Robert Washburn

Robert Washburn

Professor of e-journalism Publisher of Consider This

Recent Posts

Vernonville Community Centre to be included in recreation study

Vernonville Community Centre to be included in recreation study

Great to see Alnwick/Haldimand Township council took a step back to reconsider the closure of this community centre as argued in this column a couple weeks ago. The Vernonville Community Centre. CECILIA NASMITH/Northumberland Today file photo ALNWICK/HALDIMAND – The life of the long-time Vernonville Community Centre has been extended while a parks and recreation study is undertaken. A volunteer committee is expected to be struck by Alnwick/Haldimand councillors at their upcoming council session and then it […]
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Proposed labour laws affect rural businesses differently

The proposed changes to Ontario’s labour laws and employment standards will have a profound affect on local business and workers because of the fragile nature of the region’s economy as compared to major urban centres. The most significant changes to Ontario’s labour laws and employment standards are expected to be announced very shortly, overhauling a system brought in the 1990s under Premier Mike Harris, Labour Minister Kevin Flynn said last week. Both union leaders and business organizations are holding their collective breath, as each will have its criticisms, as well as praise. Under the current proposals, the provincial government are looking to make paid sick days mandatory, boost the minimum required paid vacation, lower the overtime threshold, abolish the lower minimum wage for students under 18 and those who serve alcohol. Most important are the changes for precarious workers, a growing part of the workforce. Continue Reading →

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Slow down on Vernonville Community Centre decision

A proposal to sell the Vernonville Community Centre is an emotional one for many residents in the tiny hamlet northeast of Grafton. But for the council, it represents a harsh reality of fiscal prudence. Sadly, the political price may end up being costlier for both residents and politicians. Built in 1862, it is one of five community centres within the township. These spaces are used for a variety of purposes. Continue Reading →

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Input should be sought for business incubator in Cobourg

A business incubator to assist entrepreneurs starting up new ventures is gaining momentum in Cobourg over the past week, but it is already facing some negativity. The $1.6 million Venture 13 is moving forward after council gave its blessing. It will be home to some existing public services, as well as provide space for small start-ups in an unused building within the Northam Industrial Park on Darcy Street across from the Cobourg Community Centre. The empty building represents $70,000 in lost revenue, compared to the $90,000 it will generate when the project is running. The Cobourg Police will occupy the second floor, using it to house its business services division, which does background checks for communities across Canada. Continue Reading →

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Don’t forget about journalism in rural Canada

Re: Should the government step in to save journalism?, June 6 Should the government step in to save journalism?, June 6 The debate between Torstar chair John Honderich and Postmedia columnist Andrew Coyne about whether the government should step in to “save journalism” raises many points vital to the […]
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In search of a local news solution

In search of a local news solution

For a very brief moment this spring, a few floors below the CJR offices, local journalism found itself back in the spotlight. There stood Pulitzer Prize Administrator Mike Pride, himself a product of a local newsroom ( Concord Monitor , circulation 20,000), behind a lectern in Columbia’s Pulitzer Hall […]
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Community news and the changing landscape of journalism in Canada: What we heard

Community news and the changing landscape of journalism in Canada: What we heard

Ethics are a critical concern for community newspapers in a time of digital upheaval/Petapixel Note: A version of this piece first appeared in the Spring edition of our member newsletter. Please consider subscribing to it here . From Tumbler Ridge, B.C., to Wawa, ON, newspapers all over the country […]
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