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Environment/Municipal

Kawartha Lakes adopts its first Healthy Environment Plan

At the March 19 Committee of the Whole meeting, the Healthy Environment Plan was recommended to be adopted by Council. The Plan has been 18 months in the making, involving a 60-member working group and consultations with more than 2600 community members.

Council Champion Tracy Richardson kicked off the presentation by sharing that “the Healthy Environment Plan is a transformational plan that maps out high-level strategies for reducing greenhouse gasses over the next 10 years. It addresses changes in our growing seasons, droughts, flooding, impact of freeze-thaw cycles and warmer lake temperatures. This is a community plan; it was created with the community and will be carried out by all of us as we seek to cope with climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

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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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Consultations begin for downtown parking strategy

in Municipal by
Council approves study for downtown parking

The municipality is undertaking a downtown parking strategy to examine the current and future parking requirements in the downtown areas of Lindsay, Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon. As outlined in the  Kawartha Lakes Transportation Master Plan, this study will develop solutions to optimize parking in the defined areas.

In the last several years, demand for downtown parking has increased dramatically. In downtown Lindsay, the average rate of use for parking during peak weekday business hours has increased from 61 per cent in 2014 to 81 per cent in 2018. Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls have also seen increased pressure on parking resources, especially during the busy summer season.

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Be careful around waterways, says Kawartha Conservation

in Environment by
Kawartha Conservation issues flood outlook
Unstable stream banks and extremely cold water temperatures can lead to hazardous and dangerous conditions.

Kawartha Conservation is reminding residents of the dangers that exist near bodies of water, particularly around this time of year, and urges people to keep family and pets away from the edges of all waterways.

Spring is quickly approaching and with warmer temperatures, people look forward to getting outdoors. However, warmer temperatures will bring higher water levels and faster flowing water in local watercourses.

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Veronica Nelson announced as interim president and CEO at Ross

in Community/Health by
Veronica Nelson.

The Ross Memorial Hospital Board of Governors is pleased to announce that Veronica Nelson will lead the hospital as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer as a process gets underway to recruit a permanent President and CEO.

Veronica Nelson was most recently Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. She began her career at RMH as a Medical Radiation Technologist in 1999 and has held roles including Project Manager, Director of Diagnostic Imaging, and Vice President Diagnostics, Procurement and Special Projects.

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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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Residents can help walleye conservation in Lake Scugog

in Environment by

A joint project by the Scugog Lake Stewards, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and Kawartha Conservation will begin looking at the optimal Walleye habitat conditions in Lake Scugog tributaries beginning this spring and are asking the public for their help in making the project a success.

“There are a significant number of tributaries that enter Lake Scugog that could provide spawning habitat for Lake Scugog Walleye,” explained Brett Tregunno, an aquatic biologist with Kawartha Conservation. “This project will for the first time focus on the tributaries entering the lake rather than the lake itself.”

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More than half of people on basic income behind on bills for two or more months

in Poverty Reduction by

It’s perhaps no surprise that the men and women who were collecting basic income across Lindsay, Thunder Bay, and Hamilton area were in financially challenging circumstances.

Data from the baseline survey shows how difficult their situation actually was. The average share of income spent on shelter was more than 55 per cent, while more than 43 per cent of participants reported they were falling behind in meeting their basic financial obligations.

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Barbara Doyle chosen as federal NDP candidate

in Community by

Barbara Doyle has been chosen to represent the NDP in Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Brock for the next federal election. She was one of two candidates, topping local union leader James Mulhern.

Doyle is focusing on a platform that fights for “change and progress in areas of affordable housing, universal Pharmacare, justice reforms, skilled trades and implementing robust climate policies that include fighting for an aggressive transition to green alternatives and moving away from carbon-intensive industries while also addressing limiting trade policies that go against Canadian interests,” according to a press release.

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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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