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‘Peoples’ Economy’ summit plans new economic normal in Kawartha Lakes

in Business/Community/Social Issues by
“We want this to inspire other communities."

Some residents of Kawartha Lakes are seizing the moment of economic upheaval to chart a path forward for a new “economic normal” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initial group – which has started out as half a dozen local leaders including Mike Perry, Laraine Hale, Dennis Geelan, Helen Scott and Ameila Valenti – is working to build a peoples’ movement to implement economic measures that serve people and the environment better than the free market, according to a press release.

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A people’s new economic normal

in Opinion by
"Cashiers and cooks and drivers are being acknowledged like we’ve never seen."

“All of my sweat, blood and tears were in my business.” In Fenelon Falls, Sandy’s well-known bakery has closed for good.

My dear friend Graham has also shuttered his senior care family business, too overwhelmed to consider what might be next for him.

We’re hearing these stories more and more. The free market is now producing 15 per cent unemployment and possible defaults on consumer debts of 50 to 70 per cent. A lot more bankruptcies and unemployment are forecast.

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The Icelandic fish sticks revelation

in Opinion by
Reykjavik, Iceland's capital. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Common sense is apparently what my grandmother had and what I lacked, at least as a child. This information was often relayed to me at her rural Apsley home many decades ago, when I would spend time with her almost every summer. If I acted too much the smart aleck she would remind me of how much I still didn’t know.

The Oxford dictionary defines common sense as “the ability to think about things in a practical way and make sensible decisions.”

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Letham speculates how Kawartha Lakes may re-open

in Municipal by

Kawartha Lakes mayor, Andy Letham, says the discussion about the COVID-19 pandemic is “no longer what we are shutting down, but instead how things can be opened responsibly.”

Businesses like drive-ins and golf courses could perhaps re-open soon, says the mayor, once the weather improves and the state of emergency has been lifted.

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Federal election Q & A with Judi Forbes of the Liberal Party of Canada

in Federal by

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 third installment we connect with Judi Forbes of the Liberal Party of Canada.

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

Forbes: As your future MP, I am committed to the Liberal policies and commitments to strengthen and grow our middle class and improve the lives of all Canadians.  Since 2015, the Liberal government has reduced unemployment, created one million new jobs and made post secondary education more affordable for over 480,00 students. We are directly investing in our Canadian youth to provide education, apprenticeships and skills development to prepare them for future employment.

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Federal election Q & A with Gene Balfour of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC)

in Federal by
Gene Balfour, candidate for the People's Party of Canada (PPC).

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 first installment is Gene Balfour of the PPC.

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

Balfour: The Peoples Party of Canada will create an economic, investment and governance environment designed to out-compete other jurisdictions so that new jobs, long term career opportunities and income growth will take place within our communities.

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Worker cooperatives: A path to equality

in Opinion by
Worker cooperatives: A path to equality

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?

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Silence from MPP Laurie Scott deafening for those losing their basic income

in Opinion by

On March 25, nearly 2,000 people in Lindsay lost their basic income cheques due to a broken promise of the PC government. On April 25, some will be back on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), or Ontario Works. Still others will receive no money top-up to stay out of abject poverty and will rely on precarious work, hoping to avoid homelessness.

Single people on ODSP get a maximum of $1,151 – $662 is for basic needs and $489 for shelter. Their total annual income with other benefits is only about $15,000 per year, which is more than $7,000 below the poverty line. Because of an ineffective changeover from basic income back to ODSP – the opposite of the smooth transition that was promised – some people were left in the lurch when it came to their important medications. Thankfully pharmacists stepped in to help.

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‘Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?’ a provocative look at ‘economic man’

in Opinion by
Bay Street in Toronto. Is everything subservient to the market?

Katrine Marçal blows the whistle on the founding father of our economic system, Adam Smith, in Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?

When Adam Smith proclaimed that all our actions were motivated by self-interest, he used the example of the baker and the butcher as he laid the foundations for his ‘economic man’ theory. Smith reasoned the baker and butcher didn’t give bread and meat out of kindness, which was certainly an interesting viewpoint coming from a bachelor who lived with his mother for most of his life — the same woman who cooked his dinner each night and certainly not out of self-interest.

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What the Nordic countries can teach us

in Opinion/Social Issues by
Reykjavik, Iceland. Nordic nations boast a high quality of life. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Walking the ancient Camino de Santiago, a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe, I met a fellow pilgrim named Uho, a Finnish man. It was late afternoon in the sunny courtyard of our hostel and I watched Uho plunge his feet into a bucket of cold water to revive his tired muscles.

Wanting to strike up a conversation, and having read about the high level of equality in Finland, I asked Uho if life was good there. He replied that it was, but many Finns only appreciated their situation only when they returned home after travelling outside of Finland.

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