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THE ADVOCATE PODCAST: STORIES OF KAWARTHA LAKES | REVITALIZATION OF LINDSAY: TREVOR’S TAKE

THE LINDSAY ADVOCATE WINNER - NEW BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

PSW SHORTAGE NEEDS GOVERNMENT ACTION THE PUBLIC GOOD MEANS PUBLIC ENTERPRISES

Corporate pressure ended postal banking in 1968. It’s time to bring it back.


It’s the 50th anniversary of the boys & girls clubs of kawartha lakes and we’re celebrating youth achievements! Nominations will be open to the community for youth between the ages of 12 – 24 until February 28 for the following categories: • • • • •

Arts Achievement Humanitarian Entrepreneurship Green Award BGCKL Club Spirit

• • • •

Physical Literacy Leadership Resiliency Ron Kennedy Scholarship Fund

Find the detailed categories and the nomination form online at www.bgckl.com/awards

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February 2020 • Vol 3 • Issue 23

PUBLISHED BY

Fireside Publishing House, a proudly Canadian company. The Lindsay Advocate is published monthly and distributed to a wide variety of businesses and locations within Kawartha Lakes, North Durham and southern Haliburton County. We are a proud member of the Lindsay and District, Bobcaygeon, and Fenelon Falls Chambers of Commerce. TEAM ADVOCATE EDITORIAL

CONTENTS KAWARTHA LAKES’ FINEST MAGAZINE

FEATURES

Publisher and Writer-at-Large: Roderick Benns Contributing Editor & Writer-at-Large: Trevor Hutchinson Associate Editor: Nancy Payne Research, Strategy & Development: Joli Scheidler-Benns Contributing Writers: Trevor Hutchinson, Geoff Coleman,

29 CITY NOTES

A few key things happening in Kawartha Lakes in 2020.

Joli Scheidler-Benns, Jamie Morris, Ian McKechnie Web Developer: Kimberley Griffith LETTERS TO THE EDITOR SEND TO

kawarthalakespublisher@gmail.com ADVERTISING & MARKETING

Advertising/Editorial inquiries: Roderick Benns

705-341-1496

CREATIVE

Graphic Design: Barton Creative Co. Photography: Sienna Frost, Erin Smith, Roderick Benns

Visit www.lindsayadvocate.ca for many more stories FOLLOW US ON

d The Lindsay Advocate @lindsayadvocate Roderick Benns @roderickbenns

c

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Printed by Maracle Inc. OUR PRIVACY POLICY The Lindsay Advocate is independently owned and operated. The opinions expressed herein are the views of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of this magazine. Photos, text, and art work contained in The Lindsay Advocate are copyrighted and may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without the express permission of the Publisher. Liability for incorrectly displayed advertising is limited to publishing corrections or advertising credit for subsequent issues. The Publisher reserves the right to reject, revise, cancel, omit, discontinue or even decline to print advertising without reason or liability, and without notice. The Publisher has made every effort to ensure information contained herein was accurate at press time. The Publisher does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any party for damage, loss, or disruption caused by errors or omissions.

30 CORNEIL AUCTIONS

11 POSTAL BANKING

The beloved local business has changed but the hope of getting a bargain hasn’t.

16 PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKERS

IN EVERY ISSUE

A better way for our rural communities.

Time for Ontario to adequately fund this important position.

26 THE ORIGINAL SOCIAL NETWORK

Hint: Visit the general store/ post office.

/The Lindsay Advocate

PRINTING

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4 Letters to the Editor 6 UpFront 9 Benns’ Belief 34 Friends & Neighbours 36 Just in Time 38 Trevor’s Take

Our Vision

We care about the social wellness of our community and our country. Our vision includes strong public enterprises mixed with healthy small businesses to serve our communities’ needs. We put human values ahead of economic values and many of our stories reflect the society we work to build each day. ~ Roderick and Joli

Advertising Sales: Contact us at 705-341-1496 • kawarthalakespublisher@gmail.com


A TE

LIN

Prosperity for all

DSAY

AD O C V

Thank you Ross Memorial Hospital

December 15 brought me to Ross Memorial Hospital in severe pain where I was promptly taken in and assessed. After the necessary blood work and CT scan I was told I would have to go for surgery. Not the news I was hoping for but Dr. (Mostafa) El-Beheiry assured me it would all be okay. I was lucky to have Dr. Mervyn Stone assisting as he is my family doctor. After the surgery Dr. El-Beheiry communicated with my husband and family that the surgery had gone well. He visited me daily to ensure my progress. In fact, all the staff members at the Ross were caring and compassionate. The night before I came home I witnessed nurses responding to an evacuation in the emergency department because of a broken water main. All the patients were brought to safety in a matter of minutes. I am so thankful to all the staff at Ross Memorial as they showed me how much they care about the people in our community. Keep up the great work. Mina Coons, Lindsay

Christmas Eve Light Show

On Christmas Eve we were in Lindsay finishing our shopping. As we were leaving town my family and I experienced a beautiful, peaceful setting. Coming down Cambridge Street from Colborne Street, as far as the eye could see, there were homemade lanterns made from pop bottles. Then we realized they went on for blocks, including onto the side streets. It was obvious a lot of time and effort went into this light show. I know we sure appreciated it and I am sure several others did as well. Thank you for sharing this with us. It was amazing. Peggy Fice, Kinmount

This lovely tradition started more than 20 years ago at Cambridge Street United Church, and is currently organized by John Harris. Several neighbours also set out their own candles. ~ Nancy Payne, Associate Editor

In his last Benns’ Belief, (“Conservatives and basic income”), Roderick lamented the lack of action on moving a basic income plan forward by Premier Ford’s Conservative government. I keep wondering why Roderick expects such a plan to succeed. After nearly a decade of employment with the Ontario Ministry of Education, I expect that Roderick would be well aware of powerful groups within the government whose self-interests would be sacrificed if such a plan were to be implemented.The sales pitch for basic income generally includes a claim that such a plan would be affordable because it will replace the need for several existing programs. The cost savings would be applied towards funding basic income payments. Here’s the rub. If several existing welfare programs were to be terminated, what will become of the employees who administer those programs? Would their labour union executives go along with the inevitable employee layoffs resulting from the cancellation of those programs? How about the non-union department heads within those bureaucracies — will they also be laid off (with generous severance packages) or will they simply move to another government bureaucracy thereby not realizing the expected savings? To me, the stakeholders identified above foreshadow just a few of the kinds of political obstacles regarding the basic income dream. I hope to read in a future Benns’ Belief that Roderick is also exploring non-government options to achieve the desired results rather than keeping all of his eggs in the public sector basket. “Prosperity for everyone” is a wonderful dream and it deserves to be achieved some day. Gene Balfour, Fenelon Falls

Is basic income really right-wing?

Basic income, favoured in this magazine’s January editorial, has affinities with right-wing political positions. As also pointed out, there is justified dismay at cancellation of its trial by the Ontario government. But not usually considered is that such a program is, at origin, from right-wing economists, e.g. Milton Friedman. The goal, apart from reducing the poverty reduction issue to bare quantification through straight monetization, would be elimination of minimum wage rules.

