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Hard choices to come for City of Kawartha Lakes Is ‘COVID theatre’ a waste of time?

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November 2021 • Vol 4 • Issue 43 PUBLISHED BY

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15 12 Editorial: The mayor wants the city to live within its means 13 Opinion: How Kawartha Lakes Food Source works to fill community needs 15 Cover Story

Hard choices ahead for Kawartha Lakes as council weighs tax increases, cutting back on services and debt load

28 The risk of catching

COVID on a surface is remote. Why are we still cleaning so much?

20 20 Expect to see off-road vehicles on Lindsay streets as council defeats motion to restrict their use in town


4 Letters to the Editor 7 UpFront 11 Benns’ Belief 31 Cool Tips for a Hot Planet 36 The Local Kitchen 37 Crossword 39 Friends & Neighbours 40 Just in Time 42 Trevor’s Take

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answer I got back was “program is on hold, and any trash taken to landfill will count as excess garbage and will be charged accordingly.” Fortunately, my Miller Waste guy knows what’s up and collected the trash. City of Kawartha Lakes — how does collecting roadside trash contravene any health ordinance or add to COVID-19 transmission? Kenneth Haggert, Four Mile Lake





Adopt-a-Road: Where’s the COVID danger, City of Kawartha Lakes?

Pool joy memories

For the past six years, my wife and I have participated in the city’s Adopt-A-Road program. We pick up roadside trash twice a year for five kilometres along Kawartha Lakes Road 43. When the COVID pandemic began in the spring of 2020, we were told the program was on hold because honestly there were lots of unknowns and uncertainties regarding the pandemic and the disease. Regardless, trash collecting is a singular activity and we collected some trash and those bags were picked up by regular trash collection efforts. In the fall of 2020 it was basically the same situation regarding the pandemic, and the trash collected was picked up by regular collection efforts. In spring 2021 much more was known about the pandemic and vaccination efforts were well underway. We collected our bags of roadside debris, but this time I contacted the city only asking them to put a word to Miller Waste to collect the central pile of trash bags left roadside. I got the reply the program is on hold, but yes we will contact Miller, and Miller did collect the bags. So last week we collected five bags and I sent a note to the city saying there were five bags to be collected. The

I really enjoyed your August “Just in Time” article about Lindsay’s fabulous outdoor pool. What a blast from the past! It seemed every summer, every kid had a membership to that pool. It felt like it was ours … a mecca during summers away from school. My brother and I, along with all the neighbourhood kids, would ride our bikes down the Albert Street hill with our bathing suits on under our shorts and T-shirts and our towels tied around the handlebars. The afternoon would fly by swimming, lying in the sun and engaging in our innocent version of kid gossip. I do remember too there was always one teenage employee with evil in his eyes and a sharp aim that would spray us with cold, cold water from the pool hose as we darted from the change room out to the deck. Trying to dodge him never worked. We went to the pool almost every afternoon. Who cared if it was raining? On Thursdays our mom would give us a quarter so we could go over to the old A&W following our swim. A quarter would get us a small Happy Burger and a tiny root beer. That little burger came with just one slice of pickle and a squirt of mustard, but a burger never tasted so good.

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We all had great tans, bleached hair, a lingering perfume of chlorine and a sense of kid camaraderie, plus the joy and memories of growing up in our small town. Sheila Flemming, Orillia

Diversity isn’t always easy

The theme of the October issue of The Lindsay Advocate was about diversity and its value to our communities. This topic resonates with my own life experience. When I was 11 in 1962, I lived in a new house in Don Valley Village, a Willowdale suburb. The Balfour home backed onto Dr. McGuoy’s farm — about 100 acres on the northeast corner of Sheppard Avenue and Leslie Street. I could feed apples to Apache, one of the Doc’s horses, through the fence at the end of my yard. On a hot summer day, I walked along a country road that was still Leslie Street before it was paved northward from Sheppard. I grew up on the intersection of Toronto and its progressive sprawl into the countryside. Lindsay is just getting a taste of this kind of transition. Eventually, these former immigrants grew in numbers to exceed those of the traditional Caucasian citizens. By the time I moved from Thornhill in 2016 to Fenelon Falls, my neighbourhood had been transformed entirely. While I had lived in Thornhill for 25 years in the same house, I felt that I had moved to another country as the neighbourhoods around me morphed to accommodate new cultures, values and tastes. I welcome the benefits of diversity but they do not come without challenges. Change is painful for many people because it often comes with imposed sacrifices that are not always appealing to everyone. One person’s excitement and opportunity can be another person’s loss and source of stress. Yes, welcome our newcomers by all means, but don’t automatically expect that every change will come up roses. Gene Balfour, Fenelon Falls

Quantify Numbers that matter


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Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Pine Ridge District Health Unit Region

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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. We do not publish anonymous letters unless it’s a matter of public importance and/or someone risks harm by writing us. We would then publish under strict guidelines and only if we can verify the person’s identity. Simply email Please keep your letters to 200 words or less.


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‘100 Men’ would love 50 more men to join them in low-effort charity Back in March of 2018, a few good men gathered in Lindsay to try and replicate the success of what a few good women had done years earlier — create a charity event that took very little time away from people but had a strong community impact. “The women encouraged us to start our own,” remembers Richard Gauder, one of the early organizers of the local charity that started in the U.S. raising money for children’s cribs. The women had started their organization two years earlier. Its key core concept is simplicity. The men — numbering about 50 right now — meet for one hour every three months. Members nominate local registered charities that support causes in Kawartha Lakes. “Out of the nominated charities we draw, we invite the three charities to present for five minutes,” says Gauder. The representative is prepared to answer questions for two minutes. The men vote and select one of the three.

Library system has many in-person clubs available

Debbie Spivey, left, and Wendy Watson, right, library staff members.

Kawartha Lakes Public Library is one of the few library systems offering in-person programs right now, according to Marieke Junkin, manager of programming and public services.

The local 100 Men group at its last in-person meeting before the pandemic.

Each man then writes a $100 cheque and presents it to the charity. “We have no bank account or formal organization,” says Gauder. If they had 100 members, it would be “100 guys times $100 which equals $10,000 in one hour,” he points out. Gauder says the concept works well. “The (other) ones I started have raised over $1 million dollars in the last six years.” For more information email

Book clubs have resumed, as well as children’s drop-in crafts and activities at several branches. “Our Fenelon Falls branch was recently able to take over the former adult education centre adjacent to the library and now has two large rooms that are dedicated to programs,” says Junkin. One room is set up for sewing programs, which have been quite popular. Outdoor storytimes at the Lindsay and Little Britain branches this summer were well attended and will continue into the fall and winter, says Junkin, “incorporating more active elements of early literacy activities so that everyone stays warm.” She says the first few years of a child’s life is a key time to develop literacy and social skills, so the library is focused on trying to come up with new and unique ways to engage young children. For a full list of clubs, including some for adults, call 705-324-9411 ext. 1291. Pre-registration is required.


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Fenelon Falls Real Estate owners have seen many changes in industry

Peter Witt, co-owner of Fenelon Falls Real Estate.

