Kawartha Lakes Police Chief Mark Mitchell is asking that people comply with the Province’s stay-at-home order as much as possible due to the ongoing pandemic — but police will not randomly ask people for personal details.
During the committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 12, the Kawartha Lakes Environmental Advisory Committee presented the 2020 Environmental Business Hero and Environmental Youth Hero Awards.
Each year, the committee awards the title to businesses and students living in Kawartha Lakes who have shown a commitment to improving the wellness of the environment.
This past year saw a variety of nominations and efforts, from more sustainable products, to waste collection, to recycling and education programs. Here are the 2020 heroes:
Environmental Business Hero Awards
* Boiling Over’s Coffee Vault (Lindsay) is a great example of a small business making many small changes to reduce their environmental impact, including: switching to “sippy” lids to reduce straws, switching to paper straws, biodegradable cutlery, products and packaging, and more. They also donate their surplus food through FoodRescue.ca.
* Burns Bulk Food (Lindsay) has been a family business for over 35 years and has recently taken additional steps to promote zero-waste, encouraging shoppers to bring their own containers. As an incentive to shoppers who bring their own containers, Burns is providing a 10 per cent discount for everything purchased in one’s own container.
* Country Cupboard (Fenelon Falls) has gone above and beyond trying to reduce plastics, making sure their products are produced as environmentally friendly as possible and by encouraging other local businesses to do the same. They offer a discount for patrons who use reusable containers, made the switch to compostable spoons and containers and offer sterilized glass jars for use instead of plastic bags. Owner Julia Taylor has also spoken at different events offering environmental ideas and suggestions.
* Dive Kawartha (Lindsay) has made a massive impact on the Kawartha Lakes community by holding multiple events called Dive Against Debris, where the team dive into local rivers and waterways to remove waste. The last event saw over 700lbs of garbage removed. They also have a fun promotion where if an employee spots you using one of their stainless-steel straws you get a free tank refill.
* Flex Fitness (Lindsay) is a fitness studio that has become more of a community hub. Owner Cathy Steffler takes extra steps to make sure the environmental footprint of her studio is as small as possible, encouraging people to use refillable containers and providing glassware for her members to use. You won’t find any vending machines filled with plastic bottles, Cathy leads by example and would rather do dishes for her members than create unnecessary waste.
* La Mantia’s Country Market (Lindsay) has become a model of environmental responsibility thanks to the practices Owner Dave La Mantia has put in place. Before the City’s policy on plastic recycling for businesses had even taken effect last year, La Mantia’s was achieving a 78 per cent waste diversion rate and they’ve kept that momentum going. Vegetable scraps go to local farmers for animal feed or composting, the store avoids unrecyclable waxed cardboard and 144 solar panels are mounted on the roof and sides of the building. All light fixtures are being replaced with LEDs and display cases for dairy products have been upgraded to be more energy-efficient.
* Unwrapped (Lindsay) was opened in January 2020 after its owners struggled for many years to find more sustainable options for household goods in the Kawartha Lakes. Today, Owners Jenny Connell and Jessica Moynes, sell refillable bulk items like shampoo, conditioner, cleaning products and more to reduce the amount of plastic bottles used in our area. They also offer a variety of eco-friendly alternatives to other disposable items. More importantly, they’re both committed to helping people in Kawartha Lakes make the switch to more sustainable lifestyles and are willing to chat about ways to reduce household waste.
Environmental Youth Hero Award
The Grade 5 and 6 Student Leadership Team at King Albert Public School (Lindsay) embarked on an ambitious project to support Kawartha Lakes’ voluntary ban on plastic shopping bags, by educating their school and the wider community about the impact plastic shopping bags have on the environment.
To facilitate change, the team is also working on a project to design and produce environmentally friendly bags to replace plastic bags, with the partnership of local businesses. The project was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but is still very much alive and planned to continue in 2021.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes (BGCKL) are excited to collaborate with the Kawartha Lakes Public Library and the Bakshi family to offer a mobile technology program virtually.
