To the Editor,
Once more it is budget time in Scugog, and along with many other people was horrified to see council had presented a preliminary budget that included a 3.29 per cent tax increase.
If memory serves me correctly, our current Mayor said during his election campaign that these increases every single year was not sustainable, so we certainly hope he lives up to his word that he feels sure savings can be found to reduce this amount, you can only go to the trough so often, one day it will run dry.
A few years ago when there were pros and cons of Walmart opening up, we were assured that new business in the community would ease the tax burden, well it obviously didn't.
We have had increases for at least the past 20 years, time for council to tighten their belts along with us.
Sally Cowan, Port Perry
As the country mourned the tragedy at the La Loche Community School in northern Saskatchewan this past weekend, residents of North Durham were shocked and saddened to learn that one of our own, 35-year-old Uxbridge native Adam Wood, a teacher at the school, was one of the four people killed in the shooting.
Having dedicated his life to bettering the lives of young people, Mr. Wood had moved to the remote community this past September to begin his teaching career instructing young people that had no doubt experienced a great deal of adversity prior to Friday’s tragic events.
The events have spurred a renewed national dialogue that has been pushed aside far too often, the crippling isolation of many remote northern communities across the country.
As is the case in Weagamow, where members of the Uxbridge Secondary School Tigers hockey team have spent the past three winters conducting hockey clinics, many of these communities deal with high suicide rates, a result of a crippling lack of mental health services to deal with rampant drug and alcohol addictions, as well as high crime rates with a dire lack of employment opportunities. the sad fact is that many residents of remote northern communities find themselves cut off from any sort of hope.
Thankfully, there does seem to be change in the air, with a recent commitment from the Trudeau-led Liberal government to launch a national inquiry into the ongoing crisis surrounding missing and murdered aboriginal women, as well as other reforms in the relationship between the federal government and First Nations people across the country.
We are fortunate to have strong communities in North Durham, and all citizens of this country should be so lucky. Adam Wood was noble in trying to bring that to the residents of La Loche, and all levels of government should continue to work towards those goals.
To the Editor,
Our team of family doctors has served in Port Perry for a long time, some longer than 20 years. If our years of experience have taught us anything, it’s that the government needs to work with doctors to ensure we have a strong, patient-focused, health-care system.
Ontario’s population is growing and aging. This means patients are going to need more care. So we’re having a hard time understanding why the government would cut necessary funding required for the care doctors provide.
Six local physicians have committed to provide palliative care to cancer patients at the end of their lives. Our patients are grateful to receive this care in the comfort of their homes. And we’re privileged to care for them.
Our group of doctors applied for funding to be on-call 24/7, 365 days per year for palliative patients in our community. But we were denied. It feels like our patients were denied the extra care they need and deserve by the government.
We’re doing as much as we can to make sure our patients aren’t affected by the government’s cuts. Now our team must find a way to continue to provide home visits without the necessary funding. This will not be easy.
This is not the only doctor-provided service that has been cut. There are other examples. Limiting the funding needed for physician services is not the way to solve serious problems in our health-care system.
Our patients deserve better.
Dr. Steven Russell, Dr. Kim Ferguson, Dr. Merrilee Brown,
Dr. Kevin Smith, Dr. Matthew Schurter and Dr. Antonietta Chiella
After more than ten years in business and almost 600 issues, The Standard is still here.
This paper was originally founded to serve Scugog Township as an independent voice for the community, covering the news that mattered locally. Along the way, our coverage area grew to include most of what is commonly referred to as North Durham (Scugog, Uxbridge and Brock Townships) and the surrounding area, and has recently expanded to include the City of Kawartha Lakes. But what has not changed since those humble beginnings more than a decade ago, is the desire of our staff to tell relevant stories that connect with the community around us.
Along the way, this community newspaper accomplished the feat of employing an editor, Darryl Knight, actually born in Port Perry, a first in the history of the Scugog newspapers.
That commitment to the community has shined through in everything we’ve done to this point, and will continue to be at the core of everything we plan to do for many years to come.
Through the years - as we pledged to do in our very first editorial - we have reported on the news local residents want to hear, the news people need to hear and sometimes the news people in this area may just as soon ignore.
When The Standard began printing in the fall of 2004, the world was shouting that newspapers were dying. In 2009, as we celebrated our fifth anniversary that same message was being screamed even louder. Yet we remain, because of the continued support of the community we are so privileged to serve.
Thank you for so many fantastic years, it’s been a fantastic journey to reflect on as we plan to move from the only home we’ve ever known to our new office location in Port Perry at 182 Northport Rd, Unit 10. Because of our support from the community, there’s more to come!
To the Editor,
The Optimist Club of Uxbridge's Fantasy of Lights is over for another year, and what a fantastic season we had.
