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Court has ‘no authority’ to quash PC decision to cancel basic income; ruling has ‘no effect’ on possible class action lawsuit

in Poverty Reduction by
Class action lawsuit applicants Tracey Mechefske, Dana Bowman, Lawyer Mike Perry, Lindsay Advocate Publisher Roderick Benns, when the lawsuit was first announced.

It was not the kind of Valentine’s Day gift supporters of basic income were looking for.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice Divisional Court says the court has no authority to force the PC government to continue funding the Ontario Basic Income Pilot program.

In their decision Justices Thorburn, Reid, and Myers write, that “the pilot program is a government funding decision…this court has no power to review the considerations which motivate a cabinet policy decision.”

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Two new doctors at Ross Memorial to serve as Hospitalists

in Community/Health by

Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) is pleased to welcome two new physicians to our team of Hospitalists. A Hospitalist is a doctor who looks after hospitalized inpatients who don’t have a family physician or whose physicians don’t have privileges in this Hospital.

Dr. Sadia Munawar and Dr. Nathan Shepard began working at RMH last fall. Before moving to Lindsay, Dr. Munawar was practising in Maine and Dr. Shepard was practising in Alabama. The physicians’ have family connections in Ontario, which prompted their interest in relocating from the United States.

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A good reference is an important part of job search success

in Business/Opinion by

At some point during your job search you will need to provide references. A reference is someone who can vouch for the skills and experience you say you have on your resume. Most employers will check references. It’s good to line up your references when you start your job search. That means calling the person you want to use as a reference and asking their permission to use their name and contact information.

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Kawartha Lakes brings rural issues forward at 2019 ROMA conference

in Around Town/Community by

Mayor Andy Letham and Ron Taylor, CAO, joined more than 1,000 rural municipal officials from across the province at the 2019 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference in Toronto from January 27 to 29.

Coming six months after the change in provincial government, the conference focused on the pressing challenges and emerging opportunities facing rural communities in Ontario. It was an opportunity for Kawartha Lakes to bring to the forefront the key issues facing our municipality.

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Reg Learn and the ribbons of steel: Train expert’s career spans nearly 70 years

in Community/Seniors by

How to even begin to do justice in a couple of pages to a distinguished career that spans close to 70 years? Reg Learn’s curriculum vitae alone runs to five densely-packed pages.

But let’s begin with that C.V. and his career arc. Reg trained as a locomotive engineer, starting in the steam era, but going on to operate electric, diesel electric, turbo and Bombardier LRC (light, rapid, comfortable) engines. In 1967 he entered railway management, moving steadily upwards, and 20 years later transferred to federal service with the Railway Transport Committee as Chief of Operations, Ontario District.

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Basic income judicial review: A view from the gallery

in Community/Health/Local News/Poverty Reduction by

Monday, January 28. Outside it’s bitterly cold, winds swirl, and an Alberta Clipper is expected to bring up to 20 cm of snow. In Osgoode Hall’s courtroom number three all is calm and well-ordered. Tiers of dark wood benches line the room below a vaulted ceiling and an elaborate chandelier.

But there’s an air of expectancy: Basic Income is having its long-awaited day in court, and not just any court, but the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The applicants are Dana Bowman, Grace Marie Doyle Hillion, Susan Lindsay, and Tracey Mechefske. Dana and Grace are in the gallery. They are being represented by Mike Perry, a qualified but not practicing lawyer. He’s dressed in robes borrowed from Lindsay lawyer Jason Ward. Mike is acting pro bono. All the other costs of bringing a case — filing fees, photocopying and printing, administrative support, expert fees and insurance — have been covered through a GoFundMe campaign launched last August. (As the hearing begins the amount raised sits at $9,770; the next day it will reach its $10,000 target, a total of 117 having made contributions).

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Court reserves judgment on basic income case

in Community/Poverty Reduction by
Tracey Mechefske, Dana Bowman, plaintiffs; lawyer and social worker Mike Perry; Advocate publisher Roderick Benns.

An Ontario Court has reserved judgment on the high profile basic income case which was argued by Kawartha Lakes lawyer and social worker Mike Perry in a Toronto court room today.

However, the court also recognized this was a time sensitive matter, given that the program will end as of March, 2019.

Many believe this will be a matter of days, not weeks, before the court rules.

The challenge heard today was the application for the court to overturn the decision to cancel the Ontario Basic Income Pilot. A pending class action lawsuit will only be heard if the court decides not to overturn the Province’s decision and the pilot doesn’t continue.

If needed, the court will later hear a class action lawsuit for damages over breach of contract for the new Ontario government cancelling the basic income pilot project prematurely.

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Basic income was helping with crushing cost of housing: Survey

in Community/Poverty Reduction by
More than 58 per cent of people collecting basic income were trying to change their housing situation, according to a new survey.

OBIP Chronicles — Finding affordable housing in Ontario hasn’t been easy for decades. Finding it in Kawartha Lakes has been even more difficult of late, with the 2018 figures showing a 1.5 per cent vacancy rate, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) 2018 fall report. A healthy vacancy rate is more like three per cent.

For people collecting basic income in Lindsay, Hamilton area, and Thunder Bay area, the pressures they were facing with housing costs were lessened with the new benefit they were receiving, although all of that is ending in March with the cancellation of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot.

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Bards of the Kawarthas: Our poetic past

in Just in Time by
Just as artefacts and artworks function as windows into our collective past, so to do those rhymes of old.

Many years ago, when my father taught school full-time, a highlight of the academic year for his students occurred on or around the 25th of January – the birthday of Robert Burns (1759-1796), the “Bard of Ayrshire,” who is widely regarded as Scotland’s national poet. For over 30 years, students in Mr. McKechnie’s classroom celebrated the legacy of this literary legend by reciting portions of To A Mouse and Auld Lang Syne, among other works; enjoying a cup of tea; and feasting on the Abernethy biscuits and shortbread made by his grandmother and mother, respectively.

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Luis and Leanna Segura: Fresh food, hip hop and climbing for mangoes

in Around Town/Business/Community/Local News/Opinion by
Luis and Leanna Segura, the two “Ls” in “FueLL”. Photo: Jamie Morris.

After Christmas excesses ‘tis now the season for New Year’s resolutions. If healthier eating and food choices that have a lower impact on the environment top your list, you might want to kick off your new regime by dropping in to Fresh FueLL on Kent Street.

Inside, you’ll probably find Luis and Leanna Segura, the two “Ls” in “FueLL” and motive force of the business, now beginning its fourth year.

When I drop in one chilly morning the Seguras take time to sit down with me at a table by a wall entirely taken up by a blackboard covered with colourful chalk sketches and “Fun Facts” about everything from avocados to veganism.

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