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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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John A. Macdonald would have supported basic income

in Columnists/Poverty Reduction by
John A. Macdonald would have supported basic income

If there’s one thing Prime Minister John A. Macdonald could do exceptionally well, it was to recognize where the political winds were blowing. That’s not a criticism. The most able of politicians help move societies where they actually want to go anyway. Leaders and governments merely ensure a smooth transition, if they are doing their jobs well.

The fascinating rise of basic income policy in Canada — and the desperate need for it — is something our sage first leader would have seen coming.

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Every employee has mental health; how’s yours?

in Columnists/Health by
Every employee has mental health; how's yours?

The average Canadian spends roughly 40 hours per week at work. Those days are often spent filing, lifting, sweating, serving or teaching. Some may enjoy their work; others may spend their work days dreaming of how they’ll spend their downtime.

What every employee has in common though is that each and every one of them has mental health. Everyone has mental health. A spectrum that flows fluidly from being mentally healthy, to even potentially mentally ill. While we all live with that mental health spectrum, approximately one in five will experience mental distress in a given year.

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Today, more than ever, we’re stronger together

in Business/Columnists by
Today, more than ever, we’re stronger together
Home of the Lindsay and District Chamber of Commerce.

“What have you done for me lately?”

Chambers of commerce across Ontario have a long-standing challenge in letting local businesses know all the benefits of being part of their local chamber.

“Of course I joined the local chamber; it’s just what businesses do.”

While the support is appreciated, this simply isn’t enough anymore. Chambers of commerce need to offer a business case – a value proposition – of what they offer and ways for business owners to showcase their work and engage in what’s going on in the local business community.

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