When Wendy Witt, co-owner of Fenelon Falls Real Estate, considers the biggest ways in which her industry has changed over the years, she points to how rapidly buyers are willing to make decisions. “Especially since 2017, things have really picked up. It used to take months to sell a place,” she says. Now, that sale can take mere hours. Witt owns the business along with her husband, Peter Witt, who is a broker of record. Mark Rozon, a sales representative works with them, and Pat Nichols keeps things running smoothly as office administrator. While the business, which opened in 1989, is licensed to sell real estate anywhere, its focus is on Kawartha Lakes. Wendy Witt says the last year has been a busy one, adding that with listings selling so fast that “sellers need some counselling before they list, so they are prepared,” something her business provides. “The hardest part is finding properties to suit each buyer’s needs, as there are not many to choose from.” She says the best thing about being in her industry is matching people with the home they want. “Buying a house or a property is one of the most stressful things. If we can help that go more smoothly, then we’re doing our job well,” she said. For more information call 705-887-4242.

Steam cleaning business based in Dunsford serves entire region

Concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, Stephanie Welch realized that disinfecting and cleaning was going to become a very important part of people’s daily lives. She discovered there’s an eco-friendly answer to all kinds of residential and commercial cleaning tasks, and is putting that knowledge to use in her Dunsford-based business that serves the whole Kawartha region. Steam can “clean anything as effectively as any other method,” Welch says. “At the right temperature (312 degrees F) it’s more effective than most cleaning methods as it kills bacteria under the surface.” While some might hear steam cleaning and think only of carpets, “it’s just as effective on furniture, tiles, grout, vehicles, car detailing and mattresses,” she says. The most rewarding part of her business is seeing the look on clients’ faces once she has brought a piece of furniture they’ve loved back to life. “Having clients tell me they were going to get rid of a couch or a chair because it was so stained and damaged” before Welch’s steam cleaning gives her a sense of satisfaction. The process is also environmentally friendly because it doesn’t rely as heavily on chemicals. Another big advantage with steam cleaning is that “things tend to dry very quickly, which is ideal for mattresses, fabrics and carpets,” Welch says. “You don’t have to wait six hours for the surfaces to dry.” Welch offers gift certificates to help spruce up the house in time for the holidays. Call 705- 928-5113 or visit Steam Away on Facebook.

Cruise Holidays Plus gets new name, new location

Cruise Holidays of Lindsay is now Cruise Holidays Plus to better reflect the fact this local business books more than just cruises. With 15 years of experience as cruise experts, the business’s owner, Cheryl McDonald, says ocean and river cruises are still their specialty. Visit McDonald or any one of her travel advisers, Lisa Whyte, Vivian Warren, Pat Kuypers or Sue Whitford to learn more. The company has also moved to a new location at 3 Commerce Place in Lindsay, behind the mall and beside Farmers Butcher Shop. Call 705-324-3110 or visit


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What if our health was considered in all policies?

It is virtually beyond argument to say that nothing matters more than our health. No matter our social class, the church pew we sit in, or the party we most want to see take power, it is our health that is the great equalizer. Old or young, rich or poor — nothing much matters if we are not well. Strange, then, that the idea of “health in all policies” is not really a widespread notion yet. This is a concept that is as literal as can be. For every policy we make — federal, provincial or municipal — we should be considering the impact of each policy on our health. And yet we don’t. For instance, we have zoning regulations that reward urban sprawl, which increases consumption of fossil fuels and pollution. One of the great champions in Canada for a health-in-all-policies approach is Dr. Ryan Meili, a family physician who became the leader of Saskatchewan’s NDP in 2018. I got to know Meili prior to his ascension with the NDP and we had several discussions about this approach to policy making. He pointed out that in countries like Finland, the idea of health in all policies has been influencing public policy for years, with that nation applying it to sectors as diverse as education and finance to housing, transportation and social assistance. In Canada, Meili said Quebec was an early health-in-all-policies leader. In 2002, the province passed its Public Health Act, legislation that mandates its provincial departments and agencies not harm the health of Quebecers. A fundamental part of this approach is to pay attention to the root causes of poor health. These so-called social determinants of health are basically the living and working conditions we experience in our lives. They are much more important than biology or even our behavioural choices, such as diet or how much we exercise. But many of the social determinants of health are beyond the reach of the health sector. As the Canadian Medical Journal pointed out in 2020, improving population health and health equity will happen best “when we ensure all government departments … assess how their policies will affect the upstream drivers of health and social conditions.” They use the example of changes to tax policy that promote affordable housing. Housing scarcity leads to community stress and individual stress. As the medical journal points out, sustained action on health in all policies would require achieving a culture change within government that would see leaders “rise above their own interests, consider shared goals, and commit to steps for reaching them.” This is perhaps the greatest obstacle of all. In the meantime, our municipal system, free of political parties, is a great place to start. Our local government should take the time and opportunity to study how health in all policies might be implemented in Kawartha Lakes. Our neighbourhoods — our people — deserve no less.



The mayor’s not-so-hidden agenda There’s a financial reckoning coming for Kawartha Lakes, as Mayor Andy Letham sees it. The city does too much for its residents with not enough money to pay for everything. It’s a belief that Letham has talked about preCOVID, but we’ve noticed how he has been repeating this mantra, in different ways, but with more frequency and urgency. Is it a much-needed attempt to steer this council — and future councils — toward more fiscal conservatism? When Advocate publisher Roderick Benns hosted “Kawartha Lakes Matters,” a YourTV program, from early 2019 to early 2020, more than once Letham mentioned that he thought the city was doing too much. He mused then about garbage pickup perhaps needing to go to twice a month, instead of weekly, as an example of cost savings the city could undertake. He’s repeated that idea since then. (Note to all newcomers: Stop asking where the green bins for food waste are. This city is more likely to reduce services than add them.) During a recent committee of the whole meeting, Letham again brought up how much the city does, and this time, libraries and community halls were also on his cost-saving radar. “We have a business model we cannot afford,” he said at the recent meeting. “We have too many arenas, service centres, libraries and community halls. We’re wondering — as should all Kawartha Lakes residents — how seriously should we be taking the mayor’s increasingly clear message? It’s a year until the next municipal election, so how many councillors seeking re-election will want to back an agenda of cuts? This is the mayor’s last year in office and perhaps he’s simply being the pragmatist he has always been. This is an era of bigger government around the world. We don’t know yet if there is the possibility of more federal help coming, and neither does the municipality. But we’re not so sure we need to be in a rush to close arenas and libraries just yet.

LETTER SPOTLIGHT Dangerous traffic on Mary Street, says reader We have a serious problem with heavy traffic and fast cars on Mary Street West in Lindsay from McLaughlin Road to Angeline Street. We have St. Dominic School, a park entrance, two nursing homes in a residential area, numerous children and senior walkers. Some cars come out of the “S” in the street as though they were practising for Mosport. A three-way stop at the west end of Madill Crescent at the park entrance is one solution. Any other suggestions? Dan Dowdell Sr., Lindsay



Food banks play essential role as we work to find better solutions for poverty HEATHER KIRBY Heather Kirby has worked in the not-for profit sector for many years, getting her start with environmental organizations. Now, she is the executive director of Kawartha Lakes Food Source where she pushes for food security efforts and collaborates with other social service groups.

