The Lindsay Advocate - April 2024

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Where have all the teachers gone?

How a local family is changing young lives in Tibet

Lakes’ Premier News Magazine • April 2024
Kawartha Water polo player from Lindsay readies herself for Olympics




Office 705.328.3800

It is difficult to judge the strength of the market during the winter months.

However, the downturn that started in the spring of 2022 may have run its course.

Sales activity was surprisingly strong to start 2024 with the warm weather and buyers looking to strike deals in anticipation of rates coming down.

Taking Action

Sellers and buyers seem to have a renewed confidence in the market.

The fixed rates on mortgages have fallen to around 5% and many feel we have hit the bottom of the market.

Sales activity the last two quarters of 2023 were historically low with prices plateauing over the last three to five months.

Kawartha Lakes Municipal Housing Pledge - target of 6,500 new housing starts in Kawartha Lakes by 2031

With prices remaining elevated due to low supply, buyers are wanting to get in before housing transitions to a sellers market.

Turning a Corner

Monetary policy has been slowly working to bring inflation down from its 8.1% peak in 2022.

Inflation 2.9% (Jan 2024) down from 3.4% (Dec 2023)

Taking out shelter inflation the current CPI would be closer to 2%.

Shelter price responsible for more than half of inflation

When the Bank of Canada raised interest rates in June and July of 2023 to 5% it put home ownership out of reach for many.

With inflation within the Bank’s 1-3% target and declining, rate cuts are on the horizon.

“We expect five 25-basis point cuts to the Canadian overnight rate this year” (Desjardins, Feb 2024)

If policy rates decline in the coming months we will see a return of buyers who stepped aside in late 2023 along with sellers who took their homes off the market during that time.

Housing sales and prices to gradually rise over 2024

Shelter Price Growth Is the Main Driver of CPI Inflation in Canada

Total CPI inflation and its underlaying decomposition*

Prices to Fall in the Near-Term Despite Rising Sales

Sales-to-New Listings Ratio: Canada

Seller’s market Balanced Market Buyer’s market 0.59
LOVE LISTENING CALL US NOW TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT! Lindsay Ear Clinic is proud to provide the community with dedicated audiologists who have over 50 years of combined experience! With our locations in Lindsay and Bobcaygeon, we provide the following hearing services: • Hearing Tests • Hearing Aids – all makes and models • Wax Removal • Dizzy & Balance Assessments • Tinnitus Management 0%CanadianFa m i yl Life is worth listening to… WITH LINDSAY EAR CLINIC! Again LINDSAY (705) 340-5050 65 Angeline Street North, Ste 10 BOBCAYGEON (705) 738-1752 90 Bolton Street

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Roderick Benns

Editor/Business Development:

Rebekah McCracken

City + Online Editor: Ian McKechnie

Contributing Editor:

Trevor Hutchinson


Kirk Winter

Ginny Colling

Denise Waldron

Amanda Tayles

Geoff Coleman

David Rapaport

D. Benns

B. Howes

Art Direction + Design:

Barton Creative Co.

Christina Dedes

Photographers: Sienna Frost

Geoff Coleman

Web Developer:

Kimberly Durrant

Printed By: Maracle Inc.

Cover image:

image: Pencho and Tsering

Rabgey at Kawartha Lakes City Hall.

Losang, and Pencho Rabgey. Photo: Sienna Frost.

Please send editorial inquiries to Roderick Benns at or by calling 705-341-1496.

Send advertising inquiries to Rebekah McCracken at or by calling 705-328-5188, or to Cara Baycroft at 905-431-4638.

others are leaving the system. Here’s why. feature

14 cover 20

Fewer people want to be teachers,

The Tibetan nation has a rich history — and a powerful bond with Lindsay.

feature 34

Lindsay athlete has her eye on Olympic glory

In 1855, The Lindsay Advocate was the very first newspaper in town. Now, more than a century and a half later, we have been proud to carry on that tradition in our city since 2018. As your local ‘paper of record‘ in magazine format, we take this responsibility seriously. Thank you for putting your trust in us as we work with you to strengthen our community.

— Roderick
PRIVACY POLICY: The Lindsay Advocate is independently owned & operated. The opinions expressed herein are the views of the contributors & do not necessarily reflect those of this magazine. Photos, text & art work contained in The Lindsay Advocate are copyrighted & 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, & without notice. The Publisher has made every effort to ensure information contained herein was accurate at press time. The Publisher does not assume & hereby disclaims any liability to any party for damage, loss, or disruption caused by errors or omissions.
Cover Photo: Sienna Frost.
letters to the editor 6 • city notes 7 • benns’ belief 11 agree to disagree 13 • KL public library feature 33 the sports advocate 34 • cool tips for a hot planet 39 just in time 40 • the marketplace 45 • trevor’s take 46 • every issue • APRIL 2024 • VOL. 6 • ISSUE 71 OFFICIAL MEDIA SPONSOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL PLOWING MATCH. OCT. 1ST TO 5TH, 2024

to the editor

Ross Memorial doctor appreciated

I am one of the many people who have been under the care of Dr Sara-Lynn Francis during a stay at Ross Memorial Hospital and I was pleased to see her on the cover of the March issue of the Advocate.

A mixture of light-hearted, but very professional care would describe Dr. Francis and my stay at RMH could not have been better. One day when Dr. Francis was unable to check on me she sent her husband, Dr. Michael Francis, who explained he was voluntold to come and see me. We had a chuckle about that.

Send us your thoughts to be featured here!

“A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.”

Heat pump better than Enbridge option, says reader

Re: Kawartha Lakes should support a healthy environment, not Enbridge (March Advocate).

My wife and I took advantage of the government subsidy and switched to a heat pump two years ago. We found to our astonishment that our fuel and electrical bills were cut by more than three quarters. We were delighted to not only be reducing our carbon footprint, but also saving a lot of money. I have been doing a lot of research on this since, and have come to the conclusion that Enbridge’s board of directors are going to end up having hundreds of millions, if not billions, in ”stranded assets” and it will be its customers throughout Canada (including Kawartha Lakes) who will be stranded, having to replace costly furnaces while shale gas companies line up filing for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the US.

I wholeheartedly support the writer’s concerns.

George Hewison, Kawartha Lakes


loss in Little Britain is not progress

Re: Little Britain Foodland closing for good (March Advocate)

Much like the previous Foodland grocery stores in Woodville, Janetville, and other rural locations, this one will likely be converted to a large-scale convenience store, with a larger selection of beer, wine, and liquor and a limited supply of food staples. That is providing the owner does not ask for ridiculous rent. Could Coboconk be next in line as they rely heavily on the cottage traffic in the summer months? For some inane reason, these closures are considered progress. Very sad.

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


Looking back at Rock and Roll

Trevor Hosier, who for several years curated the Youngtown Rock and Roll Museum in Omemee and later Lindsay, will be presenting an exhibit of over 150 photographs of rock and roll legends at the Lindsay Lounge (68 McLaughlin Road) on April 13 from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. Cash donations of $5, $10, or $20 will be gratefully accepted at the door, with all proceeds going to support mental health initiatives.

New Director for APCH

A Place Called Home (APCH) has announced the appointment of Angela Ricciuti as its third executive director. Ricciuti previously spent two decades in leadership with Community Living Toronto and brings a wealth of experience in social services to her new role – particularly in the field of residential supports and housing. Ricciuti is deeply committed to the principles of community inclusion, and the team at APCH looks forward to working with her.

Annual Lindsay model railway show returns

The Lindsay & District Model Railroaders invites families and railway enthusiasts of all ages to the Lindsay Armoury from April 6-7 for the 47th Lindsay Train Show. Featuring operating layouts and a variety of vendors, this event runs from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, and $2 for children aged 6-12. Those under six are free.

7 • city notes
Councillor Tracy Richardson, left with Silver Lights’ Susan Fisher, and Deputy Mayor Charlie McDonald. Silver Lights recently hosted an open house to highlight their dementia care.


Manvers Historical Society seeking descendants of British Home Children

Are you a descendant of a British Home Child? If so, the Manvers Township Historical Society wants to hear from you. The society is working on a project about these children, who were sent to work on farms in Canada between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Almost 200 of these children worked and eventually settled in the communities comprising contemporary Manvers Township. Contact for more information.

Concert at St. James Anglican Church

Join Trevor and the Grannies this year for a concert April 6, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at St. James Anglican Church, at 7 Bond St. East in Fenelon Falls. Trevor Hutchinson will perform his own unique songs at 11:45 a.m., but there’s also a line-up of talent from across Kawartha Lakes, including music students, the Kawartha Male Chorus, the reUnion Choir, Fiddles and Friends, an interactive African drumming circle, and more, with various music styles. This includes old favourites, show tunes, country, and folk music. Refreshments available. All proceeds go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Grandmothers Campaign.