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This, plus elimination of various welfare programs basic income would substitute for, can put off left-wing political support. Apart from losing a constituency, the sociological concern would be that welfare is varied and complex and can’t be dealt with adequately without more involved supervision. But a half-century after its successful trials in the U.S. and Canada, new trials in the main aim to verify that recourse to publicly funded health-care facilities would decrease with basic income for a segment of the population. Minimum wage would apparently not be affected at all, nor was there talk of replacing other welfare programs, those “strong enough to entangle, too weak to lift” (Hugh Segal -- January Advocate book review). This different constellation of policies could lead to dissociation there from by right-wing originators and their followers. While one should not impute much thought behind actions of Ford & Co., there should be more thorough investigation of a policy proposal before figuring it’s appropriate. Of course, part of that could have been letting the recent trials continue to completion. Daryl Vernon, Head Lake Basic income has its origins long before Friedman and his admittedly right-wing version of basic income. Thomas More, the English statesman, advocated using basic income to share the wealth. In the 1790s era Thomas Paine called for a “citizen’s dividend” in the U.S., essentially a guaranteed income. We do not support a Friedmanesque vision of basic income. The goal is not to eliminate all social services for people but to spend more wisely on supportive social policies. ~ Roderick Benns, Publisher

Simon Ward, thanks for recommendation

Thanks for running the reader spotlights from the Kawartha Lakes Public Library. Last month, the review by Simon Ward of Where the Crawdads Sing jumped out as the perfect Christmas gift for a hard-to-buy-for person on my list. It was in stock at Kent Bookstore so it made shopping local easy. Cheri Davidson, Millbrook

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Teen pregnancy myth is more ‘us vs. them’

Finally! It’s about time the teen pregnancy myth was challenged in the City of Kawartha Lakes. I’ve lived in Lindsay for 32 years and this was one of the first rumours I heard. I always wondered, “How do you know? What is this based on? According to whom?” I was pleased to read Trevor Hutchinson’s article, which reports statistics to successfully dismantle this inaccurate and harmful assumption. However, we need more than statistics to challenge the complex processes of stigmatization, which involve the social construction of “other” and the strategic positioning of “us vs. them” as Nancy Payne eloquently states in the December issue of the Advocate. The consequences of such binary identity categories include the (re)production of stigmatized bodies who are often subject to intersections of oppression related to ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, geography and religion. Historically, stigma has been used to describe a person as “not quite human” (Goffman, 1963). Whether we are considering teen pregnancy, poverty, mental health or drug use, this moral construction of deviance designed to protect the interests ofthe privileged needs to be questioned and contested. Sandy McNeil, Lindsay

We want your letters! Send us your thoughts to be featured on this page. The Lindsay Advocate welcomes your Letters to the Editor. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity or length. Simply email thelindsayadvocate@gmail.com. Please keep your letters to 200 words or less.

www.lindsayadvocate.ca

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UPFRONT

}} Academy Theatre has new GM, four new board members

Craig Metcalf

Robyn James

PHOTO: SIENNA FROST

The Academy Theatre has named a brand new general manager, along with four new board members. Board chair Mike Piggott says that Craig Metcalf is the new general manager. Metcalf has more than 30 years of experience in arts and cultural resource management. The four new board members are Bob Armstrong, the Lindsay + District Chamber of Commerce president, Robyn James (pictured), a marketing and branding expert and co-founder of the Kawartha Climate Club, Chris Marshall, director of development services for the City of Kawartha Lakes, and Janine Mitchell, manager of social services for the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The Advocate Podcast: Stories of Kawartha Lakes }} Launches in February The Advocate is excited to announce it’s adding a twice-monthly podcast to its multimedia offerings. This professionally produced, newsmagazine-style program will be sponsored by Wards Lawyers in Lindsay, and hosted by Denis Grignon. Original theme music will be written and performed by Gerald Van Halteren, a highly-regarded local musician. Grignon, an experienced, award-winning broadcast journalist has contributed to CBC local and national radio for more than 30 years. Local listeners may remember his years as the weekend anchor for BOB FM. The Advocate Podcast: Stories of Kawartha Lakes, will be available on the 15th and last day of each month at lindsayadvocate.ca, or on Spotify, or iTunes.

Denis Grignon has spent the past 30 years interviewing interesting people -like this champion chainsaw carver at last fall’s Kinmount Fair. He brings extensive journalistic training, as well as his experience as a professional comedian, to The Advocate Podcast: Stories of Kawartha Lakes, which launches Feb. 15.

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Business UPFRONT

}} Days Inn staff members in the ‘slow season’

}} BTW Electronics and Pinnguaq team up on electronics course An Introduction to Electronics: Circuits, Breadboards, and Soldering class is available at Pinnguaq, thanks to an innovative partnership with BTW Electronics in Lindsay. The course is for ages 11 and up and happens on Fridays from 3:30-5:00 pm. The cost is $70 or pay what you can. Throughout this February course, participants will be introduced to the building blocks of electricity and electrical circuits, breadboards, and soldering, as well as micro-controller systems like the Arduino and Micro:bit. Participants will apply their skills towards an electricallypowered creative project. To learn about more great classes, visit Pinnguaq.com or call 705-878-8980.

Even in the so-called “slow season,” Days Inn staff members are always hard at work doing maintenance or deep cleaning. Joy Ramales (holding vacuum) and Cathy CookAppleton (holding the couch) both work in the housekeeping department. Cook-Appleton works in the laundry area, as well as acting as assistant housekeeping supervisor. Ramales is a housekeeper. They have been part of the team since Days Inn opened.

www.lindsayadvocate.ca

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We’re taking new patients in Woodville and area!

(L-R) Dana, Medical Reception; Cheryl, Nurse Practitioner; Mike, Executive Director; Liz, Board Chair)

Professional mental health counselling, blood work, foot care, pharmaceutical, care and diabetes education will be offered for patients onsite.

Patients will see our Nurse Practitioner for most of their health issues and care – including prescribing medications and specialist referrals – and be registered with a family doctor in Lindsay. To register, contact Health Care Connect 1-800-445-1822 or Dana: 705.439.2411 or Danielle: 705.328.9853 Ext. 243.

Healthy families. Healthy Communities. www.cklfamilyhealthteam.com

The premier employment service agency and resource centre in the City of Kawartha Lakes and surrounding area.

