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City to encourage conversation about basic income  

in Federal/Municipal by
The Ontario Basic Income Pilot was cut short when Premier Doug Ford's Conservatives were elected in 2018. Photo: Roderick Benns.

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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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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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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City adopts five-year tourism strategy and focus on outdoor experiences

in Community/Municipal by
The dry stone wall experience near Balsam Lake is the kind of 'experiential tourism' the city will focus on. Photo: Jamie Morris.

Council unanimously adopted a five-year tourism strategy that aims to make Kawartha Lakes a destination for tourists outside the busy summer season.

The strategy also focuses on how tourism operators might attract visitors for longer periods of time and package events where individuals might spend more money than they currently do in Kawartha Lakes.

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City approves hiring of museum curator/manager

in Municipal by

Kawartha Lakes council approved the hiring of a curator/manager in the next two to three months who will have a very broad portfolio of responsibilities assisting the many cultural organizations in the city.

Chief Administrative Officer Ron Taylor, with the help of numerous senior staff, shared four possible options with council regarding the request from the Olde Gaol Museum Board who asked for financial assistance in hiring full-time staff for the 2021 season.

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City approves study on repurposing Ops Community Centre for other indoor sports

in Municipal by
City approves study on repurposing Ops Community Centre

By a unanimous vote, council approved a staff study due back at the end of the summer that will flesh out the specifics and costs of converting Ops from an arena to a multi-sport indoor sports destination.

The ‘new Ops,’ if accepted, would be able to accommodate indoor soccer, volleyball, pickle ball, ultimate Frisbee, box lacrosse, and other non-ice-related games.

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Rally for Bobcaygeon, says city, in Kraft Hockeyville contest

in Community/Municipal by

The community is invited to rally for Bobcaygeon, as the arena has made it to the top four finalists in this year’s Kraft Hockeyville competition. Bobcaygeon is the only arena representing Ontario.

Bobcaygeon’s competitors are in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

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Cannabis cultivation, processing bylaw changes almost complete

in Municipal by

Kawartha Lakes council received an update on changes being made to the bylaw on property standards. These changes will allow the city to better deal with the odour and ventilation concerns that might be produced by the cultivation and processing of cannabis for sale in areas zoned residential and industrial.

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