Kawartha Lakes Country Living Show at Community Centre

Those who own rural properties – from farmhouses to lakeside cottages – will not want to miss this year’s Kawartha Lakes Country Living Show. Opening on April 19 and running through April 21, this extravaganza features over 100 booths, unique artist installations, and even an on-site restaurant. Check out for more information and hours of operation.

The Lindsay Lawn Bowling Club recently received a Trilllium grant of nearly $59,000 for the club. The Commonwell Exhibition Building was set up for a demonstration to celebrate the receipt of the Ontario government grant. Photo: Sienna Frost.

Got news in your village? Email Ian McKechnie, city editor, at

Rescue Junction

With Our Third “Then Sings My Soul” Concert!

Saturday, April 20th at 6:30pm

For further info contact: Merlyn Bales 705-878-1418


Saturday, May 4th, 2024

Cambridge Street United Church Lindsay, ON • 8am to 12:30pm

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE! FILL A BAG 1pm - 3pm ($2.00 and up depending on size of bag.)

Bill Peter is a regular donor at the clinic in Lindsay. To book your appointment to donate blood visit or call 1-888-2DONATE. Photo: Sienna Frost. Fenelon Falls
city notes •
N., Lindsay
Cambridge St.
Church 28
• Freewill Offering
Everyone Welcome
Award-Winning Gospel Bluegrass Band From Southwestern Ontario

Nexicom calling on Kawartha Lakes to help it grow

Nexicom, based in Millbrook, has recently celebrated 125 years of service – and they’re looking to grow in Kawartha Lakes.

As Brittany Markovski, social media and marketing specialist says, “we’re a lucky telecom company in terms of still being around after so many years.”

It’s even more remarkable considering there are only 21 independent service providers that have survived out of the 1,100 phone companies that were created from the telco boom in the 1890s, she points out.

“As we look forward to the next 125 years, we know we won’t be a Bell or Rogers, but that’s not our goal. We want to remain local, supporting our key communities and employing individuals from those communities.”

Markovski said Nexicom’s goal is to play a vital role in keeping the community connected. “Lindsay is one of the areas we have serviced in the past, but as the city continues to grow remarkably, Nexicom would like to promote our services, but more importantly, show our commitment to the area through community partnerships and support.”

To learn more visit or call 1-888-639-4266.

Lindsay Ear Clinic owner one of only about 60 doctors of audiology in Canada

Anne Marie Sinasac-Roy is the proud owner and operator of three hearing clinics located in Lindsay, Bobcaygeon, and Bancroft. She brings a unique blend of international experiences and extensive academic achievements to her role in audiology.

Originally from a small farming community in southwestern Ontario, Sinasac-Roy is the youngest among her three siblings.

At the University of Ottawa, Anne Marie earned her Honours B.A. in linguistics while concurrently contributing her skills as a reporting secretary on Parliament Hill. At the University of Western Ontario in London, she achieved her Master of Clinical Science in Audiology degree.

Furthering her commitment to excellence, she pursued and earned her Doctor of Audiology degree at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona, after completing additional studies at the American Institute of Balance in Florida.

After a decade of university training, she now stands among approximately 60 doctors of audiology in Canada. Today, as the proprietor of three thriving hearing clinics, she combines her wealth of knowledge, experience, academic expertise, and genuine passion for improving lives through better hearing.

To learn more, visit or call 705-3405050.

Tom Barton, a Nexicom lineman, working in Lindsay. Photo: Brittany Markovski.
• business upfront
Anne Marie Sinasac-Roy of Lindsay Ear Clinic.
Barristers, Solicitors, Notaries Angus McNeil Waylon Skinner Nicole Moore Heather Richardson Dedicated to Excellence Since 1959 Residential & Recreational Purchases, Sales & Refinancing Contract Preparation & Review Wills & Powers of Attorney Business Succession Planning Estate Administration Incorporation Partnership & Shareholder Agreements 10 William St. S. Lindsay 402 Simcoe St. Beaverton 100+ VENDORS HELLO SPRING SALE RESTAURANT ON SITE FREE ADMISSION (DONATIONS WELCOMED) APRIL 19 • 4PM - 8PM APRIL 20 • 10AM - 5PM APRIL 21 • 10AM - 3PM FE N E L ON F ALLS COMMU N IT Y C E NTR E 10
This spring, choose only the finest cuts of meat

Mulroney’s death underscores our shared humanity

It is not uncommon to have a soft spot for the Canadian prime minister who was in power during one’s “growing up” years. For me, that was Brian Mulroney. Age wise for Mulroney, it was the summer of his life. He had just won a thrilling second election as I was leaving high school in 1988.

Since his death and recent state funeral, most news outlets are rightly pointing out the consequential policies Mulroney oversaw, from a North American free trade arrangement to replacing the old Manufacturers Sales Tax (MST) with a GST instead. Every economist said the GST was the right thing to do. Every Canadian hated it.

But it wasn’t Mulroney’s tackling of formidable economic questions that made me proud to be a Canadian. (The non-partisan me of today, in fact, isn’t a fan of the increased corporatism that came along with free trade.)

Mulroney was on the right side of history when it came to pushing for the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa.

No, back then and right up until this moment, the thing I loved most about Mulroney was his uncommon humanity.

In his first year in power, he tackled the devastating famine in Ethiopia head on. With the help of the eloquent social democrat, Stephen Lewis, who served as Canada’s ambassador to the U.N., and the able and decent Joe Clark, Mulroney’s foreign affairs minister, Canada’s leadership in getting aid to the drought-stricken nation was swift and effective.

Two years later I remember when 155 Sri Lankans were picked up at sea and given refugee status. As it turned out, they had invented a tale of being adrift in the north Atlantic for five days in crowded lifeboats to gain sanctuary in this country. It was advice someone had given them to enter Canada; they said they regretted it and asked Canadians for forgiveness.

It would have been easy to play the strongarm Conservative leader here and send them packing. Instead, Mulroney resisted calls to do so, saying his government was “not in the business of turning away refugees.”

“If we err, we err on the side of fairness and compassion,” he said. Similarly, Mulroney was on the right side of history when it came to pushing for the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa and leading the way in the west on recognizing Ukrainian independence.

After he left politics, his autumn years were spent collecting awards or receiving honours, such as ‘greenest PM’ in Canadian history or helping to launch the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government at St. Francis Xavier University.

During these years he also wrote the foreword to my historical fiction book about a teenage John A. Macdonald, and for that I am forever grateful.

In the late winter of his life one of his final public comments was to pay homage to his longtime political adversary, Ed Broadbent, who had died just weeks before Mulroney would. He said Canadians should remember Ed Broadbent “with respect, affection and admiration.”

One could say the same about Canada’s 18th prime minister.

• benns' belief 11
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Clear solutions available for Ontario’s teacher shortage

Ontario is facing a devastating teacher shortage, and it is time for the Ontario government and school boards to take action.

First and foremost, funding must be increased to reflect inflation. Currently, there is a $6 billion shortfall in education funding. This makes it difficult to attract and retain qualified teachers and creates less than ideal classrooms.

In addition, there must be a return to consequences when students misbehave and disrupt the learning of others. Teachers need better support from school administration and board personnel when dealing with parents or guardians who do not support their decisions. More staffing and support must be put in place to deal with student violence before it occurs.

To attract more people to the teaching profession, there must be more university spots for teacher training, and the two-year teacher training program should be reduced to one year. Tuition for teacher’s college should be reduced or even made free, and rental subsidies should be provided for new staff trying to find accommodation. Finland, Iceland and Poland are three nations where even masters level and doctoral level education is free.

The certification process for internationally educated teachers and graduates from Ontario teacher education programs must be issued more quickly. As well, student teachers in Ontario education programs should be allowed to accept paid work in the classroom while still completing their degree.

Signing and relocation bonuses should be offered to new staff willing to work in rural boards to ensure we have an equitable distribution of teachers, too, across both urban and rural boards.

The teacher shortage in Ontario is a pressing issue that requires immediate action. By increasing education funding, providing better support for teachers, and making the teaching profession more attractive, we can ensure that our students have access to the best education possible.

Victoria Beef Farmers donate $3,000 worth of hamburger to Food Source

The Victoria Beef Farmers are proud to support Kawartha Lakes Food Source with a $3,000 donation of hamburger. This brings their total donation over the last four years to $11,000. The agriculture group’s main fundraiser is a barbecue on July 28 at the Fenelon Falls Fairgrounds, where all are welcome. Follow them on Facebook or at

• editorial • • community • 12
The 2024 Victoria Beef Farmers.

