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New study shows major job and income challenges for City of Kawartha Lakes

in Business/Community/Local News/Poverty Reduction by
New study shows major job and income challenges for Kawartha Lakes
The greatest number of job postings available during this time span were low-paying, low-skill jobs, mostly related to sales and service occupations.

Individual income from employment is a full 22 per cent below the provincial average in Kawartha Lakes, according to the first ever Community Labour Market Plan.

As well, the average income in City of Kawartha Lakes was $37,242 in 2016 — an increase of just $369 per year since 2010, despite the rapid rise in costs associated with housing, food, utilities and other inflationary pressures that far outweighs the minor gain.

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Canada Post workers on strike for 24 hours; Union wants return of postal banks

in Around Town/Community/Local News/Poverty Reduction by
Postal banking was something Canada Post did decades earlier, ending the practice in 1968. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Scores of local postal workers walked off the job this morning in Lindsay and Bobcaygeon for 24 hours in a coordinated effort to draw attention to what has become a protracted strike. Calling for better health and safety conditions, gender equality, and a return to postal banking, Cheryl MacMillan, the president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) Local 564, says workers are “overburdened.”

“Parcel delivery has exploded,” she tells the Advocate, with carriers often working 10-12 hour days to finish up their deliveries. While they are paid for this, it is a forced overtime and it’s taking its toll on workers’ health, she says.

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Let’s have ranked ballots in time for next election

in Columnists/Community by
Let's have ranked ballots in time for next election
I suggest, that while we are looking at how we vote, we look at how we choose the winners: It’s time for preferential voting in the CKL.

Talking about the next municipal election right after the most recent one is like talking about alcohol the day after a big party: For some people, even the mere mention brings discomfort.

But I would argue now is the exact time that we as citizens — with and through our elected officials — should be talking about it. Let’s face it — the most recent election raised a couple important issues: how we vote in the first place, and how we can get consensus in our wards.

How do we want to vote?

Most citizens who bothered to vote (or perhaps tried to vote, in our case) are aware that, like 48 other municipalities, the City of Kawartha Lakes’ election had to be extended an additional 24 hours because of technical problems with the company hired to administer our online-and-phone-only election, Dominion Voting. (Dominion Voting originally reported the problem affected 51 municipalities but has since reduced that number to 49).

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Kawartha Lakes community coming together to create access to fresh fruit

in Around Town/Community/Environment/Poverty Reduction by

A new cooperative project is taking shape in Kawartha Lakes aimed at providing residents with access to fresh and healthy fruit. Under the direction of the Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition Food Security Working Group, apple and pear trees will be planted at Orchard Park in Lindsay. An additional 70 apple trees are being planted at affordable housing sites across Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton.

“This fruit will feed seniors, children and adults in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton who live in poverty. At the same time, it creates habitat and food for wildlife while reducing pollution and the effects of carbon emissions,” commented Liza Hancock, anti-poverty and human rights activist who spearheaded the project.

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Woman on basic income opens new business – right beside MPP’s office

in Business/Community/Health/Poverty Reduction by
Woman on basic income opens new business – right beside MPP's office
Karen Suggitt has opened Sew Little Time Emporium beside MPP Laurie Scott's office. Photo: Erin Smith.

A local woman who is on the Ontario Basic Income Pilot in Lindsay, knowing it will end soon, has opened a small fabric business – right beside local MPP Laurie Scott’s office.

Karen Suggitt says when they cancelled the pilot she was just on her second month and “very tense about what would happen.”

She had been gathering fabric-related items while she was working and purchased a small inventory with the little she had in savings and credit. She found some rental space at 6 Lindsay St. N., right beside Lori’s Family Hair Care, and just a couple units away from Scott’s office.

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Basic Income gave recipients the chance to plan ahead

in Columnists/Community/Poverty Reduction/Seniors by

There’s certainly been a large amount of attention paid to the Province’s decision to end the Basic Income Pilot program early next year, rather than seeing the plan through fully to its original three-year time period. As one of three Ontario communities selected for the program, the City of Kawartha Lakes has hundreds of residents currently receiving the guaranteed income payments.

Recently, members of Community Care’s health care team met with two clients who are Basic Income recipients. We heard their stories of how the program was making a bit of a positive difference for them and their families. Their willingness to share their stories was appreciated.

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City developing Balsam Lake ‘Dry Stone Wall’ experience to promote cultural tourism

in Around Town/Columnists/Community by

The invitation:  To participate in a trial run of a Kawartha Lakes Arts & Heritage Trail “Experience.” Over the course of a weekend participants are to be introduced to the art of dry stone walling. They will restore a section of the roughly 150-year-old Laidlaw wall that lines a stretch of Balsam Lake Drive.

The invitee: An Advocate columnist with minimal manual dexterity, little aptitude, and the soft hands of a scribe.

The Experience: Orientation

It’s a chilly Saturday morning in late October when we meet in the warmth of the Days Inn lobby: a writer, a museum volunteer, an economic development officer, a travel agent, and a dry stone mason.

Not hard to identify the mason, our instructor. John Shaw-Rimmington is lanky and weathered looking, with a white beard and untrimmed hair. His handshake is strong, and the hand that wraps around mine is roughened, reddened, one fingernail black.

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Literacy in the library — it’s about more than just books

in Around Town/Columnists/Community/Education by
A father and son reading.

When you consider the word ‘literacy,’ you mostly likely think about reading, but did you know that literacy encompasses so much more than that? There is digital literacy, financial literacy, community literacy…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Schools are designed to teach students all sorts of literacy as they progress through the grades – preparing children for the ‘real world.’

Can you think of another institution that has similar goals? If you guessed the local library, then you are absolutely correct.

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Santa Day is coming to Fenelon Falls

in Around Town/Community/Local News by

Santa Claus is coming to town – Fenelon Falls, that is – on Saturday, November 24, for the 19th annual Santa Day.

A full day of free family fun, it all starts at 11 am – horse-drawn wagon rides around town, a petting zoo, pony rides, face-painting, popcorn, events at the museum, gingerbread cookie decorating and so much more.  Of course, you can visit with Santa, and his reindeer would be thrilled if you stopped by to see them too.

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Lindsay law firm strong supporters of mental health in the workplace

in Around Town/Community/Health/Local News by
Jason Ward and Maria Francis of Wards Lawyers.

There are 17 people at Wards Lawyers in Lindsay and those numbers will soon swell to well over 20. It’s a growing staff, in what is already the second largest law firm in central Ontario. With so many people working in one of the top five most stressful occupations, Jason Ward knew they wanted to be leaders when it came to mental health supports in the workplace.

He and Karissa – who is both his wife and his business partner – created a full time position that is part administration but also Mental Health/First Aid Officer, a certified position through the Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

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