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Federal election Q & A with Barbara Doyle of the New Democratic Party (NDP)

in Federal by
Federal election Q & A with Barbara Doyle of the New Democratic Party (NDP)
Barbara Doyle, candidate for the New Democratic Party.

Roderick Benns recently interviewed the PPC, Conservative, Liberal, Green, and NDP candidates for Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Brock riding to help voters make an informed decision leading up to the election in October. In our second installment we connect with Barbara Doyle of the NDP.

Benns: Can you highlight a policy of your party that will lead to increased employment and increased average income in our riding? 

Doyle: The NDP will start by immediately increasing the minimum wage to $15 that will help over 900,000 workers across the country while supporting small businesses with the access to service they need to grow, innovate and stay competitive in Canada and around the world. That’s why we have stood up for lower small business taxes, opposed unfair merchant fees, and fought to make it easier to pass on small businesses to the next generation by ending the unfair tax treatment of family transfers of small businesses.

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‘Raise the Song of Harvest Home’

in Just in Time by

September 17, 1997. A terrifying sight is bringing up the rear of Lindsay’s annual Fair Parade. An 80-year-old steam engine (more properly called a traction engine), complete with a water wagon and antique threshing machine in tow, inches its way up Kent Street.

Terrifying, you say? Yes, indeed. To a six or seven-year-old child, the column of grey smoke rising from the chimney of this fire-breathing monster built by George White & Sons Co. of London, Ontario, means only one thing: its whistle will soon be shrieking like a banshee as it passes by on route to the [old] Lindsay fairgrounds.

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Local farmers struggling from wet spring, overall effects of changing climate

in Community by
Local farmers struggling from wet spring, overall effects of changing climate
The Skrabek family. Photo: Sienna Frost.

After examining her soil-stained hands for a moment, Jessica Foote looks out at the fields of her farm, on which several acres of crops have already been lost this year. “We’re at the beck and call of mother nature,” she says, before wiping some of the soil from her hands. Foote, one of many area farmers struggling this year, is the owner of Lunar Rhythm Gardens has been working in agriculture since she was nine-years-old, under the guidance of her father.

Despite the high elevation of her Janetville property, flooding has already destroyed six acres of alfalfa, along with several of Foote’s lettuce crops.

“It’s the extremes that do it,” she says.

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Water: How farmers meet the challenge of too little, too much

in Community/Environment by
Leslie Dyment, at Crow Hill Farm in Cameron.

Farmers have been concerned about water issues for as long as human beings have been growing crops. From the irrigation ditches of the ancient near east, to the flooding of ancient Egypt, the lack of water, or too much of it, has shaped the rhythms of farming life.

As a result, farmers throughout history have developed various strategies related to water. Some of these—like the worship of ancient fertility gods and goddesses—seem a little odd to us now. Some, like tile drainage, are still practiced but are somewhat controversial. Others, such as the use of terrace farming and dams, continue to be used today.

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Lindsay lands International Plowing Match 2020 with expected 80,000 visitors

in Community by
Lindsay lands International Plowing Match 2020 with expected 80,000 visitors

The Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA) has announced the location of the 2020 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo will be Kawartha Lakes, at the Lindsay Exhibition Fairgrounds.

“We looked at several potential locations for IPM 2020 and this one ticked all the boxes,” says newly minted OPA President Sheila Marshall. “It’s a great spot, in a fantastic, agriculturally rich community. “We’re excited to bring the IPM and its 80,000-plus visitors to Kawartha Lakes.”

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Permaculture: A better approach to gardening for your health, wealth, and environment

in Community/Environment by

If you want to be an environmentally conscious gardener or homeowner, it may be worth considering an alternative method to planning your property. The traditional North American suburban lawn and garden typically requires much maintenance, generous amounts of watering and the addition of fertilizers and chemicals in order to be successful.

These activities degrade land and incorporate pollutants into the local environment. Quite recently, around the world, a new movement has brought hope for the future of our planet, and it starts with the homeowner.

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Learning from the first ‘farmers’ how to save the earth

in Environment/Opinion by

There is something about a drive through the country that is deeply satisfying. Green fields divided by tree lines or split rail fences. The occasional dry stone wall. Cattle or sheep dotted in the fields and cozy farmhouses flanked by wooden barns. An idyllic picture of a pastoral farming way of life.

When the first settlers came to Canada and encountered the Indigenous people of these lands, they did not realize that the land they were looking at also reflected a pastoral, farming way of life. There was so much lush greenery. The woods seems so thick and the animals so abundant. This was nothing like the farms they had left behind in England and France and Spain. This land didn’t appear to be managed. It didn’t look controlled. And it certainly didn’t look as though anyone was trying to raise crops or breed animals.

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Canada’s supply management system ensures stability for Kawartha Lakes’ farmers

in Business/Community by
Keith Thurston, left, and son, Jeff Thurston, right of Thursthill Farms in Kawartha Lakes. Photo: Erin Smith.

Jim Callaghan was just 8 to 10 years old when the family loaded up the cream they expected to sell to Silverwood’s in Lindsay, a now defunct dairy company. But on that day the company officials shook their heads and sent the Callaghan’s on their way. There would be no dairy sales for the family on that attempt, since Silverwood’s had a glut of supply that day. These were the days before ‘supply management,’ the admittedly boring name for the system that has brought financial stability to Canadian farmers for decades.

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Fleming’s sustainable agriculture program sees big increase in international students

in Community/Education by

Roderick Benns recently interviewed Brett Goodwin, the dean at Fleming College’s Frost Campus in Lindsay, about the huge rise in popularity of its sustainable agriculture program. 

Benns: The rise in the number of international students at Fleming is considerable. In the sustainable agriculture program, for instance, I believe 75-80 out of 87 students were international last year. We’ve heard some concerns that the infrastructure at the college is not keeping up with what is needed in the program (such as the calibre of the greenhouse facilities or specially customized classroom spaces). Are you challenged by this influx and what has (or what can) the college do to help with this?

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Russian farmers to learn about farming life here on the ‘Way for Milk’ tour

in Around Town/Business/Community by
Russian farmers to learn about farming life here on the 'Way for Milk' tour
Vera Mozgovaya, editor in chief, Russia Dairy News, on a 2017 tour of Ontario Dairy farms. Photo: Suzanne Atkinson.

Sometime in the middle of July, about 50 to 100 Russian farmers will be driving around Kawartha Lakes.

They won’t be driving aimlessly – they’re actually on a tight timeline and it’s a fully guided tour. They’ve only got six days and a massive area of Ontario and Quebec to explore – including two days here in Kawartha Lakes.

Most of the attendees on this journey are farmers or processors from Russia, along with some government officials, regional authorities, companies offering solutions for milk producers and processors, and federal and regional media. It has all been organized by the Russian DairyNews.

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