Agree to Disagree

Buying new beats thrifting any day

In our quest for sustainable and budget-friendly fashion, let’s explore the world of thrifting in our small, yet environmentally beautiful town. One pressing concern is the limited variety within thrift stores, making it tricky for locals to find the specific styles or sizes for their individual tastes.  Now, let’s talk about hygiene – a real consideration. The condition of second-hand garments doesn’t always meet our cleanliness standards, making some think twice about this kind of shopping.

Size matters, and it’s a challenge when the range of sizes in thrift stores is a bit limited. It poses a real issue for folks with non-standard measurements.

Couple that with the fact that thrift stores in smaller towns might not keep pace with the latest fashion trends as quickly as we’d like, and it creates a situation where our stores might not always showcase the latest styles.

Let’s touch on another aspect of thrifting — limited customer service. Traditional thrift stores, while bursting with unique finds, may lack staff assistance for a more guided shopping experience. By choosing new local clothing stores this fosters a vibrant community fashion scene.

We should also be concerned about some larger thrift stores. While they present themselves as charity-driven, there’s a cloud over their profits. A portion often funnels into corporate pockets, leaving questions about their commitment to community welfare. It’s a reminder to scrutinize where our thrift dollars truly go, considering the ethical implications.

If used clothing is the goal, though, what if we explored more innovative approaches beyond traditional thrift stores? Imagine a bustling community space where residents don’t just shop but actively engage in transforming clothing. Picture a workshop where locals learn the art of upcycling, turning old denim into stylish bags or repurposing vintage fabrics into trendy scarves.

Traditional thrifting has lots of limitations and for that reason it’s important we continue to support the new fashion industry, too.

— B. Howes is a Grade 12 student at I.E. Weldon S.S. in Lindsay.

Thrifting is good for our bank accounts and planet

I was out thrifting a few weeks back and picked up a t-shirt, two dress shirts, a tie, a lug wrench, and an air pump – all for just $30. I threw them in the washing machine (minus the wrench and pump) and they were good as new. Thrift shops carry functional and diverse items for cheap prices, which saves products from ending up in landfill and ensures that the buyer isn’t left with a drained bank account. And yet, many people still seem to hold some sort of aversion towards the idea of buying used clothing. I ask, why?

The fashion industry is notorious for its high carbon footprint and waste, so by purchasing second-hand clothing these garments are being saved from wasting away in a dump. This helps to conserve resources, reduce energy consumption, and minimize pollution associated with manufacturing new clothing items. But, if helping the environment isn’t motivating enough, then let’s look at the other benefits of thrifting.

New clothing is expensive; a single pair of jeans can easily cost $100 these days. That price gets cut by more than half in a thrift store, which not only saves money but also makes clothing more accessible to individuals who cannot afford to pay insanely overpriced clothing costs. Thrift shops also carry a diverse range of brands and styles, making it easy for customers to find outfits that fit their personality, all while helping the environment and being nice to their bank account.

Thrifting may be viewed as something commonly associated with people with lower income, but it is time we put these stereotypes aside and recognize that thrifting is good for us all – the people, the environment, and of course, our wallets.

— D. Benns is a Grade 12 student at I.E. Weldon S.S. in Lindsay.

Teacher shortage crisis

Why are teachers leaving – or never starting – the profession?

Publicly funded Ontario schools are staring down the barrel of the most significant teacher shortage in more than 30 years. Simply put, fewer and fewer new people are joining the teaching profession, and experienced teachers are leaving the classroom in concerning numbers and looking for new careers outside teaching.

This phenomenon is new to education in Ontario. Less than a decade ago, unemployment among newly graduated teachers ran at almost 40 per cent and competition for full-time positions was fierce. Today, over 40,000 certified teachers in Ontario are choosing to make careers outside education, and some boards like Trillium Lakelands (TLDSB) have been forced to hire unqualified staff to fill positions on their daily supply lists.

What has changed in such a short time period?

We discovered that teaching in Ontario is no longer seen as the attractive vocation it once was because of underfunding by the provincial government, violence directed towards teaching staff by students, lack of support from senior staff and parents to deal with disruptive student behaviours and several significant and lasting system-wide challenges caused by three years of the pandemic.

Underfunding the system

Kellie Kirkpatrick, branch president for the Elementary

Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO), who represents all the TLDSB elementary teachers in the board, said that a chronic and calculated underfunding of the school system by the province is one of the crucial reasons for the current teacher shortage.

“The funding system for education has not been updated since 1997,” Kirkpatrick said. “Funding has not kept pace with student needs. Kids are not being properly supported. Violence in schools is directly related to a lack of funding and a broken funding model.”

The underfunding amount has been pegged at $6 billion between 2023-2028 so that the system can keep up with inflation and needs identified by the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario.

The Advocate spoke with several teachers, for whom we have provided anonymity due to their fear of administrative reprisal.

A veteran TLDSB teacher was blunt when they talked about the impact of underfunding in their daily teaching life.

“Underfunding means unmanageable class sizes, and not enough educational assistants to assist students who require separate programming. Underfunding means we regularly dip into our own pockets to buy classroom supplies, food for kids who come to school with no lunches and warm winter clothing for those who need them. It is bloody discouraging

feature • 14

and it causes a lot of really good people to contemplate getting out of education.”

Another veteran TLDSB teacher said they, “have taken Trent teacher candidates for decades.”

“After a placement in my classroom (pre-pandemic) they told me during their last few days that they couldn’t believe what I dealt with every day and had no interest in continuing with education as a career.”

Classroom violence

Kirkpatrick believes student violence directed towards staff is the number one reason there is a teacher shortage in Ontario.

“Violence in the classroom is treated as a dirty little secret,” Kirkpatrick said. “We are not talking about it enough because student confidentiality gets in the way.”

The joint impacts of chronic underfunding and the often-dangerous classroom situations it creates have led to a record number of TLDSB elementary teachers accessing their board disability plan.

“Burnout is a real thing,” Kirkpatrick said. “Local members are looking for an off ramp (from teaching). When they feel they aren’t effective it eats at them. There is such a focus on student mental health, but not staff mental health. Educators give and give, but eventually you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

Bart Scollard, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA), Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland, Clarington Catholic School Board Unit (PVNCCSB) agrees with Kirkpatrick about the corrosive effects of classroom violence, and the impact it has on teachers leaving the profession.

“I have witnessed a significant increase in teacher reported violence in schools since 2022,” Scollard said. “Teachers… have been punched, kicked, spat on, slapped, stabbed and received ongoing verbal abuse as well. Most notably the increase in violence is happening in Kindergarten and our primary grades. This leads to education workers seeking medical treatment for their physical injuries and their emotional scars, and teachers…are leaving the profession due to the physical and emotional impact (of teacher violence).”

A recent OSSTF survey, referenced by Iggi van Kooten, branch president for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF), indicates that the violence has already reached dangerous levels.

“Thirty per cent of teachers and 80 per cent of our educational assistants reported physical aggression at work,” van Kooten said. “(Locally) TLDSB superintendent Paul Goldring, in his presentation to the board in October 2023, reported 1,723 suspensions during 2022-2023. In addition, Goldring reported there were 40 violent incidents during the last academic year. It is my opinion that many of these incidents could have been deescalated had there been sufficient staff in our local schools.”

One potential teacher candidate whose program required

him to volunteer in schools as part of his preparation for the profession dropped out of the education stream because of what he saw occurring.

“I saw in each of those four years the issue of discipline and children’s behaviours get worse,” they said. “One of the classes I taught in, 18 of 21 students were identified with behavioural issues. The final straw that made me drop out of the faculty of education was when Premier Ford announced he would remove student suspensions from the primary division of the elementary panel, taking even more power away from staff to keep their classrooms safe for students and themselves.”

A local civil servant, whose spouse is a TLDSB elementary teacher, described a typical week in their partner’s classroom.

“Not a week goes by without at least verbal abuse from multiple students,” they began. “My partner has been hit with both a stapler and a hole punch hurled by enraged students. They are afraid to let some of these children handle scissors. Their educational assistant has to wear a Kevlar vest to work with the student they are assigned. My partner wants out but my job is not portable…we aren’t sure what we are going to do. Not a week goes by when they don’t regret their choice of career.”

Lack of support from administration and parents

Staff interviewed for this article made it clear that a lack of administrative and parental support when dealing with disruptive students makes teaching intolerable and unattractive for all, causing many either not to enter the career or consider other career options.

