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‘Worried’ and ‘betrayed’: 60 per cent had to cancel plans after basic income cancelled

in Community/Health/Local News/Poverty Reduction by
Kyle is in his 30s and he’s married with a new baby. He works 50 hours per week but still qualified for a basic income top-up.

OBIP Chronicles — More than 82 per cent of people who were receiving money through the Ontario Basic Income Pilot said they felt “worried” when they heard it was cancelled and another 76 per cent felt “betrayed.”

More than 1,500 of the 4,000 basic income pilot recipients agreed to help the Basic Income Canada Network and the Ontario Basic Income Network continue working for a basic income. BICN conducted a survey of those people. Well over 400 responses have already come back, representing more than 10 per cent of those receiving basic income in Ontario, allowing us to write this special series. The Lindsay Advocate, working in cooperation with BICN, is pleased to be the media partner highlighting these stories. Names have been changed to protect identities.

Jean, who is married with one child, says she had tried starting her own business with the additional income she was receiving.

“The company has not had enough time to get going…I had felt I had the Ontario Basic Income Program to back me, as I had been told I would,” she says in the survey.

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New Year’s Resolutions: Enhance your life, don’t deprive yourself

in Community/Health by
Don't forget to eat your veggies in 2019 and beyond. (While not expressly a part of Canada's Food Guide, yes, even humans can eat clover...)

Type “gym membership,” “fitness,”  “diet,” or “smoking cessation” into Google Trends (a very cool online tool) and you’ll see that searches for all of them spike in early January. No coincidence: with a new year many of us resolve to turn over a new leaf, develop good habits and curb bad ones. By the end of January searches for those terms drop off and, unfortunately, by then many New Year’s resolutions are abandoned.

We asked experts in a number of fields for their thoughts. What’s a single piece of advice they’d offer? What’s a resolution that might be manageable and is definitely worth doing? What could help ensure we stick with it?

Here are their suggestions. The areas covered include healthy eating, fitness, substance use and abuse, and the environment.

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Growing hope for the New Year

in Columnists/Community/Health by

I am increasingly being asked to speak to people about hope. This is not surprising. Given the decline of the insects that are drivers of our food system, the loss of the birds that keep dangerous insects in check, and the fact that it will soon be too hot for our food to germinate and grow, we are really in need of some hope. If the conversation has truly shifted from climate change to climate catastrophe, how can we possibly live in hope? In the face of so much death, where is hope found?

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Seniors in crisis in Kawartha Lakes: Group calls on Mayor, MPP to help fill in the gaps

in Community/Health/Local News/Seniors by
Scores of seniors with some level of cognitive impairment across Kawartha Lakes are at risk of grave injury or death because there are no services for people like them.

He’s got a makeshift wood stove in a dilapidated trailer outside of town. She’s hoarding junk and debris — so much in fact that the doors to her home no longer open and parts of her floor are sagging. Another man burns flammable liquids to stay warm during the cold clutch of winter. In her postcard-perfect home, another woman constantly calls police to investigate phantom intruders.

This is but a snapshot of a growing number of seniors who are in danger in our community. They’re all over age 60 and most have lost at least some of their cognitive abilities. These are men and women who are not necessarily defined by poverty or rural postal codes. In fact, many of them live in nice homes in Lindsay or elsewhere in Kawartha Lakes and may be quite well off.

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More than a third of basic income recipients went back to school: Survey

in Community/Education/Health/Poverty Reduction by
“I am forever grateful I was chosen to be a recipient, and I wish that one day all countries would adopt this method of caring for those who have less income."

OBIP Chronicles – More than 33 per cent of respondents to a survey about the Ontario Basis Income Pilot were going back to school to further their education.

Jenna, a woman in her 40s, says her partner was able to go back to school and their son was able to participate in activities that helps with his motor disorder.

“My partner felt previous problems returning,” after the basic income pilot’s cancellation she says in the survey. “We only received a very small amount of money, comparatively, but it made a huge difference.”

More than 1,500 of the 4,000 basic income pilot recipients agreed to help the Basic Income Canada Network and the Ontario Basic Income Network continue working for a basic income. BICN conducted a survey of those people. Well over 400 responses have already come back, representing more than 10 per cent of those receiving basic income in Ontario, allowing us to write this special series. The Lindsay Advocate, working in cooperation with BICN, is pleased to be the media partner highlighting these stories. Names have been changed to protect identities.