Kawartha Lakes Food Source (KLFS) helps more than 7,500 individuals each month. KLFS is a not-forprofit central distribution centre that supplies food and other household essentials to more than 30 member organizations that provide support to individuals in need. As a non-profit, we rely on the generosity of many individuals and organizations, including corporate partnership, to make our mission possible. These partnerships not only help fund our vital work, but also provide opportunities to support local businesses and educate our partners on the complex issues which intersect with food insecurity. Operating under the umbrella of Food Banks Canada and Feed Ontario, KLFS utilizes evidence-based recommendations and adds our voice advocating to end poverty at the local, provincial and national levels. By advocating for positive policy change that addresses the root causes of poverty, we hope that one day everyone will be food secure and know there will be a next meal. Among the many individual circumstances that can lead someone into and perpetuate poverty, the common themes include lack of affordable housing and daycare, the need for stronger social supports, access to reliable transportation options, and improvements to labour laws that help create quality job opportunities. Though the backbone of the organization continues to be supporting independently operated member food banks, over time Kawartha Lakes Food Source has developed, delivered and maintained its own innovative programs such as the Community Kitchen, which includes cooking classes, garden workshops and safe food-

handling certification. We also have a community income tax program where trained local volunteers help clients of member food banks file their taxes, helping to increase access to income returns and other income support benefits. The Family Cooking Project gives local families the tools needed to prepare healthy, nutritious and affordable meals at home. This might include food, equipment, recipes and other forms of support. KLFS also helps with the weekly purchase of milk and eggs for distribution to member food banks, and weekly fruit and milk for more than 20 member schools. Its Open Gardens programs increases availability of fresh and healthy food.

By advocating for positive policy change that addresses the root causes of poverty, we hope that one day everyone will be food secure and know there will be a next meal. During the summer, our outreach lunch program ensures elementary school students have access to free, healthy bagged lunches. While food banks do not solve food insecurity, they are currently playing an essential role in helping to bridge the gap for people and families that might otherwise go hungry. Further, we are invested in advocating for solutions to food insecurity and poverty in collaboration with our provincial and national network, from the support of living wages and basic income to other policy measures. We encourage readers to help advocate for solutions to food insecurity and poverty. To learn more about food insecurity in your community, visit Feed Ontario’s “Hunger in My Riding” tool to create a custom report for your MPP. Reach out to Kawartha Lakes Food Source by calling 705-324-0707 or by emailing


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CITY DELAYS hard financial choices to come }} Options include significant tax hikes

for years, closing arenas and libraries or cutting back on garbage pickup

KIRK WINTER Municipal Affairs

Will Kawartha Lakes residents face a 1.5 per cent property tax levy every year for the next decade on top of regular property tax increases? Or maybe it will be the closure of arenas, libraries and community halls? Perhaps limiting garbage pickup to every other week? While the committee of the whole discussed these questions at length on Oct. 5, two weeks later at the regular council meeting, the subject wasn’t brought up again — even though Kawartha Lakes Council had learned that over the next 10 years the city will need $959 million just to cover planned capital projects. Several councillors expressed concern at the information provided by Chief Administrative Officer Ron Taylor and treasurer Carolyn Daynes, which showed that without a special capital tax levy of 1.5 per cent each of the next 10 years, the city will either have to borrow more money to make the capital improvements or ignore work that needs to be done and let city assets degrade. There’s “too little money in capital reserves,” Taylor said. “We are asset rich and those assets need to be maintained. We have a small population and lots of buildings. We have a massive gap to catch up, building up the capital reserve to where it needs to be.” Taylor told council that the city has only managed to save 35 per cent of the funds it hoped to have for major capital projects leading to a backlog of capital-supported building projects that “is not sustainable.” CONT’D ON PAGE 16


“We hoped to have $25.6 million saved. Instead we have only $9.1 million saved,” Taylor said. “We have too many older assets that need work. We have too many post-amalgamation assets that are not used nearly enough.” Taylor explained that two crucial predictions that were made in 2017 when the first long-term financial plan was being assembled have not been met. In the first miscalculation, city staff predicted operating costs would rise two per cent per year; the actual increase was 5.4 per cent per year. Second, the plan required on average a four per cent tax increase per year instead of the average 2.8 per cent increase taxpayers have seen since 2018. Taylor showed that from 2018 to 2021 the city did not collect $11 million in revenue that the long-term plan required to function. If things continue at this pace, he said, by 2031 that number will have risen to $77 million in revenue not collected because of tax increases below what was budgeted.

“We need to build the capital reserves. This has to be a priority,” Taylor said. “We have deviated from the (long-term financial plan) and starved the capital reserves. We have many costly upgrades and repairs on the horizon.” The CAO did come with potential answers to this shortfall, which were hotly debated for over an hour. Senior staff proposed the dedicated levy of 1.5 per cent per year for the next 10 years, with that money going to pay for capital upgrades and repairs. Another option is increasing the amount the city can borrow. That’s the only part of the discussion council was willing to entertain at the regular council meeting Oct. 19. Councillors agreed then only to maintain the debt ceiling at its current 6.3 per cent, even though some city staff had pushed for 10 per cent at a previous meeting, to allow for more borrowing. But Councillor Pat Dunn, who is considering a run for mayor next November, led the charge against the idea of increasing the amount the city can borrow. He brought every councillor along with him, too, except for Doug Elmslie, who was more concerned about cutting city services.

In its final year before facing an election, this council will need to make some hard decisions.


Dunn and many councillors pushedback at the 10 per cent number suggested by city staff, and had the same reaction to the compromise number of 7.5 per cent. That’s because staff acknowledged that higher inflation could take the city’s current $25 million debt into the $160 million range in 10 years, if the borrowing limit increased to 7.5 per cent from 6.3. The question was sent back to staff for more study, with two possibilities to be considered: either a percentage that council might agree upon or a defined hard-cap amount that would offer council more financial planning certainty. In other words, if the city wants more money it will have to either raise taxes or start cutting.. At committee of the whole, Councillor Ron Ashmore wondered if a partial solution to the shortfall in the capital reserve is the selling of city-owned gravel pits. “Those could be worth millions.” “We are looking at all efficiencies,” Taylor said. “We need a methodical review involving council and staff to take a look at our assets.” Daynes said that if council opts to raise taxes rather than cut, “there needs to be a minimum three per cent tax increase in each of the 10 years to maintain what the city already has in the way of services.” Dunn said that council always seems to be trying to improve services “for the sake of improving services. “We have two choices. We could do less or tax more. We are not addressing our problems. We are making the same mistake year after year. We are digging ourselves a hole. Look at the Logie Street Park. That was a good use of capital money, but now we need to spend funds to operate it. Are we looking at everything we do to determine if they are a need or a want? We need to be looking hard on what we need to cut.” Taylor acknowledged it “was almost impossible” to balance expectations of taxpayers with what the city can afford, but noted that every year the city tries to figure out what is needed in the way of services. “There are no frivolous lists and wants out there. There are many projects that year by year we cannot accommodate. Council will need to prioritize the options and either approve, shift or eliminate programs.” Dunn told senior staff that responsibility for the capital shortfall rests with the current council, which failed to implement the four per cent tax increase the plan needed to be financially viable. Mayor Andy Letham echoed his past observations about the need for cuts. “We have a business model we cannot afford. We are pushing the can down the road. We have too many arenas, service centres, libraries and community halls. Can we pick up garbage every second week? We could reduce services. Why are we servicing private roads when we can’t service the ones we own? We don’t want to upset our constituents. This is not on staff. This is on council.” Letham said council hasn’t “nearly gone far enough” to reduce what the city does. “We need to find a happy medium between reducing services and