“In difficult situations with students and their families,” Kirkpatrick said, “administration should have your back because when they don’t things turn into big issues and lingering struggles.”

Linda Shier, a retired long-time TLDSB teacher, echoes Kirkpatrick’s assertions.

“The teacher shortage may be partially due to the total lack of respect for public education (that currently exists),” Shier said. “Young people (considering teaching) know that there is no support from the government or the public. Sadly, this is not new and it is getting worse.”

“There needs to be a return to support for teachers from both parents and school boards helping instill student accountability and enforce consequences to create safe and productive classrooms,” another TLDSB staff member suggested.

“In the current climate,” the teacher wrote, “if a student is reprimanded at school, more likely than not the parents will be in, (saying) how dare their child be disciplined, rather than taking a moment to consider how their child behaved and what they could do to assist the classroom teacher. Because of this, principals are hesitant to suspend as they know parents will appeal, and that the school boards tend to side with parents over their own staff. Since school offices only hold so many students, and principals can’t spend all day monitoring


in-school suspensions, this leads to students being back in classrooms that aren’t ready to receive them.”

Pandemic fallout

There was also general agreement among almost everybody we spoke with that three school years in a row disrupted by COVID-19 left the school system and its employees in a very precarious position.

Wes Hahn, director of education for TLDSB, believes that the pandemic had many negative effects on his board, and that it may take a while for the system to rebound.

“COVID-19 had a negative impact on potential teacher-candidates,” Hahn said. “Individuals who would have likely gone into teaching looked for other opportunities. Despite staff doing their best to teach online, for some potential new teachers that option did not look like fun. It is hard recouping that momentum of getting kids to consider teaching when thinking of a career. I think it will eventually happen but it is tough right now.”

Hahn went on to say that COVID-19 has not only disrupted the flow of new teachers into the system, but has caused a number of experienced staff to reconsider their career choices.

“Post COVID-19 has caused many staff to re-evaluate their lifestyles,” Hahn said. “Staff are refocusing on what is important, like taking care of elderly parents, and people have said we are done (with teaching). While our board has not seen it as much as others, COVID-19 took a toll on staff and a number I spoke to said they weren’t sure they wanted to do it (teach) anymore.”

One veteran Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic School Board teacher described pandemic teaching as the most difficult years of their entire career.

“I thought I had seen everything the system could throw my way,” they said. “Most of us could have dealt with the first disruption and taken that in stride, but as things stretched out you saw the toll it was taking on colleagues and our kids.”

“We lost a lot of good teachers to early retirement, people who coached and ran clubs. Occasional teachers lost their entire income as schools closed for months,” they continued. “Many of those promising young educators did not return to the job post - COVID, and now we are scrambling to cover classes when someone is out. If I wasn’t so far from retirement, I would be looking for another employment option too. COVID sucked the joy right out of teaching.”

The OSSTF leader, van Kooten points to an obvious way to fix the problem.

“It should come as no surprise,” van Kooten said, “that there have been issues attracting and retaining teachers and educational workers. Our education system is underfunded…by a cumulative $6 billion. This equates to less desirable working conditions for prospective teachers and education workers.”

Restoring that funding – and restoring administrative support for teachers, over problematic student behaviours –would go a long way in fixing these challenges. LA

Solutions to the teacher shortage crisis


• Fully fund the classroom to reflect inflation.

• Currently there is a $6 billion shortfall in education funding between 2023-2028.


• A return to consequences when students misbehave and are disruptive to other student’s learning.

• Better support from school administration and board personnel when teachers are faced with parents/ guardians who believe their child is being wrongly disciplined and are not supportive of the classroom teacher’s decisions.

• More staffing and supports in place to deal with student violence before it occurs and more serious discipline taken by boards when their staff are assaulted.

Kellie Kirkpatrick - ETFO

• More university spots for teacher training.

• End of the two-year teacher training program which is a year longer than it needs to be.

• Extremely reduced tuitions for teacher’s college.

• Possibility of free tuition so students from all backgrounds have a chance to attend the faculty and better

represent all communities present in the school and community.

• Rental subsidies for new staff trying to find accommodations in areas like Haliburton and Muskoka where supply is limited and existing stock is out of reach for a new teacher “Haven’t got the income to find a place to live.”

Gabrielle Barkey – Ontario College of Teachers

• Quicker certifications of internationally educated teachers – already reduced the time from 120 days to 60 business days.

• Quicker certification of graduates from Ontario teacher education programs – can be done in only a few days.

• Since beginning of 2023 school year, have been allowing student teachers in Ontario education programs to accept paid work in the classroom while still completing their degree.

Wes Hahn – Director TLDSB and a member of CODE (Council of Ontario Directors of Education)

• Signing and re-location bonuses for new staff willing to work in rural boards “If the province supplied the money in the GSN (Grant for Student Needs) grants it might be worth a try.”

• Immediate stop gap to deal with shortage of supply teachers – “Board has screened and interviewed unqualified candidates and hired 40 (for the occasional teacher list). Some of them are really good.”


Alan Gregory

Barb Taylor

Bill & Heather Peter

Bob & Carol Barkwell

Bruce + Debbie Peck

Cam Finley

Catherine Hennings

Christine Wilson

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David + Margaret Robertson

David Holloway

Deborah Smith

Donna Gushue + Jim Buchanan

Eileen MacDonald

Elke Danziger

Glenda Morris

Grace King

Hannah Marnoch

Heather Muir

Ivory Conover

Jack Kyle

Jane Walling

Janet Smith

Jean Wood

Jim Buchanan

Joan Shippel

John + Pauline Hunter

Lauren Drew

Leslie King

Linda Friend

Lorna Green

Marci Stainton

Maria Bennett

Marie-France Leclerc

Margaret Anthony

Marnie Nelles

Maurice + Marie Jackson

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Neil Campbell

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Paul Skipworth

Peter + Kathy Anderson

Peter + Sandra MacArthur

Ron + Claudie Chartrand

Ross & Susan Beattie

Sandra Scott

Shirley Gleeson

Susan Ferguson

Tegan Osmond

Wayne & Cathy Alldred

William Steffler

Zita Devan

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Top: Losang Rabgey, centre, eldest daughter of Pencho and Tsering Rabgey (left and right, respectively) who grew up in Lindsay and attended LCVI. Photo: Sienna Frost. Bottom: A past Machik dinner held in Lindsay. Photo: Claudia Gaboury.

Building a stronger future for Tibet

How a local family and an annual fundraising dinner are changing lives on the other side of the world

Fifty years ago, the Lindsay Art Guild joined forces with the town’s Tibetan community to organize a Tibetan Arts Festival at the Academy Theatre. According to a story in the Lindsay Daily Post, patrons could look forward to seeing “displays of many Tibetan artifacts, a demonstration of weaving, Tibetan music and native costume, and a film on the sacred art of Tibet.” A display of Tibetan wood-block prints would also be shown at the theatre prior to festival night, which took place on April 27, 1974. “The Art Guild hopes that the people of Lindsay will join them in this salute to our Tibetan community,” organizers noted in their inviting press release, published in the Post on April 17. Half a century later, the people of Lindsay are once more being invited to join members of the Tibetan community at an event that not only celebrates the rich culture of Tibet, but also makes a profound difference in the lives of young people living in that country.

The Machik Lindsay Dinner, which has been taking place annually since 2004, is making a return after a four-year hiatus. But what is this dinner all about? And why Lindsay?

Where it all began

Answering these questions requires us to travel back to 1959, when approximately 100,000 Tibetans fled to India during the Tibetan uprising. More than a decade later, Can-

ada began resettling Tibetan refugees through its department of Immigrant and Migrant Services. The first refugees arrived in 1971, and among them was a young former monk named Pencho Rabgey, and his wife Tsering. Originally, the Rabgey family settled in Montreal, and later lived in Farnham, Quebec; by 1974, they had relocated to Lindsay.

The town was no stranger to the resettlement program. Under the auspices of the Canada Manpower centres, Lindsay welcomed its first refugees on March 30, 1971. Connie Bielby, a counsellor in the local Manpower office, was put in charge of finding employment and accommodation for the newly resettled refugees. When the Rabgeys arrived, a thriving Tibetan diaspora was making its presence felt through such initiatives as the aforementioned arts festival.