This program has been developed based on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada and Canada Learning Code Kid Tech Nation program that has been facilitated by Boys and Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes in our Lindsay and Peterborough locations.
Twenty years ago this month, Victoria County ceased to exist. In its place the City of Kawartha Lakes was born, as vast and rural as the county ever was, dotted with a postcard town and attractive villages.
As our municipal affairs writer, Kirk Winter, soon found when he put together this month’s feature story, the imposed single-tier amalgamation of Victoria County was a watershed moment in local municipal affairs.
Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes is proud to keep the community moving, thanks to a $143,700 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).
The funding was used for the purchase and retrofit of two wheelchair and stretcher-accessible vans. The vans are a vital piece of Community Care’s Specialized Transportation program, providing seniors and adults with special needs with affordable transportation.
Ross Memorial Hospital and partners are working together to prepare for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine locally, according to provincial guidelines, as more doses become available.
The province has launched a webpage to share updates and information about the vaccine. Until COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, it’s important to follow public health guidelines, according to a press release from RMH, and abide by the provincial lockdown measures.
In Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, four non-profit organizations received funding under the Resilient Communities Fund for a total of $309,200.00 for 2020-21.
The recipients included the Community Care Health and Care Network, Haliburton Highlands Land Trust, The Land Between and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes. These grants from the province are part of the first round of funding through the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
The board of directors for Kawartha-Haliburton Crime Stoppers is appealing to the public for help to save the non-profit organization from closing.
“KH Crime Stoppers, along with many charities in light of COVID, has seen a drop in donations and their charitable events this past year,” said Gary Burns, president of Kawartha-Haliburton Crime Stoppers.
“It would be a very sad day for Haliburton and Kawartha Lakes if the local Crime Stoppers program closed.”
The organization, which receives no federal or provincial government funding and relies solely on individual and corporate donations, held a meeting last week to discuss its future.
“We believe that a responsible board must consider all options and have plans in place,” added Burns. “We will do everything in our power to keep this vital service available to the community, including asking the community we serve for help.”
The local Crime Stoppers program offers numerous benefits to Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County, according to a media release, including the ability for individuals to report crime anonymously.
“Being able to report a crime or provide tips anonymously gives people who may be in vulnerable situations or fearful of their safety the avenue they need,” said Burns. “They are never required to testify, and we don’t collect any identifying information.”
Kawartha-Haliburton Crime Stoppers has helped police make more than 419 arrests, $34,171,283 worth of drugs off the street, $1,960,182 of returned property, in addition to contributing information for up to 70 weapons seized.
Burns is proud of these statistics, which he says show how vital the service Crime Stoppers offers truly is. Crime Stoppers current financial footing could see the organization fold and the community lose an invaluable service.
January is Crime Stoppers Month and the board will be trying to highlight the benefit of the organization throughout next month.
“With everything we hear in the news, read in the paper, or see online about drugs and crime in our community, we can’t afford to lose this program,” he added. “The board of directors is committed to looking at new ways to secure donations and funds to continue to operate, but we will need help.”
For those concerned about seeing Kawartha-Haliburton Crime Stoppers program continue, Burns asks that people consider making a donation, which can be done online at www.khcrimestoppers.com, by cheque made payable to “Kawartha-Haliburton Crime Stoppers Inc” mailed to PO BOX 155, Lindsay, ON K9V 4R8 or for sponsorship or other inquiries email .
“We are also looking for additional board members who are looking to volunteer a little of their time and expertise,” noted Burns.
The City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team is ensuring its family doctors and health care providers have increased knowledge and skills in providing health care for questioning, transitioning and transgender patients and their families and caregivers.
New funding to help local governments avoid operating deficits in 2021 was announced today by MPP Laurie Scott’s office, including about $1 million for Kawartha Lakes.
The money was announced as part of Phase 2 of the Safe Restart Agreement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This new funding will help municipalities in HKLB develop a 2021 budget that reflects the challenges of COVID-19,” said Scott.