We would like to thank all those who helped by putting in displays, to those who volunteered to help us in the park, to the town for their unwavering support, to the men who move the trailers back and forth, to the lady who brought us a couple of bags of rock salt on our very slippery night, to those folks who came through with hot drinks for the those of us working the shift and to all those who donated while driving and walking through our winter wonderland of twinkling lights.
All the money the Optimist Club of Uxbridge raises, stays in Uxbridge to support our youth. We thank you all for your support and your very encouraging words of praise and look forward to the Optimist Club Fantasy of Lights 2016.
Bigger and better? We'll certainly try.
Secretary, Optimist Club of Uxbridge
A recent report by the Canadian Press highlighted the great national tragedy that is our high number of homeless veterans.
Although, the reported 2,250 homeless veterans (representing just under three per cent of the total homeless population) may indeed be barely scratching the surface, given that it relied upon information from a survey of 60 shelters across the country last year. For comparison, the United States has almost 50,000 homeless veterans, accounting for nearly nine per cent of their national total.
The stress of their job, especially the thousands of brave men and women who served in combat in Afghanistan during our 13-year engagement, can make for a difficult transition back to civilian life once their time in the service is over.
Mental health issues, such as post traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism and drug addiction are unfortunately all too common amongst those who have seen action on the front line.
As well, homelessness is an equal opportunity affliction for former military members, with the number of female homeless veterans ten per cent higher than the national average.
There is a great deal of support across Canada to look after our veterans with the best possible care once they have completed their service to our country.
With a seemingly never-ending series of tax increases across all levels of government, this would be spending Canadians could actually get behind. And, if done effectively, could provide meaningful support to the thousands of veterans that are currently living on the streets.
No one with the courage to serve our country should be left out in the cold once they return home, and we should be demanding that all levels of government act quickly to ensure that we can break this cycle and give our veterans the type of care they so rightly deserve.
To the Editor,
We would like to thank everyone who helped make the 20th Anniversary of The Bakersville Gingerbread Village during the Holiday Season at the Scugog Memorial Public Library, such a success!
There were 60 fantastic entries of varying styles and skills and once assembled into a town, the moving parts of the train, skating rink, teeter totter and snow boarders brought it to life!
The Village wouldn't be possible without the wonderful support of our library and its staff. The Baagwating Community Association generously donated funds that allowed for the purchase of display equipment and printing of photographs celebrating the village during the last 20 years.
We had tremendous support from local businesses by allowing the display of our flyers, mini-villages such as in the windows of Emmerson's Insurance, Petite Images and the BIA/Chamber of Commerce Office and giving us discounted costs for supplies.
Brianne Mercer put the village on the social media map by creating a Bakersville Gingerbread page on Facebook and added pictures daily. Thanks also to our local Press, who were wonderful with all of the support, printing our many releases.
But, this village wouldn't have been possible without those who contributed a creation, making it the BEST VILLAGE EVER! So much imagination and creativity was evident this year with such a wide range of different exhibits.
Lastly, our patient families who never mentioned how many dinners were late because of our pre-occupation with everything gingerbread.
So, Thank You everyone!; and we hope to do it all over again next year. Remember, it’s never too late to start baking!
‘The Village People’
Bakersville Gingerbread Committee
With a new year upon us, there is renewed hope that we can move past some of the issues that dragged down 2015, and resolve to try and make a better 2016.
For starters, we’d like to see those posting racist and hateful propaganda on their social media sites resolve to take five minutes to investigate the claims being made before piling on with rest of an ignorant herd whining about money supposedly being given to Syrian refugees arriving in our country.
We’d also like those same people to resolve to learn a bit of Canadian history, namely our long tradition of welcoming those from unstable regions of the world, be it Eastern Europe in the 1950’s Vietnam in the 1970’s or the middle east today, when the world needs help, Canada has stepped up, that shouldn’t change today, despite what a small and ignorant minority might cry for.
We would like to see all three levels of government resolve to continue investing in infrastructure upgrades. Funding announcements last year are a fantastic start, and we hope there can be more in the future, as communities across the country now struggle to keep up with repairs that have been deferred for far too long for the sake of short-term savings.
With work continuing on the plan to bring municipally owned and operated high-speed internet to Scugog Island, please let our local leaders resolve to take the time to ensure this is a project that is kept on budget and ultimately benefits more in the community than just a few hundred residents.
Lastly, can we please resolve to be a little better to one another? It seems like for too often, everyone is the star of their own show, and others are merely background players. Let’s try to slow down a bit and enjoy life a little bit more this year. After all, it seems unlikely that anyone looks back at their life and says “I wish I had engaged in more petty arguments with more strangers.”