Kawartha Lakes' Finest Magazine

Federal/Municipal

City to encourage conversation about basic income  

In a contested and close vote, Kawartha Lakes council approved a motion by Councillor Doug Elmslie to send letters to Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock member of parliament, Jamie Schmale, and federal finance minister Chrystia Freeland to encourage a meaningful discussion between Ottawa and the provinces on the issue of a universal basic income.

Universal basic income, or basic income for short, ensures everyone has sufficient income to meet basic needs and live with dignity. Basic income, in Canada, would look similar to the Canada Child Benefit. That is, as wages increase the benefit declines, but it declines progressively – not dollar for dollar.

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Letham will not stand for a third term as mayor

in Municipal by
Letham will not stand for a third term as mayor

Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham will not be running for a third term.

He informed council at their regularly scheduled April 20 meeting of his decision.  “I will not be running in the next election,” Letham told council. “We have accomplished much together as a team and we have much more to do. Let’s keep going.”

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Fenelon Falls Tennis Club a pandemic-friendly sports option  

in Community by

With a new rink, a curling club, nearby golf courses, a popular multi-use trail and every kind of aquatic-based recreation known to humans at their doorstep, Fenelon Falls residents have many ways to spend their leisure time. That might explain why, through no fault of its own, the Fenelon Falls Tennis Club flies under the recreational radar.

Ham Keillor-Faulkner says when he tells locals he is president of the club they are often surprised — as in surprised there is a tennis club in town. Keillor-Faulkner says with their newly resurfaced courts, and a reasonable membership price, the club offers excellent value for anyone looking for COVID-compliant exercise.

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Benns’ Belief: Politicians are human — and so is learning from our mistakes

in Opinion by
Playgrounds, public health now knows, are not hotspots for COVID transmissions. (File photo from first lockdown.)

As we navigate Lockdown Number Whatever due to the pandemic it’s clear the politicians are determined to simply do what they want. It’s governance by political calculus, not public health needs.

Yes, Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are human. They’re bound to make mistakes during an unparalleled crisis in our history. Other than the most partisan among us, they have been cut a lot of slack by most people I’ve heard from.

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I.E. Weldon at 50

in Just in Time by

One of the most famous stories in human history involves the people of ancient Israel crossing the River Jordan and entering the Promised Land (in today’s Middle East). Originally recorded in the Hebrew Bible, this story was alluded to by the writer of “The New Jerusalem” — an address given at Lindsay Collegiate & Vocational Institute on June 8, 1971.

This address (which resides today in the collection of the Victoria County Historical Society), likens students at overcrowded LCVI to the ancient Israelites crossing a river and entering the promised land, the New Jerusalem, “a city set on a hill” — that is, the newly completed I.E. Weldon Secondary School, which in 2021 marks its 50th anniversary.

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Food banks do not address issue of inadequate income

in Opinion by
Food banks do not address issue of inadequate income

By Elaine Power

Special to the Advocate

This year, 2021, marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of Canada’s first food bank. The Edmonton Gleaners Association borrowed the idea from the Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, Ariz., the first food bank in the U.S.

The idea of food banks spread quickly across the country. Founders of food banks considered the stop-gap measure an emergency response to an economic downturn, one that would end when the economy recovered. As late as 1991, food banks in the Greater Toronto Area met to discuss how they might close.

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City takes first step to change rules for election signs

in Municipal by
Mayoral candidates Andy Letham, Brian Junkin, and Gord James squared off in the last municipal election. There could be three elections in 2022.

With the possibility of a federal, provincial and municipal election in 2022, council has unanimously voted in principal to update the by-law currently in place regarding the size, content and placement of candidates’ signs anywhere in the city.

City clerk Cathie Ritchie and deputy clerk Joel Watts presented council with their recommendations in written form. These recommendations were motivated by their experience and the public complaints that emanated from the 2018 municipal election.

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Stricter provincial rules are necessary to slow COVID surge: Health unit

in Health by
Dr. Bocking, Medical Officer of Health at HKPRDHU
Dr. Natalie Bocking, medical officer of health with HKPRDHU.

Extremely difficult, but absolutely necessary.

That is the reaction of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) to new, tougher restrictions announced today by the Ontario government to try slowing surging COVID-19 case counts in the province. With many hospitals, ICU units, health care providers, and public health agencies (like HKPRDHU) facing overwhelming pressures due to COVID-19, additional action has to be taken now.

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Increase in COVID-19 cases stretches health unit capacity

in Health by
COVID-19

Dr. Natalie Bocking, medical officer of health for the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit says that the recent spike in cases has stretched the capacity of the health unit to its limits.

She says the organization has had to make some process changes to balance the work involved with new cases while continuing to offer mass immunization clinics in the communities.

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Hope Lee retires: City’s progressive housing stance a reflection of Lee’s leadership

in Community/Municipal/Social Issues by

It was always a little bit personal for Hope Lee. After 34 years with the city’s housing division, Hope Lee retires in May. She traces her a career path back to her childhood, a time when she lived in public housing in Lindsay for several years.

When Lee was living in a single parent family in one of the very units that the city still owns, Zita Devan, founder of A Place Called Home, the city’s homeless shelter, set Lee on the path she’d stay on for more than three decades. Devan helped get Lee a work placement in what was then the Victoria Haliburton Housing Authority in 1986 through a Fleming College program. Lee was hired full time in 1987.

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Debt primer: Understanding the city’s debt load

in Municipal by
The $135 million debt is split into five buckets.

With the next municipal election less than two years away and potential candidates already starting to think about running, it is likely that the municipal debt of more than $135 million is going to be a hotly debated issue.

Jennifer Stover, director of corporate services and a 30-year veteran of municipal finances, believes the city debt is being well managed and that much of the debt is “good debt” that will benefit the city in the long term.

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