Consider This Northumberland

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How lucky we are hospital cuts are not hitting us…yet, says lobbyist

The complexity of the changes to the healthcare system currently underway within the province, the Ontario Tories are making some serious cuts, along with major retooling. Ontario Health Coalition Executive Director Natalie Mehra was interviewed by Dave Glove and myself on Nov. 26, 2019. Inside this interview are examples of the stark contrast between the macro and micro changes taking place. While major cuts to hospitals elsewhere are taking place, Northumberland Hills Hospital has received about $6 million in the past 18 months from two consecutive governments. Continue Reading →

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Millions needed for waterfront upgrades as Cobourg council moves forward

You might recall back in the spring a proposal was brought forward by the town’s director of culture parks and recreation to move forward on the revitalization of Cobourg’s waterfront – in particular the east pier and the campground at the bottom of Division Street. Council split in its decision to put the proposal on hold until public consultations took place and a deadline of November was given to come back after residents had an opportunity for input. Well, the reports came back and the council is moving forward. And, just to make things a bit more complicated, the Willow Beach Field Naturalists stepped forward earlier this month to propose a Natural Heritage Waterfront Park for the west beach. The person on council responsible for the waterfront is none other than my next guest, Cobourg Councillor Emily Chorley. Continue Reading →

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Transition House seeks dialogue to resolve concerns in neighbourhood, board members say

A group residents and business owners calling themselves the Good Neighbour Coalition Cobourg has started campaign to address concerns related to Transition House, the only emergency shelter for homeless people in Northumberland County. Two of the group’s representatives, Alyson King and Grace Lovekin, appeared before Cobourg council Monday night to make their case. They told councillors since Transition House reopened just over a year ago, “the neighbourhood has experienced increased and recurring problems with public drug use, people sleeping outdoors, verbal abuse and intimidation, disruptions day and night including physical altercations, theft, and break-ins. While Transition House may not be the “cause” of these problems, it is clearly associated with them as the problems did not occur at this level until it reopened”. With me in the studio are Taylor Nelson, a member of the Board of Directors for Transition House and Marsha Jones, chair of the Board of Directors for Transition House. Continue Reading →

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Cornerstone director speaks candidly about local workplace abuse

Earlier this week, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook – the guy in charge of all the McD’s worldwide, was fired for violating the company’s policy by having a consensual relationship with a subordinate employee. Easterbrook is divorced, and it’s not illegal to have a consensual relationship with a work subordinate. However, the power dynamic is problematic, as a subordinate may feel forced into a relationship to keep his or her job. Corporate executives have long gotten away with this behavior, but that’s starting to change. Easterbrook’s firing shows how strict companies have become about workplace dating as stories of rampant sexual harassment have rocked the business world, as well as entertainment and politics. Continue Reading →

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Local teachers’ union rep explains current situation regarding talks

Talks between the teacher’s unions and the provincial government were started in the spring. But by the end of August, the contracts ran out without a settlement. Then, in October, frustrated by the lack of movement, the elementary and secondary teachers’ unions decided to hold a vote to go on strike. Already, elementary school teachers gave a resounding 98 percent approval to go on strike. The secondary school teachers will announce their strike vote results sometime around Nov. Continue Reading →

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Safe interview room helps victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, says police

 

Unless you have been through it, understanding the terror and pain of domestic abuse, it is not easy to fully appreciate what someone is experiencing. As we learned last week when I interviewed Nancy Johnston, executive director of Cornerstone women’s shelter, there are some 2,600 women and children, who seek help from their services. In many cases, these women have faced violence in the home. The first responders to these cases of domestic violence are the police. During such cases, interviewing the victims of violence, rape or sexual assault can be very hard. Continue Reading →

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Yarn, poles and building community subject of film debut and guest speaker

In 2016, Nancy Belmont, an American activist, launched a unique interactive art installation used to bring people in a community together. It quickly gained interest from around the world, including most of North America, Western Europe, India, and Australia. In September, a coalition of local organizations brought the installation to Northumberland. Located at the Farmer’s Market in Cobourg, it involved a number of polls and a lot of yarn. A film was produced and it will be premiered this coming Monday at 7 p.m. at Venture 13, along with a talk with Toronto based author Dave Meslin on his recent book ‘Teardown.’ Here to tell us about this project, the film and the presentation on Monday, I am pleased to have in-studio Megan Deyman, Coordinator – Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland Drug Strategy & David Sheffield, Community director of Greenwood Coalition. Continue Reading →

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New provincial animal welfare system impacts local humane society, says general manager

Since July, the Northumberland Humane Society in Port Hope took on the duties of animal welfare investigation and enforcement. With that announcement came a timeline. The province said there was some new legislation in the pipeline and the situation would be reviewed in the new year. Well, this week the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act 2019 (notice the acronym is PAWS.) was announced by the solicitor general. It means there will be some changes coming in January. Continue Reading →

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Hamilton Township ratepayers seek 2020 budget input, says citizen’s council

A group of concerned citizens came together in 2015 in an effort to take a more positive approach to engaging with the Hamilton Township council. There was a long history of citizen activism in the township dating back to the 1990s that was inspired mostly by the amalgamation talks of the day. In between then and more recently, the group would be activated around a single burning issue, according to some. This is what the citizen’s council wanted to change. So for the past few years, it has looked to impact the relationship between the citizens and the council. Continue Reading →

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Pre-election analysis of the national and local campaigns with politico Ben Burd

Pundits are the modern version of an ancient shaman. They rhetorically dance around rattling on in a language all their own in an effort to see predict the future. Ben Burd certainly qualifies as a local pundit. He is a former municipal councillor and candidate for the NDP in Northumberland at both the provincial and federal levels. He is also the person behind one of the first local blogs in the county, The Burd Report, which he wrote for more than 20 years. Continue Reading →

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