No more delays as East Pier needs to be addressed

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With the Waterfront Festival wrapped up, it seems like a good time to review the future of the area and, in particular, the state of the east pier. Cobourg council seems content to crawl along carefully when it comes to the waterfront. Certainly, previous councils have moved with caution as projects have moved forward. The development of the lands was carefully planned, along with a staged approach to the walkway, the marina and Rotary Park with the pond/ice rink. It is no wonder politicians are guarded going forward. Continue Reading →

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Time to start streaming council meeting is now

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By Robert Washburn

The local public school board took a major step forward to become more democratic when it announced the live streaming of its monthly meetings earlier this month. Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board chair Cathy Abraham gushed in a press release, saying it was the trustees’ responsibility to be more open, transparent and accountable. This comes as local municipal councils in West Northumberland are trying to undertake similar initiatives. The Citizen’s Council of Hamilton Township is actively pursuing the ability to record and post audio and video of meetings to its website. It made the request back in November. Continue Reading →

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Economic stimulus needs creative solutions

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By Robert Washburn

Economic development in West Northumberland is undergoing a major transformation as politicians search outside the box to find solutions to stimulate growth locally. Port Hope council chose to clean house in both tourism and economic development very shortly after coming to office as a way to start fresh, while Cobourg council has taken a more lengthy and deliberative path with numerous studies over the past 18 months. But a tipping point is imminent. With the closure of the IdeaHub in Port Hope, an important catalyst for stimulating entrepreneurship is lost. The 31 businesses using the facility designed to help support start-ups was providing opportunities for business development in the region. Continue Reading →

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Heartfelt welcome for local refugees

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By Robert Washburn
When Hillary Veley and Gloria Peters-Matthies met the refugees they had worked for more than a year to bring to Northumberland County, they cried. So did the Syrian family. As two of the leaders of the Better Together Refugee Sponsorship group, it was a poignant moment and a huge relief. The core teams who are looking after the families had gone to the airport. The local translators, a group of Arabic-speaking families from Cobourg had gone along too. Continue Reading →

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Rinaldi needs to worry more when it comes to local healthcare

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By Robert Washburn

The turmoil facing the Ontario Health Ministry is palpable. A recent column in a mainstream newspaper acknowledged the troubled waters being navigated by Health Minister Eric Hoskins. Over the past 18 months, he has been under siege as doctors fight fee reductions, hospitals cry out for more money and front-line healthcare workers demand better wages. Now, Community Care administrators are added to the list, as they appeal the decision to turn over their services to the Local Health Integrated Networks (LHINs). Meanwhile, patients and homecare workers say more services are needed under the current model, which involves minimal hospital stays, followed by uneven support once home that is either insufficient or does not exist. Continue Reading →

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