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Budget wish list: Basic income, affordable housing, a green economy and more

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Budget wish list: Basic income, affordable housing, a green economy and more

All eyes are on Chrystia Freeland now as Canada’s finance minister gets set to table the nation’s first budget in two years. Here are a few things we hope to see.

Basic income: The Liberals’ own grassroots and many MPs are interested in this forward-thinking policy, as are the NDP and Green Party. This policy would be the linchpin in a plan to eliminate poverty. Time to put faith in an upstream policy – getting to the source of social policy ills, which is often income — that will prevent poverty and poor health.

Pharmacare: Universal pharmacare is the missing piece of Tommy Douglas’s Medicare legacy. We want everyone to have access to a common list of drugs and free from co-pays.

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Amalgamation: All for one, one for all

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Farm country, Canadian Shield…anything but “cottage country”

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.

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City in need of more rental housing

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Terms like “desperate” have been used to describe the need for more rental housing of all kinds in Kawartha Lakes which currently has a minuscule 1.3 per cent vacancy rate, according to the last figures available from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

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Trash talk: Could cooperation be the answer?

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Recycling programs across Canada have been a failure. Canada recycles just nine per cent of its plastics, while the rest is dumped in landfill, incinerated, or ends up as litter. In 2000, when Kawartha Lakes first started a city-wide recycling program, all seven types of plastics were recycled.

Now almost none are eligible. Additionally, takeout coffee cups, Styrofoam, and aerosol cans are no longer permissible under the city’s new waste contract with Canada Fibers Ltd.

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Reduced city services show more money needed from federal partners

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At the end of July, Mayor Andy Letham warned that people were “going to notice” the service cuts that were coming. Ditching and brushing, grass-cutting and street sweeping, service centres and arenas — all  of this and maybe more affected by the pandemic.

This is utter nonsense for citizens to have to accept.

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Basic Income Plus: Five demands for a better Canada

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Basic Income Plus: Five demands for a better Canada

Pandemics force us to take stock of our values in society; they clarify our sense of mortality and reveal how strong or weak our social fabric is.

More sensitized to our common humanity now, we must organize our economy to care for one another better.

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