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Silence from MPP Laurie Scott deafening for those losing their basic income

in Opinion by

On March 25, nearly 2,000 people in Lindsay lost their basic income cheques due to a broken promise of the PC government. On April 25, some will be back on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), or Ontario Works. Still others will receive no money top-up to stay out of abject poverty and will rely on precarious work, hoping to avoid homelessness.

Single people on ODSP get a maximum of $1,151 – $662 is for basic needs and $489 for shelter. Their total annual income with other benefits is only about $15,000 per year, which is more than $7,000 below the poverty line. Because of an ineffective changeover from basic income back to ODSP – the opposite of the smooth transition that was promised – some people were left in the lurch when it came to their important medications. Thankfully pharmacists stepped in to help.

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‘Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?’ a provocative look at ‘economic man’

in Opinion by
Bay Street in Toronto. Is everything subservient to the market?

Katrine Marçal blows the whistle on the founding father of our economic system, Adam Smith, in Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?

When Adam Smith proclaimed that all our actions were motivated by self-interest, he used the example of the baker and the butcher as he laid the foundations for his ‘economic man’ theory. Smith reasoned the baker and butcher didn’t give bread and meat out of kindness, which was certainly an interesting viewpoint coming from a bachelor who lived with his mother for most of his life — the same woman who cooked his dinner each night and certainly not out of self-interest.

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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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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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KLAC wants to work with new council to advance tourism, development

in Community/The Arts by
L to R: Andy Letham, Brian Junkin, Gord James.

The Kawartha Lakes Arts Council and the Kawartha Lakes Heritage Network are looking forward to working with the new council to further strengthen cultural tourism and economic development in the municipality.

The groups were interested in electing candidates who support the cultural sector and who believe that long-term investment in the culture of the Kawartha Lakes is vital to economic and social growth.

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Letham says GM is ‘pulling the rug out’ from people’s feet with plant closure

in Uncategorized by
About 1,000 people commute to Oshawa each day for work from Kawartha Lakes. L to R: Mayor Andy Letham, Manager, Economic Development Rebecca Mustard.

Calling today’s announcement from GM a “huge disappointment” for working men and women, City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham says these jobs are going to be “tough to replace” for families.

While GM can’t officially close a union plant until it reaches a deal with Unifor, the bottom line is the company has announced production will cease after December 2019.

In a press release issued by GM Canada’s parent company in the U.S., it paints a rosy picture for investors.

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Urgent: Province wants to hear your ideas for a made-in-Ontario Climate Plan

in Environment by
Provincially, two of our largest sources of emissions are transportation and buildings.

The Ontario government recently scrapped the province’s Cap and Trade program and is now looking for suggestions, by Nov. 16, as to what they should replace it with. Replace it they must. In early October, the UN’s panel of climate scientists released a report warning that we have 12 years to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels (that’s .5 degrees more than our current warming level).

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For the record: What did Laurie/Jamie do? (Oct. 19, 2018)

in Local News by
Laurie Scott: 'We have said time and time again that Ontario is open for business.'

A relatively calm week for local federal MP Jamie Schmale, especially considering the House was in session this week. Conservatives this week, on mass, decided to focus primarily on Mark Norman who is alleged to have leaked government secrets to Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding. Schmale included some focus as well on the Trans Mountain Pipeline during an appearance on CPAC.

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Canada’s supply management system ensures stability for Kawartha Lakes’ farmers

in Business/Community by
Keith Thurston, left, and son, Jeff Thurston, right of Thursthill Farms in Kawartha Lakes. Photo: Erin Smith.

Jim Callaghan was just 8 to 10 years old when the family loaded up the cream they expected to sell to Silverwood’s in Lindsay, a now defunct dairy company. But on that day the company officials shook their heads and sent the Callaghan’s on their way. There would be no dairy sales for the family on that attempt, since Silverwood’s had a glut of supply that day. These were the days before ‘supply management,’ the admittedly boring name for the system that has brought financial stability to Canadian farmers for decades.

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Laurie Scott, PCs, say basic income too costly if expanded to all Ontario

in Community/Local News/Poverty Reduction by
Scott says basic income would be too costly if expanded to all Ontario
Minister of Labour Laurie Scott and Mike Perry, Basic Income advocate.

Local MPP and Minister of Labour Laurie Scott says there were “too many concerns” about the Ontario Basic Income Pilot to let it go on — but then also noted if it were successful it would have been too expensive to implement Ontario-wide.

Scott, who was responding to questions provided by the Lindsay Advocate, made the seemingly contradictory remarks in her emailed response, although she wasn’t the only one. The lead minister on this file, Lisa MacLeod, said the same thing yesterday, in an effort to stem the growing pressure to see the decision reversed.

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