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CAO on hot seat; Councillors demand answers on slow city response times

in Municipal by

Kawartha Lakes Chief Administrative Officer Ron Taylor said the city’s priority was “cost containment,” not maintaining pre-pandemic level city services, at a recent council meeting.

The CAO was responding to councillors who were not happy with city response times or city services after fielding many calls from their constituents.

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A minimalist life: Aube family trades work stress and possessions for experiences

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“We want to look back on life and say, ‘I can’t believe we did that,’ rather than, ‘I wish we did that.’”  Words to live by if you’re Mandy and Evan Aube.

Those are the words Mandy wrote down last October, after the Aubes sold their house (with its inground pool and double garage), their car and most of their  possessions, and moved into a three-season trailer on the Scugog River. Soon afterward, they and their three-year-old son, Emerson, departed for Costa Rica.

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Community anger growing with long wait times at LifeLabs

in Community/Health by
“This isn’t right. I’ve seen people with canes falling over.” Photo: Roderick Benns.

Outrage over long wait times at Lindsay’s LifeLabs – the only such laboratory in Kawartha Lakes – is growing.

The Advocate has fielded several emails and calls from residents who are increasingly frustrated not only with the wait times but with the conditions of their wait. According to several people who were standing in line, chairs are not provided for those who may need a break from standing and people are forced to be outside — even in inclement weather.

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Pandemic shows true picture of homelessness in Kawartha Lakes

in Community by
Pandemic shows true picture of homelessness in Kawartha Lakes
Less couch surfing happened after COVID-19, exposing the area's homelessness challenge.

On the surface, it would seem that the pandemic created a surge in homelessness in Kawartha Lakes. Indeed, A Place Called Home did see its client base increase three-fold since COVID, says its interim executive director, David Tilley.

As reported in The Advocate earlier this week safety protocols at the start of the pandemic lead to the closure of the agency’s 19-bed shelter. This meant relocating those residents – and any new, additional ones – into local motels. Since then, the agency is consistently providing rooms for between 45 and 55 individuals.

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Mental health has suffered during pandemic but help is available

in Health/Opinion by

Every year approximately 4,000 Canadians die by suicide, averaging nearly 11 people every single day.

Suicide has been an issue that has impacted all genders, races and ethnicities around the world for centuries. However, with the onset of a global pandemic in early 2020, suicide measurements also saw a change.

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2020: The year of living dangerously for educational workers in Ontario

in Education/Opinion by
The Israeli system, which re-opened as parts of Ontario soon will be, was forced to quickly shut down.

I cannot imagine what my former colleagues are thinking about the 2020 calendar year.

This has probably been the toughest year ever for Ontario educational workers. The public seems to have forgotten that the year began with a series of job actions by unionized educational workers from across the province hoping to convince an intransigent government to negotiate in good faith.

Teachers were winning the battle for public opinion and the government was on the back heel until COVID arrived last March throwing the school system into chaos.

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Pandemic has proven we’re a caring society; government budgets should reflect this

in Opinion by

Michael Wesch, a cultural anthropologist and professor, says there are three main questions that unite all of humanity. “What am I doing here? What am I supposed to be doing? And am I doing it right?”

COVID-19 has all of us asking these questions again even if we thought we had them figured out.

Our governments, for example, are starting to conclude that the austerity measures they have imposed last 40-plus years (from Conservatives and Liberals at different levels) were based on self-interest and greed.

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TLDSB commits $4 million from reserve to cover COVID expenses

in Education by

Local trustees approved the spending of up to $4 million of their financial reserve to cover COVID related expenses for the 2020-2021 school year.

The board voted unanimously “to access surplus funds up to 2 per cent of the board operating budget to come from the surplus to be used at the discretion of senior management.”

At the same meeting the board announced a $220 million dollar budget with a $995,000 deficit for the 2020-2021 school year.

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85 per cent of local parents sending their kids back to school

in Education by
“There are limited buses available. There is also a driver shortage.”

At a Special Meeting of the Trillium Lakelands District School Board, director of education Wes Hahn said that the vast majority of parents have opted to return their children to regular full day learning beginning September 8.

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More than $4.8 million announced by Scott for Kawartha Lakes’ pandemic support

in Municipal/Provincial by

Today, MPP Laurie Scott announced more than $4.8 million dollars in provincial assistance for Kawartha Lakes in response to the COVID 19 pandemic.

“This is new money for our communities that will provide municipalities with the support they need to protect the health and well-being of Ontario residents,” said Scott in a media release.

“This assistance will continue to deliver needed public services as the province continues down the path of renewal, growth and economic recovery.”

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