Pencho, who had formerly served as a bodyguard for the 14th Dalai Lama, took up a position at Northern Casket, while Tsering found work at J.E. Thomas, a local electronics factory. Their children attended King Albert Public School, and daughters Losang and Tashi would graduate from LCVI. Both excelled academically. Losang obtained a PhD from the University of London and became the first Tibetan to be awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship. Tashi, meanwhile, obtained a PhD from Harvard University, as well as degrees in law from both Cambridge and Oxford Universities, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

• cover story 21

Above and left: This past Machik dinner is not unlike what will be held on May 4, this year, at the Lindsay Armoury, featuring Tibetan cuisine, a silent auction, and more. Photos: Claudia Gaboury.

Below: Tashi Rabgey, the youngest daughter of Pencho and Tsering Rabgey. Both Tashi and sister Losang were raised in Lindsay and now call the U.S. home. They often visit their parents in Lindsay. Photo: Sienna Frost.


Less than 10 years later, Pencho felt called to build a school in his homeland. He and Tsering put his retirement savings towards the project, and with the support of their daughters, Canadian friends and entrepreneur Chris Walter, saw the Chungba Primary School open its doors in 2002. That year, the Rabgey sisters co-founded Machik, a non-governmental organization dedicated to building a stronger future for Tibet.

An exciting global movement had been born, with the Chungba School at its heart.

Time for (a) Dinner

Lindsay and area residents who were familiar with the Rabgey’s work eagerly got behind the cause of supporting the Chungba School – and more broadly, the mission of Machik. A fundraising dinner was organized in 2004 and attracted some 126 people who gathered for Tibetan cuisine at the Lindsay Curling Club – with Pencho and Tsering doing the cooking. The following year, numbers had grown to such an extent that a new venue was needed, and from 2005 through 2010, the event took place at the Ops Community Centre.

This latter location proved to be fortuitous in identifying the Machik dinner’s future caterer, Karma Phuntsok. “We first met Karma at the Ops Community Centre in 2010,” recalls Kathy Anderson, who has been deeply involved with the dinner from its inception. “The buffet was already open when I noticed that some new people had entered the room. It was Karma with his partner and family. With the silent auction and bazaar around the perimeter of the room, we had limited space for tables but when I heard his story, I knew we would find some extra chairs.”

As it happened, Karma had been driving past the Community Centre when he noticed the large sign advertising a Tibetan dinner. Curious, this Tibetan chef turned in and introduced himself. He immediately hit it off with the Rabgeys and other dinner organizers, and within a year was overseeing the food preparation at a new and much larger location – the Lindsay Armoury.

Changes & Challenges

While the fundraising dinners in Lindsay were going from strength to strength, exciting developments were transpiring over 11,800 km away, in rural Tibet.

By 2008, the Chungba Primary School had become self-sustaining, and enrollment had reached the point where prospective students from surrounding counties had to be put on waitlists. But the work of Machik was hardly finished. One of the promises Machik made was that the students enrolled in the primary and middle school would go on to high school – but as there were no high schools in the county, these Chungba alumni were sent to six different schools

located elsewhere. This of course necessitated funds to cover the costs of room, board and travel, as well as education – and these costs were covered in part by the fundraising dinners held here in Lindsay.

In 2014, the dinner grew to 271 guests (the highest number to date), eager to contribute to the remarkable work being undertaken by the organization. By 2019, approximately $360,000 had been raised through the dinner, and everyone was looking forward to seeing where Machik would go next.

But change was in the air. The year prior, authorities in the People’s Republic of China shut down many not-for-profit organizations operating in Tibet and China, and since July 2018 direct funding inside Tibet has not been possible. This meant that Machik had to pivot and refocus its energies on several other initiatives – all of which were devoted to improving the lives of Tibetans.

In Tibetan, Machik means “one mother.”

“During the time we were working on the ground inside Tibet, the world changed drastically,” Tashi remarks. “Today it’s more deeply divided than ever. But the lesson we had taken away was that this is a very small planet – that we are all more connected to each other than we tend to think. Our work now is about supporting innovators, artists and changemakers inside Tibet. But it’s also about building communities of awareness globally of all that we can do, individually and together, to re-imagine and transform the world wherever we happen to be. Global citizenship starts exactly where we are.”

Machik (and those responsible for organizing the annual dinner at the Armoury) had to pivot once again in 2020, on account of the pandemic. Though large gatherings had been suspended, fundraising for Machik carried on through silent auctions overseen by Anderson and others. And the annual Machik Weekend – a gathering for thought-provoking conversation on Tibet and exploration of social justice issues held in New York City or Washington D.C., where the Rabgey sisters now live and work – moved to a week-long virtual event. Regardless of whether one was streaming live from Bethany, Toronto, Nepal, or Washington, they could participate in a series of panels, roundtables, and workshops about alternative futures for the people of Tibet, and indeed the wider world.


Becoming Changemakers

Fast forward four years and preparations for a resurrected Machik Lindsay dinner are well underway. On Saturday May 4, patrons entering the Armoury can expect not only some delicious Tibetan dishes, but also a silent auction, convivial conversation, and remarks from some of the students who once attended the Chungba School.

And the family behind it all – recently honoured by the Governor General of Canada with the Meritorious Service Cross – will be there too, welcoming guests and sharing their story.

“I spent a year and a half by myself at the Chungba School,” says Tsering Rabgey. “I learned the Chungba Tibetan dialect and worked with the local people who did all the cooking and cleaning at the school. When I was there between 2007 and 2008, I got to know many of the poorest families in the Chungba township. They became the families I have especially looked after in the years ever since. Now at the Lindsay dinner, they call these people ‘Tsering’s People.’”

For Losang Rabgey, the annual dinner is a time to say thank you to the town which has supported Machik’s extraordinary efforts to make the world a better place. “Over the two decades of the Machik Lindsay Dinner, we have been and are blessed to know and work with people who listened deeply and understood our way of working for education and community empowerment in a place halfway around the world,” she says. “I am moved by the giving of long-term commitment that is necessary to effect sustainable change, especially in places like Tibet facing so much uncertainty. People can, in quiet and determined ways, grow together and make our world tangibly different.”

Pencho Rabgey echoes his daughter’s thoughts. “I believe Tibetans are a people who have been guided by wisdom for a 1000 years. That is the most important lesson. I hope the work of Machik will continue to teach that lesson to people everywhere. Wherever we are in the world, we must see the pain of others. And we should never be afraid of doing what is right.” LA

Tickets Now Available!

Lindsay Machik Dinner • Saturday May 4, 2024

Victoria Park Armoury, 210 Kent St W, Lindsay

$50 Regular  •  $25 Students/Jobseekers

Doors open & Silent Auction 5 p.m. • Dinner 6 p.m.

Catered by Karma’s Cafe of Peterborough with Pencho and Tsering Rabgey and Crew • Cash bar

To purchase tickets email or call Kathy at 705-324-2037.

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First ESL program opens its doors in Lindsay

Free program for anyone who wants to brush up on their English language skills

A few months ago, an English as a Second Language (ES) class began at St. Paul’s Anglican Church on Russell Street West in Lindsay. Immigrants and refugees in Kawartha Lakes, for the first time, now have access to learning English as a Second Language.

Previously only international students at Frost Campus of Fleming College had access to ESL classes in the Lindsay area. Now, anybody from the public can walk into the church and attend, free of charge. Classes are offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m. and last for about an hour.

As more immigrants and refugees arrive in Canada, more demands are made on the community to provide and teach language skills. And the service is in demand. There is an ESL program in Peterborough, but there is a waiting list.

Two Lindsay residents, Kim and Graham Walsh initiated the program, prepared the curriculum and teach the classes. They both had training and experience in providing ESL instruction at the University of Birmingham, England. Both feel that offering this program to immigrants in Kawartha Lakes is “an expression of our best side.”

Newcomers want and need help to learn English skills to enable them to become productive and contributing citizens in the workplace and the community. According to Graham Walsh, “This is our way, our Canadian way of showing empathy and compassion.”

The couple approached Bonnie Skerritt, the church vicar last year. She readily agreed to provide space for the program. Kim Walsh knows that this training provides immigrants with many important skills, particularly in job hunting. “Immigrants and refugees should be made welcome to Canada – and what better way than teaching them to read and speak English.”

If you are interested in studying English as a Second Language, or know somebody who wants lessons – contact Kim Walsh at 647-501-0218 or at

New vinyl EP out now!



Saturday, April 6 • 11:45 am – 12:15 pm

Grandmothers to Grandmothers Musicathon 2024 St James Anglican Church, 19 Bond St E , Fenelon Falls

Saturday, April 6 • 3 pm – 5 pm

Vinyl EP & Video Release Party

Coach and Horses Pub, 16 York St S, Lindsay, ON

Saturday, April 13 • 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Crook & Coffer, 231 Hunter St W, Peterborough With Derek Seed

Buy the vinyl EP at

Black Heart Vinyl, 87 Kent St W #1, Lindsay ON Blue Streak Records, 394 George St N, Peterborough ON

Looking for light exercise, meeting new friends, social or competitive interaction?

