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From hospital merger talk, to the municipal election, to the cancellation of basic income, it's a time of challenge and change.

Challenge and change in Kawartha Lakes

in Columnists/Community/Health/Poverty Reduction by

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions, Won’t be nothing, Nothing you can measure anymore…

— Leonard Cohen, The Future

It has been a challenging time, filled with community outrage, political deception, and collective anxiety, here in Kawartha Lakes.

Basic Income

The cancellation of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot was not only a broken promise, it was colossally stupid. As a society we had a chance to try something new to deal with poverty and the changing employment landscape.

The pilot was only three years long and had the chance to collect valuable data. But the PC government was not interested in evidence. Instead, our multimillionaire premier of ‘the people’ sold 2,000 folks down the Scugog River — the number of people enrolled in Lindsay.

Lindsay Advocate Publisher, Roderick Benns.

This was the kind of change we didn’t need. Perhaps that fight isn’t over though, with local lawyer Mike Perry spearheading a class action lawsuit against the provincial government.

Hospital Merger

In the last two months we’ve led the discussion on the imminent merger between Ross Memorial Hospital and Peterborough Regional Health Centre, with in-depth articles by Advocate Contributing Editor, Trevor Hutchinson. In it we questioned the prevailing wisdom of mergers. In truth, there is much to be wary of – particularly for the smaller hospital – with the very real threat of loss of services. Only a strong community outcry could possibly halt, or at least blunt, this ill-advised move.

Municipal Election

There is more change on the horizon of the more natural kind in our democracy. It’s the kind of change we vote for every four years at the municipal level when we pick our mayor and councillors to represent us. Sixteen councillors have been reduced to eight now, and there are bound to be new faces.

At the mayoral level, voters have a chance to dig in on their landslide choice from four years ago and re-elect Andy Letham, or they can opt for leadership change in Gord James, Brian Junkin, or Peter Weygang. This issue should help with your decision. Please exercise your right to vote.

Though we are challenged by change here in Kawartha Lakes now, we also take solace in the adage that change is all there is. That means we keep fighting for the right kind, for the right reasons, in all the ways we can.

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Roderick Benns is the publisher of The Lindsay Advocate. He is the author of 'Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World,' and is also Vice Chair of the Ontario Basic Income Network. An award-winning author and journalist who grew up in Lindsay, Roderick has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Canada, Senators, and Mayors across Canada. He also wrote and published a series of books for youth about Canada's Prime Ministers as teens.

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