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We’ve relied heavily on women’s unpaid work; Can volunteers keep up the pace?

in Community by
Volunteering brings 'profound satisfaction' to Valmay Barkey. Photo: Sienna Frost.

Picture a community-minded female volunteer from the past. Perhaps you think of a hatted and gloved lady pouring tea at a charity luncheon, or a farm woman teaching teenaged girls how to sew curtains. Maybe it’s an image of capable women from 70 years ago organizing a campaign for the Ross Memorial Hospital or Academy Theatre … and then handing over the proceeds to a largely male board of directors.

Whether or not those pictures were ever true to life, it’s increasingly clear that they aren’t any more. Women volunteers have long been the backbone of a wide range of community initiatives, but their involvement is changing.

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Benns’ Belief: A Poverty of Time

in Opinion by

Last month I watched the fantastic BBC eight-part series of Les Misérables on CBC Gem.

The miniseries is not based on the celebrated musical but rather the darker offering of Victor Hugo’s novel on 19th century urban France as it was on the cusp of revolution. Observing the working-class characters’ brutal lives got me thinking about “free time.”

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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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Benns’ Belief: Labour’s fight is our fight

in Opinion by

The full-time factory job that paid you a living wage in the early 1980s is a relic now. A person of the working class today or — dare I say it — those looking to join the middle class — cannot pay rent, buy food, have a car, or pay for insurance, and still have a little left over to feel human. That’s because, when accounting for inflation, real wages haven’t increased in nearly 40 years. People lurch from one gig job to another — and our youngest working generations have never experienced any other reality.

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Where is our local voice? School board should speak out about Ford’s classroom plans

in Education/Opinion by

These are tumultuous times in education in Ontario. Regular strike action from educators these past few months is drawing attention to the Conservative government’s plans for education, which involve larger class sizes, e-learning without clear regard for planning and internet infrastructure, and a suggested pay raise for educators far below inflation.

Education workers don’t much like the government’s plan; neither, apparently do parents.

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Free event: Advocate hosts Art Eggleton to speak about need for national basic income

in Around Town/Community/Social Issues by
Advocate hosts Art Eggleton to speak about need for national basic income
Art Eggleton.

The Lindsay Advocate will be hosting a free event on Oct. 5 in Lindsay, featuring retired Senator Art Eggleton who will speak on why Canada needs a basic income — and how to get there.

There are still 14 free tickets remaining out 110. The event will be held at the Pie Eyed Monk in Lindsay and is accessibility-friendly. To register, go here.

Eggleton has been one of the basic income movement’s greatest Canadian champions. He remains Toronto’s longest serving mayor in history and was well-known for his progressive approach to social issues in the city.

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Advocate launches free job hosting platform for small businesses

in Business/Community/Social Issues by

We have the readers; you have the jobs. The Lindsay Advocate wants to help our small businesses match their many opportunities with the right people.

That’s why we’ve created a free job board on our news site at www.lindsayadvocate.ca on the right hand side (if viewing on a laptop or desktop.)

Simply click the poster graphic link (Have a Job Vacancy?) and fill in the short template. Your job will show up right above the graphic.

We’ll often feature those jobs on our Facebook page to further your reach.

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A woman’s place: At home, at a career, or in unpaid caring roles the work is always there

in Community by

“A woman’s place is in the home” is a phrase that goes back nearly 25 centuries from a Greek play written in 467 B.C. by Aeschylus. Women have always worked, but the emphasis on the home environment suggests that the unpaid work of child rearing, caring for the ill and elderly, cleaning and cooking should still fall on women.

The landscape has changed in Canada over the years as women have entered the labour market; opened their own businesses as entrepreneurs; completed post-secondary education in record numbers; and added volunteer hours in their communities. However, the old adage still applies – even though more men have stepped up, women continue to dominate the unpaid labour sectors in the home and community while adding significantly to the GDP.

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Need work? Most top 10 hard skills could be learned in Kawartha Region

in Business/Community/Education/Social Issues by
About 44.3 per cent of residents in Kawartha Lakes have just their high school diploma or less education.

A new study breaks down 10 “highly sought hard skills” in the Kawartha Lakes region – and Fleming College can teach most of them.

With Kawartha Lakes grappling with a high unemployment rate and low wages, this first-ever report of its kind shows a potential path forward for many who live in this area– if they get the right education and skills.

The report was produced by the Workforce Development Board (WDB) under the Local Employment Planning Council (LEPC) pilot. The report covers employment aspects related to Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, Peterborough County and Haliburton County. In our last article on this theme we focused on the job and income challenges in Kawartha Lakes.

Since the report also talked about the hard skills that were needed, the Advocate contacted Fleming College to find out how many of these hard skills could be matched up though local post-secondary education opportunities.

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