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increasing taxes.” Ashmore wondered whether the city’s finances will be any healthier given the significant growth the area is experiencing. Taylor said typically a one per cent growth rate is factored into budgeting. “We are expecting that growth rate to increase to two to three per cent.” Property tax increases may be inevitable if the city Daynes added, “We are buildis unwilling to raise its debt ceiling higher. ing-rich and revenue-poor. Our arena revenues have one of the lowest fee structures in the area. This needs to be looked at.” Councillor Doug Elmslie asked how much pressure the potential of a new Victoria Manor long-term care home by 2025 is putting on the budget. Elmslie was told by Taylor that even with the elimination of the Victoria Manor project, the three per cent increase plus the 1.5 per cent surcharge would be necessary. “We have 20 years’ worth of work to achieve in the next 10 years,” Taylor told council. Dunn said the city will never make a serious decision about living within its budget “as long as we can entertain the thought that we can just borrow money and someone else can pay for it.” He added, “Some of us are only looking at one more year on council. We don’t have the gumption to make sure we have the money to pay for our spending. Our kids and grandkids will be dealing with this debt. We need to find some savings. We could start with the $12 million set aside for the Colborne Street bridge. It doesn’t need to be spent this year.” Elmslie said he does not “entirely agree with the vision laid out by Councillor Dunn. “It is easy to say ‘Cut spending and services,’ but the reality is some of those services are important,” he said, adding, “We need to keep the services where they are.” Daynes pushed for an increase in the debt limit saying it is necessary before the city addresses its backlog of capital projects. Dunn said constituents need to realize they are paying directly for projects with tax increases. “These projects shouldn’t be buried with the debt where folks won’t make the connection. It is just wrong.” Council has delayed its decision on tax increases or potential cuts to city services, buying a little more time before making some key decisions on the fate of the city’s long-term financial plan – which could happen as early as this month, November 2021.

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In a stunning about-face, Kawartha Lakes Council voted down a motion by Mayor Andy Letham to prohibit off-road vehicles (ORVs) from using local, collector or arterial roads in Lindsay. Instead, council members approved a proposal by Councillor Pat Dunn that will allow for a two-year trial project beginning in the spring of 2022 that will connect northern and southern trails through town. In proposing his Lindsay ORV ban Letham said, “It is clear that the majority of Lindsay residents do not want ORVs on their roads.” Dunn suggested otherwise. “This shouldn’t be all about Lindsay. This is a city-wide issue.” Deputy mayor Pat O’Reilly said no other municipality “of our size except possibly Wasaga Beach allows ORVs on the roads. We know these vehicles are here to stay and we are not against them, but not on the roads.” Letham called for a recorded vote on his motion to ban ORVs on Lindsay streets. The mayor lost 5-4 with Dunn and Councillors Ron Ashmore, Kathleen Seymour-Fagan, Tracy Richardson and Emmett Yeo voting against the motion. Councillors Doug Elmslie, Pat O’Reilly and Andrew Veale backed the mayor. Dunn immediately introduced his motion, which would see northbound ORVs travelling from the Victoria Rail Trail (VRT) trailhead at Logie Street to King Street, then on to Lindsay Street and Wellington Street, crossing the Wellington Street Bridge and continuing to Victoria Avenue, Elgin Street, Angeline Street and Thunder Bridge Road, where they would pick up the VRT. By the same 5-4 vote, Dunn’s motion won support. Off-road vehicles will likely be allowed to travel on town streets starting in May 2022.


Building Abilities for Life Campaign launched by Five Counties Children’s Centre

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Five Counties Children’s Centre has launched the Building Abilities for Life Campaign, a $250,000 community fundraising initiative in support of the priority need for speech Five Counties Children’s Centre recently and language services for launched a major fundraiser. children in all the communities Five Counties Children’s Centre serves. According to a media release, the need for the centre’s speech-language and communication therapies grows every year. Because of the increasing need, some children must wait, falling further behind. With community investment, these children can get the treatment they need, when they need it. “Five Counties Children’s Centre’s ‘Building Abilities for Life’ campaign addresses the investment needed to support as many children and their families in our communities as possible in speech and language therapy, which is our highest need program,” said Scott Pepin, CEO of Five Counties Children’s Centre, in the release. The release notes that funding from this campaign will mean more kids and their families will continue to receive services in person, by phone and virtually. This ensures children learn how to feed, swallow, improve speech and language skills and have access to adaptive communication equipment when they need help the most. Donors are part of the solution for kids and families to get the early intervention that is key to building their abilities for life. Learn more at

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}} Kawartha Wholesale Bakery

Local business has been enduring success story

WILLIAM McGINN Writer-at-large

Jeff Strybosch, owner of Kawartha Wholesale Bakery in Lindsay. Photo: William McGinn.


On a good day, if you live behind the Lindsay Square Mall, you’ll be greeted by the smell of cinnamon and fresh bread, and Jeff Strybosch is glad his company is responsible. While the bakery might look small from the outside, behind the scenes is a mixture of kitchen and factory, with delicious delicacies produced by the truckload. When the Advocate visited recently, there were too many racks to count filled with loaves, pastries and buns. One of the bakers was racing against a machine capable of making about 9,000 buns an hour, throwing them swiftly into a wooden tub of cornmeal next to him. The original and long-time owner of Kawartha Wholesale Bakery & Deli, Strybosch was kind of forced into the business alongside his three brothers. His mother and father, Heather and Peter Strybosch, opened a different bakery, Peter’s Bun Stop, on Hwy. 36 in Lindsay back in 1980. Starting as a 12-year-old, Jeff and his brothers worked in the bakery on weekends. The business stuck with Jeff in particular, and now in his office he has caricature drawings of his parents. In 1984 they retired from the business and sold it to two of the other brothers, although it closed long ago.

One of the bakery’s many ovens has a carousel with eight different shelves that are constantly turning. Strybosch said when staff bake dinner rolls or hamburger buns in it, they make 112 dozen at a time. Meanwhile, the bakery we know today used to be a franchise bakery called Buns Master. According to Jeff Strybosch, the original owner ended up selling the place at a loss after buying the building and the franchise. It wasn’t an immediate turnaround success when Strybosch took over in 2001; he had to borrow $130,000 in his first year from his parents to stay afloat. “We were growing about 35 per cent a year the first few years. But it literally took four or five before I really saw any light,” he said. One of the bakery’s many ovens has a carousel with eight different shelves that are constantly turning. Strybosch said when staff bake dinner rolls or hamburger buns in it, they make 112 dozen at a time. (That’s 1,344 to save CONT’D ON PAGE 24

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Staff at Kawartha Wholesale Bakery, which has served Lindsay and area for the past 20 years. Photo: William McGinn.


