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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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Lindsay law firm strong supporters of mental health in the workplace

in Around Town/Community/Health/Local News by
Jason Ward and Maria Francis of Wards Lawyers.

There are 17 people at Wards Lawyers in Lindsay and those numbers will soon swell to well over 20. It’s a growing staff, in what is already the second largest law firm in central Ontario. With so many people working in one of the top five most stressful occupations, Jason Ward knew they wanted to be leaders when it came to mental health supports in the workplace.

He and Karissa – who is both his wife and his business partner – created a full time position that is part administration but also Mental Health/First Aid Officer, a certified position through the Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

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Challenge and change in Kawartha Lakes

in Columnists/Community/Health/Poverty Reduction by
From hospital merger talk, to the municipal election, to the cancellation of basic income, it's a time of challenge and change.

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.

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Giving caregivers ‘powerful tools’ to manage

in Columnists/Health/Seniors by
Almost half of those identified as caregivers are also raising their own families.

At first glance, the numbers are overwhelming, until you pause to think about them. It is estimated that in North America, one out of every four households provides caregiving – millions of people taking on care services for a relative or friend over the age of 50.

With our aging population, more and more people find themselves in situations that they may never have imagined. Almost half of those identified as caregivers in our society are also raising their own family simultaneously, and two-thirds work either full- or part-time. The added pressure and stress of caregiving responsibilities are not easy to handle.

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Scott says tax rebates for child care expenses, cheaper gas if PCs elected

in Community/Local News/Poverty Reduction by

Three community groups — The Access to Permanent Housing Committee, the Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition and the Haliburton County FoodNet – posed questions on poverty, housing, and food insecurity to candidates in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock running for office in this provincial election. In this installment, we hear from Progressive Conservative Candidate Laurie Scott.

What will your party do to increase and maintain access to affordable, safe housing, in addition to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Canada-Ontario Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement?

Scott: The Ontario PCs believe that Ontarians should not have to work day and night to be able to afford to heat their homes, pay their rent or mortgage and put food on the table for their families.

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Paramedics in the Park marks tenth anniversary, honours citizens

in Around Town/Community/Health by
Paramedics in the Park marks tenth anniversary, honours citizens
From L to R: Dave Kilner, Don Farrow, John Morrow and Christine Buchanan, John Spooner.

May 31 marks the tenth anniversary of “Paramedics in the Park,” which began as a way to educate the public about City of Kawartha Lakes Paramedics and their partners at the police and fire departments.

According to Deputy Chief of Paramedics, Derek Brown, “It was an opportunity to let the public see our equipment and meet some paramedics when they weren’t in an emergency.”

“For years we had been meeting students in their classrooms but we felt it was a great opportunity to invite the children to come to Victoria Park, experience some fun in the outdoors towards the end of the school year, and really get to interact with us.”

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Aging in the Kawarthas: Creativity required

in Columnists/Community/Seniors by
Aging in Place: Whole community effort needed to keep seniors at home

Seniors who call Kawartha Lakes their home can consider themselves blessed as we live in a lovely place. Small towns, with good neighbours, accessible health care, and a beautiful environment to get outside and enjoy the sights.

But aging in place can be more of a challenge than a lot of seniors hope, as discussed in the last few articles. Gone are the days when neighbourhood kids show up to help shovel snow and, given that we are a very rural environment, if you don’t have access to a vehicle our public transportation can be tricky.

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Health Unit: Voters should consider poverty, income, food security on June 7

in Community/Health/Poverty Reduction by
Health Unit: Voters should consider poverty, income, food security on June 7
“By addressing factors like lack of income, we can...help more people reach their full health potential.” (Aisha Malik, HKPR Health Unit, right.)

There is a prescription to improve public health, but to fill it, local voters are being urged to have all the facts before casting a ballot in the upcoming Ontario election.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit wants people to ask their provincial election candidates where they and their political parties stand on key issues affecting health.

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How a basic income could help young families

in Columnists/Community/Poverty Reduction by
These young parents see the basic income as a support to pursue further education, run a small business, or to stay at home and raise their children.

A few weeks ago, I had lively discussions with two groups of young mothers. They were open, honest and articulate.  The women were participants in a weekly program that offered social connection and learning opportunities. While the children played, the women talked to me about the challenges of raising a family in the small community of Haliburton. After a brief explanation of the basic income and the current pilot project, I asked them to consider what a basic income might mean to their lives.

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