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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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$200 million class action filed over basic income

in Poverty Reduction/Provincial by
How the Canada Child Benefit ‘basic income’ helped out these 5 women

The Advocate has learned that the four participants in the province’s basic income pilot project are seeking $200 million in general damages. To that end, they have filed a multi-million class-action lawsuit against the Ford government over its early cancellation of the project.

The lawsuit, filed with the court in Lindsay, alleges the government breached its contract with the pilot project’s 4,000 participants in the communities of Lindsay, Thunder Bay and Hamilton. The plaintiffs also claim the government was negligent and breached its undertaking and common law duties in deciding to cancel the project only one year into its three-year term.

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Class action lawsuit filed, seeking justice for basic income recipients

in Poverty Reduction/Provincial by
Tracey Mechefske and Dana Bowman, plaintiffs, Mike Perry, lawyer and social worker, Roderick Benns, Lindsay Advocate publisher.

As expected, four people from Lindsay who had been receiving payments through the Ontario Basic Income Pilot have launched a proposed class action against the PC government for its premature cancellation.

The three-year OBIP began in 2017, with international eyes on it as among the most comprehensive pilots in the world, but the current government cancelled it in 2018, before gathering its own follow-up information from participants.

The applicants are Dana Bowman, Grace Marie Doyle Hillion, Susan Lindsay, and Tracey Mechefske, all from Lindsay. A statement of claim was filed today by the Toronto law firm of Cavalluzzo LLP. The firm is “dedicated to social advocacy and the protection of working people.”

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Trevor’s Take: Whither the Progressive Conservative?

in Opinion/Provincial by
Premier Leslie Frost.

Growing up, Leslie Frost was a hero to me. In our cupboard at home we had some Pyrex flatware — a wedding gift to my parents from Frost. The family connection was that my grandfather, who ran Bill’s Taxi in Lindsay, had driven for Leslie Frost.

Rushing Frost’s forgotten passport from Lindsay to Toronto with police escort was the stuff of legend in my house. That I went to a school named after him only increased my sense of connection to the man.

I follow politicians of every stripe and I’ve found myself wondering lately how a politician like Frost would fare in today’s meme-based, fact-agnostic, political atmosphere. His nicknames were ‘Old Man Ontario’ and ‘The Great Tranquilizer.’

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‘Demonstrate that you truly have the concerns of your constituents at heart’

in Poverty Reduction/Provincial by
There has been no attempt at communication even by phone, email, or through her staff. Photo: Roderick Benns

On Day Three of a protest to seek an apology for the premature cancellation of basic income, the question on many people’s minds is just where is local MPP Laurie Scott anyway?

The question comes not only from the protesters, led by local lawyer and social worker Mike Perry, but also from many of her constituents through letters to the editor and social media. While most people recognize she has duties and obligations at Queen’s Park in Toronto, there has been no attempt at communication even by phone, email, or through her staff.

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Basic income sit-in participants — even media — barred from entry to MPP’s office

in Poverty Reduction/Provincial by
n Monday Perry had led a small group to protest in front of Scott’s office

On day two of a peaceful protest in front of local MPP Laurie Scott’s office, lawyer and social worker Mike Perry was informed they were not welcome to enter the constituency office. Neither, apparently, is media, as Scott’s staff members would not even let Pamela VanMeer of Kawartha411 in to ask a question about the protest.

Not even the postal carrier could get in because of the locked door and simply moved on with the day’s mail.

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Protesters hold ‘sit-in’ at MPP’s office, wait for apology from Ford minister

in Poverty Reduction/Provincial by
basic income pilot protesters

Lawyer and social worker Mike Perry led a small but determined group to hold a sit-in at the office of local MPP Laurie Scott Monday morning.

Protesters are demanding an apology from the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, Lisa MacLeod, for the government’s treatment of participants in the basic income pilot program.

After peacefully protesting outside for a while, Perry and a small cadre went inside to tell a staff member of Scott’s that they were there to ask for an apology – and that they were going to wait in her office until they got a response. The surprised staffer quickly retreated, ostensibly to make a phone call.

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