you some math.) That doesn’t account for the few hundred dozen butter tarts and other specialties they make every day. The day at the bakery begins at three in the morning, when baker Kyle Lowen arrives. Staff have prepared the buns so they can rest in a cooler overnight, then Kyle will pull them out before the crack of dawn to get them rising. Strybosch explained they can’t sit in the cooler for too long “because then what happens is the loaves of bread get air bubbles.” Before Strybosch opened the bakery he was a doughnut-maker for 15 years. Ten of them he spent in Pickering making the doughnuts for three different Country Style outlets. The Country Style location in Lindsay (where Eggsmart is now) used to be operated by Dean Tzountzouris, and Strybosch would occasionally work for him, too. Today, Strybosch has four decades of experience in the food industry despite being “still relatively young” at 53, and he has his parents to thank for getting him into the business as a preteen. In 2001 when Strybosch opened, Loblaws had also opened with a bakery of their own. Only seven years

later, Food Basics and Staples were built, diverting more traffic onto Kent Street West rather than Commerce Road where Strybosch’s bakery is. In recent years, a new competitor, Mickaël Durand, has set up shop. In fact, several years ago, Durand worked for Strybosch before going off on his own. Strybosch said that apart from being pleasant and efficient with customers, a big part of his success is “what you put into the community you get back.” He sees a lot of requests from local groups holding fundraisers, barbecues, dinners and other events. Strybosch’s office is loaded with awards and certificates of recognition for his contributions, including making pizzas for the athletes in the Kids of Steel triathlon, and cooking all the turkeys and mashed potatoes for St. John Paul II Elementary School’s community Christmas lunch for the kids and staff. Contributions from the bakery have also gone to the Milk Run and the Salvation Army, and for years it has given away colourful Christmas bread at the Santa Claus Parade. Local cartoonist Kevin Frank referred to the bread in a newspaper comic strip that is framed and hanging in Strybosch’s office. Kawartha Wholesale Bakery & Deli has 20 employees and uses about five tons of flour a week. Some might say this business has become the best thing since sliced bread.


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Kinmount House Bed & Breakfast celebrates 30 years Kinmount House Bed & Breakfast on Cluxton Street has stood on the hill overlooking the Burnt River and the main street for three decades. As it celebrates its 30th anniversary, owner Patrick Healey says the actual house has a much longer history. “John Hunter, who was credited with being the founder of the village, occupied the hill upon his arrival at the future village in 1858,” he says. Hunter was a man of many talents who recognized the potential of the site. He ran a sawmill and grist mill powered by the first dam, which stood on the footprint of the current dam. Richard Mansfield acquired the lot on Cluxton Street in 1883. He was the person responsible for the large brick house that graces the property today. In 1913 Fred Dettman Jr. bought the house and raised a large family of 14 children in it. In 1944, Harry Butts became the new owner and lived there until 1991 when Healey bought the property and converted it into the current bed and breakfast. “We’ve been host to a great number of people from all over the world. Some have become great friends and have been back to Kinmount a number of times,” said Healy. The owner has also provided accommodation for many cyclists who have stopped here on their journey across Canada or on a local ramble on the area’s trails, including the Victoria Rail Trail. These guests have often let Healey know once they have reached their destination. The weekend of the Kinmount fair has always seen the house full to the brim, with vendors or entertainers bringing their stories and experiences with them to the breakfast table, according to Healey. Weddings and family reunions have also brought guests on many occasions. Playwrights, actors, movie directors and students taking courses from Fleming College’s Haliburton School of Art and Design have shared their experiences over the years at the breakfast table. “It has been a great experience and I have enjoyed every minute,” says Healey. Visit to learn more or give them a Kinmount House Bed & Breakfast. call at 705-488-2421.

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Epidemiologists say the risk of catching COVID from surfaces is remote

}} So why are we still performing

WILLIAM McGINN Writer-at-large

‘COVID theatre?’

Century Theatre staff regularly use a fogger to spray seats with hospital-grade disinfectant after shows. Photo: William McGinn.

The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic were filled with speculation, educated guesses on the part of the medical community, and mostly a lot of unknowns. Playgrounds went idle. Mall parking lots became a skateboarder’s dream. Hand sanitizer became an in-demand commodity. We sanitized everything we touched and then we did it some more. Dr. Helen Scott, an epidemiologist who lives in Kawartha Lakes and who also works for the World Health Organization, said, the initial focus on surface transmission emerged because of what we know about other infectious diseases.

“In hospitals, pathogens like respiratory syncytial virus and norovirus can cling to bed rails or can travel from one patient to another on a doctor’s stethoscope,” Scott said. It made sense, then, in those early days to treat the novel coronavirus as exactly that — a new pathogenic threat that could insidiously get to us in several ways. Around the world and here locally, business owners and organizations that operated a public space reacted based on that information Steve Podolsky, manager of Lindsay’s Century Theatre, said he was told at the beginning of the pandemic that transmission of the virus from surfaces was more


to reassure the public. However, putting on a show of safety first may be hard to stop at this point. The Century Theatre has a contract with a local company that maintains the building’s HVAC units and changes filters four times a year. The other theatre workers, Sheila Dominic and Bill Howell, use a fogger machine to spray down theatres with a hospital-grade disinfectant after shows. Loud as a vacuum, the machine kills COVID five minutes after contact, but is also billed as environmentally friendly and food safe. The term COVID theatre “is entirely unjust when it comes to a clean environment, particularly when it involves the food service industry,” said Hardaker at Smitty’s. “We cleaned and sanitized thoroughly, long before the outbreak.”

A Smitty’s Restaurant table in Lindsay, freshly cleaned.

likely than any other way of getting COVID. Shelly Hardaker, owner of Smitty’s Restaurant in Lindsay, recalled that in the beginning scientists were fairly certain that to catch the virus, “contact had to be very direct. Then there was a theory floating that the virus could live on surfaces for extended times.” But that has been proven not to be likely. “At this point,” said Scott, “hundreds of studies now suggest while surface transmission is possible, it seems to be rare. We have since learned COVID-19 outbreaks all point to the majority of transmissions occurring as a result of infected people spewing out large droplets and small particles called aerosols when they cough, talk or breathe.” In other words, the virus is significantly more airborne, and proper indoor ventilation and social distancing are the best ways to stay safe. Even when the virus does linger on surfaces, there’s a low chance of it causing an infection. Someone would have to cough or sneeze on a specific surface, and then the next person would have to touch it before it died off and immediately touch their eyes, nose, or mouth — an unlikely combination of events. The relentless charge to continue to sanitize anything that someone touches has been called “COVID theatre,” suggesting this is nothing much more than a performance

The relentless charge to continue to sanitize anything that someone touches has been called “COVID theatre,” suggesting this is nothing much more than a performance to reassure the public. However, putting on a show of safety first may be hard to stop at this point. Scott, the epidemiologist, said while some may criticize governments for failing to provide clear guidance and funding on how to improve indoor air quality, “the reality is, there is no easy fix, and precise ventilation or air-purification specifications to make indoor spaces safe are not known. Given this gap in our knowledge, it is difficult to calculate cost-effectiveness of various mechanisms for reducing transmission.” Abhi Arya, supervisor of Your Dollar Store With More in Lindsay, explained that as well as providing sanitizer at the door, staff also clean the carts every 30 minutes before returning them to their place near the outside front door. She said they have adapted to the new processes, which also include sanitizing the store’s public washrooms every three hours. Hardaker noted her customers comment regularly that “They feel safe here because when we sanitize and clean, it gives people comfort.” Podolsky agreed, saying the extra work is worth it if people feel safe while enjoying the movies.



