Senator Kim Pate, journalist and human rights activist Desmond Cole, executive director Harsha Walia of the BC Civil Liberties Association, and CEO Chris Summerville of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada, are among prominent names signed to an open letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford calling for an open, thorough and transparent investigation into the death of Soleiman Faqiri.
Kawartha Lakes Police Service have seen a near 10 per cent increase in collisions dating back five years.
Sergeant Dave Murtha says in reviewing statistics in the latest traffic report compilation, from 2014 until 2019 the increase in total collisions over half a decade can “be attributed in part to the ever-increasing population and number of vehicles on our roads.”
Addiction to drugs runs rampant in Lindsay and towns just like Lindsay. It’s all around us — you just have to look a little.
You tell yourself that you have a handle on it, that it’s not so bad. You catch yourself looking down at that scarred arm. And those twitches you have…there was a time when they weren’t part of the package.
At the October 29 Special Council meeting, Council heard presentations from the agencies and boards whose budgets are supplemented by the municipality. Due to pressures for the 2020 budget, Council had requested all agencies and boards submit their budgets with a zero percent increase over 2019 levels. In total, $25 million, or 12% of the municipality’s total operating budget is allocated to the services provided by these organizations.
Police Chief Mark Mitchell and Don Thomas, Chair of the City of Kawartha Lakes Police Services Board presented the proposed 2020 budget, noting the Board has kept to the zero percent increase requested by Council. Mitchell explained the pending reduction of funding from the Ministry of Public Safety and Security for three officers posted at the Central East Correctional Centre. The $443,000 reduction was just recently announced and is being discussed with the Ministry with the intention of reversing the decision.
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.
What’s more annoying than excessively loud car or motorcycle noise?
Not much, for most people. And yet Kawartha Lakes Police Service write very few tickets for this infraction, mainly because most people don’t complain about it to them. So far in 2019, police have only issued two infraction notices for “unnecessary noise.”
Typically, police choose an “enforcement initiative” each month to concentrate on (distracted driving, impaired driving, etc.), choices that are often generated by concerns raised by the community, according to Sgt. Dave Murtha.
Distracted driving is a serious problem on our roads. And the statistics are sobering. The RCMP reports that driver distraction is a factor in about four million motor vehicle crashes a year in North America. It is estimated that 80% of collisions and 65% or near crashes have some form of driver inattention as a contributing factor.
The Canadian Automobile Association reports that you are 23 times more likely to be in a collision if you are texting. Checking a text for five seconds at 90 km/hr is the equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded. The OPP reports that distracted driving has been responsible for more fatalities than impaired driving in Canada since 2008. And the economic losses from distracted driving costs us 10 billion dollars a year or about 1% of our GDP.
Back in high school in Streetsville in the mid 1980s, Mark Mitchell’s friend wanted to fill out an application to join the local police force in Peel Region. The only thing was, his friend didn’t have a car. Fortunately, Mitchell had his parents’ car and got him there to fill out the application.
“I decided while I was there I might as well apply, too,” says Mitchell. In the end, his friend’s application was rejected while Mitchell was accepted onto the force.
What started out as perhaps an afterthought by a young man just starting out, has turned into a distinguished career. Mitchell is now Chief Mark Mitchell of the Kawartha Lakes Police Service, having officially taken on the role Aug. 31, after former Chief John Hagarty retired.
Ask anyone involved in front-line health care in Lindsay, and they will tell you the same thing: opioid overdoses in our area are rising at an alarming rate. There aren’t necessarily more people using drugs, authorities say, but those who do are endangered by a drug supply poisoned with fentanyl and its derivatives.
As Inspector Mark Mitchell gets set to become Kawartha Lakes Police Service’s newest chief, he says it’s important to consider the broad factors of community wellness when it comes to policing.
The Kawartha Lakes Police Services Board just announced that Mitchell will succeed current Chief John Hagarty in August, who is set to retire then.