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City to remove parking meters in Bobcaygeon  

in Municipal by
“They confuse the tourists. They are unsightly. They need to go.” Photo: Jess Topfer.

Council voted unanimously to remove the nine remaining parking meters from the downtown core in Bobcaygeon, and local councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan couldn’t be happier.

“The meters have not worked in years,” Seymour-Fagan said. “They confuse the tourists. They are unsightly. They need to go.”

Aaron Sloan, manager of by-law for the city, presented three different options to council: removing the meters by May of 2021 after engaging the Bobcaygeon Chamber of Commerce and other downtown stakeholders, removing the meters without public consultation, or repairing/replacing the meters.

Sloan told council that since 2015 ideas around parking in the city has completely changed, beginning with the removal of all parking meters in Lindsay. Sloan reminded council that Bobcaygeon is the last location left in the city with meters. Sloan also pointed out that the meters in Bobcaygeon are almost two decades old and their internal components are obsolete and becoming difficult to acquire. Repairs have already been priced at over $9,000, and considering that the meters generate less than $1,000 a year in income, the investment for the city in repairing the units seems unwise.

Seymour-Fagan told fellow councillors that downtown businesses in Bobcaygeon have grown tired of providing change to tourists and answering endless questions about the non-functioning meters and how people can make them work.

Sloan suggested to council the option that would see the removal of the parking meters after community consultation no later than May 2021. That option was selected and meters are expected to be removed before the Victoria day long weekend.

City supports two year trial program for urban chicken coops

in Municipal by

Urban dwellers in Kawartha Lakes who have an interest in raising their own chickens for meat and eggs will soon be getting their opportunity.

Council has approved a recommendation from bylaw enforcement to re-write the existing rules that prohibit this activity and implement a two-year trial program that will license 50 different urban sites across the city. At the end of the two-year pilot, bylaw enforcement will compile data and report to the city about the viability of extending and expanding the program.

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City’s ATV task force must put health of citizens ahead of everything else

in Letters to the Editor by
Public shares differing views on off-road vehicle bylaw changes

It is outrageous that the Kawartha Lakes ATV task force wants to open up essentially all roads in the City of Kawartha Lakes to ATV and Side by Side use as can be seen when one views the last task force meeting of March 4.

What is most troubling is the fact that the committee members have not consulted the local health unit for an opinion on what effects such a move would have on the health and safety of area residents. Public Health Ontario released a report on the epidemiology of ATV-related injuries in Ontario in 2019 and found that the Haliburton-Kawartha Pine-Ridge Health Unit (to which our city belongs) had the fifth highest rate of Emergency Room visits and hospitalizations of the 34 health units in the province.

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Fairness of new city task force questioned; use of off-road vehicles examined

in Environment/Municipal by
"Where is input from walkers, hikers, bicyclist and horseback riders whose enjoyment will be interfered with by these motorized vehicles?" asks Peter Petrosoniak.

Some community members are speaking out against Kawartha Lakes City Council’s taskforce on off-road vehicles since all four citizen appointees have clear ties to the outdoor pastime.

The four community members selected to assist the task force include current president of the Kawartha ATV Association Caroline Richards, past president of the Kawartha ATV Association Steve Lane, ATV enthusiast and Trent Hills fire chief Don Mitchell and Kawartha Lakes Police Service constable Jason Ramsay. At the first meeting of the task force in early February, Richards was elected the vice-chair of the group.

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Vaccine hesitancy: Top doc says questions are reasonable but the science is strong

in Community/Health by
Vaccine hesitancy: Medical officer of health talks

Dr. Ian Gemmill gets it. The acting medical officer of health for the HKPR Health Unit says he appreciates how some may be skeptical of the new COVID-19 vaccines’ efficacy – and safety. “Vaccine hesitancy is an interest of mine,” Gemmill tells Denis Grignon, host of The Advocate Podcast: Stories from Kawartha Lakes, in the most recent episode.

“We do have a society that is more questioning than it was 50 year ago. There are a lot of people out there who have questions. And I think the questions, actually, are quite reasonable.” Particularly, he concedes, when it comes to the speed with which the vaccines were developed – less than 10 months, compared to the years it typically takes.

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Council uses provincial money to reduce tax levy to 1.5 per cent  

in Municipal by
Mayor Andy Letham pushed for a lower tax rate using provincial money.

Kawartha Lakes council unanimously approved applying a portion of the Safe Restart pandemic funding provided by the province to reduce the tax increase for 2021 to 1.5 per cent.

Over the past eight weeks of budget deliberations, Mayor Andy Letham and council have been staring at a much larger 3.84 per cent increase in the tax levy for 2021. Council went through the budget with a fine-toothed comb in multiple February meetings and reduced the proposed levy to a 3.77 per cent increase.

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Family Cooking Project has kicked off at Kawartha Lakes Food Source

in Health/Social Issues by
Amelia Boyd, Community Program Coordinator of KLFS packing the first round of meal kits for participants of the Family Cooking Project
Amelia Boyd, Community Program Coordinator of KLFS, packing the first round of meal kits for participants of the Family Cooking Project

Thanks to private donors, the Kawartha Lakes Food Source (KLFS) is excited to announce the launch of the Family Cooking Project as a permanent full-time program of their organization.

Each eight-week session of the Family Cooking Project provides ten local families with recipes, non-perishables, fresh ingredients and the one-on-one support they need in order to produce three healthy and delicious meals a week. Clients will also receive, free of charge, the kitchen equipment that is required to prepare all recipes.

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Unions have a long, proud history of fighting for workers’ rights

in Social Issues by
Nine union members standing outside of the Central East Correctional Facility in Lindsay ON
Nine OPSEU members who work at the Central East Correctional Centre. Pictured are S. Dunn, M. Reade, R. Gilchrist, J. Guthrie, M. Sedgwick, S. Nelson, B. Bisso, K. Semple, and D. Troost. Photo: John Maclennan.

Few topics in politics are as divisive, even in polite company, as unionization. While Canadian courts have consistently upheld, and on more than a few occasions greatly expanded the rights of unions, affinity for organized labour has ebbed and flowed since the Royal Commission on the Relations of Labour and Capital said, “the man [person] who sells labour should, in selling it, be on an equality with the man [person] who buys it” in 1889.

The Royal Commission recognized the inherent power imbalance of industrial capitalism even as industrialization was creating an explosion in the size of the Canadian working class.
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Belonging to a union is good for your health

in Health/Social Issues by
Belonging to a union is good for your health

Living and working conditions are the primary factors that shape whether individuals stay healthy or become ill; they are much more important than biological markers or behavioural choices. This truism applies to just about every physical, mental or social affliction that one may encounter. The term social determinants of health (SDOH) has come to stand for these living and working conditions that include income, housing, food security, unemployment, job security and working conditions, as well as the health care system and the social safety net, among others. The health care, public health and civil society sectors all accept this conclusion.

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2020/2021 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo is moving forward

in Events by

Directors and staff of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA) are proud to announce that they will be moving forward with plans for the 2020/2021 International Plowing Match (IPM) and Rural Expo.

OPA looks forward to welcoming visitors to the City of Kawartha Lakes from Oct. 13-16. The IPM will be hosted at the Lindsay Exhibition and neighbouring farms.

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