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Advocates for health care anxious about timing of Ross Memorial’s ‘special legislation’

Advocates for health care anxious about timing of Ross Memorial’s ‘special legislation’

With recent ‘merger memories’ still top of mind, Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition (KLHC) members are alarmed over the future of Ross Memorial Hospital after reading the public notice about new special legislation initiated by Ross near the same time as the passing of the PC’s omnibus Bill 74.

KLHC formed soon after the Lindsay Advocate released a feature analysis last year that showed mergers rarely work out well for the smaller hospital, usually leading to less services offered, and nor do they work well as a cost-saving exercise. A huge community outcry followed and KLHC and its supporters were able to blunt the momentum toward any merger.

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What we leave behind: On growing up in Lindsay

in Opinion by
What we leave behind: On growing up in Lindsay
Queen Victoria P.S. today. Photo: Erin Smith.

They call it ‘relative poverty.’ Growing up in Lindsay in the east end in the 1970s and early 80s, we didn’t have much money. Mom ensured we didn’t miss any meals and she always did her very best, but I know there were some field trips my younger brother and I missed out on, and our clothing wasn’t always the latest and greatest.

Atari became a thing in my generation, but it was something I would experience only at a friend’s house. Most of the time for fun we did other things, like watch mile-long freight trains inch across Queen Street, hoping they flattened our pennies into new possibilities.

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Unfinished business: Time for a national Pharmacare system

in Health/Poverty Reduction by
Unfinished business: Time for a national Pharmacare system
The World Health Organization declared that “all nations should ensure universal access to necessary medicine.

More than 15,000 people in Kawartha Lakes do not have adequate prescription drug coverage. Far too many of our fellow citizens with a needed prescription can’t afford to get the medicine, or they ration the prescription in ill-advised ways. Not filling a prescription (or rationing incorrectly) due to the price of medications is something experts call “cost-related non-adherence (CRNA).” That’s a fancy way of describing people who can’t afford to take their drugs properly, if it at all. And the number of people who are forced to do this is staggering, because of the lack of a national Pharmacare system.

A 2015 survey found that “24 per cent of Ontarians reported that they or a member of their household did not take their medications as prescribed, or missed medications, due to cost.” Given that, according to the CMAJO, “drugs for mental health conditions were the most commonly reported drug class for cost-related non-adherence.” It’s clear that prescription drug cost is a major problem, not just nationally, but locally.

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Mental health training is available to all of us

in Health/Opinion by

The desire to help and the hope that we can provide direction, care, or support to someone that may be struggling is inherent in many of us. Whether it is a family member, friend, or even a neighbour, when we see a loved one experiencing mental distress most of us are genuinely inclined to help.

Quite often two things keep us from offering that support: We are either 1) Not sure what we’re supposed to do or 2) We’re afraid if we do something, we’re going to end up worsening the situation.

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Marsh at Colborne and Hwy 35 formed while development stalled

in Environment/Opinion by
Marsh at Colborne and Hwy 35 formed while development stalled

Most residents of Lindsay are well aware of the construction efforts taking place at Colborne street and highway 35. Talk of a new Walmart, along with plans for more housing is making this a hot topic.

However, it is fair to say that many people are probably unaware of the finer details of the whole matter.

When topsoil was removed from the site some 10-15 years ago, a layer of clay from beneath the ground was exposed, which allowed spring rainwater to pool and accumulate. Over time, this formed a small marsh, which has now become home to numerous species of plants and wildlife. Some of these species are plants like Asters, Reeds, Horsetails and Water Plantain. In addition, Raccoons, Muskrats and Coyotes have also chosen to call the marsh home.

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We should go back to the future and risk being great

in Opinion by
Good urban planning “is a gift of its designers...to the future.” Photo: Roderick Benns.

In 1834, a town plan for Lindsay was envisioned on what was then nothing more than a cedar swamp. The planners envisioned something different, and grander than the Purdy Mills hamlet which had been established south of the Scugog River almost 15 years previously.

Kent and Victoria Streets were designed to be one and a half times wider than the standard 66-foot right of way. As the final report on Downtown Heritage Conservation District notes, this was done “presumably to highlight their importance but also to make maneuvering horses and carts that much easier.”

So urban planning for this area of our city has, from its very outset, consisted of a blend of anticipating future transit needs and a vision of something bigger and special.

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Taking care of each other: Collective wealth into well-being

in Health/Poverty Reduction by
Taking care of each other: Collective wealth into well-being

I always feel a little anxious sitting in the dentist chair, but fortunately I usually only need a cleaning. One thing I never worried about was paying for our family’s dental visits. Prescription drug coverage, dental care and other health care options were part of a benefits package my family received through my spouse’s unionized workplace. Why would I not wish that peace of mind for everyone?

Taking care of our bodies is a human need, but we have yet to make a commitment to a comprehensive health care system for everyone regardless of work status or income. Dental care and prescription drug coverage is both essential and expensive. Many people however, do not receive benefits through their workplace and cannot afford private insurance. Others remain on social assistance rather than take a low wage job without benefits.

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‘Attrition protection’ fund added by PCs to prevent teacher layoffs

in Education by
'Attrition protection' fund added by PCs to prevent teacher layoffs

A news release from the Ontario government indicates that a new “Attrition Protection Allocation” of $1.6 billion in the province’s education funding model will top-up funding for school boards to protect front-line teaching staff from being laid off.

This will “prevent boards from having to lay off teachers impacted by proposed changes in class sizes and e-learning,” says the release.

The PCs appear to be getting the message from both union picketing and community feedback, after weeks of advocacy that tried to prevent the layoffs.

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Kawartha Lakes Country Living Show is back in Fenelon Falls

in Around Town by

The Kawartha Lakes Country Living Show returns to the Fenelon Falls Community Centre April 26-28 with over 125 vendors and exhibitors participating. Staged by the Fenelon Falls and District Chamber of Commerce, the show has something for everyone, no matter what living in Kawartha Lakes country means to them.

Lead organizer, Tim Wisener, describes the event as part outdoor recreation show and part home show, with a good measure of cottage show on top of that. Attendees can expect to see local contractors, building material suppliers, renovation specialists, and deck design companies, but also representatives from golf courses and recreational equipment dealers. As an added bonus, community organizations and non-profits are also invited to set up information booths as well.

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International Day of the Midwife: 24,000 babies a year in Ontario delivered by midwife

in Health/Opinion by
International Day of the Midwife: Delivering 24,000 babies a year in Ontario

Happy International Day of the Midwife this coming May 5!  Not that long ago, only a few generations, most babies were delivered by midwives. Today, modern midwifery is making a positive impact by supporting families to safely give birth in home or hospital settings, while paying close attention to social and cultural factors to support a heart-warming and profound but usually quite normal event. Midwives in Ontario deliver about 17 per cent of the babies in the province or around 24,000 per year.

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Summer Lunch Program gears up in Lindsay, Fenelon Falls

in Poverty Reduction by
Summer Lunch Program gears up in Lindsay, Fenelon Falls

The Food Security Working Group, a committee of the Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition, will be offering the Summer Outreach Lunch Program for children again this year. The Salvation Army, Kawartha Lakes Food Source and the HKPR District Health Unit, as part of the committee, are partnering on this project.

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