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Collaborative Law: A cost effective alternative to court

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Collaborative Law is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process used to resolve Family Law Matters without going to court. Couples who are separating or divorcing can resolve issues such as parenting, income sharing, and property division, by using the techniques of collaborative law. Matters are resolved without the use of a decision maker, such as a judge or an arbitrator. It is a voluntary process in which the separating spouses reach an agreement which is then documented in a binding Separation Agreement.

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Silence from MPP Laurie Scott deafening for those losing their basic income

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On March 25, nearly 2,000 people in Lindsay lost their basic income cheques due to a broken promise of the PC government. On April 25, some will be back on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), or Ontario Works. Still others will receive no money top-up to stay out of abject poverty and will rely on precarious work, hoping to avoid homelessness.

Single people on ODSP get a maximum of $1,151 – $662 is for basic needs and $489 for shelter. Their total annual income with other benefits is only about $15,000 per year, which is more than $7,000 below the poverty line. Because of an ineffective changeover from basic income back to ODSP – the opposite of the smooth transition that was promised – some people were left in the lurch when it came to their important medications. Thankfully pharmacists stepped in to help.

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Unpaid work is still work: Why is labour outside the home supposedly more valuable?

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Unpaid work is still work: Why is labour outside the home supposedly more valuable?

I remember wondering why my mother felt so strongly about it. Every year we brought home the same information sheet from school to be filled out. And every year she insisted that the line for her occupation be completed with the word “homemaker,” rather than what we kids would have written, “housewife.”

The line for my dad was easy—“farmer”—even if the work wasn’t. My mother grew a huge garden, drove the tractor, and fed pigs and cattle when my dad was away on municipal council business, along with looking after kids and the house. Obviously she was a partner on the farm, and obviously she was irreplaceable. So why did that one word matter so much to her? Well, I get it now.

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‘Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?’ a provocative look at ‘economic man’

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Bay Street in Toronto. Is everything subservient to the market?

Katrine Marçal blows the whistle on the founding father of our economic system, Adam Smith, in Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?

When Adam Smith proclaimed that all our actions were motivated by self-interest, he used the example of the baker and the butcher as he laid the foundations for his ‘economic man’ theory. Smith reasoned the baker and butcher didn’t give bread and meat out of kindness, which was certainly an interesting viewpoint coming from a bachelor who lived with his mother for most of his life — the same woman who cooked his dinner each night and certainly not out of self-interest.

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Trevor’s Take: Whither the Progressive Conservative?

in Opinion/Provincial by
Premier Leslie Frost.

Growing up, Leslie Frost was a hero to me. In our cupboard at home we had some Pyrex flatware — a wedding gift to my parents from Frost. The family connection was that my grandfather, who ran Bill’s Taxi in Lindsay, had driven for Leslie Frost.

Rushing Frost’s forgotten passport from Lindsay to Toronto with police escort was the stuff of legend in my house. That I went to a school named after him only increased my sense of connection to the man.

I follow politicians of every stripe and I’ve found myself wondering lately how a politician like Frost would fare in today’s meme-based, fact-agnostic, political atmosphere. His nicknames were ‘Old Man Ontario’ and ‘The Great Tranquilizer.’

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Learning from the first ‘farmers’ how to save the earth

in Environment/Opinion by

There is something about a drive through the country that is deeply satisfying. Green fields divided by tree lines or split rail fences. The occasional dry stone wall. Cattle or sheep dotted in the fields and cozy farmhouses flanked by wooden barns. An idyllic picture of a pastoral farming way of life.

When the first settlers came to Canada and encountered the Indigenous people of these lands, they did not realize that the land they were looking at also reflected a pastoral, farming way of life. There was so much lush greenery. The woods seems so thick and the animals so abundant. This was nothing like the farms they had left behind in England and France and Spain. This land didn’t appear to be managed. It didn’t look controlled. And it certainly didn’t look as though anyone was trying to raise crops or breed animals.

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Benns’ Belief: The absurdity of equating jobs with work

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Twelve issues ago Joli and I launched The Lindsay Advocate as a monthly magazine (and online publication) that would focus on the social and economic wellness of Kawartha Lakes. (It’s actually been a year and a half for our news site).

Wellness, to us, starts with big picture policy. It means we advocate for progressive social policies that will improve Canadian society. It also means we advocate for our small businesses as the engine of our local economy; the best form of capitalism is local and community-based, not corporate and faceless.

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Think you own your waterfront? Don’t be so shore

in Community/Environment/Opinion by

While the thought of the lake lapping the shore is not exactly top of mind these days, we Canadians do what we must, keeping warm in winter with reveries of cottage life, when the sun will shine again.

The question of where your property ends and Crown land begins along the shoreline is a topical issue for property owners bordering water. The growing concern surrounding climate change, including the decline of water levels and erosion of shorelines, threatens to muddy the waters even further.

So where does a waterfront property owner stand in 2019? It is commonly thought that a property abutting water extends to the natural boundary of the lake or river, while the Crown owns the foreshore, meaning the bed of land under the water. Seems pretty straight forward, right? Not exactly.

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Civic Engagement 101 in City of Kawartha Lakes

in Municipal/Opinion by

It’s fair to say that City Hall  affects us more directly than Queen’s Park or Parliament Hill. The water we drink, our roads and sidewalks, our parks and arenas, the bylaws that regulate our relations with neighbours, delivery of social services — all municipal matters. Altogether, according to City CAO Ron Taylor, there are over 200 municipal programs and services, delivered by over a 1,000 municipal employees.

Our elected mayor and eight councillors represent our interests. Their mission, Taylor reminded them at a February 13 meeting, is to provide “responsible, efficient and effective services.” But their powers go beyond that: Council policy and budget decisions set priorities and shape our future.

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What the Nordic countries can teach us

in Opinion/Poverty Reduction by
Reykjavik, Iceland. Nordic nations boast a high quality of life. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Walking the ancient Camino de Santiago, a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe, I met a fellow pilgrim named Uho, a Finnish man. It was late afternoon in the sunny courtyard of our hostel and I watched Uho plunge his feet into a bucket of cold water to revive his tired muscles.

Wanting to strike up a conversation, and having read about the high level of equality in Finland, I asked Uho if life was good there. He replied that it was, but many Finns only appreciated their situation only when they returned home after travelling outside of Finland.

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