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ABLE: New group support for local families in Fenelon Falls

in Around Town/Community by
Jeremy (second from left) and friends at the Fenelon Falls Friday Night Jam at St. James Anglican Church.

My son, Jeremy Engelstad, knows just about everyone in Fenelon Falls it seems, and that makes me a little bit famous too. “Oh,” people exclaim with a smile, “You’re Jeremy’s mom!”

My favourite story about Jeremy’s apparent notoriety is a time a couple of years ago when he and a teenage friend took the GO Bus from Cannington, connecting in Whitby with a GO Train to Toronto. Jeremy is a big fan of buses and trains and perhaps this trip was for his birthday., They boarded one of the coaches, which happened to be the accessibility coach, along with a number of other passengers.

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For 100 Women Who Care, it’s the power of common cause

in Around Town/Community by
From L to R: Sharon Robbins, Bella Alderton, Jim DeFlorio (ED of Big Brothers Big Sisters) Nominator Alyssa Wilson, Sharon Smith-Carter.

Roderick Benns recently interviewed Sharon Smith-Carter, a founding member of the Kawartha Lakes Chapter of 100 Women Who Care (along with Bella Alderton and Sharon Robbins) about their recent fundraising success.

Benns: Why did this group form in Kawartha Lakes? How does it connect with 100 Men and 100 Kids? 

Smith-Carter: We heard about the ‘100 Women’ initiative and were impressed by the concept of simplicity and the incredible power of women with a common cause — making a difference in their community. As busy women, the one-hour-meeting model was appealing, plus having 100 per cent of the donation funds directed and utilized within our local community was paramount. We had our first meeting in March, 2016 and the 100 Kids and 100 Men groups began in 2018, formed by like-minded community members.

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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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Yes, please and thank you: Elections, ramen noodles, and bad manners

in Around Town/Community/Opinion by

By the time you read this, our municipal election results will have finally been tallied – (No, honest! We mean it, this time! Hey, where are you going? Come back here!). A few candidates’ signs will have even been removed from intersections and road sides. Some will have been mulched by grass cutting equipment.

Many, however, will have been, um, appropriated and re-purposed by citizens — stapled to barn walls where snow used to blow in on the hen’s roosts, the kids’ bicycles and that paddle board you last used in 2004.

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New doctor in Kawartha Lakes starting Oct. 1

in Around Town/Community/Health by
Dr. Mike Gogan.

Kawartha Lakes Health Care Initiative (KLHCI) is announcing there is a new doctor in town. Dr. Mike Gogan will begin practice in Lindsay with Doctors Anderson, Hainer, Wilson and Ready, as of Oct. 1.

Dr. Gogan received his medical degree from Dalhousie University in 2014 and completed his Family Medicine Residency, also at Dalhousie University, in 2016. Dr. Gogan will be accepting new patients through Health Care Connect. If you are not currently registered with Health Care Connect contact them directly at 1-800-445-1822.

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Seven reasons why we need trees

in Environment/Opinion by
Often, trees are cut down with hope that this will increase the farm’s bottom line, without realizing that trees are essential to maintaining healthy fields.

We have all noticed it lately while driving around the Kawartha Lakes. A farm goes up for sale. Once sold, the big machines go in and cut down the trees between the fields, often piling them up into piles for burning. Then the spring rains come. The field, without trees, doesn’t drain well. There are new boggy areas. The new landowner, at considerable expense, has someone come in to lay the long plastic pipes to tile, or drain, the field, in hopes that this will solve the problem. But this is not the only problem that has been created.

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A view from Scotland on Ontario’s basic income pilot

in Opinion/Social Issues by
Jamie Cooke, leading basic income advocate from Scotland.

As a Scot and a leading Basic Income advocate, I was delighted to see the leadership of Ontario demonstrated in initiating experiments to test out the concept in the Province. Given our cultural and historical links, there was a huge amount that we could tap into, allowing a chance to shape the pilots which we are also developing in Scotland.

In particular, the harnessing of civic society and communities was particularly inspiring, and a motivator to do the same in our context – truly making an experiment for everyone, not just academics or policy makers.

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Basic Income gone: Ford’s abrupt cancellation of program devastates Lindsay

in Opinion/Social Issues by

All over Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford promised over and over that “a new day will dawn in Ontario,” should he be elected, “for the people.”

Well, here’s his new day dawning for about 2,000 people who live in Lindsay, their lives just starting to be changed for the better by basic income — and it’s not the kind of day they were expecting.

Here’s his new day dawning for Roseanne Johnson who says she can’t survive without that money, and that she and her son will “soon be on the streets.”  Or Lauretta Blackman who saw her grandchildren for the first time because she finally had enough money for transportation.

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Fenelon Falls High, CMHA partner in mental health pilot

in Community/Health/Opinion by

We all have mental health. Regardless of our age, life experience or background, it’s something we all live with. Our mental health is like a spectrum, a continuum that can move fluidly between being mentally well, or potentially mentally ill. There are a variety of factors that dictate how we move on that continuum— things such as genetics, our life experiences and even our lifestyles (sleep, diet, exercise etc.). We know that the earlier we can work to build skills and resiliency, the much greater rates of mental wellness we can experience. This begs the question, what is being done in our community to support youth mental health?

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