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Teachable moment: Back to school under the shadow of cuts to education

in Education by
Teachable moment: Back to school under the shadow of cuts to education

September always brings back the excitement and promise of a new school year. For some kids and parents it can be a bit of a nervous time. And this year, we all have a reason to be more than a little nervous. Along with new teachers and classmates, students and their parents will be experiencing another thing this year: the first effects of the cuts to education announced by the Ontario PC government in March earlier this year.

As Sinead Fagan, communications officer at the Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) explains, “The cuts will be felt system-wide. The 2019-2020 budget has been reduced in many areas.” Instructional budgets (including staffing) are down $10.7 million dollars this year alone.

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Basic Income Canada Network urges all federal candidates to support basic income

in Community/Federal/Health/Poverty Reduction by
Basic Income Canada Network urges all federal candidates to support basic income

As a federal election draws nearer the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) is urging all federal candidates to consider a basic income as a game-changing solution to income insecurity.

The letter to all federal candidates begins by tackling the issue of financial insecurity head-on.

“As the 2019 federal election approaches, many issues will be debated. A great many of them are linked to income insecurity, which manifests itself in the form of costly symptoms, like anxiety, illness and societal unrest. If the underlying problem is about income, however, then the solution must be, too – or it will not get better.”

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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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Our shared destiny: Understanding life in small towns

in Opinion by
Lindsay at dawn. Photo: Michael LaRiviere.

People who reside in small towns, much more than in large cities, have a shared destiny.

We are not lost in the shuffle of faceless people and endless possibilities. We are each others’ possibilities; we are each other’s best chance.

The ache of a factory or business closing is felt not only by the people who work there, their lives scarred by uncertain days ahead, but by everyone in the town. That includes our small businesses who may then not see as much support. It could include your neighbour or a family member whose life has irrevocably changed.

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Passion Projects: Servo Socks

in Business/Community by
Passion Projects: Servo Socks
Dan Kitchen. Photo: Mallory Cramp-Waldinsperger.

Dan Kitchen has always loved creating new things. However, one thing that this robotics fanatic with a passion for art says that he doesn’t love, is when his tools get in the way of his creativity.

Although his interests may seem very different from each other, “the same principles apply,” he explains. From robotics kits to his formal studies in animation, Kitchen says he has always loved making things move.

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Kawartha Lakes Pride celebrates fifth annual picnic event in Victoria Park

in Around Town/Community/Events by
Matthew Maddox, Carry Pearson, Pride organizers. Photos: Mallory Cramp-Waldinsperger.

A rainbow was already visible in Victoria Park before the rain this morning as members of the community gathered to celebrate the fifth annual Kawartha Lakes Pride Picnic. As the clouds gave way and the showers began, a canopy of rainbow umbrellas sprang open and the festivities continued.

Kawartha Lakes Pride organizer Matthew Maddox estimated that between 300-400 people attended today’s event. It was Maddox, along with his close friend Carry Pearson who decided to bring Pride to Lindsay, five years ago.

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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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Teachers: For the people

in Opinion by

In the mid 1990s, while working at a newspaper as a young scribe, I wrote what I thought was a great story about a teacher who was taking a sabbatical. He was going to visit an overseas country and increase his learning and experience. He would inevitably accumulate new wisdom to bring back to future students one day.

Except that particular story never ran. I was told to get the ‘real’ story. How much was this going to cost? What sort of burden would this be to ‘taxpayers?’ The headline was altered, the focus shifted. In the end, the teacher and board of education were meant to feel shame for allowing such a thing to happen. I was embarrassed to see my name on that byline.

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Food choking incident at local school has parents demanding more supervision

in Education by
Neil and Jena-Lyn Westerby with their children.

A Lindsay couple whose daughter choked on food at Leslie Frost Public School while there was no adult in the classroom is fighting for more supervision for students.

Meanwhile, a Trillium Lakelands District School Board spokesperson says “students are not left alone unsupervised.”

Neil and Jena-Lyn Westerby say their daughter Lexie, 7, choked on a piece of orange on March 22 which upset her enough that she wanted to call home. She was not allowed to call home, the parents say, although the teacher did notify the parents via a text message after the school day and after Lexie had already told her parents about what had happened.

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Protesters in Lindsay against Ford cuts part of 25-city strike

in Provincial by
Attendees are concerned with the extensive list of cuts to education, health and the environment. Photo: Tracey Mechefske.

A small but determined group of concerned citizens braved the cold and very wet weather yesterday and gathered at MPP Laurie Scott’s constituency office to protest the litany of cuts to public funding by the Ford government.

The event in Lindsay was part of a 25 city ‘General Strike’, which grew out of an effort by a Hamilton woman to host an event in that city. Of the 35-40 people who showed up about 18 were from Haliburton County.

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