The sweeping changes to the labour market in Canada over the past 20 years is sparking an unprecedented use of food banks. Heather Kirby, general manager of Kawartha Lakes Food Source says, “The road to the door of a food bank is as different as there are stars in the sky. Housing, child care and transportation are expenses that must be a priority which moves food to the bottom of the list. These choices are nearly impossible to make.”
Like millions of other Canadians this month, I’ll be voting for a local candidate to represent my interests in Parliament.
If I lived in 1950s or 1960s Canada, my choice might be different than it will be this month. Back then, the business world worked closely with governments to help co-construct a society worth living in for each of us. ‘Open for business’ back then actually meant something because big business was a reliable partner that paid a living wage to its employees.
Quickly. Can you name five cooperatives? La Siembra Cooperative sells delicious Fair Trade chocolate bars, my bank is the Waterloo Education Credit Union and I buy outdoor equipment at Mountain Equipment Co-op. Over 20 organizations are part of the Haliburton County Community Co-operative and Huntsville recently launched the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op. How did you do with your list?
In Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy, author Nathan Schneider describes a key development in the cooperative movement. In 1843 in Rochdale, England, a group of textile workers established a small store where they could buy groceries, clothing and other goods at reasonable prices.
When Ontarians from all walks of life took part in a ‘general strike’ to oppose cuts made by the PC government under Premier Doug Ford recently, Dr. Steve Oldridge of the Bobcaygeon Medical Centre was among them.
The physician is a champion for rural health care and the Ontario Basic Income Pilot program quashed by Ford’s government.
“With the rising gap between minimum wage and the living wage, you have a situation where people can’t afford to eat,” Oldridge says. “Poverty is the greatest determinant of health.”
The Kinmount and Area Food Bank will officially open to the public Dec. 13, serving 45 families.
According to Kinmount and Area Food Bank Chair Grace MacDonald, it will be open every other Thursday, based on a schedule that alternates with the Coboconk Food Bank and will “serve 45 families who were using either the Coboconk or Minden Food Bank,” says MacDonald.
MacDonald chairs a group of volunteers that have been working over the last year to open the much needed local resource. Finding local sponsors, a location that had a health board-certified kitchen and getting police checks completed were just some of the things that MacDonald and her committee had to accomplish in order to open. In the end the group decided on the Kinmount Baptist Church (4937 Monk Rd., Kinmount.)
This is Living Wage Week, part of a campaign to encourage employers to pay a wage that is significantly higher than the legal minimum. Recently I highlighted the negative impact of inequality. One of the ways to increase equality is through reducing income difference before tax by increasing minimum wages or through a ‘living wage.’
Recently, the provincial government announced that the minimum wage would remain at $14 for the next two years. While expected, this announcement is not good news for the people working at jobs that typically pay a minimum wage; jobs in the retail, food services, and hospitality sectors.
A special mid-week edition of For The Record, since MPP and Minister of Labour Laurie Scott has been extremely busy and focused on the elimination of Bill 148. The PCS are replacing the previous Liberal government’s personal emergency-leave rules. Now workers will be able to take up to three days for personal illness, two for bereavement and three for family responsibilities — all unpaid. (Currently the rules allowed employees to take up to 10 personal emergency-leave days a year, with two of them paid.) There is a strong look at the highlighted changes here.
Local MP Jamie Schmale spent the weekend making publics appearances including at the Bobcaygeon Fair (Sept 29), TD Bank Tree Planting Day in Minden (Sept 30) and the Sunderland Legion Veterans Day Dinner (Sept 30). He helped celebrate the opening of the new viewing platform at Ken Reid Conservation Area (Oct 1). Schmale appeared with members of the Kents and the Strumbellas at the Music Canada Cares 3R instrument drive in Lindsay (Oct 2).
A busy week for both the MP and MPP as both houses were sitting this week, including weekend sessions in Ontario. It’s also fair season around the Kawartha Lakes and those two combined made for a non stop week of appearances and activity.
Let’s start with public appearances around the Kawartha Lakes. September 14th saw local MP Jamie Schmale at the Beaverton Fall Fair, September 15th at a vintage car show in Little Britain, September 16th at the Minden Terry Fox Run and the Parkinson’s Superwalk in Haliburton. September 18th Schmale welcomed the Kawartha Lakes Paramedics to the Ontario Paramedics Ride and September 19th he was back in Lindsay for the LEX Parade.
The Lindsay Advocate explores what our local MPP and MP did each week on behalf of their constituents in the public eye. We will highlight how our representatives voted and what issues they talked about during the week, and, in some cases, highlight if there was any significant outside push-back.
On September 8th Conservative MP Jamie Schmale posted on Facebook and Twitter about attending the Haliburton Highlands Outdoor Association’s 19th Annual Conservation Dinner at the Haliburton Legion. September 9th, Schmale was on the move again posting pictures and a story (Facebook) from Pontypool where he was a part of a ceremony (Twitter) ‘honouring some of the 48,000 war brides and their children that come to Canada’.