Looking for Work? Looking to Hire? We have you covered. Employment Counselling and Job Search Assistance Free Job Postings • Apprenticeships Free Job Fairs or employer presentations Employer Recruitment Support Mentoring Opportunities • Retraining Programs

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BENNS’ BELIEF The public good means public enterprises RODERICK BENNS, PUBLISHER In the early 1900s, a Conservative MPP named Adam Beck campaigned diligently for a public power utility in Ontario. The campaign was a success, thanks to the hard work of Beck and others. They knew there would be no benefit in creating a private corporation with the vast majority of profits going to shareholders, versus creating a public enterprise where the money is returned to our province. After the 1905 provincial election, though, a corporate syndicate applied for the rights to the water power generated at Niagara Falls. Would the government accept the deal and let big business run the show? Thankfully, this was averted at the time, with Premier James Whitney declaring that “the water power … should not in the future be made the sport and prey of capitalists and shall not be treated as anything else but a valuable asset of the people of Ontario.” The Sport and Prey of Capitalists, in fact, is the name of Linda McQuaig’s latest book — a compelling look at Canada’s history of creating successful public enterprises. The question, she muses throughout the book, is why we don’t create more of them? And why are we letting slip away the ones we have, like Hydro One? Unfortunately, Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne, as most of us know, became the improbable champion of big business-in-waiting for Hydro One more than a century later, selling 60 per cent of the public utility. It’s a conspicuous blemish on her otherwise progressive legacy. Hydro One is an asset that generates $750-million a year (back in 2014), so the sale will have a long-term negative financial impact for Ontario. It was no more intelligent than former Conservative Premier Mike Harris selling off the lucrative Highway 407. In this month’s issue Trevor Hutchinson, contributing editor, looks at the potential for postal banking — something Canada had for a century, from the moment the country was born until well into the 1960s. This is one of those public enterprises that could revivify the idea of a strong public enterprise in Canada — a topic McQuaig tackles as well. The question is, do we have the political will to resist the big-business agenda that has hijacked Canadian society for decades now? From power plants, to a national railway (CNR), a public broadcaster (CBC), public health care and coast-to-coast transportation infrastructure, McQuaig’s book is replete with examples of initiatives that benefitted Canadians, not big business. Pick up a copy of The Sport and Prey of Capitalists (at Kent Bookstore, Lindsay or at Dana the Book Lady, Fenelon Falls) and remember — or learn — of Canada’s historical legacy of social enterprises for the common good.

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DIRECT BILLING We are proud to announce that the Adelaide Clinic direct bills to over 12 insurance companies. All you have to do is bring your insurance providers’ information card. REDUCE YOUR OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES. ELIMINATE INSURANCE PAPERWORK.

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Form which will give us your policy number/ID and we submit your claim through an internet-based portal; which usually gives us an immediate answer about your coverage.

Will I need to pay anything? You may need to pay the remainder of the visit fee, according to the e-claims response. For example, if you are covered 80% of your $75 visit fee, you will need to pay $15 (e-claims will “pay” the remaining $60 to the clinic). It all depends on your individual coverage and e-claims response. BOOK YOUR APOINTMENT ONLINE:

ADELAIDECLINIC.CA help@adelaideclinic.ca 705.320.7811 1 adelaide street CONT’D north, lindsay ON PAGE 10

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Back to the Future }} Corporate pressure ended

postal banking in 1968. It’s time to bring it back

One of the very first things that the new Dominion of Canada did as a country, way back in April 1868, was create a postal bank. The idea was to create a banking system that Canadians could access easily — and to serve customers that the established banks of the time showed little interest in, namely lower-income customers and those in remote communities. Successful lobbying by the banking industry led to the elimination of the postal bank in 1968. Virtually all of the key players in our current postal system — Canada Post; Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA) — have examined the idea of re-establishing a postal bank. Canada Post Corporation, an arm’s-length Crown corporation, conducted a four-year study on postal banking in the early 2000s. For reasons as yet unexplained by the corporation, 711 of the 801 pages of the report were blacked out, and all those pages were revealed only after a freedom of information request. One sentence on postal banking did survive the initial redaction: Canada Post describes the possibility of a postal bank as a “win-win strategy.” (Canada Post did not respond to questions posed by the Advocate on the study.) The last time the House of Commons discussed postal banking was in October 22, 2018 — which happened to be the day that members of CUPW began rotating strikes. The motion was defeated two days later. Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton Brock MP Jamie Schmale voted against the motion, which proposed a special committee to establish a plan for a postal banking system. In an interview with the Advocate Schmale said that while he too was concerned with access to banking for rural residents, he said the motion as stated “presented postal banking as a done deal” with no other options being considered. There is a perception amongst some critics of postal banking that the idea is just a way to save jobs in an industry that is going through severe flux with the decline of letter mail and the increase of package delivery. Brenda McCauley, president of the CPAA (which represents more than 11,000 workers in more than 3,200 locations) says that postal banking is about more than jobs. McCauley acknowledges that postal banking would address job security and possible growth for Canada Post. It would also address the gender wage gap (the CPAA’s membership is 95 per cent female nationally and 97.6 per cent female in Ontario). But according to McCauley, “postal banking is bigger than that. It’s an important issue. It’s important to rural Canadians.”

TREVOR HUTCHINSON, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

What is postal banking? Quite simply, it’s being able to do one’s banking at the local post office. Imagine having the option to have basic banking services like savings and chequing accounts and bill payments right at the local post office. Later, services like mortgages, loans, and investments, could be added. Postal banking existed in Canada up until 1968 until Canada decided to hand more power over to the private sector and the big banks.

CONT’D ON PAGE 12

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POSTAL BANKING CONT’D FROM PAGE 11

There is compelling data suggesting a postal bank could both be profitable and provide customers with lower-cost financial services. Postal banking is profitable in countries like Switzerland, New Zealand, Italy and France, even when some of those countries’ traditional postal services lose money. There are some compelling arguments claiming that postal banking could address several problems right here in Kawartha Lakes.

SMALLER COMMUNITIES CAN LOSE OUT

Postal banking could be lucrative in Canada New Zealand: Kiwibank generated 81% of New Zealand Post’s after tax profits. Switzerland: PostFinance produced 48% of Swiss Post’s operating profits. Italy: BancoPosta profits allowed the Italian post office to make 57 million Euros in profits ($86.1 million CAD) in spite of losses incurred by its postal business. France: La Banque Postale’s operating profits of 842 million Euros ($1271.6 million CAD) made a significant contribution to Le Groupe La Poste’s operating profits of 719 million Euros ($1085.8 million CAD). Sources: New Zealand Post, Swiss Post, Poste Italiane and Le Groupe La Poste, 2014

The big banks are getting out of smaller communities. In 1990 there were 7,694 branches in Canada. According to the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), by 2017 that number fell to 5,907 branches. Having small branches no longer seems to be part of the business plans of the big five banks. In June 2018, for example, RBC announced that it plans to reduce its number of branches by reducing the total square footage of its banking locations by 20 per cent. Simply put, smaller bank branches in smaller communities are a dying breed. Residents of Omemee and Woodville do not to be reminded of this trend, given the recent closure of bank branches in those communities.

EXISTING BANK SERVICES ARE EXPENSIVE Canadian banks are among the most profitable in the world. Since 89 per cent of us use one of the big six banks, we are beholden to their rate and fee structures. A recent survey indicated that baby boomers have already paid an average of $2,200 over their lifetime in bank fees; millennials have paid an average of $760; and Gen-Xers have paid an incredible $2,600 in lifetime fees. And RBC — the one that plans to decrease branch space by 20 per cent? It made a record $12.9 billion in net profit for the fiscal year 2019. It is no wonder most bank CEOs made more money by lunchtime on January 1 than most people reading this will all year, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. McCauley notes that while it existed, the “postal bank had manageable fees.” Without having to support exorbitant executive compensation or be concerned about shareholder return, a postal bank can charge substantially lower fees.

INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

There are only 66 bank branches in the 700-plus Indigenous communities in Canada, which means more than 90 per cent of these communities don’t have local access to a bank — yet one more example where our coutry is systemically prohibiting economic growth in Indigenous communities who are inclined to have less access to community-based loans, for instance.

IN-PERSON BANKING IS STILL AROUND While many of us might do most of our banking online or using mobile platforms, many Canadians still use branches. No doubt our use of digital banking is one of the main factors in the decline of actual bank branches. The CBA reports that 68 per cent of Canadians do “most of their banking”

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digitally and in-branch usage is dropping, but people still need branches. A study done by Credit Union Central of Canada showed that in 2015, 50 per cent of Canadians still used a bank on occasion and only 10 per cent of Canadians never use a branch. Older people are more likely to visit a branch in person. Given that Kawartha Lakes has a population with an above-average age we have to ask ourselves: How will our seniors who are not comfortable with technology or with no access to public transportation access financial services if or when the remaining branches leave?

CHEQUE-CASHING BUSINESSES PUNITIVE While so-called “payday loan” companies might seem like an alternative to local bank branches, the exorbitant charges for cashing a cheque at these companies and the enticements they offer for loans end up legally robbing the most economically disadvantaged among us. The federal government’s own figures demonstrate the cost of borrowing $300 over two weeks: borrowing from a line of credit costs $5.81; from a credit card, $7.19; from a payday loan company, $63.00 — equivalent to a 546 percent annual interest rate.

PH OT O: RO DE RI CK BE NN

S

BANKING SERVICES’ SILVER LINING It is true that we no longer send regular mail as much as we used to. The creation of a new banking unit within Canada Post would provide a source of revenue to continue the less profitable door-toCONT’D ON PAGE 22

Brenda McAuley, president of the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association, with postmaster Kate from Tamworth, Ontario. The village has been lobbying for banking at the post office after losing its last bank branch.

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ADULT EDUCATION

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Joyce completed her Medical Office certificate program online through Fleming College Continuing Education

When I began taking the medical office certificate program online I had been working in the medical field for some time, but knew I needed more education if I wanted to pursue other jobs. Near the end of my online learning through Fleming College I was able to get a new job in the medical office field. Thanks to the online courses at Fleming College, I was able to continue working and am thriving in my new position.

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Personal Support Workers on the front lines of caring for your loved ones

JOLI SCHEIDLER-BENNS

PHOTO: SIENNA FROST

Personal support workers at Caressant Care Lindsay. From left to right: Deb Snable, Sharon Blundell, Celina Sisson and Trent Vokins.

When it comes to senior care, it takes a village to ensure our family members are well looked after. While some positions may be more glamourous, personal support workers (PSW) are a critical part of health care, but there’s a growing shortage of PSWs. In an area like Kawartha Lakes, where we have a higher-than-average senior population, that’s a significant concern. The vast majority of care in long term care homes is provided by PSWs, whether with physical care, help with meals, personal hygiene, dressing, or emotional care and social interactions. Catherine Dickinson-Gretton, a PSW from Lindsay, worked for about two years at a retirement home in Bobcaygeon. “I absolutely loved being a PSW,” she told the Advocate. “Most likely this is because my grandma

raised me and we were extremely close. I loved the feeling of being needed and knowing how to take care of people. I loved hearing their stories and having them smile when I was able to help them and make them feel better about something.” Brianna Smit has worked as a PSW in Lindsay since 2012. Although she worked in a long-term care home for the first two years, she has worked in home care for the last six years and currently works for St. Elizabeth Health Care, which provides home-based support. Smit says that what she loves about her job is “getting to know my clients on a one-on-one basis and actually getting to talk with them about their past, where they grew up, and just listening to their stories.”

16

CONT’D ON PAGE 18

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PSWs ON THE FRONT LINE CONT’D FROM PAGE 16

SHORTAGES NEED ADDRESSING

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Apply today! To join the OMNI team, you may search for openings online or send your resume to: OMNI Health Care 2020 Fisher Drive, Suite 1 Peterborough ON K9J 6X6 Attention: Human Resources

A positive attitude and a desire to help others is a great start for a career in this field, but without some significant changes and the political will, Ontario will soon face a serious shortage of PSWs just when it needs them most. The Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) works to protect and improve the public health care system through advocacy. It is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest coalition and network. The OHC states in a recent report that this shortage of PSWs “is pressing and it requires urgent systemic action by policy makers.” “Long-term care homes have taken on a patient load that is commensurate to that of complex conSmit says that tinuing care or psychogeriatric care hospitals but in long-term care they what she loves are funded at one-third of the rate. about her PSWs are on the front-line of this offload of heavy-care patients. At best job is “getting they are frustrated. At worst, they are to know my clients getting injured, burnt out or leaving as on a one-on-one a result,” the OHC report says. PSWs are a critical part of Ontarbasis and actually io’s health care system – but Ontario’s getting to talk health care system is under-funded. with them about This province spends the lowest amount of dollars per person of all 10 their past, where provinces, and is even lower than the they grew up, Canadian average. “PSWs have gone the extra mile to and just make things work despite the systemic listening to their failure to support them adequately,” stories.” states the OHC. Pamela Kulas is the executive director at Victoria Manor Long Term Care, which is owned by the City of Kawartha Lakes. “PSWs play one of the most crucial roles in senior care,” Kulas tells the Advocate. “There is no doubt it’s demanding work,” she says, adding that Victoria Manor “has made strides in enhancing the experience through our quality improvement initiatives.” That means the home is actively working to address PSWs’ needs, she says, such as flexible scheduling and creating weekend worker positions, as well as encouraging the “use of our tuition and employee assistance programs to minimize the challenging aspects of the job.” “Additionally, we prioritize making the work experience as rewarding as possible by engaging our team in quality improvement committees and professional growth opportunities,” says Kulas.

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PH OT O: SIE NN A FR OS T

PSW’s Ann-Marie Cavan-Barry, left, and Rhonda Hughes, right, work at Frost Manor in Lindsay.”

From nearby Peterborough, Season Himura has been a PSW for two years. “I love to see my residents laugh and smile,” says Himura, describing that as the highlight of her challenging job. “My unpopular opinion is that most management teams do the best they can, given the circumstances, but … there needs to be more incentive for potential new staff or students. Clearly the sector is suffering and education should be subsidized or at least grants offered for those interested in doing this work,” says Himura. Smit says wages should be more competitive for support workers across the board, something that could be remedied with better fundMost management ing from the province. Right now, teams do the best according to PayScale, the average they can, given the wage for a PSW in Canada is $17.64 an hour — but it can start as low as circumstances. minimum wage. “I also believe elective health insurance benefits for part-time employees is a potential draw,” she says. She had no access to such a program, but says, “I would have immediately paid into that and would have been a healthier and more available employee as a result.”

