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How to eat local all winter long

in Columnists/Community/Environment/Health by

It was a hot evening when we visited with José after his shift in the papaya factory in Belize. We were there to hear his story: how he had grown up in a small village close by, how he had cultivated corn for tortillas on communal village land, and beans, squash, peppers and greens in a garden behind his thatched hut.

Then the papaya company moved in and the government forced him and the other villagers off their land so that papaya could be grown instead. José now works at the papaya factory for very low wages. Not only does he have to buy his food in the town, he now also has to pay rent.

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Giving caregivers ‘powerful tools’ to manage

in Columnists/Health/Seniors by
Almost half of those identified as caregivers are also raising their own families.

At first glance, the numbers are overwhelming, until you pause to think about them. It is estimated that in North America, one out of every four households provides caregiving – millions of people taking on care services for a relative or friend over the age of 50.

With our aging population, more and more people find themselves in situations that they may never have imagined. Almost half of those identified as caregivers in our society are also raising their own family simultaneously, and two-thirds work either full- or part-time. The added pressure and stress of caregiving responsibilities are not easy to handle.

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The violin bowmaker and his mystery machine

in Around Town/Columnists/Community by
George MacArthur, professional bowmaker and inventor.

“I like high precision and ultimate control over mechanical things.” That’s George MacArthur speaking, and he’s not overstating.

George is a professional bowmaker, one of maybe 14 in Canada (his estimate). Some of his bows are in the capable hands of musicians such as Natalie MacMaster and the Leahy family.

From planks of Pernambuco snakewood and wamara — exotic species chosen for their high “Modulus of Elasticity” (inherent stiffness) and other qualities — George fashions violin sticks. The mathematically calculated tapers are precise to two thousandths of an inch. (That’s less than the thickness of a sheet of paper.) To the sticks he adds eyelets and screws custom machined from 01 tool steel and creates a hairing system.

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Independent coffee shop has become vibrant community hub

in Business/Business Profiles/Columnists/Community by
Boiling Over is a big supporter of the arts community, with its open mic nights on the third Friday of each month. Photo: Roderick Benns.

On any given day it’s easy to see the City’s business getting done. No, we’re not at City Hall right now in your faithful scribe’s scenario. We are, in fact, at Boiling Over’s Coffee Vault in downtown Lindsay.

Meetings take place between City officials here. Economic Development might stop by for a tête-à-tête. Community groups meet to plan their activities. It’s not all business, of course. There’s socializing and debate, conversations and interviews. It’s a mix of millennials, Generation Z, Generation X, and Boomers. (Well, pretty much all ages.)

I’ve seen teachers lesson planning, students doing homework, and artists talking music.

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Seven reasons why we need trees

in Columnists/Environment by
Seven reasons why we need trees
Often, trees are cut down with hope that this will increase the farm’s bottom line, without realizing that trees are essential to maintaining healthy fields.

We have all noticed it lately while driving around the Kawartha Lakes. A farm goes up for sale. Once sold, the big machines go in and cut down the trees between the fields, often piling them up into piles for burning. Then the spring rains come. The field, without trees, doesn’t drain well. There are new boggy areas. The new landowner, at considerable expense, has someone come in to lay the long plastic pipes to tile, or drain, the field, in hopes that this will solve the problem. But this is not the only problem that has been created.

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A view from Scotland on Ontario’s basic income pilot

in Columnists/Poverty Reduction by
Jamie Cooke, leading basic income advocate from Scotland.

As a Scot and a leading Basic Income advocate, I was delighted to see the leadership of Ontario demonstrated in initiating experiments to test out the concept in the Province. Given our cultural and historical links, there was a huge amount that we could tap into, allowing a chance to shape the pilots which we are also developing in Scotland.

In particular, the harnessing of civic society and communities was particularly inspiring, and a motivator to do the same in our context – truly making an experiment for everyone, not just academics or policy makers.

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How much is enough? The politics of capitalism and wealth

in Business/Columnists/Poverty Reduction by
David Thomson, who according to Canadian Business, has a family net worth of more than $41 Billion.

Many of us who work at The Advocate spend a lot of time thinking about how life could be better for people in our Kawartha Lakes community, and for all Canadians. That is, how do we achieve a more equitable society, within a capitalism framework, where there isn’t such a great chasm between the wealthiest and the poorest?

When we consider these questions we refer to the kind of wealth that defies all sense of decency. As of June 8 last year, the world’s richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people.

As I wrote in a feature story in last month’s Advocate, too many of us from all political stripes seem to believe that the ‘free market’ needs to be left alone to do its thing to make lives better for people. It is the ‘trickle down’ lie that has been perpetuated for decades, all the while inequality continues to increase.

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Adult Day Program benefits greater than at first glance

in Columnists/Community/Health by
Adult Day Program benefits greater than at first glance
Clients receive high quality support as they participate in exercises, games, discussions, painting, and more.

The support offered by many of the programs available through the Community Care Health & Care Network are self-explanatory and obvious. On closer examination, however, the case can be made that just as many of our services have multiple benefits. Case in point this month: our Adult Day Program for seniors and people with special needs.

One of the organization’s longest-running programs, Adult Day Program is offered multiple times each week at several locations throughout the municipality. Adult Day provides clients with a range of social, physical and recreational activities that are designed to meet the unique needs of each participant.

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Myth busting two big lies as we fight to keep basic income alive

in Columnists/Community/Poverty Reduction by
Just 87 people in Canada have more wealth than 12 million Canadians.

As advocates, we are fighting hard to keep the basic income program alive here in Lindsay. We are heartened by the strong support coming in, and yet we are also dismayed by comments that constantly circle around two big lies.

One is the idea that we can’t afford the pilot program.

The other is that the poor are ultimately lazy.

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Basic Income gone: Ford’s abrupt cancellation of program devastates Lindsay

in Columnists/Poverty Reduction by

All over Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford promised over and over that “a new day will dawn in Ontario,” should he be elected, “for the people.”

Well, here’s his new day dawning for about 2,000 people who live in Lindsay, their lives just starting to be changed for the better by basic income — and it’s not the kind of day they were expecting.

Here’s his new day dawning for Roseanne Johnson who says she can’t survive without that money, and that she and her son will “soon be on the streets.”  Or Lauretta Blackman who saw her grandchildren for the first time because she finally had enough money for transportation.

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