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Uncovering racism in our local history

SMASH! A chunk of ice sails through the glass of the Chuong Sun Laundry in downtown Lindsay as belligerent, racial slurs echo from one side of the street to the other.

CRASH! A young man armed with a brick obliterates another window as the crowd about him thunders with approval. More vituperative, racist rumblings erupt into a roar of hate as whatever projectiles rioters can gather from the street are lobbed into the aforesaid laundry, above which laundryman Lee Ten Yun hides.

By the wee small hours of February 1, 1919, the vandals’ victims included not only the Chuong Sun Laundry, but also a restaurant and another business operated by members of Lindsay’s Chinese community.

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New figures show living wage in Kawartha Lakes is $18.42 per hour

in Business/Community/Social Issues by
Local health officials say the gap is “worrisome” at a time when well-paying, full-time jobs continue to decline. Photo: Jerry Holder.

As the PC government puts the brakes on the minimum wage, new figures just released show that a living wage in Kawartha Lakes for a family of four is more than $4 higher than Ontario’s current minimum wage. 

Local health officials say the gap is “worrisome” at a time when well-paying, full-time jobs continue to decline, and part-time employment can be unstable and unpredictable. 

New calculations from the Ontario Living Wage Network (www.ontariolivingwage.ca) show a family of four in Kawartha Lakes – with both parents working full-time – would each have to earn a living wage of $18.42 per hour in order to cover basic expenses in 2018. It is the highest in Ontario after Toronto and Haliburton. Keep Reading

Dorothea Weise and the symphony of colour

in Community/Opinion/The Arts by
Dorothea Weise and the symphony of colour
Karl had always dreamed of moving to Canada. “It represented,” Dorothea tells me, “freedom, vast spaces, unspoiled nature.”

For close to 15 years Dorothea and her husband, Karl, lived two doors down from us. Quieter, more considerate neighbours you couldn’t find. And kind-hearted:  The feral marmalade cat we chased from our backyard invariably found a warm welcome at their back door.

We didn’t really get to know Dorothea or Karl. We did know that at some point they had emigrated from Germany, and that Karl had been a writer and that Dorothea was an accomplished and well-respected artist. We’d hear of shows she was mounting. At Art on Kent we saw some of her work and LCVI art teacher and Kawartha Arts Network co-founder Anders Widjedal told us how much he admired Dorothea for her adventurous spirit, the way she took artistic chances with her work.

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The case for a living wage — a social contract and moral imperative

in Community/Opinion/Social Issues by

This is Living Wage Week, part of a campaign to encourage employers to pay a wage that is significantly higher than the legal minimum. Recently I highlighted the negative impact of inequality. One of the ways to increase equality is through reducing income difference before tax by increasing minimum wages or through a ‘living wage.’

Recently, the provincial government announced that the minimum wage would remain at $14 for the next two years. While expected, this announcement is not good news for the people working at jobs that typically pay a minimum wage; jobs in the retail, food services, and hospitality sectors.

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Lest we forget: 100 years after the Great War

in Around Town/Community/Seniors by
75 men from Victoria County left with the first shipment of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in October of 1914. In the spring of 1916, another 829 soldiers and officers shipped out to England.

This Remembrance Day marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice — the end of hostilities in the Great War, or the War to End All Wars, or sadly, what became known as the First World War. There were of course wars that followed what was envisioned to be the last war and all who served in those conflicts — the men and women who sacrificed body and mind (and in too many cases their own lives)  — will be honoured at Remembrance Day services throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes this Sunday Nov. 11.

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Your own network might be your best friend for job seeking

in Community/Opinion by
Employee retention challenges? This event is for you

So, your resume is done, you have a realistic job goal and you are ready to begin your job search. Now what do you do? Many people start by checking online job boards and newspaper ads.

It may be a good start but not always the most effective or time efficient. Remember that the more time you spend on your job search the more successful you will be.

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New study shows major job and income challenges for City of Kawartha Lakes

in Business/Community/Local News/Social Issues by
New study shows major job and income challenges for Kawartha Lakes
The greatest number of job postings available during this time span were low-paying, low-skill jobs, mostly related to sales and service occupations.

Individual income from employment is a full 22 per cent below the provincial average in Kawartha Lakes, according to the first ever Community Labour Market Plan.

As well, the average income in City of Kawartha Lakes was $37,242 in 2016 — an increase of just $369 per year since 2010, despite the rapid rise in costs associated with housing, food, utilities and other inflationary pressures that far outweighs the minor gain.

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Canada Post workers on strike for 24 hours; Union wants return of postal banks

in Around Town/Community/Local News/Social Issues by
Postal banking was something Canada Post did decades earlier, ending the practice in 1968. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Scores of local postal workers walked off the job this morning in Lindsay and Bobcaygeon for 24 hours in a coordinated effort to draw attention to what has become a protracted strike. Calling for better health and safety conditions, gender equality, and a return to postal banking, Cheryl MacMillan, the president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) Local 564, says workers are “overburdened.”

“Parcel delivery has exploded,” she tells the Advocate, with carriers often working 10-12 hour days to finish up their deliveries. While they are paid for this, it is a forced overtime and it’s taking its toll on workers’ health, she says.

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Let’s have ranked ballots in time for next election

in Community/Opinion by
How I’ll be voting in this federal election
I suggest, that while we are looking at how we vote, we look at how we choose the winners: It’s time for preferential voting in the CKL.

Talking about the next municipal election right after the most recent one is like talking about alcohol the day after a big party: For some people, even the mere mention brings discomfort.

But I would argue now is the exact time that we as citizens — with and through our elected officials — should be talking about it. Let’s face it — the most recent election raised a couple important issues: how we vote in the first place, and how we can get consensus in our wards.

How do we want to vote?

Most citizens who bothered to vote (or perhaps tried to vote, in our case) are aware that, like 48 other municipalities, the City of Kawartha Lakes’ election had to be extended an additional 24 hours because of technical problems with the company hired to administer our online-and-phone-only election, Dominion Voting. (Dominion Voting originally reported the problem affected 51 municipalities but has since reduced that number to 49).

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Kawartha Lakes community coming together to create access to fresh fruit

in Around Town/Community/Environment/Social Issues by

A new cooperative project is taking shape in Kawartha Lakes aimed at providing residents with access to fresh and healthy fruit. Under the direction of the Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition Food Security Working Group, apple and pear trees will be planted at Orchard Park in Lindsay. An additional 70 apple trees are being planted at affordable housing sites across Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton.

“This fruit will feed seniors, children and adults in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton who live in poverty. At the same time, it creates habitat and food for wildlife while reducing pollution and the effects of carbon emissions,” commented Liza Hancock, anti-poverty and human rights activist who spearheaded the project.

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No quit in Trevor White: Wheelchair can’t stop Fenelon man from contractor work

in Around Town/Business/Local News by
He underwent 18 months of speech therapy before he could speak again, and endured years of physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Photo: Geoff Coleman.

On a wall in Trevor White’s house hangs a photo that reveals a lot about the Fenelon Falls resident. He is in a hospital bed, chatting with Toronto Maple Leaf greats Darryl Sittler, Lanny McDonald, and Dave “Tiger” Williams.

Taken days after a car accident that left him with a severe brain injury and without the use of his legs, the hockey legends were not on a goodwill hospital tour — they came to see him because White was building Sittler’s house when the accident occurred.

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