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Class action law suit on basic income set for June, 2020 say Toronto lawyers

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Basic income class action law suit set for June, 2020 say Toronto lawyers

The class action lawsuit launched by four people from Lindsay who were once on the Ontario Basic Income Pilot is moving ahead with a late June, 2020 court date.

The Toronto law firm of Cavalluzzo LLP was in Lindsay yesterday to hold two public sessions in order to update people who were on basic income and to let them know the current status of the class action lawsuit.

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Conservative cuts to library system now mean user fees for some book loans

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Conservative cuts to library system now mean user fees for some book loans

Free inter-library loans are back at the Kawartha Lakes Public Library system, even after the Ontario Conservatives slashed budgets across the province. But ‘free’ comes at a cost, as this will now impact the collections budget and has also created a new type of user fee for books that come from universities.

In April the Advocate reported that funding for two key services – the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) and the Northern Ontario Library Service (NOLS) were cut in half. SOLS – of which Kawartha Lakes system is a member of — supplies courier service that moves material between different systems. About 200-250 items per month for local patrons are moved about through other libraries, showing the popularity of the system.

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Province keeps municipalities guessing: Is paramedic funding down or up?

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Province keeps municipalities guessing: Is paramedic funding down or up?
Photo courtesy of City of Kawartha Lakes.

It hasn’t been easy for municipalities to get a handle on this current provincial government when it comes to funding, whether for paramedic services, childcare, Ontario Works, and more.

Communication has been unclear and sometimes contradictory. The Province has sent mixed signals on cuts, promising to slay a deficit that grew under two previous Liberal governments, solely by cutting “red tape.” At the same time they’ve promised to avoid the kinds of egregious cuts made by Ontario Conservatives in the Mike Harris years.

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New Lindsay transit route, expanded fleet, as part of new infrastructure money

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New Lindsay bus route, expanded fleet, as part of new infrastructure money

Lindsay Transit will be updating its fleet, adding a new route, creating bike racks on buses and upgrading transit software, among other changes after the Province announced new infrastructure funding.

Laurie Scott, minister of infrastructure, announced Kawartha Lakes has been nominated for funding under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Ontario will be investing upwards of $790,000 to go towards new transit infrastructure projects.

The project is being nominated under the Public Transit stream of the ICIP, a 10-year, $30 billion fund created by Federal and Provincial levels of government to provide support to help municipalities repair or build critical infrastructure.

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Food Source: Province should change course on social assistance reforms

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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’

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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

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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

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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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