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220 Angeline St., S, Lindsay

CONT’D ON PAGE 20

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19


PSWs NEED MORE PROVINCIAL FUNDING CONT’D FROM PAGE 19

VICTORIA STATION Downtown Living in Lindsay

ADULT LIFESTYLE CONDOMINIUMS

Zac Miller is co-chair of the Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition, the local chapter of the OHC. He says the provincial government must eliminate all barriers for people who want a career as a PSW, or other front-line health care positions, so the health care system has the qualified staff it needs. The local health coalition believes this would involve eliminating post-secondary tuition fees as well as student debt for those intending to work as a PSW. He says provincial governments have failed to pay front-line staff adequately and to ensure good working conditions.” “Increasing funding to long-term care to increase wages and hire more PSWs and RNs is an absolute must,” he says. Miller says almost 2,000 Kawartha Lakes residents are waiting for long-term care and are being told the wait list is anywhere from four months to a year. Despite the complex, precarious and often physically demanding positions of PSWs in long-term care homes, retirement homes, and in-home visits, compassionate people continue to make a commitment to care for our aging loved ones. ~ with files from Roderick Benns

NEW RELEASE REGISTER NOW 705-328-9055

To advocate for more funding for long term care and senior care in general, contact local MPP and infrastructure minister, Laurie Scott, at 705-324-6654 or by emailing laurie.scott@pc.ola.org.

Seniors in Focus

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19,065 people who are 65 and older in Kawartha Lakes (Statistics Canada, 2016)

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Information & support for seniors A one-stop website (Ontario.ca/ AgingWell) has been developed to provide information, all in one place, about government services, programs and supports for seniors across the province. Call 1-888-910-1999 or by calling 211 – which offers information 24 hours a day in over 150 languages.

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21


BOOKS

READER SPOTLIGHT Courtesy of Kawartha Lakes Public Library

SUSAN TAYLOR

Coco Chanel said “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” Eleanor Oliphant would have made Coco proud. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is an entertaining read of the many hills and valleys of the pain and the beauty of being human and unique.

POSTAL BANKING CONT’D FROM PAGE 13

door deliveries of regular mail. Would that save and possibly create jobs? Absolutely — and they would be jobs in our smaller communities. Many scoff at the mere thought of the government — through the post office no less – running a bank. But the federal government already runs four banks (Farm Credit, Export Development, Business Development and the Bank of Canada). And all of those banks are profitable. Schmale is among those who object to government involvement, stating that there are ways to provide service “where the government is not infringing in areas where the private sector is already established.” He rightly notes that better and faster broadband (which can improve access to online banking) is needed in rural Canada. But even the most optimistic of plans — many of which are years from completion — only predict country-wide access by 2030. And broadband access doesn’t address the issue of those who cannot afford technology, nor does it help the people — especially seniors — who prefer to do their banking in person. Most of the developed world has some sort of postal banking system using any of several different business models and private-public cooperation. A report by the Universal Postal Union (the international organization of the postal services of 192 countries) states that postal banks are “second to banks in their potential to contribute to financial inclusion” worldwide. In other words, postal banks get more people participating in the economy. Since we already had a postal bank for almost 100 years of Confederation, we can safely assume we could, as a nation, figure out the “hows.” We already have a lot of the infrastructure and we have federal bank employees to supplement the ranks of postal employees, who already provide some financial services. As CUPW points out, Canada Post already covers a lot of this territory. It “sells money orders, credit cards and has an online bill delivery service, epost, which could easily be modified to allow bill payment online. Canada Post already has a secure delivery system in place, which can be further developed. Canada Post already has trained staff who can learn how to deliver new financial functions to support banking services.”

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Rural post offices already connect us. What else could we be doing with them? PHOTO: SIENNA FROST

t rne e t n s I ces Ac

The Advocate contacted the office of Anita Anand, Minister of Public Fin Services and Procurement and the minister responsible for Canada Post Se anc rvi ial for comment on postal banking. Anand’s press secretary, Marielle Hasseck ce replied, “Our government has introduced a new vision for Canada Post s that puts service to Canadians front and centre. This includes reinvesting profits in services and encouraging innovative projects and partnerships to leverage Canada Post offices, to benefit all Canadians no matter where Co m they live — including Canadians in rural, remote, northern and Indigenous Se mun connect us. Rural post offices already communities. Extensive analysis and consultations were conducted in 2016.” rvi ity ce with them? What else could we be doing s Hasseck’s response continued, “Our government heard loud and clear from the Canada Post review that it should focus its efforts on excellence in service in its core functions and we agree with that view. We are confident Fin that the corporation will work to meet the changing needs of its customers S t er ancia e vic l n and the communities it serves.” es er ess tal t n e It is unclear if that statement is pro- or anti-postal banking. What is In cc nm es A clear is that the CPAA, the organization of postmasters and assistants, is fully iro iativ v En Init committed to postal banking. In its most recent collective agreement (which as of press time had not been ratified) includes a provision for postal banking. “If the contract gets ratified, it looks like Canada Post is willing to do a study on postal banking,” reports McCauley. Help rural Canada There is compelling evidence that postal banking can benefit rural C Canadians, be profitable and address social problems while at the same time omm grow stronger. ental S nm es providing good jobs. The idea has strong support nationally; 661 Canadian ervic unity iro iativ es Support better v municipalities and groups have passed a resolution or sent a letter of En Init support in favour of postal banking.  public services at It’s time for the City of Kawartha Lakes to support that effort, or at least Help rural Canada grow stronger. the post office. publicly support a call to truly study a system that could help those in rural Support better public services at the post office. areas, seniors and the economically disadvantaged. It is time to go back to a system that worked for generations of Canadians. It is time for the return of postal banking. ~ Portions of this story first appeared in an article on the Advocate, published online January 2019.

www.lindsayadvocate.ca

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GREAT OUTDOORS

NATURE NOTES with Suzanne Alden

RED SQUIRREL

These aggressive, chatty squirrels do not hibernate, using tunnels under the snow to get around. They are excellent at storing a large cache of food for winter, and can find buried food in more than a foot of snow. Red squirrels breed in late February and early March, but the female is only ready to mate for one day, so many males will give chase and she will mate with multiple males if possible. The young (kittens), are naked and blind for around 27 days, and start leaving the nest at 30 days, but will stay as a family group until early fall.

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25


The general store post office was once our social network For several summers in the last decade, I would spend a few days visiting relatives in the charming little village of Teeswater, east of Lake Huron. Partway between Teeswater and the equally charming village of Lucknow is the little hamlet of Holyrood, home to a general store known by locals as the “Miller Mall” in a nod to the genial proprietors, Lucy and Allan Miller. This is no contemporary convenience store masquerading as an old-fashioned general store. Merchandise clutters the interior from floor to ceiling, with everything from hardware to houseplants available for sale. Members of the Old Order Mennonite community regularly shop here, their black buggies adding to the ambience of the place. A litany of ice cream flavours is listed adjacent to the front counter, and a few years back the Millers sold almost 50,000 ice cream cones. It’s quite a place. What really sets it apart is the presence of a small post office in the back. Operating under the auspices of Canada Post, the office’s woodpanelled walls feature row upon row of cubbyholes into which mail is sorted. A small counter awaits customers arriving to mail a cheque or pick up a parcel. Such is the way the postal system operated in pre-urban Ontario — and in this respect, the “Miller Mall” carries on a long tradition of post offices that operated out of general stores and even private homes. It’s a tradition difficult to comprehend now, so used are we to doing our banking, shopping and personal communication through computer screens. But put your tablet or your iPad down, set your computer clocks back about 150 years, and travel with me to Oakwood, right here in Kawartha Lakes. For some years, the post office in Oakwood has operated out of a store; 20 years prior, it was based out of postmaster Alexander A. McLauchlin’s home. Mail arrived twice a week from Lindsay by horseback. In less than a decade, the mail will be arriving by train from such

IAN McKECHNIE

exotic locales as Toronto and Whitby. The heavy sacks of mail are collected at Mariposa station, loaded into a horse-drawn cart, and brought north to Oakwood proper. The general store, already a haven of gossip on those long winter evenings, is buzzing with excitement when the mail arrives. Forget about those red-and-white icons that indicate how many shares, “likes,” and messages you have received through Facebook. No, nothing can compare with the thrill of opening a letter from a distant relative, a sweetheart, or that sibling travelling the world. Rural mail delivery is introduced to the Oakwood area around 1910, two years after the service gets off the ground between Hamilton and Ancaster. Mail can now be sorted in the village and delivered straight to your door. Such remains the case, even though the mail is now brought to villages like Oakwood by van rather than train — that service wound up in 1958.

