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What to do with $3 million? Letham says give it to taxpayers

in Municipal/Opinion by

One of the most difficult things for even the most informed citizen to do is to keep track of municipal budgets that seem to blend together from one year to the next.

Advocate readers have been asking what the city plans to do with a $3 million dollar surplus created by the 2019 budget. Lower than expected spending, particularly on winter maintenance, created this windfall and since the announcement of this surplus there has been a lot of talk about how it should be allocated.

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City expects to hear about Letham’s COVID results by early next week

in Municipal by

The City of Kawartha Lakes is keeping their fingers crossed that their top official, Mayor Andy Letham, tests negative for COVID-19.

The mayor felt unwell on Tuesday, and in compliance with the city’s COVID protocol informed the Assessment Centre for further direction and then self- isolated awaiting a formal test.

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Health unit talks protocols if school closure needed

in Education/Health by
$309,000,000 not enough for safe schools

With the second wave of COVID-19 confirmed by Premier Doug Ford and with record numbers of new cases being diagnosed every day, the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit has clearly laid out their protocols regarding school closures.

Chandra Tremblay, manager of corporate services, communication and IT for the health unit, was asked via e-mail how many cases of COVID would need to be present to close any of the 68 schools schools that the health unit was responsible for?

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Workplaces must screen workers, volunteers for COVID-19 or else face stiff penalties

in Business/Health by

A new COVID-19-screening law has been in effect for workplaces in Ontario for the past five days — but not all employers may realize it.

By order of Ontario health officials, starting Sept. 25, all workplaces in Ontario must screen all workers, contractors, volunteers and outside service providers for COVID-19 as a condition of entry.

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COVID-testing line stretched to Albert Street; Do self-assessment first, says RMH

in Community/Health by
Cars were lined up as far back as Central Senior Public School at Albert Street in Lindsay. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Kent Street West was effectively down to one lane midday on Tuesday for several town blocks, as scores of people lined up to get tested for COVID-19.

In what is now being called Ontario’s second wave of the pandemic the province posted record number of cases this past week, albeit clustered mainly in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa.

The province also shifted its messaging five days ago from everyone can get a test if they want to asking that asymptomatic people refrain from getting tested unless they fall under certain criteria.

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COVID testing demands see RMH line-ups extend to Sussex Street

in Health by
COVID testing lines have been extra long of late. Photo: William McGinn.

Lineups to get a COVID test at Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) have seen drastic growth, sometimes stretching all the way down Kent Street to Sussex Street.

While the hospital averages about 200 tests a day, just three days ago RMH saw a record 394 people.

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Unpaid property taxes in city lower than provincial average, audit shows

in Municipal by

In 2019 the city collected a little over $139 million in taxation from the citizens of Kawartha Lakes, with $5.57 remaining in unpaid taxes from 2019 currently sitting on the city’s books.

“The ratio of taxes not paid is 4.01 per cent,” Carolyn Daynes, the treasurer for Kawartha Lakes, told council at their September meeting.

“And any delinquency under 10 per cent is deemed okay by the province. The average of uncollected taxes across the province sits at 5.6 per cent so the city is generally doing a good job.”

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Pandemic shows true picture of homelessness in Kawartha Lakes

in Community by
Pandemic shows true picture of homelessness in Kawartha Lakes
Less couch surfing happened after COVID-19, exposing the area's homelessness challenge.

On the surface, it would seem that the pandemic created a surge in homelessness in Kawartha Lakes. Indeed, A Place Called Home did see its client base increase three-fold since COVID, says its interim executive director, David Tilley.

As reported in The Advocate earlier this week safety protocols at the start of the pandemic lead to the closure of the agency’s 19-bed shelter. This meant relocating those residents – and any new, additional ones – into local motels. Since then, the agency is consistently providing rooms for between 45 and 55 individuals.

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2020: The year of living dangerously for educational workers in Ontario

in Education/Opinion by
$309,000,000 not enough for safe schools
The Israeli system, which re-opened as parts of Ontario soon will be, was forced to quickly shut down.

I cannot imagine what my former colleagues are thinking about the 2020 calendar year.

This has probably been the toughest year ever for Ontario educational workers. The public seems to have forgotten that the year began with a series of job actions by unionized educational workers from across the province hoping to convince an intransigent government to negotiate in good faith.

Teachers were winning the battle for public opinion and the government was on the back heel until COVID arrived last March throwing the school system into chaos.

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