel over is how this single activity now make my drive to work far more complicated with curves and turns and intersections with brand new lights.

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