Cool Tips with Hot Planet Ginny Colling

The Christmas gift challenge

When my daughter was nine, she failed to write her usual letter to Santa in September. Then, one month before the big day, she announced, “I want Santa to bring me a white costume like the one Victoria the cat wears in Cats.” (She’d almost worn out her VCR tape of the musical). Problem. It wasn’t exactly something you could find at Toys ‘R’ Us. Solution: Unlike me, my sister Jane is a knitter. She jumped at the challenge and soon created furry white leg warmers, arm warmers, cat’s ears and a tail. I found a white dance leotard at a local dance supply store. Done. That story reminds me of a few tips we could follow to be a little more sustainable in our Christmas gift-giving. 1. Make it yourself – or enlist someone handy, like my sister. My daughter (the same one) is now 26. She recently whipped up several soy candles in lovely glass jars complete with customized labels she designed and printed. I especially like that they’re soy. Paraffin candles are derived from crude oil, and some studies show they can release toxic gases when burned. 2. Shop local if possible – and feel good about supporting local businesses. If you want to buy Canadian-made, check out craft stores and art galleries for items from area artists. Not only are you supporting them, but there are also far fewer emissions when the item isn’t being shipped from China. I know: “Baby It’s COVID Outside,” and online sales are easier, safer and sometimes unavoidable. Last December online sales in Canada increased almost 70 per cent over the previous year, according to Statistics Canada. To reduce

the environmental footprint of letting your fingers do the shopping, look for items that ship from Canada, and avoid fast shipping. “The time in transit has a direct relationship to the environmental impact,” UPS’s director of sustainability says, because items can no longer be consolidated in one box or one shipment. 3. Take the long view – that can mean buying better quality stuff that will last longer. It can also mean looking at where an item will be in 50 years, or 500. If it’s made of plastic or polyester (both petroleumbased products), it could take hundreds of years to break down, and then it will only break down into microplastic — nothing nature recognizes. Concerns like this are getting serious. A recent study found that babies have 10 times the amount of PET plastic in their bodies as adults. Microplastics have been found in Great Lakes fish, in ground water, in air and in food. Concerns about plastic particles include what’s in wrapping paper. Glitter is actually plastic, and foil papers can’t be recycled. Best to avoid them. These days my preferred gift ideas lean toward donations to non-profit groups. My sister Jane, the knitter, is also a gifted wildlife and bird photographer. Last year I donated to Birds Canada in her name. But a restaurant gift certificate for the foodie on your list would also work. You get the picture. Lots of us have ways we’ve cut down on our ecological footprint at Christmas. Maybe those tips are something else we could share this season. And in case you were wondering, this is how my nine-year-old daughter reacted when she saw the Cats costume with its knitted accessories: “Those kids were wrong — there is a Santa Claus! My mom couldn’t do that!”





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Lindsay Jolly Jog runs Nov 27 Save the date of Nov. 27 to help Kawartha Lakes Food Source by participating in the 12th annual Lindsay Jolly Jog. This is a festive and family-friendly event that encourages the whole family to take a five-kilometre walk or run around Lindsay, with start times from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration is free, but a Food Source media release notes the organization encourages participants to make a donation of $20, which is eligible for a charitable tax receipt, if they are able. Donations are appreciated, as Kawartha Lakes Food Source is fundraising to continue supporting those in our community who deal with food insecurity through these upcoming cold winter months. Go to EventBrite Jolly Jog Lindsay to grab a registration spot, or to learn more about how to jog five km “your way,” how to sign up with your Jolly Squad to fundraise together, or for information on their Best Festive Dress Competition! Follow @kawarthalakesfoodsource on Facebook and Instagram for updates and a training schedule to get Jolly Jog-ready or contact 705-324-0707 or for any questions.

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The Local with Kitchen

Diane Reesor



Diane grew up eating this wonderful side dish every fall and winter. It was always part of her family’s butchering day meal (the day when the family’s pigs were headed off for slaughter.) It is one of those dishes that has been passed down without a recipe because it is so simple to make. “The proportions that I have given are pretty approximate. Mom always used what was on hand to make enough to go around. It’s easy to get hooked on.”

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Sautéed Apple and Onion

1 large cooking onion, slivered 2 apples, cored and chopped; peeling is optional ½ tbsp butter or cooking oil 2 tsp brown sugar, or to taste 1/4 tsp. dried thyme, optional salt and pepper to taste

Method Heat butter, at medium, in a frying pan large enough to hold your ingredients. Gently sauté the onion until soft and slightly brown. Add apples, brown sugar, thyme, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until apples are soft, about 10 minutes. Serve warm with pork, chicken, sausage, meatloaf or as a topping for baked or mashed potatoes. Cold, this chutney is incredible in a grilled cheddar cheese sandwich. Story and photos by Sharon Walker


