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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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New housing complex should be for rehab, not ‘condoning drugs’: Woman’s petition

in Community/Municipal/Poverty Reduction by
New housing complex should be for rehab, not ‘condoning drugs’: Woman’s petition
Local woman wants the mandate of this complex to change. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Vera Fillion lost her 23-year-old son nearly six years ago from a Fentanyl overdose. Now her partner is hooked on hard drugs once again, after he moved into an apartment at the brand new 68 Lindsay Street North building, at the corner of Queen Street.

She calls the new housing “a terrible place to be” and says it “smells like death.”

“It feels like they got this building to get the worst of the worst together,” she tells the Advocate.

“The girls wander the hallways like zombies…covered in open wounds from crystal meth. My partner got a room in there – he went in sober and now he’s back on drugs.”

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Seniors test out cutting edge Seniors Play Park in Fenelon Falls

in Around Town/Community/Health/Seniors by
Seniors test out the cutting edge Seniors Play Park in Fenelon Falls
Penni Holdham, left, Doug Elmslie, top rt, Khosrow Yazdani. Photos: Jamie Morris.

A politician, a physiotherapist, and an artist walk to a barre. That’s not the set-up for a joke. The ballet barre is one of 13 components in the recently-opened Seniors Play Park in Fenelon Falls, one of the first such parks in Canada, and I’ve asked the three — all seniors themselves — to spend some time exploring the very compact apparatus and then to share their thoughts.

The politician is Doug Elmslie, currently Deputy Mayor and for the past 13 years councillor for the ward that includes Fenelon Falls. He’s also Chair of the Board of Management for Victoria Manor, and so knows something of aging seniors’ needs. Doug is mid-70s, rates his fitness level as 5 on a 1 to 10 scale. He’s on the go most days and he golfs, but not as often as he’d like.

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Province keeps municipalities guessing: Is paramedic funding down or up?

in Municipal/Provincial by
Province keeps municipalities guessing: Is paramedic funding down or up?
Photo courtesy of City of Kawartha Lakes.

It hasn’t been easy for municipalities to get a handle on this current provincial government when it comes to funding, whether for paramedic services, childcare, Ontario Works, and more.

Communication has been unclear and sometimes contradictory. The Province has sent mixed signals on cuts, promising to slay a deficit that grew under two previous Liberal governments, solely by cutting “red tape.” At the same time they’ve promised to avoid the kinds of egregious cuts made by Ontario Conservatives in the Mike Harris years.

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RMH seeking broad input as CEO recruitment process enters next phase

in Health by

The Ross Memorial Hospital’s Board of Governors is pleased to report the progress of the Board’s search for the next President and CEO.

Ross Memorial’s Chief Operating Officer Veronica Nelson was appointed Interim President and CEO after former President and CEO, Dr. Bert Lauwers, announced he was leaving the role to take a position at the Scarborough Health Network.

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Mike Puffer a big part of our caring, supportive community

in Community/Opinion by

Think about what contributes to a caring, supportive community. Any list would include the service clubs and the churches. Arguably, the press belong there. Near the top would be agencies like United Way and Community Care.

For decades Mike Puffer has played key roles in all of these.

Later this month, after 11 years as Executive-Director of the United Way and 14 years as Communications Officer with Community Care, Mike is “retiring” (more about the quotation marks later).

When I sit down with him it’s to hear some reflections on his professional and volunteer services. We meet upstairs at Remedy’s RX on Kent, the independent pharmacy owned and operated by his wife, Cathy.

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Needle and the damage done: Drugs in public housing

in Community/Poverty Reduction by

For the last five months the Lindsay Advocate has been talking with concerned residents at a few different community housing units in the City of Kawartha Lakes about the issues of drug-dealing in their communities. Several residents were interviewed and all of them, out of fear for their own safety, requested anonymity. Residents were interviewed in person and given the opportunity to provide written submissions. The City of Kawartha Lakes and both police services in the City were asked to comment.

I am sitting at the kitchen table in a social housing apartment with Carl, Estelle, Dorothy and Jack. Carl’s unit looks like it could be in a design magazine. The decor is stunning; the attention to detail clearly demonstrating a pride of place. I find myself wishing that my rental house could look this nice. But I’m not here to get design tips. I’m here to hear the stories and struggles these people are having with active drug dealing in their complex.

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Nurse practitioner starting practice in Woodville

in Health by

Cheryl Marks, Nurse Practitioner, is coming to provide care for local patients at the Woodville Medical Centre, beginning the week after Labour Day. Marks will be a permanent, full-time, primary care provider with the City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team.

A newcomer to the area, Marks has career experience in the hospital, long-term care, and family health team settings. She has also provided nursing care in neonatal units, infection disease centres and sexual assault treatment facilities. Marks is looking forward to starting her practice now in Woodville and providing care to local patients. Dana Robertson will continue to be the medical receptionist for patients onsite.

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New CKL Ontario Health Team formation enters next phase

in Health by

A submission to form a City of Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health Team (OHT) to better coordinate care and services in the City of Kawartha Lakes has progressed to the status of ‘In Development’ as announced by the Ministry of Health on July 18.

It is the provincial government’s intention to better connect the health care system through the phased implementation of Ontario Health Teams. Ontario Health Teams are groups of providers and organizations that are clinically and fiscally accountable for delivering a full and coordinated continuum of care to a defined geographic population. The designation of ‘In Development’ means that the Ministry will provide additional resources as the partners further develop their submission.

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Free memberships for hospital available, complete with voting rights

in Health by
Free memberships for hospital available, complete with voting rights

Free memberships to Ross Memorial Hospital are now available again for a very short time. Since inception, RMH had public memberships where for a low annual or lifetime cost, people could have a vote on issues related to hospital decisions.

These public memberships were revoked at an AGM meeting on June 21, 2012. At that time, the board and 42 members of the community voted to end this option. Currently voting for issues related to hospital changes are now restricted to the hospital’s board of directors.

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