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Need work? Most top 10 hard skills could be learned in Kawartha Region

in Business/Community/Education/Poverty Reduction by
About 44.3 per cent of residents in Kawartha Lakes have just their high school diploma or less education.

A new study breaks down 10 “highly sought hard skills” in the Kawartha Lakes region – and Fleming College can teach most of them.

With Kawartha Lakes grappling with a high unemployment rate and low wages, this first-ever report of its kind shows a potential path forward for many who live in this area– if they get the right education and skills.

The report was produced by the Workforce Development Board (WDB) under the Local Employment Planning Council (LEPC) pilot. The report covers employment aspects related to Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, Peterborough County and Haliburton County. In our last article on this theme we focused on the job and income challenges in Kawartha Lakes.

Since the report also talked about the hard skills that were needed, the Advocate contacted Fleming College to find out how many of these hard skills could be matched up though local post-secondary education opportunities.

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New figures show living wage in Kawartha Lakes is $18.42 per hour

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Local health officials say the gap is “worrisome” at a time when well-paying, full-time jobs continue to decline. Photo: Jerry Holder.

As the PC government puts the brakes on the minimum wage, new figures just released show that a living wage in Kawartha Lakes for a family of four is more than $4 higher than Ontario’s current minimum wage. 

Local health officials say the gap is “worrisome” at a time when well-paying, full-time jobs continue to decline, and part-time employment can be unstable and unpredictable. 

New calculations from the Ontario Living Wage Network (www.ontariolivingwage.ca) show a family of four in Kawartha Lakes – with both parents working full-time – would each have to earn a living wage of $18.42 per hour in order to cover basic expenses in 2018. It is the highest in Ontario after Toronto and Haliburton. Keep Reading

The case for a living wage — a social contract and moral imperative

in Columnists/Community/Poverty Reduction by

This is Living Wage Week, part of a campaign to encourage employers to pay a wage that is significantly higher than the legal minimum. Recently I highlighted the negative impact of inequality. One of the ways to increase equality is through reducing income difference before tax by increasing minimum wages or through a ‘living wage.’

Recently, the provincial government announced that the minimum wage would remain at $14 for the next two years. While expected, this announcement is not good news for the people working at jobs that typically pay a minimum wage; jobs in the retail, food services, and hospitality sectors.

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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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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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Legal Action on Basic Income ongoing, says lawyer Mike Perry

in Around Town/Community/Education/Health/Poverty Reduction by
Tracey Mechefske, Dana Bowman, Lawyer Mike Perry, Lindsay Advocate Publisher Roderick Benns, when the lawsuit was first announced. Photo: Trevor Hutchinson.

The legal action against the Ontario government for cancelling the basic income pilot project is continuing on track, according to Lindsay lawyer Mike Perry.

The legal action is proceeding on two fronts. The first is a request to the court to overturn the Minister’s decision to cancel the pilot project. Originally scheduled to be heard in October, the matter will now be heard in Ontario Superior Court (Divisional Court) in late January, 2019.

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Broken glass, shattered faith: MPP’s office a snapshot of future unrest

in Columnists/Community/Poverty Reduction by
We’ve transferred all the inherent economic risks to low income workers and all the rewards to corporations in the name of ‘labour market flexibility.’

It jars us, to see violence in Canada – especially small-town Canada. Whether that violence is perpetrated against people or against property, we tend to feel that this just shouldn’t happen here, in a nation of so much opportunity and wealth. And it shouldn’t.

When MPP and Minister of Labour Laurie Scott’s local office was savagely vandalized earlier this week, our reaction was mostly repulsion.

President of the Lindsay and District Labour Council, James Mulhern, wrote to the Advocate and declared the labour council “does not support or condone violence against persons or property in any form.”

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