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Amount 8 9Final tally to "kick it up" Abbr. 48 Abbr. Half of a crossword's clues: but ..." but ..." but ..." 10 10 Secord and Branigan, for 40 Texter's "This may not matter, Secord and Branigan, fortwo two 49 Where horse lovers are Secord and Branigan, for two Amount to "kick it up" 4949 Where horse lovers areserved served Where horse lovers are served 109 Abbr. 44 Mucky tank sediment 44 Mucky tank sediment 44 Mucky tank sediment but ..." 11 Nepal's neighbour a aromantic dinner? Nepal's neighbour romantic dinner? 11 Nepal's neighbour a romantic dinner? 10 Secord and Branigan, for two 49 Where horse lovers are served 11 45 '60s sitcom "Hogan's ___" 45 '60s sitcom "Hogan's ___"___" 45Mucky '60s sitcom "Hogan's 44 tank sediment 12 Harold, for short 53 Hearing-related 12 Harold, for short 5353 Hearing-related 12 Harold, for short 11 Nepal's neighbour a Hearing-related romantic dinner? 46 "I'm such ___ 46 "I'm such ___of ofyours!" yours!" 46 "I'm such ___ of yours!" 45 '60s sitcom "Hogan's ___" Poem ofofpraise 54 "..."... little dog gone? Oh 13 Poem praise 54 little dog gone? Ohwhere, where, 13 Poem of 54 "... little dog gone? Oh where, 13 12 Harold, forpraise short 53 Hearing-related (groupie's comment) You’ll find the (groupie's comment) (groupie's comment) oh where can ___?" 46 "I'm such ___ of yours!" where cancan ___?" ___ with an fist where ___?"Oh where, 17 17 ___ with aniron iron fistfist 17 ___ with an iron 13 Poem of praise 54 oh "...oh little dog gone? 50 Burglary, for short solution 5050 Burglary, forcomment) short Burglary, for short (groupie's 58 Tune sung byby aby inin in 21 5858 Tune sung amilkmaid milkmaid Swanky Tune sung a milkmaid 21 Swanky oh where can ___?" 21 Swanky 17 ___ with an iron fist 51 ___ the hills (ancient) on page 42 51 ___ thethe hills (ancient) England? 51 ___ hills (ancient) 50 Burglary, for short England? 22 Sinister chuckle 22 Sinister chuckle 58 England? Tune sung by a milkmaid in 22 Sinister chuckle 21 Swanky 52 "By allall means!" 52 "By means!" 63 ___ of pressure 52 "By all means!" 51 ___ the hills (ancient) 6363 ___ ofhigh high pressure By Barbara Olson ___ of high pressure England? 23 "Are you ___ (dealer's 23 "Are youyou ___out?" out?" (dealer's 23 "Are ___ out?" (dealer's 22 Sinister chuckle © ClassiCanadian Crosswords 55 Soothe, as pain 55 Soothe, as pain 64 They may be shared at the 55 Soothe, as pain 52 "By all means!" 64 They may be shared at the query) 64___ They may pressure be shared at the 63 of high query) 23 query) "Are you ___ out?" (dealer's 56 Horse bridle theatre 56 Horse bridle mouthpieces theatre 56 Horse bridle mouthpieces theatre 55 Soothe, asmouthpieces pain 24 Reacted totoato tale, with 2424 Reacted asad sad tale, with 64 They may be shared at the Reacted a sad tale, with query) 57 Hebridean dialect 65 AAcapella songs in a choral 57 Hebridean dialect 6565 capella songs in a choral "up" 57 Hebridean dialect A capella songs in a choral 56 Horse bridle mouthpieces theatre "up" to a sad tale, with 24 "up" Reacted clubclub 58 Big size: Abbr. 58 Big size: Abbr. 25 One doing the footwork on a 58 Big size: Abbr. Hebridean dialect 2525 One doing the footwork on a 65 club A capella songs in a choral One doing the footwork on a 57 "up" 66 "Raging Bull" director Martin 6666 "Raging Bull" director Martin 59 Fort McMurray job "Raging Bull" director Martin 59 Fort McMurray resource club job doing the footwork on a 59 Fort McMurray resource 58 Big size: Abbr.resource 25 job One 60 Fly ball's path 26 Expels from the body 60 Fly ball's path 26 Expels from the body 66 "Raging Bull" director Martin 26 Expels from the body 60 Fly ball's path 59 Fort McMurray resource job DOWN Down Down Down 61 Point of preceder, inina ain a 27 Slugger's turns 61 Point ofview view preceder, 27 Slugger's turns 27 Slugger's turns 61 Point of view preceder, 60 Fly ball's path 26 Expels from the body 1Down ___ slate) 1Tabula Tabula ___(clean (clean slate) 1 Tabula ___ (clean slate) tweet 28 Dogie catcher? tweetof view preceder, in a 28 Dogie catcher? 28 Dogie catcher? 61 tweet Point 27 Slugger's turns 221 Real estate e.g.: Abbr. Real estate workers, e.g.: Abbr. 2 Real estate workers, e.g.: Abbr. Tabula ___workers, (clean slate) 62 Basic teaching trio 6262 Basic teaching triotrio 29 Archie's TV Basic teaching tweet 29 Archie's TVdaughter daughter 29 Archie's TV daughter 28 Dogie catcher? 332 Madras monsieurs Madras monsieurs 3 Madras monsieurs Real estate workers, e.g.: Abbr. 34 Gold measures: Abbr. 62 Basic teaching trio 34 Gold measures: Abbr. 34 Gold measures: Abbr. 29 Archie's TV daughter 443 Lost, ininLaval Lost, Laval 4 Lost, inmonsieurs Laval Madras 35 Letter writer's add-ons 35 Letter writer's add-ons 35 Letter writer's add-ons 34 Gold measures: Abbr. 4 Lost, in Laval 35 Letter writer's add-ons 37 55Front end? Front end? 5 Front end?




November 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19 & 20 each night from 5-8pm • $20 per car

Stars at 9am on Nov 11th and runs until Nov. 21st.

Raffle tickets will be available online or at the KSV office. For details check out our website!

Gift Bags for Kids! Santa will be on site. Tickets must be purchased in advance

Bid 24 Hours a Day! Auctioned items will be made up of decorated trees, wreaths, garlands and Christmas items + gift baskets.

Timed entry to view raffle items will be available!


FRIENDS & NEIGHBOURS Colourful ‘Dr. Mike’ has seen the world, now calls Lindsay home One of the first things I learned after meeting Dr. Michael Joseph Moreton is that he likes to be referred to as Dr. Mike. It’s a tradition that began in Asia, where he has decades of work history, and it’s a moniker he carried back home with him. Dr. Mike, his son Christian, and Christian’s two daughters, Olivia and Alexa, are all under the same roof in Lindsay. The family of four moved to Kawartha Lakes in September 2020. If anyone ever drops by their place, the retired doctor will have plenty of stories to share, as I heard over tea at his Lindsay home.

WILLIAM McGINN Writer-at-large

Dr. Mike never had a burning desire to go to China but went in 1997 because of an amalgamation drive by Ontario Premier Mike Harris that forced the closure of many smaller hospitals. That move cost Dr. Mike his job. He sent out about 30 CVs before getting the call that would see him leave for the Middle Kingdom. Working in all these countries in various cultures and traditions has broadened his mind, he says. “My favourite line of poetry is from Kipling: ‘What knows he of England that only England knows?’ In other words, if you only know your own country, you don’t know your own country because you have nothing by which to compare it.”

His specialty is obstetrics — he has delivered more than 8,000 babies — and one of his proudest achievements was being part of the opening of the first Westernized maternity units in China. Dr. Michael “Mike” Joseph Moreton.

The doctor first came to Canada in 1966 from Wirral, England, for three years as part of an exchange program at McGill University. He has travelled, lived and worked across Canada, in Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa, and across the world, including in China, Bermuda, Thailand, the U.S., Cambodia and Mongolia, getting by on what English the locals knew. His specialty is obstetrics — he has delivered more than 8,000 babies — and one of his proudest achievements was being part of the opening of the first Westernized maternity units in China.

He was even the doctor on call for The Rolling Stones for a few days. The night before the band was to play in Shanghai, where he worked at the time, their regular doctor had a family emergency, so Moreton took over. He said Mick Jagger was “the fittest 62-year-old I have ever seen.” Dr. Mike has also been the doctor for several well-known actors. After working throughout Asia for almost 20 years, Dr. Mike returned from Cambodia in 2016 to live with his son and granddaughters in Toronto before they decided to settle in Lindsay last year. Christian told the Advocate, “I’m very proud (of what my dad has done) and it’s nice to have him settled in now, because we missed him when he was abroad.”