Rural mail delivery is introduced to the Oakwood area around 1910, two years after the service gets off the ground between Hamilton and Ancaster. We are fortunate today to live in such an interconnected world, where we can comfortably do our banking, shopping and a host of other tasks without leaving your home. So fortunate, in fact, that we tend to take it all for granted and forget that, a century and a half ago, the wicket at the back of a general store and the friendly face of the postmaster (or postmistress) represented our key social network.

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}} City Notes This year is going to be another big one for construction and infrastructure repair for Lindsay. This is a snapshot from the City of Kawartha Lakes of what to expect in the coming months:

ENBRIDGE GAS PIPELINE REPLACEMENT In order to upgrade aging infrastructure located in downtown Lindsay, Enbridge will replace the natural gas pipelines on Kent Street West. Work got started in late January and the project scope involves replacing approximately 1.1 kilometres of natural gas-main infrastructure on both sides of Kent Street. This begins at Lindsay Street South and ends at Victoria Avenue. The project is expected to last about eight weeks. Pending approval, Kent Street will close for the beginning portion of the work, from Lindsay Street to William Street. Staff have worked closely with both Enbridge and their construction crew to determine the most efficient way to complete their project in order ensure the timelines for the municipality’s downtown reconstruction project move ahead as planned.

PROTECT YOUR CONTENTS What COVERAGE Is Provided? Discounts Avaliable for Seniors LIABILITY Coverage for injuries or damage to property of others that you may be held responsible for.

CONTENTS Coverage for personal belongings in your unit, that may be stolen or destroyed as a result of a loss.

DOWNTOWN LINDSAY RECONSTRUCTION Phase two of the downtown reconstruction includes Kent Street, from Lindsay Street to William Street, and Lindsay Street, from Russell Street to Kent Street. Phase two work will be constructed between February and November of 2020. Kent Street will closed for the duration of the project, with a goal to complete all work on Kent Street by July 2020 to have the least amount of impact for businesses during the busier summer months.

ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSES Coverage to assist with temporary accomodation and other additional expenses while repairs occur.

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Fenelon Falls|Lindsay|Bobcaygeon Port Perry|Peterborough PHOTO: ERIN SMITH

705.324.6681|1.800.811.5841 CONT’D ON PAGE 33

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29


How Sir John A. Macdonald launched Little Britain’s Corneil Auctions As a child, Don Corneil would pretend to auction off fence posts and mailboxes as he walked to school. The bug never really left him, and 12 years into his career at General Motors, he and his wife Sheila decided to play a hunch and enter the auction business for real. It was 1975, and the Corneils felt an oppord l tunity existed to help people who needed to ona Macd . A dispose of estates. They held their first auction n oh Sir J in the village of Columbus in Durham Region, a sale that featured books signed by Sir John A. Macdonald. In the 45 years since, two generations have seen changes in both the content and format of auctions. Don has since died while Sheila has remained involved in the business. Their son Greg runs the day-to-day operations of the auction.

GEOFF COLEMAN

Bob’s

Auction Advice With more than 30 years in the antique business locally, Fenelon Falls antique dealer Bob Carruth has some advice for people interested in feeling the adrenaline rush that comes with raising a bidding card for the first time. 1. Examine everything care fully prior to the sale for structural issues, but expect dents or scratches in some thing that is 100 years old. 2. Attend a few auctions before the one you want to buy at. This gets you used to how things work, and provides the chance to recognize any pricing patterns that establish the current value of items. 3. Have a cost limit in your head for your item so there’s no buyer’s remorse.

Greg Corneil

PHOTO: SIENNA FROST

Carruth says you don’t have to be an antique expert, just good at recognizing value. He adds that a quickly-growing segment of auction attendees is young people who are just establishing their homes. They see the dollar value in solid wood furnishings, PHOTO: and theSIENNA addedFROST environmental value in reusing items.


WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

When asked how auctions have evolved, Greg said furniture is still a common offering, but that the sale prices have dropped significantly. He observes that people today are not collectors like the previous generation, and that has changed the business. Solid walnut dining suites for example, would realize $2,000 15 years ago, but they top out around $300 or $400 today. Similarly, since virtually every house now has closets, antique armoires sell for a small fraction of what they once did. The same goes for oak tables, dressers and wash stands. On the other hand, vinyl LPs and advertising signs are doing well. Long-time Fenelon Falls antique dealer Bob Carruth chalks that up to the influence of television shows like American Pickers and Pawn Stars. He says items that those pickers perceive as having value during their mid-week episodes move well at Friday night auctions.

Greg Corneil says Corneil’s Auctioneering Services in Little Britain has sold everything from authentic Group of Seven paintings to human skeletons to livestock.

Beyond

our Borders Where are these former Kawartha Lakes residents now?

name

Hunter Stuart Picken age

26 family

Tools, household goods and truly distinctive items have continued to sell briskly since the 1970s. Greg Corneil says Corneil’s Auctioneering Services in Little Britain has sold everything from authentic Group of Seven paintings to human skeletons to livestock. He identifies a Moorcroft vase and a peg top table (most commonly found in western Ontario) as among the more memorable items to cross the block. Both sold for more than $4,000. With so much shopping done online, he reasons that many furniture purchases are made by people who don’t even enter a store, let alone an auction house. And he sees this as the impetus for another significant development in the auction game: the online auction. No longer the domain of eBay, virtually all smaller auction companies host sales online. While Corneil’s will run Internet auctions, it is, by-and-large, a live auction venue. Greg Corneil’s regular customers often remark that they hope he doesn’t switch to online auctions exclusively. They point out there is no substitute for plugging in a radio to ensure it works, or examining a piece of china to make sure any cracks were not cleverly hidden in the photos from an auction site. Many also see live events as a social gathering as much as a business transaction, providing an opportunity to see neighbours and friends at the same time as nailing down a bargain.

