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Benns’ Belief: This land is our land — and we must protect it

in Opinion by
Miles Canyon, Yukon. Photo: Roderick Benns.

“We no longer see the world as a single entity. We’ve moved to cities and we think the economy is what gives us our life …without regard to what it does to the rest of the world.” – David Suzuki

It’s a privilege to be able to drive across Canada, not the least of which is because it helps one understand the essence of the country better than dropping in on big cities by plane. However, the cost of lodging, gasoline, and time away from jobs makes it next to impossible for too many Canadians.

So, it was indeed a privilege for us to be able to travel over 12,500 kilometres to the Yukon and back a few years ago for over a month, seeing this great country in a way that few of us do.

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Voting: How high school teachers get students to think about their civic duty

in Education by
How high school educators get young people to think about voting

Recently, The Lindsay Advocate’s Mallory Cramp-Waldinsperger asked local high school teachers for their perspectives on how youth see the world, and what educators can do to get students to think about voting. This is what they had to say:

Is there anything unique about how up-and-coming voters see the world, and politics that you think readers should know?

Mark Robinson – Canadian and World Studies, LCVI

There’s a general sense of overwhelming complexity, and a feeling that individual action doesn’t amount to much against the powers that be. However, students do have strong feelings when they are engaged and have been introduced to current issues. Topics which inspire them include climate change and its consequences, and the growing awareness of gender identities and the acceptance of these differences. Students are quick to rally behind causes that try to redress injustices.

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Worker cooperatives: More resilience, productivity, and equality

in Business/Community/Opinion by
Kawartha Credit Union began in 1952 by General Electric employees, an example of a successful cooperative.

Quickly. Can you name five cooperatives? La Siembra Cooperative sells delicious Fair Trade chocolate bars, my bank is the Waterloo Education Credit Union and I buy outdoor equipment at Mountain Equipment Co-op. Over 20 organizations are part of the Haliburton County Community Co-operative and Huntsville recently launched the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op. How did you do with your list?

In Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy, author Nathan Schneider describes a key development in the cooperative movement. In 1843 in Rochdale, England, a group of textile workers established a small store where they could buy groceries, clothing and other goods at reasonable prices.

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Happy Canada Day, my imperfect country

in Opinion by

My father was a drifter before he met my mother. From the age of 15 when he left home, he spent the next 14 years exploring Canada as few do – by riding freight trains and hitchhiking. He was a great storyteller and he was a Canadian patriot. He could have been a great dad but his problems with alcohol precluded this.

Dad had a particular love for Canada’s west. A few years ago, over the course of more than one full month, we drove all the way to Whitehorse, Yukon, to spend a week in the land of the midnight sun. It was an epic road journey and along the way, I hope, an appreciation for our country was passed on to my kids, just as my father once did for me through his storytelling.

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Water in plastic: Who’s most responsible in the drive for endless growth?

in Environment/Opinion by
Water in plastic: Who’s most responsible in the drive for endless growth?

It was a peaceful climate justice protest organized by a high school student inspired by activist Greta Thunberg. A man approached us to say he fully supported what we were doing; and in the next breath said he hoped we didn’t think the carbon tax was going to make a difference. A fellow protester asked him what approach we should take: “Reduce, reuse and recycle. Just like we’ve always done.” Our visitor then jumped into his car and drove away.

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Remarkable Kawartha Lakes’ women, past and present

in Just in Time by

The young lady in the accompanying picture is my great-grandaunt, Euphemia “Effie” McQuarrie (1885-1967), known by her extended family simply as “Aunt Ef.”

Born in Argyle, she was once described as “small in stature, a very attractive girl with a good mind and a delightful personality.”  Photographs of Ef, and Edwardian-era postcards she mailed to her siblings, portray her as a vivacious individual who personified what American writer Winnifred Harper Cooley called “The New Woman;” one who was independent, educated, and in control of her own destiny.

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Sir John A Macdonald: His past is our past

in Just in Time/Opinion by

Sometimes when I walk by Lindsay’s iconic municipal building — our former Town Hall — I look up at that top-level balcony and imagine Sir John A. Macdonald speaking from there. Our first prime minister – whose birthday is Jan. 11 – visited Lindsay twice. The first time was as prime minister, in either 1872 or 1874 (records vary), and a second time he visited as leader of the opposition in 1877.

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