Community affairs

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Health unit continues inspections and tracking as braces for fall season

In the face of the pandemic, the transition to fall represents a pivotal moment on many levels. The most significant is the prediction of a potential second wave of the COVID-19 virus spreading. Students from kindergarten to university and college will be returning to the classroom either face-to-face or online. School boards and educators are working diligently to ensure students and teachers will be safe. For the rest of us, it has been around two months since the provincial government slowly transitioned into Stage 3 of its Economic Recovery plan. Continue Reading →

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Trent Hills businesses adapting to economic recovery plan, says chamber executive director

This is a conversation with Nancy Allanson, the executive director of the Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce. It is the last in a series of interviews I have done over the summer with the various chambers and business groups to monitor the economic impact of the pandemic and the ongoing recovering taking place. What is noticeable in this interview is how similar the businesses are in addressing the changes. Yet you will also hear how different things are in Trent Hills from the rest of the county. Originally aired: August 14, 2020 Continue Reading →

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Lawyer worries about Northumberland tenants as landlords given additional powers under new provincial rules

In Canada, the laws overseeing the relationships between landlords and tenants aim to give rights to people who rent. The regulations recognize there is a fundamental need for people to have a place to live. But also, they need to be safe from those who might act arbitrarily and throw them out on to the street. Landlords will complain the system is unfair to them. While tenants’ rights groups argue there are never enough rules to ensure they can’t be evicted unfairly. Continue Reading →

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Preparations are nearly ready as announcement about schools opening pending, says public board chair

Parents, students, and teachers are filled with anxiety as the start of school is only five weeks away. That would be pretty normal for this time of year. But this fall will be very different in the face of the pandemic as the provincial government and school boards grapple with the health and safety of children and staff. The provincial government wants to assure us everyone will be safe. Meanwhile, parents are concerned. Continue Reading →

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Cobourg police board seeks public input on use of body cameras

Charges of racism and police violence have renewed calls in Canada for frontline officers to wear body cameras. The debate is taking place across the country. From the RCMP to Toronto’s police, Indigenous groups and Black Lives Matters are calling for officers to wear video recording devices on their chests. The longtime debate over the need to wear body cameras is coming to Cobourg. As part of its technology and innovation strategy, the Police Services Board wants your opinion. Continue Reading →

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International conspiracy ideas finding their way into Northumberland, says expert

Near Colborne on three huge pieces of old weathered plywood are spray-painted messages. They read: no mandatory vaccines, not my new normal and a third has a large letter Q.

The Q on the roadside sign can stand for QAnon, a conspiracy theory once held by far-right extremists. But it is gaining mainstream acceptance in the United States and Canada, as well as around the world. Similar messages are being delivered across social media groups in Northumberland. They are also found in the chants of protesters and people’s conversations across the county. Continue Reading →

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As Art Gallery of Northumberland prepares to reopen, director reflects on arts during pandemic

For anyone who has had a birthday or marked an anniversary or special occasion over the last five months will tell you, it has been rough. The Art Gallery of Northumberland, 2020 marked the 60th anniversary. It was going to have a year of events to celebrate. As you can imagine, things have not turned out as expected. Art Gallery of Northumberland Executive Director Olinda Casimiro is obviously disappointed. Continue Reading →

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Musician Cale Crowe glad to be back, but also thankful for the break during pandemic

It is hard to believe it was only a year ago, Cobourg council received the final report for the Cultural Master Plan. It marked a significant milestone for the local arts community as the town sought to create a vision for the creative community. In its final report, the consultants noted 95 percent of those surveyed identified arts and culture are important. The pandemic has seriously hit the arts and culture community hard, as it has in so many aspects of our lives. A survey by the Ontario Arts Council said arts organizations and artists lost a combined total of $128 million in revenue between March and June.  A whopping 94 percent of arts groups said they cancelled events or postponed activities. Continue Reading →

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Massive initiative to coordinate county community services needs public input

As the provincial government lunges forward into Phase 3 of the reopening of the economy, it can be hard to track all that is going on in Northumberland. County bureaucrats are moving quickly on multiple fronts seeking input on everything from budget to a strategy to support tourism. But it is not alone. Premier Doug Ford is out and about doing some political campaign-style stops across the province, attempting to ride the momentum of the relaxing of regulations, requirements, and numerous guidelines everyone has faced over the past five months. Mix this with people’s deep desire to return to the way it was before the pandemic can leave us all a bit heady. Continue Reading →

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