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Single lives where

Port-au-Prince, Haiti occupation

Director of Sales, HERO Client Rescue S.A. a favourite ckl business

Kawartha Dairy favourite ckl places

Boyd Island (Pigeon lake), Highlands Cinemas great memory

Riding dirt bikes with friends, boating and fishing chances of moving back one day

The Kawartha lakes will always be my roots, but the chances of me returning for good anytime soon are slim to none

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LOCAL HEIRLOOM RECIPES Main Course Cabbage Soup Community motivator Anne Hardy shared this cabbage soup recipe with Manilla Church Guest House and B & B owner Sarah Prowse. Sarah invited the cookbook camera into her historic space to document the preparation of the community soup. Vera Mollon, who was born and raised in Manilla, says the soup is a popular local food that has been found at many community events since the 1960s. It is traditionally made at home by contributors and then mixed together in one big pot.

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32

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CITY NOTES

KAWARTHA CONSERVATION

CONT’D FROM PAGE 29

SEEDLING SALE 2020

COLBORNE STREET WEST CONSTRUCTION Colborne Street West in Lindsay will undergo phase one of reconstruction beginning in early spring 2020. The scope of the project will include replacements of water mains, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and intersection improvements. Phase one will include reconstruction work from William Street North to Adelaide Street North. Stay tuned for more details on dates and timelines.

order your low-cost seedlings by March 15 for planting this spring kawarthaconservation.com/seedling-distribution 705.328.2271 ext. 242

LOGIE STREET PARK Expected to open near Canada Day 2020, the new reconstructed park will include a splash pad, several play structures, a zip line, an outdoor skating track, upgraded trails and the return of the lilac gardens. For more information, visit the City’s “major projects” page.

TRANSIT STOPS Transit shelters and stops will go through replacement and upgrades for accessibility throughout 2020, in accordance with the City’s transit master plan.

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FRIENDS & NEIGHBOURS

Health promoter works upstream for our community health For all of us, health care wears a human face. We think of personal experiences of ill health and of friends or relatives who have chronic conditions, cancers, or have had heart attacks, and can easily picture the physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and others who’ve treated them. Harder to picture are those whose mission is wellness and prevention of illness. They’re working “upstream” and aren’t as visible. In our community it’s the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) that has the task of preventing illness, protecting us against disease and promoting healthy lifestyles. To put a human face on this side of our health system and learn more about how it operates, I arrange to sit down with the health unit’s Lisa Kaldeway.

MEETING LISA

When we meet at Boiling Over’s Coffee Vault, I’m surprised to learn the youthful-looking Lisa has been with the health unit for 18 years. She came here from Nova Scotia where she’d earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health education from Dalhousie (since then she’s completed a master’s degree and in April will add a Health Services Management Certificate). The first thing I learn from Lisa is that HKPR covers a huge area (Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton and Northumberland counties) and has a range of responsibilities equally huge — everything from inspecting restaurants to ensure they follow safe practices to providing support to breastfeeding moms. Some staff members focus on health promotion, some on health protection. Lisa’s in one of the three health promotion sections: healthy communities. (The others are healthy schools — addressing topics such as oral health, vision screening and substance use; and healthy families — public health nurses supporting the health of babies and their parents.) Her job title is “health promoter.”

JAMIE MORRIS

Over the years Lisa has made presentations on topics ranging from cannabis and healthy living to car seat safety, led healthy workplace and smoking cessation programs and a Ministry of Health and Long Term Care-funded heart health project, and initiated the age-friendly City of Kawartha Lakes project. She’s passionate about what she does and models healthy living practices. She eats well and has balance in her life, meaning her diet, exercise, and work-life balance. Her most recent vacation with her husband, Dan, involved hiking Newfoundland’s Gros Morne mountain. Over her 18 years at HKPR Lisa has seen changes. Public policy and education have reshaped attitudes toward tobacco, but new challenges have emerged: Cannabis, opioids and vaping are concerns. Increased levels of inactivity and more time spent sitting, much of that in front of screens (at an earlier and earlier age) pose growing health risks.  

Lisa Kaldeway

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TESTIMONIALS

Increasingly, public health staff members have shifted their approach to working with community partners to implement healthy changes through policy development, training other professionals (e.g. naloxone distribution) and creating environments that support health for all. Changes in government funding have also necessitated a need for health units to find ways to do their work differently. The provincial government has initiated a review of the way all public health units are structured and funded, including changing their funding formula. As of January 1, 2020, health units are to receive 70 per cent of their funding from the province and the remaining 30 per cent from the municipalities they serve. Before the change, the province provided 100 per cent of the funding. “Everything I do in the community is in partnership,” says Lisa. “That is how we are successful — building relationships and working to meet mutual mandates.” Being strategic is another key to success.“We can determine where there’s a need, where there’ll be more impact and greater uptake. It’s possible to be creative in how we meet our requirements,” says Lisa.    

HOW IT PLAYS OUT

So how does this play out in practice? Lisa describes two initiatives.   First, the Kawartha Lakes Sport and Recreation Council. Lisa helped bring together seven agencies and sport and recreation providers, among them the City and the Boys & Girls Club, to apply for a Trillium grant. Since the council’s formation, Lisa has co-chaired the council and overseen the work of the coordinator.  The council recently partnered with the Ontario Early Years Centre to offer a program that gave early child-care providers skills for teaching young children how to move confidently and competently — an efficient train-thetrainer approach. Another, the Active Again program, was for older adults, and provided support for activities such as pickleball, walking rugby and cycling.  The second initiative Lisa points to involves active transportation. Walking and cycling provide healthier alternatives to driving — for individuals and the environment — and for some it’s the only option, given that not everyone owns or can operate a vehicle. Since 2007 Lisa has worked with trails associations and cycling groups and she contributed to the City’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, which included an Active Communities section.  More recently, when the City asked for agency comments on plans for the development north of Wilson Fields along Colborne Street, Lisa pulled together a group who were happy to contribute advice to refine plans for multipurpose walking and cycling pathways.  An important step will be creation of an Active Transportation Master Plan to ensure a future that makes walking or cycling the easier choice. Now that council has committed to funding the plan, she’s sharing models from other communities and looking forward to contributing to our local process.   

BACK TO WORK

Small businesses love the Advocate

The ads you placed for me last year were such a great success. I have 4 big clients now and work 7 days a week. I was about to lose my truck and my house until I got all this work. The Advocate saved the day, so to speak – I feel so blessed this worked out.

FAITH DOWNEY

QuickBooks Pro Advisor

The hour Lisa’s allotted for our conversation from her demanding schedule is up and she heads back to work. You won’t see the impact of what she does right away, but, operating upstream, she’s helping shape a healthier community for all of us.  