May through September up to 6 days a week.

Physical strength plays a small part in the game while skill and strategy are the real factors.

For more information or to book a time, contact:

Lindsay Lawn Bowling Club Marion Chisholm 416 678-1584


Bobcaygeon Lawn Bowling Club

Larry Holden 705 738-5290

Web: has it all. Fun for ages 10+!

community •
Photo: Sienna Frost.
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Pakistani couple happy to now call Fenelon Falls home

After much political unrest in Pakistan, made more delicate by their Christian faith in a dominantly Muslim nation, Yousif Masih and Jacqueline Bhatti first tried settling in Brampton when they arrived in Canada.

But settling in the GTA city was not without its challenges. “It took us some time to understand the Canadian culture and system. I worked as a security guard, a PSW, a physiotherapy assistant and served in a few local churches, but at first, we didn’t even know that something like a food bank existed,” explained Masih.

His wife of 37 years is quick to add that coming to Canada was very rewarding and the best part has been the freedom. She means freedom from harassment, but also the freedom to open up a wallet and pay a cashier without taking precautions to ensure that no one could steal it. And, the freedom her children felt in walking to and from school without harassment.

After many years in Brampton, the couple – both pastors –and two daughters moved to Fenelon Falls in 2023 to take over the reins at Immanuel Baptist Church. “To be honest,

we didn’t know of Fenelon Falls until I heard the church was looking for a minister. We have met some of the most humble and most kind people in this beautiful little town,” Bhatti said.

While local community outreach is a priority for the church, Bhatti also manages a fundraising initiative aimed at helping oppressed minorities in Pakistan.

Just under two per cent of Pakistani people identify as Christians, so it was not unusual to be exposed to daily persecution of some type, according to the couple.

Bhatti’s initiative – “Women Arising for Destiny” – aims to create skill centres where women who would never get the opportunity otherwise are given skill training in fields ranging from computer literacy to sewing.

Support for this foundation is growing locally and is another reason the couple sees a future here.

“We have moved to many places from the Middle East to Pakistan and then to Canada… but we have come to love Fenelon Falls and hope to call this little town our home.”

community •
Yousif Masih and Jacqueline Bhatti. Photo: Geoff Coleman.

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hosts International Women’s Day breakfast

Last month, the Advocate hosted a sold-out International Women’s Day breakfast at the Lindsay Golf & Country Club with guest speaker Katie Zeppieri.

Zeppieri, a 2x TEDx speaker and serial entrepreneur, spoke on ‘How to Chase Your Goals With Confidence.’ All photos by Sienna Frost.

WE’VE MOVED WE’VE MOVED PC WARNER & CORK PRACTICING IN ASSOCIATION NEW Lindsay Location 32 Cambridge Street | (705) 324-6196 Friend & Dobson Lindsay location and Warner & Cork have moved to 32 Cambridge Street in Lindsay, located in the Post Office building on the corner of Cambridge and Russell streets. Friend & Dobson’s existing Port Perry and Bobcaygeon locations will remain open. 32

Discover endless possibilities at the Kawartha Lakes Public Library! This month, dive into the fantastic programs at the Fenelon Falls branch.

Scrap Booking

Fenelon Falls Branch • Wednesdays, 10am – 1pm

Our scrapbooking program provides a welcoming space for scrapbooking and card making enthusiasts to gather and work on their projects together. Bring your supplies and join others in a collaborative space where creativity thrives. Connect with fellow scrap bookers in a welcoming and fun environment.

Tech Device Help

Not the library from your childhood (but we still love doing storytime)

Fenelon Falls Branch • Mondays, 2pm – 4pm

Need tech assistance? The library’s free thirtyminute sessions provide one-on-one help just for you. Whether it’s setting up a new device, learning about library resources, or navigating the internet, our friendly staff are here to support you every step of the way. Book your session now and conquer your tech hurdles hassle-free.

*The Lindsay and Bobcaygeon branch also offer regular tech help programs. Call the branch for more information or to register.

Take Home Packs

All library branches • Available at the beginning of each month while supplies last

Each month, new Take Home Packs are available at all library branches. For younger kids (preschool and kindergarten aged), our Get Ready to Read packs in partnership with EarlyON are perfect for learning early literacy skills such as reading, writing, talking, counting and playing. In partnership with Pinnguaq, Maker Packs are designed for school-aged children and contain hands-on activities to help develop skills in STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).

There are so many exciting programs happening at all 14 of our library branches. Visit for a complete list of offerings.

D I S C O V E R E X P L O R E B E E N T E R T A I N E D k a w a r t h a l a k e s l i b r a r y . c a M i l l i o n s o f o p p o r t u n i t i e s . O n e e x c e p t i o n a l l i b r a r y .


Lindsay’s Emma Wright: A force in the pool returns to the Olympics

Emma Wright, the youngest of four, was a student at Alexandra Public School when she became a product of circumstance. Her older siblings were active in water polo and had graduated from the local Lindsay club to a competitive team in Toronto. Being too young to stay home alone, Emma was dragged along to the pool on a nightly basis before being

thrown in “kicking and screaming,” according to her mother, Wendy Wright. Wendy figured Emma was there, so may as well join in. Despite the initial resistance, Emma proved to be a force from the start, and was soon playing on teams with players four and five years her senior. Playing to their level only strengthened her skills and competitiveness, but Emma acknowledges “it took a few years for me to enjoy it fully, until I recognized my own strength and role in the team.” Wendy thinks gathering a few bits of hardware, by winning medals, helped too.

Finding enjoyment in the sport fuelled the dedication it takes to compete at high levels.  Every night after school the family loaded into the car to commute to their club in the city, practicing in the pool between two to four hours, before heading back home to Lindsay. On weekends, Emma

would stay with a teammate in Toronto to practice multiple times a day. This went on for over seven years. Both mother and daughter acknowledge the sacrifices made, “eating, sleeping and doing homework in between practices – a lot of things given up and a lot of things gained,” Wendy says.

After being selected to represent Canada on the junior team for world championships in Italy, she made the senior club in 2013 at just 16 years old. She was the youngest player on the team by more than four years.  Summers were spent training in Montreal, where she resided after graduating from LCVI, but the team fell just one goal short of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics.

Emma continued to pursue her studies with a full scholarship at University of California, Berkeley. Reaching the Olympics remained the goal and she returned home to train after graduation, only to have COVID throw a wrench in everyone’s plans. The inability to train and the subsequent postponement of the 2020 Olympics was devastating, but she wasn’t alone as Emma wasn’t the only Wright in the pool. Her closest sibling, Claire, who joined water polo at 16 after transitioning from swimming, was on the Canadian team with her and they lived together in Montreal, training prior to and following their studies in the U.S. Together they managed their disappointment of the delayed Olympics, but they also supported one another as they got back into shape and wore the leaf to represent Canada in the pool in

Tokyo in 2021. “It just made the experience so much better. It was special to have Claire there because no one could have family travel with them,” Emma recalls.  It had been 16 years since Canada had qualified for water polo at the Olympics; the team finished the games placing 7th.

Emma has her sights set higher for the team this go-around as she captains the team to Paris, but this time she’ll be solo as Claire has since retired. Training started last September, when the team came together to get ready for the PanAm games in October, then Worlds in February where they secured their spot to the Olympics. Training is a full-time job, as Emma spends up to eight hours a day between time in the pool, weight training and analyzing video. Even on visits home, Emma maintains her regimen and heads back to where it all began – the Lindsay Recreation Centre – where she is known to take over the swim lanes.

Her dedication is evident, but she is quick to recognize what it took on her mom’s part from the beginning. “For sure I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mom. I’m very thankful she saw that we loved it and she dedicated her time to it.” It paid off. All three Wright girls received athletic scholarships. And though Wendy admits she will give herself the odd pat on the back for doing a good job supporting their dreams, she stresses each of the girl’s success is their own. “It shows their mental strength; I give them full credit for doing it.”

CALL US 705-344-6835

Special Olympics seeking volunteers

Members of the local Special Olympics programs are continuing their winning ways with great opportunities to represent Kawartha Lakes. Local five-pin bowler Steven Pyke was recently selected to the Team Ontario for Special Olympics Canada National Winter Games held in Calgary where he came home with a bronze medal for his efforts and a silver medal for Team Ontario.

