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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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Troubled bridge over water in Fenelon Falls

in Opinion by
Kawartha Lakes Country Living Show

This Just In: A government-appointed official reported that there was “a great deal of dissatisfaction being expressed at Fenelon Falls” over progress on the bridge.

That may sound current, but it’s actually a report from 1887. And that’s not a typo: 18-87. It seems that figuring the best way (and the number of ways) over the Fenelon River is just part of the Fenelon DNA, perhaps as integral to a Fenelonite as as our perpetual rivalry with Bobcaygeon.

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Seeing examples of integrity in local politics

in Opinion by
Councillor Andrew Veale, foreground; Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan, background.

With power (great or otherwise) comes responsibility and a potential for abuse. Over the past week Kawartha Lakes Council has taken significant measures to guide, support, and enforce ethical behaviour in municipal politics. It’s also, in a decision on disposal of surplus parkland, shown us what ethical conduct looks like.

Committees/ Boards/ Task Forces

In closed session at Tuesday’s meeting council approved citizen appointments to three committees (Airport Advisory, Waste Management, and Downtown Revitalization) a board (Drainage) and a task force (Development Charges).  

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The limits of church, the duty of state

in Opinion/Poverty Reduction/Seniors by

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”  — Dom Helder Camara

When we broke the story about many seniors who are falling through the cracks, some spoke up to say this would be a great project for churches to take on. We disagree entirely and are happy to see Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Services begin to fill this gap, thanks to funding from the City for a pilot.

First, let me say that our churches, charities, and non-profits are run by some of the finest people one could ever meet. But it is part of the neoliberal, corporate-first mindset that has normalized the idea of charity to this degree.

The first food bank in Canada opened its doors only in 1981, supposedly a temporary response to a recession. Instead, they have proliferated across Canada as inequality has widened and ordinary Canadians have suffered.

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A good reference is an important part of job search success

in Business/Opinion by

At some point during your job search you will need to provide references. A reference is someone who can vouch for the skills and experience you say you have on your resume. Most employers will check references. It’s good to line up your references when you start your job search. That means calling the person you want to use as a reference and asking their permission to use their name and contact information.

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Make new habits easier: Simple ways to care for the Earth

in Environment/Opinion by

What are the things that make change possible? We might decide to eat better, or get more exercise, or care for the environment. But then we find ourselves late, so we grab some fast food, or we have too much work to do so we skip the walk, or we would like to buy local, but we can’t really afford it. The truth is, it is hard to change our habits, no matter how important we think such changes could be.

One way to make changes and stick to them, is to make it easier to do things the new way. Here is an example from my house. We wanted to cut back on our energy demand. And nothing takes energy like a clothes dryer. So, we chose not to have a dryer.

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Yes, I parlez-vous

in Community/Opinion by

I was not born in Quebec. I have never lived in Quebec. I have zero aspiration of ever living in Quebec. Sure, that province is home to some wonderful people who’ve done magic with music, comedy, cheese, gravy and French fries and Stanley Cups.

But my home is — always has been, always will be – Ontario. I suspect my next move will be to a plot somewhere near my home outside of Dunsford.

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Luis and Leanna Segura: Fresh food, hip hop and climbing for mangoes

in Around Town/Business/Community/Local News/Opinion by
Luis and Leanna Segura, the two “Ls” in “FueLL”. Photo: Jamie Morris.

After Christmas excesses ‘tis now the season for New Year’s resolutions. If healthier eating and food choices that have a lower impact on the environment top your list, you might want to kick off your new regime by dropping in to Fresh FueLL on Kent Street.

Inside, you’ll probably find Luis and Leanna Segura, the two “Ls” in “FueLL” and motive force of the business, now beginning its fourth year.

When I drop in one chilly morning the Seguras take time to sit down with me at a table by a wall entirely taken up by a blackboard covered with colourful chalk sketches and “Fun Facts” about everything from avocados to veganism.

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Finding a sense of peace and serenity within life’s stresses

in Opinion by

It’s not too late for a New Year’s resolution, including big ones like finding ways to de-stress and start anew. But how can we renew ourselves and start a new life of hope and growth?

Refuge Recovery is a new group that meets in Lindsay once per week to inspire people to help themselves in recovering from stress, trauma, and/or addictions and is facilitated by Jim Kearse and Julie Marquis both of Lindsay.

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Sir John A Macdonald: His past is our past

in Just in Time/Opinion by

Sometimes when I walk by Lindsay’s iconic municipal building — our former Town Hall — I look up at that top-level balcony and imagine Sir John A. Macdonald speaking from there. Our first prime minister – whose birthday is Jan. 11 – visited Lindsay twice. The first time was as prime minister, in either 1872 or 1874 (records vary), and a second time he visited as leader of the opposition in 1877.

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