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35


JUST IN TIME

Crossing The Threshold:

}} Lindsay’s House of Refuge During my high school years, I had the opportunity to accumulate my requisite volunteer hours at Victoria Manor, Lindsay’s oldest nursing home. It’s a bright and airy place, complete with a large atrium, a fine chapel, activity rooms and four wings — Elford, MacMillan,Vaga and Victoria — in which residents live and enjoy each other’s company. Known locally as The Manor, it opened about 30 years ago and replaced a much older facility a short distance to the south. Lurking behind stands of tall trees on the former Curtin farm, the “House of Refuge” has been gone for a number of years now, but its long and sometimes tragic history inspires reflection on how much has changed in the field of geriatric care. Constructed in response to provincial legislation passed in 1903, which required county councils to build such institutions to shelter the aged and infirm, the House of Refuge was a far cry from today’s nursing homes. Put yourself in the shoes of a citizen visiting an elderly relative at the House of Refuge in the first decade of the 20th century. Reaching the end of the long lane linking

IAN McKECHNIE

the grounds with the outside world, you are confronted by a large, Edwardian-looking building patterned after a similar “poorhouse” in Lambton County. Three stories in height, it is built of red brick. To a casual observer, it could be a school or a hospital — and in fact, that’s exactly what you first think it is, as the front door opens and an elderly man emerges, looking very frail indeed. Curious, you cross the lawn, and wander around to the southeast of the building. Stretching out before you are several acres’ worth of crops, all being tended by elderly citizens under the watchful eye of Robert G. Robertson, the first groundskeeper.

House of Refuge

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You wander back around to the front of the building, not wishing to be late for your visit — visiting hours are fairly limited, after all. You hasten up the steps and cross the threshold of a large door. The place is replete with sounds and smells. To the left is a spacious dining room, the smell of luncheon wafting into the corridor. Beyond this, the sounds of conversation can be heard from a lounging room and the sounds of hammers echo from a neighbouring workshop. From the adjacent smoking room the smell of tobacco permeates the main floor. Carefully inching your way along the hall, you peek into a small chapel where some young people from a local church are brightening the day of some more seniors with song. Their singing carries through the building, commingling with the heat provided by a 50-horsepower boiler to warm the souls and bodies of the seventy or so “inmates” who call this building home. Sound like a jail? You might think so as you read a list of rules and regulations spelled out in a little book on a nearby desk: “Any inmate able to earn a day’s work out of the Home shall be allowed to do so, her or his earnings to be divided between herself or himself and the home.” You make your way up to the second storey, where your relative lives. A tea trolley creaks along the floor, making its way from room to room. Many of the folks living here are over 75 years in age, but others are far younger, committed to this House of Refuge because they are incapable of looking after themselves. The youngest of these inmates is a 29-year-old woman. Described as “feeble-minded,” she has a sad face that looks out into the corridor as Mrs. Robertson, the matron, makes her rounds of the building — seeing to it “that order and neatness reign throughout.” Thunder rumbles overhead as you descend the staircase following your visit. Sobs echo from a room separated from the world by strong-looking doors of iron bars. These are the cells — a grim reminder of the building’s role in restraining people who might be a danger to themselves or others. Trembling, you leave the House of Refuge behind. You turn around and look up at its stately façade, cognizant that behind its beautiful symmetry are people who are sick, broken, and lonely. In contrast to our modern image of a caring nursing home, this refuge was a place where the community sequestered those it chose to forget. “None of us may wish to come to spend our last days here,” said the Rev. James Wallace on the occasion of its opening on Oct. 25, 1905, “but we know not what may be before us, and it is a blessing and a comfort to know that any who may need to turn their steps thitherward can find such comfortable quarters to spend the last few years while the sun is setting and the sands of life are running out.” An empty plot of land immediately to the north of the Lindsay Adult and Alternate Education Centre marks the spot where the House of Refuge stood from 1905 into the first part of the current century. Gone are the smells of tobacco, the sounds of the creaking tea trolley, the sobs and laughter and conversation which once echoed through its halls. What must never fade into history, though, is our collective responsibility to care for those who are at the end of their life’s journey.

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TREVOR’S TAKE

TREVOR HUTCHINSON, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

We’ve got this

February can be one of the dreariest months as winter drags on. Even those of us who enjoy winter can get a little down in the mouth, tired of the cold, slush and ice. But it’s also a month when we can start to get a glimmer of hope, thinking about the season to come. And I’m not talking about spring. We really only have two seasons: winter and construction. And this year’s construction season is going to be a doozy in the City of Kawartha Lakes. I, for one, couldn’t be more excited. In Lindsay alone there will be several major projects. Preliminary work has already begun on phase two of the downtown reconstruction (parts of Lindsay and Kent streets). And that project has to be coordinated with the 1.1 km of gas pipelines that are being upgraded in the same area. For several months this year parts of Kent, Lindsay and Colborne Street West will be closed to vehicular traffic. Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls are also slated for some major projects in the coming years. We are a geographically big area with a relatively small (but growing) tax base to pay for all this. After years of neglect, the city has been addressing the need to improve our infrastructure. Under the leadership of Mayor Andy Letham, and with the work of the past and current councils and city staff, we actually have a plan. I think they all should be commended for their commitment to improve our community with a well-thought out 10-year financial plan. But like the robins that return in the spring, construction season will see the return of the species Complainus Kawarthas — known locally as the common CKL Complainer. You know the type — the people who will vent on social media about how horrible the traffic is. The very same people who complain loudest when a road is in need of repair. People, in the words of an old mentor of mine, who would “complain if you hung them with a new rope.” No doubt all this construction will cause some to bring out that old chestnut: The City of Kawartha Mistakes. (By the way, 2001 called. They want their lame joke back).  But I say let’s ignore the complainers and strive to get behind this exciting time in the city. Traffic will suck at times — that is just a fact. So let’s all try to be a little patient and think of the safety of the workers and our neighbours. It’s true that these projects can be hard on businesses in the area. Why don’t we all make that little extra effort and brave a little inconvenience and perhaps a short walk to continue to support them?  It’s going to be inconvenient and occasionally loud and dusty at times. But we are building for the future of our city. And we’ve got this!

38

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An adult storycolouring book. Words by Trevor Hutchinson. Illustrations by Courtney Robertson.

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Lindsay’sNewest Newest Concept Concept in Lindsay’s in Senior SeniorLiving Living 40% LEASED! is now taking “deposits” is now taking “deposits” Adelaide Place Senior Living Community scheduled Adelaide Place Senior Community scheduled to openLiving in mid, 2020 to open in mid, 2020

• Ninety independent rental suites • •Ninety independent rental suites One and two bedroom options (710-1160 sq. ft.) Lindsay’s Newest Concept in Senior Living • •One andwill twofeature bedroom options (710-1160 sq. ft.) isSuites now taking “deposits” full kitchens and in-suite laundry Adelaide Seniorwill Living feature Community • •Place Suites full kitchens andterrace, in-suitedining laundry Amenities includescheduled a large outdoor room, to open in mid, 2020 billiards and partyaroom, • Ninety rental suites • independent Amenities include largegarage outdoorparking terrace, dining room, • One and two bedroom options (710-1160 sq. ft.) billiards andandparty room, garage parkingand services have access to amenities • Suites• will Residents feature full kitchenswill in-suite laundry • Amenities at include a large outdoor terrace, dining room, the existing retirement • Residents will have accesscommunity to amenities and services billiards and party room, garage parking • Residents will have access to amenities and services at the existing retirement community at the existing retirement community

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*Suite layoutsor maytish@adelaideplace.com vary and furniture is not included Tishus Black (705) Contact today for340-4000 more information: 84 Adelaide St. S., Lindsay | www.adelaideplace.com 17 Contact us today for information: Tish Black (705)340-4000 or more tish@adelaideplace.com 84 Adelaide St. S., Lindsay


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Profile for Lindsay Advocate

February 2020  

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