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Provincial

Food Source: Province should change course on social assistance reforms

in Poverty Reduction/Provincial by
Within Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, and Northumberland County 13.5% of households are food insecure.

Kawartha Lakes Food Source is calling for several changes to the Province’s social assistance reforms — including retaining the current definition of ‘disability’ in Ontario.

In April 2019, Feed Ontario released a report forecasting the impact of the Government of Ontario’s proposed reforms to social assistance and put forth three key recommendations for change — recommendations Food Source is in full agreement with, as outlined in a recent press release.

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EOWC and eastern MPPs meet to talk social policy, services

in Municipal/Provincial by
The meeting was co-hosted by EOWC Chair Andy Letham (pictured) and MPP Todd Smith.

Members of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) held a meeting with their provincial counterparts recently to discuss issues of interest for Eastern Ontario such as affordable housing, health care, emergency services and financial impacts on municipal service delivery.

The meeting, co-hosted by EOWC Chair Andy Letham and MPP Todd Smith (also Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade), is an annual gathering of Provincial MPPs and the heads of Council from across the region.

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Advocates for health care anxious about timing of Ross Memorial’s ‘special legislation’

in Community/Health/Provincial by
Advocates for health care anxious about timing of Ross Memorial’s ‘special legislation’

With recent ‘merger memories’ still top of mind, Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition (KLHC) members are alarmed over the future of Ross Memorial Hospital after reading the public notice about new special legislation initiated by Ross near the same time as the passing of the PC’s omnibus Bill 74.

KLHC formed soon after the Lindsay Advocate released a feature analysis last year that showed mergers rarely work out well for the smaller hospital, usually leading to less services offered, and nor do they work well as a cost-saving exercise. A huge community outcry followed and KLHC and its supporters were able to blunt the momentum toward any merger.

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City loses $620,000 for licensed childcare in PC cuts; more kids for less staff expected

in Community/Municipal/Poverty Reduction/Provincial by

More than $620,000 in funding has been lost to the City of Kawartha Lakes for licensed childcare spaces due to cuts from the provincial PC government.

Within that pot, nearly $258,000 was for general allocation funding. This money is used for child care fee subsidies for low-income families and general operating costs.

The remaining amount, more than $360,000 is being eliminated through cost sharing changes. In what was once a 100 per cent boost from the Province, it is now a forced 80-20 cost-sharing agreement between Province and Municipality. This includes reductions in the administration allowances (from 10 per cent down to 5 per cent).

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Scott announces $71 million to improve broadband access, cell coverage

in Community/Provincial by
MPP Laurie Scott, right, standing, with members of Kawartha Lakes City Council, including Mayor Andy Letham, to the left of Scott.

The Ontario government is investing $71 million to improve mobile broadband and reliable cellular coverage across eastern Ontario, through the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN).

The project will help residents, visitors and businesses get the broadband and cellular connections they need no matter where they are in the region.

About 10 per cent of rural eastern Ontario has no mobile broadband connection, leading to dropped calls, missed emergency services and a lack of opportunity.

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Protesters in Lindsay against Ford cuts part of 25-city strike

in Provincial by
Attendees are concerned with the extensive list of cuts to education, health and the environment. Photo: Tracey Mechefske.

A small but determined group of concerned citizens braved the cold and very wet weather yesterday and gathered at MPP Laurie Scott’s constituency office to protest the litany of cuts to public funding by the Ford government.

The event in Lindsay was part of a 25 city ‘General Strike’, which grew out of an effort by a Hamilton woman to host an event in that city. Of the 35-40 people who showed up about 18 were from Haliburton County.

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Board losing millions in funding; Director of education says ‘change is upon us’

in Education/Provincial by
Board losing millions in funding; Director of education says ‘change is upon us’
Director of Education Larry Hope for the Trillium Lakelands District School Board.

The widespread cuts to education by the PC government will mean millions of dollars will be lost to the Trillium Lakelands District School Board. However, Director of Education, Larry Hope, says a highly regarded construction program at LCVI can’t solely be blamed on the PC government.

Among other cuts, the board is facing:

  • a $423,000 shortfall for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs).
  • a $526,000 drop in board funding because of new classroom caps for Grades 4-8.
  • a $3.8 million shortfall as secondary class sizes balloon from 22 to 28 students as a cap

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MPP says $1 billion will be invested in community housing

in Municipal/Provincial by

The Ontario government will provide “more than $1 billion dollars in 2019-20 to help sustain, repair and grow community housing and help end homelessness,” according to a press release from local MPP Laurie Scott.

The government has also revealed the province’s new Community Housing Renewal Strategy, outlining its plan to “transform a fragmented and inefficient system into one that is more streamlined, sustainable and ready to help people who need it most.”

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Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition concerned about Bill 74

in Health/Provincial by
Blame Wynne for some of the doctor shortages that Kawartha Lakes facing

With over 100 residents who came to the Bill 74 Town Meeting on March 27, the Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition members and residents are growing concerned with the impacts of Bill 74.

This new legislation is being pushed through the legislature quickly, notes a press release, with an expected passage on April 10, just one day before budget day. As there is a PC majority, this bill will pass and the KLHC says it is prepared to fight the implementation of this massive restructuring of our health care system.

Executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition, Natalie Mehra, released a statement regarding the public hearings at the Standing Committee on Social Policy this morning.

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Highway 35 restoration project announced by Province

in Provincial by

Today MPP Laurie Scott announced the Ontario government is investing in Highway 35 restoration projects to improve road safety in the northern Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton.  The restoration projects will include culvert upgrades, and rehabilitation of the Gull River bridge in Moore Falls.

This funding is part of a $1.3 billion investment in transportation projects announced by Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation. These projects will help create jobs for Ontario’s construction industry and help keep our highways reliable so that our province has a transportation network that encourages job creation, investment and trade in every region of the province.

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