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What we leave behind: On growing up in Lindsay

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What we leave behind: On growing up in Lindsay
Queen Victoria P.S. today. Photo: Erin Smith.

They call it ‘relative poverty.’ Growing up in Lindsay in the east end in the 1970s and early 80s, we didn’t have much money. Mom ensured we didn’t miss any meals and she always did her very best, but I know there were some field trips my younger brother and I missed out on, and our clothing wasn’t always the latest and greatest.

Atari became a thing in my generation, but it was something I would experience only at a friend’s house. Most of the time for fun we did other things, like watch mile-long freight trains inch across Queen Street, hoping they flattened our pennies into new possibilities.

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Mental health training is available to all of us

in Health/Opinion by

The desire to help and the hope that we can provide direction, care, or support to someone that may be struggling is inherent in many of us. Whether it is a family member, friend, or even a neighbour, when we see a loved one experiencing mental distress most of us are genuinely inclined to help.

Quite often two things keep us from offering that support: We are either 1) Not sure what we’re supposed to do or 2) We’re afraid if we do something, we’re going to end up worsening the situation.

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Marsh at Colborne and Hwy 35 formed while development stalled

in Environment/Opinion by
Marsh at Colborne and Hwy 35 formed while development stalled

Most residents of Lindsay are well aware of the construction efforts taking place at Colborne street and highway 35. Talk of a new Walmart, along with plans for more housing is making this a hot topic.

However, it is fair to say that many people are probably unaware of the finer details of the whole matter.

When topsoil was removed from the site some 10-15 years ago, a layer of clay from beneath the ground was exposed, which allowed spring rainwater to pool and accumulate. Over time, this formed a small marsh, which has now become home to numerous species of plants and wildlife. Some of these species are plants like Asters, Reeds, Horsetails and Water Plantain. In addition, Raccoons, Muskrats and Coyotes have also chosen to call the marsh home.

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We should go back to the future and risk being great

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Good urban planning “is a gift of its designers...to the future.” Photo: Roderick Benns.

In 1834, a town plan for Lindsay was envisioned on what was then nothing more than a cedar swamp. The planners envisioned something different, and grander than the Purdy Mills hamlet which had been established south of the Scugog River almost 15 years previously.

Kent and Victoria Streets were designed to be one and a half times wider than the standard 66-foot right of way. As the final report on Downtown Heritage Conservation District notes, this was done “presumably to highlight their importance but also to make maneuvering horses and carts that much easier.”

So urban planning for this area of our city has, from its very outset, consisted of a blend of anticipating future transit needs and a vision of something bigger and special.

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International Day of the Midwife: 24,000 babies a year in Ontario delivered by midwife

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International Day of the Midwife: Delivering 24,000 babies a year in Ontario

Happy International Day of the Midwife this coming May 5!  Not that long ago, only a few generations, most babies were delivered by midwives. Today, modern midwifery is making a positive impact by supporting families to safely give birth in home or hospital settings, while paying close attention to social and cultural factors to support a heart-warming and profound but usually quite normal event. Midwives in Ontario deliver about 17 per cent of the babies in the province or around 24,000 per year.

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Time to get moving on active transportation

in Municipal/Opinion by

“With an aging population, increasing health care costs and an inactive population, the City of Kawartha Lakes needs to invest in environments that make being physically active the easy choice, while at the same time reducing the environmental footprint. CKL needs to adopt a longer-term vision for how our community is designed and the policies that direct new development.” (City of Kawartha Lakes Integrated Community Sustainability Plan Final Report, April 2014)

The Sustainability Plan was an inspirational document. It saw promoting and enabling active transportation — walking and cycling — as critically important, and called for a decreasing of our dependence on cars.

The preamble to the Active Communities section ends with a vision of transformation:  “Connecting communities through safe routes for walking and cycling to school, work and key community amenities . . . can become the way of life in CKL.”

But the Sustainability Plan was meant to be more than inspirational. It included a commitment to “move these words into action.” Around Active Transportation there were sets of actions laid out around four goals, each action given a priority and a timeline.

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Collaborative Law: A cost effective alternative to court

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Collaborative Law is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process used to resolve Family Law Matters without going to court. Couples who are separating or divorcing can resolve issues such as parenting, income sharing, and property division, by using the techniques of collaborative law. Matters are resolved without the use of a decision maker, such as a judge or an arbitrator. It is a voluntary process in which the separating spouses reach an agreement which is then documented in a binding Separation Agreement.

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Silence from MPP Laurie Scott deafening for those losing their basic income

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On March 25, nearly 2,000 people in Lindsay lost their basic income cheques due to a broken promise of the PC government. On April 25, some will be back on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), or Ontario Works. Still others will receive no money top-up to stay out of abject poverty and will rely on precarious work, hoping to avoid homelessness.

Single people on ODSP get a maximum of $1,151 – $662 is for basic needs and $489 for shelter. Their total annual income with other benefits is only about $15,000 per year, which is more than $7,000 below the poverty line. Because of an ineffective changeover from basic income back to ODSP – the opposite of the smooth transition that was promised – some people were left in the lurch when it came to their important medications. Thankfully pharmacists stepped in to help.

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Unpaid work is still work: Why is labour outside the home supposedly more valuable?

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Unpaid work is still work: Why is labour outside the home supposedly more valuable?

I remember wondering why my mother felt so strongly about it. Every year we brought home the same information sheet from school to be filled out. And every year she insisted that the line for her occupation be completed with the word “homemaker,” rather than what we kids would have written, “housewife.”

The line for my dad was easy—“farmer”—even if the work wasn’t. My mother grew a huge garden, drove the tractor, and fed pigs and cattle when my dad was away on municipal council business, along with looking after kids and the house. Obviously she was a partner on the farm, and obviously she was irreplaceable. So why did that one word matter so much to her? Well, I get it now.

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‘Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?’ a provocative look at ‘economic man’

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Bay Street in Toronto. Is everything subservient to the market?

Katrine Marçal blows the whistle on the founding father of our economic system, Adam Smith, in Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?

When Adam Smith proclaimed that all our actions were motivated by self-interest, he used the example of the baker and the butcher as he laid the foundations for his ‘economic man’ theory. Smith reasoned the baker and butcher didn’t give bread and meat out of kindness, which was certainly an interesting viewpoint coming from a bachelor who lived with his mother for most of his life — the same woman who cooked his dinner each night and certainly not out of self-interest.

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