In January, the Lindsay Hard Rockers Curling team took two teams to Funspiel hosted by SOO-Muskoka at Gravenhurst Curling Club. Both teams returned home with medals. Teagan McDonald, who has been swimming since she was an infant, is training with our local Lightningbolts Swim Club as she prepares for the Special Olympics Ontario Provincial Spring Games to be held in Waterloo this May.  Come summer, the softball program will be looking to round out its coaching squad. Bocce, golf, soccer or track and field could be offered with sufficient volunteers. Special Olympics volunteers aren’t required to have extensive sport-specific knowledge, but a desire to help others and give back. For more information about becoming a volunteer, contact Hellaina Rothenberg at 1-888-333-5515, ext 276 or

Above: Steven Pyke recently won a bronze medal at the Special Olympics in Calgary.
Below: Curlers Tyler Buda, back left, and John Clark, back right, and Teagan McDonald, swimmer, front.

New role seeks to address referees shortage in soccer

The East Central Ontario Soccer Association (ECOSA) wants community members to know soccer referees are needed and valued, and the association is taking creative approaches to combat the referee shortage in the communities it serves with the creation of a new role – the referee recruitment officer.

Beth Pelow is the first referee to hold the title and is recruiting new referees and helping them through the mandatory Ontario Soccer referee certification course. Local referee numbers are still only 75 per cent of what they were in 2019, pre-pandemic. Anyone age 12+ with an interest in learning more is encouraged to reach out.

If you’re located in Peterborough, Cavan, Northumberland, Kawartha Lakes, or surrounding communities, reach out to Pelow about becoming a referee at or visit

Want to be featured on our community sports page?

Contact Rebekah at

From left to right -

Front row: A. Bazley, R. Farr, D. Lopez, A. Hancock

2nd row: A. Hood, R. Jameson-Vongprachanh

Back row: A. Smith, L. Cenzura, B. Edgar, K. Mulligan

Coaches left to right: D. Hancock, B. Bazley, C. Lopez

• community sports
Congratulations to the I.E. Weldon S.S. varsity hockey team who recently made school history by winning their first championship (COSSA) since the school was inaugurated in 1971. The Advocate congratulates the U11 Kawartha Lakers girls fastpitch softball team who were victorious with a 5-0 sweep at the indoor Bradford Dome tournament in March.
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Birds of a Feather

When we built our house on the Nonquon River in the late ‘80s, we tuned into the trills and visual thrills of the birds around us. Vireos, finches, woodpeckers. We put out feeders and then recorded what we saw. A particular delight was the robin-sized yellow, black and white evening grosbeaks –spring visitors throughout that first decade.

We haven’t noticed them much in recent years. Maybe we weren’t looking hard enough. Or is it because the bird is one of several dozen listed as a species at risk in Ontario?

A 2019 North American study found the birds we love are vanishing – almost 30 per cent, or three billion birds, since 1970. That’s especially true for flying insect eaters like swallows, vireos and flycatchers, as well as shore birds and grassland birds.

One in three birds depend on our forests, and those treed areas are rapidly shrinking, which has decimated populations of warblers, flickers, cross-bills, and grosbeaks. Blue jays and chickadees are hanging in there.

We need these birds, not just for their beauty and their songs, but also because of everything they do for us. The grosbeak, for instance, has a particular hankering for spruce bud worm – that invasive tree-killing insect made worse by a hotter climate.

Forestry practices, industrial farming, pesticide use, climate change, roaming cats and rapidly shrinking insect populations are some of the reasons for birds disappearing from our backyards.

The good news? Conservation efforts work. Waterfowl numbers are up 150 per cent since 1970, thanks in part to habitat protection by organizations like Ducks Unlimited. And, helped by a ban on the pesticide DDT, our birds of prey have increased 110 per cent. That’s a good thing because some are also scavengers, cleaning up those dead skunks in the middle of the road.

More good news came from an extensive 2016 American study that found the Endangered Species Act had been extraordinarily effective at increasing or stabilizing 85 per cent of threatened bird populations.

That’s less likely in Ontario. Our Endangered Species Act has been weakened even more by the Ontario government’s recent “Get it Done” act, in its drive to push housing and highways through the Greenbelt, wetlands and farmland.

A 20-year analysis of bird deaths in the U.S. found that “wind turbines did not have any measurable effect on bird counts.” Meanwhile the study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, found that oil and gas drilling reduced bird population counts by 15 per cent.

To help bird numbers soar again, Kawartha Lakes recently applied for Bird Friendly City certification from Nature Canada. It has partnered with local governments across the country, including Selwyn and Peterborough, to reduce threats, restore nature and educate about bird conservation.

We can flock together to help boost those numbers. How?

• Keep cats indoors. Roaming cats are responsible for millions of bird deaths annually in Canada.

• Plant native plants that attract native insects that feed our birds.

• Where possible, leave dead or dying trees and leaf litter, and let plants go to seed. You’ll give birds nesting holes and food, and shelter overwintering insects.

• Add stick-on window treatments that prevent bird strikes. Each year about 25 million birds die in Canada colliding with glass.

• Keep outdoor lights out during peak bird migration, April 15-June 15. They disorient birds.


Fun is on track with the Lindsay & District Model Engineers

Steam locomotives small enough to fit in the palm of one’s hand weave their way through luscious forests and over bridges that have taken many months to build from scratch. They quietly couple onto tiny freight wagons waiting adjacent to weather-beaten buildings that resemble structures once found up and down the length of old Victoria County, before setting off on a pint-sized journey under the watchful eye of hobbyists who devote hours to recreating the past in miniature.

Across the room, slightly bigger locomotives dash around large loops of tin-plated track, smoke puffing and whistles wailing. The landscaping here is minimal, and electricity is carried through a conspicuously unrealistic third rail – but no one seems to notice. They are too busy enjoying the moment, asking questions of the exhibitors, and perhaps recalling their own youth, when electric trains were a familiar sight in store windows and a much-anticipated gift at Christmastime.

For almost half a century, the Victoria Park Armoury in Lindsay has played host to scenes like these at the annual model railway show organized by the Lindsay & District Model Railroaders.

The L&DMR – known originally as the Lindsay & District Model Engineers – traces its origins back to at least 1965 (or 1967, according to one source). Back then, train service to

Lindsay and surrounding area was by and large in decline. Steam engines had been phased out by 1960, scheduled passenger service had wrapped up in 1962, and local industrial concerns were moving more goods by truck rather than train. A drive to preserve the rapidly-fading past in the form of scale models motivated many enthusiasts to form clubs of like-minded individuals.

By the end of the decade, the town’s burgeoning model railway club had 12 members. “The hobby attracts all manner of citizens,” noted a story about the group in the Jan. 24, 1969 issue of the Lindsay Daily Post, “from full-time railroad workers to lawyers, from clerks to newspapermen – all linked together by a love of railroading.” Charter members included W. Budd Bates, the clerk-administrator of Lindsay; Ron Barjarow, Rich Brian, Norm Reeds, Ted Gravelin, Ken Baines, and Larry Murphy.

Most members modelled in HO scale (approximately 87 times smaller than the prototype), and they met at each other’s homes. “We put a gondola car on the layout, people would put dimes in the gondola, and that would pay for the doughnuts for the evening,” Murphy recalls.

Eventually, the club set up shop on the upper floor of Northern Casket, then located at 27 King Street – and appropriately situated adjacent to the junction of Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railway trackage. A 20’ x 40’ modular layout kept the growing organization occupied for seven or eight years before they packed up and moved a block and a half away. By 1982, the L&DME was based out of the Queen Street United Church Annex and had aspirations of


developing a 16’ x 36’ permanent layout in this space. “We got (the) layout started, but never really completed it,” Murphy admits.

Indeed, much of the club’s time was taken up with toting its 14’ x 56’ modular display to model railway shows across the province. “Tangney’s store would give us a truck to take the layout to shows in Hamilton, Midland, and St. Catherines,” Murphy says, pointing out that this was a win-win for both the L&DME and Tangney’s, with the latter advertising itself wherever the truck went.

Raising awareness about the hobby has always been a pressing concern for model railroaders, and the L&DME pulled out all the stops for its flagship Lindsay train show. Murphy remembers that some 500-600 people came to the first show; reportage in the Post on April 15, 1975, however, suggested that the crowd numbered more than 1,000. Five operating layouts were on display, as were models built to operate on live steam. Fifteen exhibitors set up tables in the armoury, and enthusiasts flocked to Lindsay from as far away as Kingston, Pembroke, and Ottawa. (The show has taken place at the armoury ever since, save for one year when renovations required it to

temporarily relocate to the LCVI cafeteria.)

