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Around Town/Community

An annual tradition: The Living Christmas Tree

It’s the first week of Advent, circa 2001. Throngs of children and teenagers arrayed in burgundy-and-white choir gowns gather in the Sunday School room at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, talking excitedly among themselves.  In due course, they troop upstairs and are marshalled outside of the minister’s vestry.

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Time served: Those who have been incarcerated need fresh start

in Community by
incarcerated

Years ago on a Toronto subway, Lois Powers noticed a poster of a man leaving prison. The caption read: “Freedom. Now the punishment begins.”

Inspired by this powerful image, Powers went on to work for justice through various positions in social services, including the Toronto John Howard Society. Today she is the executive director of the John Howard Society (JHS) of Kawartha Lakes & Haliburton.

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Former paramedic chief charged with fraud after investigation

in Community by

On March 29, 2019 the City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service initiated an investigation into reported allegations of fraud and breach of trust, involving the Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service. After a thorough investigation, the City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service has charged 49-year-old Derek Brown with eight counts of fraud under $5,000, eight counts of uttering a forged document and one count of breach of trust.

The accused will attend at the Ontario Court of Justice, located at 440 Kent Street west in Lindsay, on November 28, 2019.

Police had advised that effective April 2, 2019 Acting Paramedic Chief Derek Brown’s employment with the City of Kawartha Lakes had been terminated with cause.

An internal investigation of alleged financial irregularities and breach of trust led the City to contact the City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service. A police investigation was then begun.

The Paramedic Service continued under the direction of Acting Chief Andrew Rafton.

Liberals win election, Schmale takes riding: Is blue the only colour we know?

in Federal/Opinion by
Jame Schmale re-elected.

We live in a riding that has been Conservative on a federal level every single year since the 1940s, save former Liberal MP John O’Reilly’s three consecutive wins which must come with an asterisk.

(From 1993 to 2004 the Reform Party vote (or Canadian Alliance) plus the Progressive Conservative vote easily beat O’Reilly’s electoral showing for the Liberals.)

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Business owners: Small Business Week 2019 has it all

in Business/Community by

Small Business Week 2019, which runs from Monday, October 21 to Friday, October 25, has something for every business owner with eight events scheduled throughout Kawartha Lakes.

The week kicks off on Monday at 9 am with Kawartha Lakes Small Business Conference hosted by Strike Point Bowling Center, Optimize Wellness Solutions and KLSBEC.

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From the ashes, a new beginning

in Community/Environment by
A tractor lifts 13 replacement trees into place. Photo: Jamie Morris.

Last month the Advocate reported on the loss of the 13  trees in Lindsay’s tiny Peace Park, located just north of Central Senior Public School on Albert Street. All were ash, all were infested by emerald ash borers. It was, on a small scale, a foretaste of what is happening across the City; experts say all of our 24,000 ash trees will succumb. 

For Peace Park, the loss was particularly poignant:  A plaque mounted near the stumps let visitors know the trees had represented not only our ten provinces and three territories, but “hope for the future.” 

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Family health teams a positive change, say majority, although health care cuts a worry

in Health by
Vast majority say family health teams a positive change to health care
Dr. Eric Ready, rt, Mike Perry, centre, Julia Skinner, left. Photo: Jean Walsh.

The results are in from the City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team’s most recent survey of patients across the local area. The data revealed some interesting findings on how local residents feel about their local care, the family health team approach, the health care system in general and the main challenges to be addressed.

While the vast majority of respondents indicated they found their health care provider to be caring, friendly and easy-to-talk-to and reported overwhelmingly that their providers are caring, good listeners and thorough, the broader answers were also encouraging.

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Powerless guards mired in poor working conditions at Lindsay’s Super Jail

in Community/Health by
Powerless guards mired in poor working conditions at Lindsay’s Super Jail
“They are broken. Mentally broken. Some are suicidal, from a career in corrections.”

For the past couple months the Lindsay Advocate has been speaking to employees and former employees of Lindsay’s Central East Correctional Centre. Citing concern for their jobs (and privacy issues) all interviewees requested anonymity. We also spoke on the record to representatives of the union and to Ontario’s Solicitor General.

“We call them broken toys.”

“They are broken. Mentally broken. Some are suicidal, from a career in corrections,” says one retired correctional officer (CO), describing some of his former co-workers.

As an outsider with no experience with the prison system, I had of course expected stories from COs involving mental health. But I thought I would hear stories of trauma that come with having a job that involves providing custody and control for criminals (or those suspected of criminality): the ‘crazy stories’ of fights, drugs, rape and murder. What shocked me was that the more I spoke to COs (current and retired) the more I learned that the stress these people described was more often about policy, procedure and management then it was about the salacious things I had imagined.

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Employee retention challenges? This event is for you

in Business by
Employee retention challenges? This event is for you

Local business peers are coming together to discuss the challenges employers face in the hiring and retention of an employee, a must-attend event for local employers.

Hosted by Kawartha Lakes Small Business and Entrepreneurship Centre and Strike Point Bowling in Lindsay, the event will be held at Strike Point and feature a panel discussion, speakers, good food and a fun break.

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Parking enforcement: Wayne English has his eye on Lindsay’s downtown core

in Community by
Wayne English. Photo: Jamie Morris.

It’s a Monday, a few minutes before 10 am, and I’m standing outside the Bylaw Enforcement Office, where I’m to meet and then tag along with Wayne English.

As the church bells peal, Wayne, who’s been chatting with Bulk Food store-owner Dan Burns across the street, approaches, hand outstretched.

He’s hard to miss: his red golf shirt and baseball cap are emblazoned with “Parking Control” and “LDBIA Community Liaison,” and a chunky electronic device is strapped to his waist. Sunglasses, black shorts, and dusty and well-worn-in walking shoes complete his outfit.

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How I’ll be voting in this federal election

in Opinion by
How I’ll be voting in this federal election

Like millions of other Canadians this month, I’ll be voting for a local candidate to represent my interests in Parliament.

If I lived in 1950s or 1960s Canada, my choice might be different than it will be this month. Back then, the business world worked closely with governments to help co-construct a society worth living in for each of us. ‘Open for business’ back then actually meant something because big business was a reliable partner that paid a living wage to its employees.

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