Recent Posts

Bullying needs to be criminalized

By Robert Washburn

The sad story of the bullying Stephanie and her younger sister, Dawn, face at Port Hope High School drives home an important point regarding the struggle parents, educators and governments face. Since last February, the girls have received ongoing harassment, which peaked a few weeks ago when a large group of 15 teenagers followed the kids home and camped out on the front lawn of their house, according to the children’s mother, Kim Crane. She is now considering changing schools in the fall. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Social assistance advocates air concerns at roundtable

By Robert Washburn

The roundtable seeking public input on the social assistance review by the provincial government held in Cobourg recently gave activists and officials an opportunity to reinforce their message to increase payments to recipients in order to given them sufficient funds to live. While many residents are not interested, proposed changes could leave municipal taxpayers feeling the pain, as well. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Income security once and for all

By Deborah O’Connor

For Frances Lankin and Dr. Munir Sheikh, co-chairs of the Social Assistance Review Commission, the task of making final recommendations for the reform of Ontario’s welfare system has to be one of the hardest they’ve ever faced. With a generation of reports behind them from both in and outside government and a variety of ancillary programs that aren’t part of welfare but support welfare recipients, just absorbing all the information involved is a monumental job in itself. By next summer, they’re expected to come up with a road map for reform that will please Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, recipients and advocates alike; most especially the finance minister, who will have to find the money to make real change happen. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Violence against women remembered this time of year

July 8, 2009

A 41 year-old Cobourg man allegedly punched his partner several times in the face inside their Havelock Street residence in Cobourg last Friday. The woman intervened in an argument between the man and his son. She was pushed into some furniture, at first. Then, the couple went downstairs, where he is alleged to have punched her in the face several times and then pushed her to the floor. She suffered a swollen upper lip and a bloody nose. Continue Reading →

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Flicker of light at end of dark economic tunnel

May 13, 2009

After months of crushing economic news, a bit of light shone through last week. The American jobless rate continues to be very bad and getting worse, but at a slower rate. When the figures were released last week 539,000 people lost their jobs and unemployment hit 8.9 per cent. That is not good, but for some it may be an early sign of a turnaround. Canada’s labour market also appears to be hemorrhaging a bit less. Continue Reading →

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Term limits necessary in municipal politics

First published: September 24, 2005

With 14 months until the next municipal election, Cobourg mayor, Peter Delanty, announced last week, he intends to run again for mayor. It seems rather strange he would make an announcement this far in advance. There is plenty of time, yet Mr. Delanty decides, out of the blue without a detailed explanation, to make this public. Normally, municipal election season starts in September. Occasionally, there are a few who will announce before the summer, but the vast majority says nothing until after Labour Day. Continue Reading →

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McCallion paves way for new debate on taxes

First published: November 16, 2007

Hooray for Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion who stood up last week to federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and the Conservatives after turning their backs on municipalities. Finally, someone gets it when it comes to taxes. Mississauga city council approved a five per cent tax surcharge on all property owners to raise $12.5 million to avert a crisis that could send the debt-free city into a deficit in the next five years. Council also passed a 3.9 per cent increase for early next year, as part of an overall strategy to provide basic services. Frustrated by years of poor funding from provincial and federal governments, McCallion took on the smug Conservatives as only she could. Continue Reading →

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Cobourg budget cuts serve politicians, not people

First published: April 5, 1999

It was interesting to watch Cobourg council as it announced this year’s budget with its 2.5 per cent decrease in overall taxes. Deputy Mayor Arnold McCurdy was quick to crow about the cut because most politicians view any type of budget increase as sacrilege. Fiscal responsibility is the buzzword of the 1990s and brought many people – good and bad – to power. Any other election promise can be broken, but never this one. The tax decrease means the average taxpayer with a home assessed at $125,000 will pay $…..  There is no question this is good news. Continue Reading →

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Municipalities do little to help with housing

Housing is not a sexy issue. It is not one of those topics like health care or education or restructuring where everyone has an opinion and knows someone who is being affected. Politicians are not too crazy about housing issues because they don’t garner votes. But to those people who are looking for affordable housing in Northumberland, this is a very important topic. And how we handle this issue as a community says a lot about us. Continue Reading →

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