The new millennium saw close to 2,500 train show attendees coming through the armoury’s doors and the L&DME was a going concern. It numbered close to 40 members, and a permanent layout measuring over 50’ long dominated the club’s meeting room, by then located on York Street. Over time, membership has declined, the club has been forced to relocate to rented space outside of Lindsay proper, and from 2020-2022, the train show was sidelined by the pandemic. Moreover, a combination of competing interests, smaller living spaces, and increasingly expensive equipment have made it challenging to attract young people into the hobby.

Yet there is still something mesmerizing about it all. “When I was five years old, my Mum and Dad gave me a Lionel train set, and then when I was eight years old, they bought me another one,” recalls longtime L&DMR member Wayne Lamb. By the time he was in high school, Lamb was actively involved with the much smaller “N” scale trains. It was the start of a pastime that has brought him – like Murphy and many others besides – much joy and camaraderie over the years.

Larry Murphy, a charter member of the Lindsay & District Model Engineers, has been involved in the hobby for more than 60 years. Photo: Ian McKechnie.
The Lindsay Train Show attracts enthusiasts from all over to buy, sell, and run model trains of all scales and vintages. Photo: Ian McKechnie.

Saturday, April 20, 2024 • 5 pm- 11:45 pm

Victoria Park Armoury• 210 Kent St. W, Lindsay Member $120+HST • Non Member $140+HST

Enjoy a Cocktail Hour with Live Jazz Trio, Dinner by Franz Catering, with Live Jazz & a Special Surprise Performance, Complimentary bottle of red/white wine per table.

Awards Presentation 7pm to 9 pm

Dance 9 pm till 11:45 pm.

Emcee Mel Hannah • Prizes & Photo Booth Y-Drive offering 50% off rides home.

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And Then There Were Three

11 Brief time?

14 Mary Tyler or Mae

15 Spam delivery, e.g.

16 ___ excellence (superior)

17 Marked with wet dirt, as a windshield

19 "Hail! " to Caesar

20 Fruity quencher

21 Carpenter's shaping tool

22 Drills into

24 Film depicting Joan Crawford as an abusive mother

28 King of France?

29 Alternative to a convertible

30 Remain in one's chair

36 "How adorable!"

39 'Tween's mate

40 Where to go in England?

41 How a negative balance appears

43 Québec town Val-

44 Romantic setups between strangers

46 Drink brand with a lizard logo


69 -Thérèse,

70 Question with no grey area

71 Pound, as a headache


1 Most popular girl's name of 2015

2 Making a racket

3 Computer connection device

4 Surgery sites, briefly

5 Collectors goal, maybe

6 "___ say more?"

7 Elicit a "Wow!"

8 Plastered (on), as makeup

9 "Hurry!," once

10 Annoying biddy

11 Replacement item, just in case

12 Rooftop overhangs

13 Surfer's surface

18 Cottonlike fibre

23 Top Olympian's medal, in Spain

25 "___ and Crake" (Atwood book)

26 Hog's portion

27 When-ish you'll take off: Abbr.




33 Tide shelfmate




38 OED entries: Abbr.

41 -free zone (drive-thru sign)

42 Simba's sweetie

44 Brian Mulroney's son

45 "Same"

47 Above, in some poems

48 Built like an ox

50 Where the world is flat?

51 Juno Award winner for "1234"

52 Is the warm-up band

53 "Smoking ___?"

54 Greet silently

55 Nasty campaign trick

59 Figaro's freshwater body

60 Short distance, alphabetically

63 Dig up the dirt?

64 Punster's asset

65 Its cap. is Addis Ababa

• Crossword solution on page 44 •
ClassiCanadian Crosswords 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71
by Barbara Olson ©
1 Ticklish toys popular in 1996
6 Guacamole scooper
49 Unwell
Pekoe-sipping social affairs
56 Word before firma or cotta
57 Luth., Bapt. or Presby.
58 Prov. riding rep.
61 Card-deck count, to Cassius
62 Query heard before dinner
that one, the other one"
66 Play Twenty Questions, at times 67 "___
68 "Give ___!"
Not auto., as a transmission
Tango requirement, in an idiom
B-52 mission
"Bonne fête à ___!"
Ages and ages
Little, in Loch Lomond
44 Ayesha Mansur Gonsalves Actor | Writer | Director Hey Kawartha Lakes! I'm Ayesha Mansur Gonsalves, professional actor, and acting coach. Whether you're just starting out, need help with an audition, or just a little tune up, I'm here to help! For more info visit: Business and Residential Tech Support New and Used Laptop & Desktop PC’s Walk-Up Service, No Appointment Necessary CALL 705-328-9918 VISIT 1 William St. S., Lindsay BROWSE BATTERY REPLACEMENT We will take out your old battery and install our new East Penn/Deka battery in most cars, trucks, RVs, boats, scooters, or snowmobiles for great performance. Free battery installation. Lifetime warranty available. Visit us at | Email: 205 St. George St. Unit 2, Lindsay | 1-888-890-BTWE (2893) | 705-878-0261 *Free battery install will be completed at our Lindsay location. **Additional charge for onsite installs. Show Cat April 20 & 21 9am - 4:30pm Commonwell Building 354 Angeline Street, Lindsay Tickets are available online on Zeffy & Eventbrite. Adults $8 Seniors (65+) $5 Kids (12 and Under) $5 Family (2 Adults 2 Kids) $20 • 705.341.7444 My passion is to provide you with Timeless Memories. And Then There Were Three And Then There Were Three by Barbara Olson © ClassiCanadian Crosswords E 1 L 2 M 3 O 4 S 5 N 6 A 7 C 8 H 9 O 10 S 11 E 12 C 13 M 14 O O R E E 15 M A I L P 16 A R M 17 U D S T R 18 E A K E D A 19 V E A 20 D E A 21 D Z E B 22 O 23 R E S M 24 O 25 M 26 M I E D E 27 A R E S T R 28 O I T 29 T O P S 30 T 31 A 32 Y S E A 33 T 34 E 35 D A 36 W 37 W 38 T 39 W I X T L 40 O O I 41 N 42 R E D D 43 O R B 44 L I N D 45 D A T E S S 46 O 47 B 48 E I 49 L L A 50 F 51 T E R N O 52 O 53 N 54 T E A S 55 T 56 E R R A P 57 R O T M 58 L 59 A 60 L 61 I I W 62 H 63 E N D O W 64 E 65 E A T A 66 S K N 67 O N O T I 68 T A G O S 69 T E Y 70 E S N O T 71 H R O B

I have never been good at slowing down or taking a break for that matter. Growing up I got constant parental and grandparental advice to “not burn the candle at both ends.” And when I was younger, I was a bit of a speed demon on the roads. Not that I’d tell my just-getting-licenced kid this now, but I was a freaking idiot behind the wheel.

I was never a gearhead and never had sports cars, but I did some stupid stuff at stupid speeds in stupid conditions. I continue to give thanks that my stupidity resulted in limited damage or no physical injury to others, at least when I was at fault. It was back in the day and things were different. That doesn’t excuse anything, I know. It’s just that my idiocy was more culturally acceptable than it is now.

Thankfully age, with its dawning sense of mortality and a gut feeling that I had used up my luck, made me gear down. Memories of a few friends who didn’t make it out of this phase also gave pause for reflection. Basically, I grew up and slowed down.

So I was super interested to see how the reduction of speed limits for certain neighbourhoods which began in the urban areas of the city in June 2023 would pan out.

As a policy measure, the data is pretty clear. Lower residential speed limits reduce pedestrian and cyclist fatalities, provide better quality of life for residents and it is better for the environment and air quality.

Slow rider

Of course, this local policy change came in basically right after COVID. I have only anecdotal evidence, but I swear driving got worse at some point during the lockdowns. I’m not qual ified to comment on the combined sociological reasons why, but drivers seemed to get worse, faster and care even less.

Thankfully age, with its dawning sense of mortality and a gut feeling that I had used up my luck, made me gear down.

Change always takes time and there are always bumps on the 40 km per hour road. Certain cohorts of people who used to drive 40 in a 50 are driving 30 in a 40.

Some of my heavy-footed friends, who are technically amazing drivers, sometimes get frustrated. The inconsistency of those that don’t adhere and over-adhere can actually cause more dangerous conditions.

This will be the first spring of the new regulations (when people bring out their winter-stored motorcycles and sports cars.) Not to mention that every mammal, driver or not, is a little antsy and good to go at this time of year. It will be interesting to see how it goes.

Wishing everyone a happy spring! And remember, the motorcyclists are out. Look twice to save a life.

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trevor's take • 46
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