To preserve and protect

}} Conservation officers in Kawartha Lakes

IAN McKECHNIE Writer-at-large

1895, “and I trust you will lose no time in getting to Mid-November of 1892 saw Lindsay artist W.A. Goodwork in the locality in which you reside, so as to make win join well-known hunter Joe Thornhill on a week-long an example of some of the poachers and poachers jaunt into the wilds of Digby Township in the north end who are so persistently killing out of season.” of Victoria County. Slogging through the rough, swampy Henderson was responsible for enforcing duck landscape in gumboots, Goodwin and Thornhill happened hunting laws that autumn. He died in an unrelated upon a deer in the distance. Thornhill took aim and shot scaffolding accident two years later, but the work at the buck but didn’t kill it until firing a second shot. Upon of game wardens in the Kawarthas only seemed to further investigation, Goodwin and Thornhill discovered get busier. By 1898, some 6,000 sportsmen were of that the first shot had actually passed through the animal’s body and entered a bear that had been stealthily passing through the woods. Though wounded, the bear escaped and Mr. Thornhill “sighed heavily over the loss of the pelt, worth at least $20,” according to an 1892 story in the Canadian Post. As Thornhill’s disappointment reveals, hunting — then as now — was big business. To protect wildlife from being over-hunted, the provincial government passed an Act for the Protection of Game and Fur-Bearing Animals in 1892, not long before Goodwin and Thornhill headed into the Digby thickets. Five game wardens were hired in that inaugural year; they were supplemented by 392 deputy wardens. By the turn of the 20th century, game wardens were Bill Daniher, Mark Robbins, Dave Beavers and Ann Irwin sport uniforms worn making their presence felt in what is by Ontario Conservation Officers since 1930. Photo supplied by M. Robbins. today called Kawartha Lakes. Known as conservation officers (COs) since 1948, they continue flocking to the northern reaches of Victoria County to play a vital role in ensuring that fish and wildlife populain search of deer. Nearly a decade later, in 1907, tions are protected. Bobcaygeon-based game warden Nichol (whose first Among the first game wardens to serve in this area was name was not mentioned in reports) noted he had Edgerton R. Henderson (ca. 1840-1897), of Lindsay’s east issued 300 permits to American tourists for whom ward. “I am sending you a printed abstract of the Game and Bobcaygeon was a fishing paradise. Fishery laws which will be useful to you,” the province’s Since the beginning, game wardens and conservasenior game warden wrote to Henderson in the spring of tion officers have had responsibility over large swaths


land and water. Victor E. Harris (1925-2004), a veteran of the Second World War born in Gore’s Landing, became a game warden in 1946. “His office was in Lindsay, but his work took him to [other] areas of the Kawarthas and the western section of Rice Lake,” remembers Harris’s daughter, Lyn Ford. Harris retired in 1980 after 35 years of service as a conservation officer. Retired conservation officers are a tight-knit community, with plenty of interesting stories from their careers. Ken Morley, who retired in 2010, remembers being called out in the early 1980s to investigate a case of jacklighting south of Port Perry. (Jacklighting is an illegal practice in which a hunter shines bright lights into a field or forest, temporarily stunning an animal into motionlessness and thus making it an easier target). Jacklighters were apparently quite busy in this part of Ontario that night. “On my way home from this search, after a long and tiring shift, I observed near Little Britain spotlights shining across a field in the still, dark hours of early morning,” Ken recalls. “A pursuit of the suspect vehicle ensued with assistance from the Lindsay OPP resulting in the occupants’ apprehension a short time later.” Two of the vehicle’s occupants were later identified as members of a well-known motorcycle gang with ties to organized crime. While Ontario’s game wardens have played an important role in conserving the province’s fish and wildlife populations, there have been darker episodes in their history. For instance, in 1937, when deputy-game warden Rutherford (again, first name unknown) assaulted young Albert Taylor, of Curve Lake First Nation, and fined his brother, Noah Taylor, for spearVictor E. Harris (1925- ing muskrats on Sturgeon Lake. 2004), a veteran of the Arguments were advanced in deSecond World War born fence of the Taylor brothers in court in Gore’s Landing, became proceedings (they were merely trying a game warden in 1946. to secure a livelihood during the Great Depression) and against (they were “His office was in Lindsay, “killing the fur bearing industry and but his work took him killing trapping for others who keep to [other] areas of the the law”). The fact that they were Kawarthas and the west- engaged in this activity on the traern section of Rice Lake,” ditional territory of the Anishinaabe people was apparently overlooked. remembers Harris’s Although it has sometimes been daughter, Lyn Ford. slow and difficult, progress has been made in recognition of treaty rights. “Over the decades, as courts made significant Charter decisions, and governments and First Nations made progress on agreements, conservation officers have had to be ready and able to apply these new policies,” says Mark Robbins, a retired conservation officer living in Lindsay. Much has changed in the almost 130 years since the first game wardens took up their posts. Today, conservation officers are responsible for enforcing dozens of statutes regulating fishing and hunting, as well as endangered and invasive species. In carrying out their many duties, these professionals work to protect the wildlife that defines so much of what we love about Kawartha Lakes.

Jacklighting is a crime Often called “jacklighting”, the use of a spotlight and a high-powered rifle to hunt big game at night is illegal. People who jacklight often damage fences and crops as they drive the countryside in search of animals; carelessly fired bullets sometimes hit rural buildings and kill livestock; this illegal activity puts public safety at risk and damages the reputation of legitimate hunters. Solving a crime is like putting a puzzle together, each piece of information is important and your call can help fill in the blanks. If you have any information about jacklighting, or any other crime, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS). All calls to Crime Stoppers remain anonymous and you could be eligible for a cash reward. Courtesy of Kawartha Haliburton Crime Stoppers



Cry Freedumb

As we enter what many call the last mile of our vaccination efforts to achieve herd immunity, and eagerly await vaccination for kids aged 5 to 12, the vocal minority of conspiracy theorists and selfish individualists is getting louder and more aggressive in its efforts to derail our progress. Oblivious to science, reason and the data that comes from the administration of the vaccines to billions of people, they peddle untruthful information entwined with misplaced conceptions of freedom. The vast majority of us are not in this camp. I mean when was the last time you could get 85 per cent of Ontarians to agree on anything? But the latest science tells us that because of the Delta variant we need to increase our overall vaccination rates. Not all the unvaccinated among those eligible are in the same camp. The vaccine-hesitant may have any number of reasons for holding out. We need to keep communicating with them with compassion and without judgement. There may also be access barriers for some, such as finding transportation to get their shot. And of course, those who have a valid medical exemption (while a statistically insignificant number) will not be expected to be vaccinated. But what about the loud anti-science crowd? The ones who protest at primary schools, hospitals and even a local restaurant during the last election? I mean, I get it. I like freedom. As a smoker, perhaps my rights are being trampled on when I’m told I can’t smoke in a daycare or asthma clinic. And the tyranny of making me have a passport and other vaccinations to visit many countries makes me want to get some Bristol board and a marker and prove to the world I can’t spell. And don’t get me started on not being able to drive 100 km/hour in a school zone while inebriated. I jest. Thankfully, I am not a selfish idiot (my editor won’t let me use the word I want) and I welcome those restrictions mentioned above, among many, to my freedom. Because like most of my neighbours I believe in a social contract. I have rights. But I also have responsibilities. And my freedom to do something stops when that action can injure or kill my neighbour. So the people in this small vocal minority aren’t freedom fighters. And any suggestion to link these efforts to real freedom fighters is beyond offensive. Normally I advocate for non-polarized positions. But this is a matter of life and death. So bring on every curtailment and restriction to these people. They have freely made their choice. And every choice in life has consequences. And to my friends who will hate every word I have just written, we will agree to disagree. I love you and will miss your company. I hope that you get the facts and make the right choice for all of us.



to this month’s crossword, page 37


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36 38






53 58







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37 41













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© Classi











By Barbara Olson © ClassiCanadian Crosswords



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