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Dr. Bert Lauwers stepping down as Ross Memorial’s President & CEO

in Community/Health by

After four years at the helm, Dr. Bert Lauwers is stepping down from his position as president and CEO at the Ross Memorial Hospital in early 2019. Dr. Lauwers will take on the new role of executive vice president of medical and clinical programs at the Scarborough Health Network on April 1, 2019.

The Ross Memorial Hospital Board of Governors is sincerely grateful to Dr. Lauwers for his years of exceptional leadership and for his commitment to quality and patient safety at the Ross Memorial Hospital.

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Meals on Wheels may be the only social interaction some have on Christmas Day

in Community/Health/Poverty Reduction/Seniors by
Art Myers, left, and Len Skelton, right, volunteers for Meals on Wheels.

It’s the time of year when we look ahead just a few weeks to the Christmas season. For many people, it’s a ‘warm and fuzzy’ exercise as they anticipate family gatherings and meals accented with laughter, merriment and reflections of their blessings. It’s not necessarily so for everyone, however.

As much as the holiday season can be heartwarming and positive for some, it also a very ‘blue’ time for others who may be without family and friends. Stress of the holidays can combine with circumstances that trigger sadness and melancholy instead of happiness and positive moods. Not everybody looks forward to the holidays, especially if it means being alone.

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Christmas at the Ross: Dedication of front-line staff shines through

in Around Town/Community/Health/Local News by

Last year on Christmas Day, there were 152 patients in the Ross Memorial Hospital, including 35 in continuing care, 15 in rehabilitation, 12 in mental health, 88 in acute care and 2 newborns. And 17 people were admitted into the Ross on that day. As on most any other day at any hospital, there were heart-wrenching stories too: Sadly, two patients passed away that same day.

To care for all of these people and their visiting families, 189 people worked at the Ross last Christmas Day.

Think about that. That’s 189 families in our community whose Christmas’ have been changed or in some cases delayed so that another 152 families in our community can be cared for. And that number does not include volunteers — who donate their time and labour to make Christmas at the Ross a little brighter.

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Basic Income at Christmas was making life a bit more worth living

in Community/Health/Local News/Poverty Reduction by

OBIP Chronicles — As we approach the holidays, many people who are receiving basic income are, for the first time in a long time, able to buy gifts for loved ones or can afford to do activities with their kids.

Giving is not only good for the soul, as the saying goes, but also one’s physical and emotional health. The evidence is unassailable.

  • In his book Why Good Things Happen to Good People, Stephen Post, a professor of preventative medicine at Stony Brook University in the U.S., reports that giving to others can enhance health benefits in people who are coping with a chronic illness.
  • In a 2006 study by Rachel Piferi of Johns Hopkins University and Kathleen Lawler of the University of Tennessee, giving was shown to even improve physical health and longevity because it decreases stress. People who provided social support to others had lower blood pressure than those in the study who didn’t, suggesting a direct physiological benefit to the power of giving.
  • Generosity is likely to be rewarded by others eventually, sometimes by the person you chose to give to, and sometimes by someone else. Several studies, including work by sociologists Brent Simpson and Robb Willer, have suggested that these exchanges promote a sense of trust and cooperation that strengthens our ties to others. In turn, these strengthened ties have been shown in research to spark positive social interactions, so imperative to good mental and physical health.

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Important new survey: The Ontario Basic Income Pilot chronicles

in Community/Health/Poverty Reduction by
After basic income, ‘rapid reinstatement’ back to previous program: Province

When the new Ontario government announced it was cancelling the basic income pilot, it threw many recipients into turmoil. It also dimmed hopes for research potential that had captured the interest of people across Canada and around the world.

Participants in the pilot and supporters of basic income are not going quietly away, however.

“Some recipients took the very courageous step of identifying themselves publicly in order for us all to better understand how much basic income was improving lives,” notes John Mills, a member of the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) and the Ontario Basic Income Network (OBIN), who organized media training for some of these individuals in Hamilton.

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