Count your blessings “This new-fangled and highly addictive “social media” is not always that social.” The observation was made by Harried Shopper, which is, surprisingly, not his real name. He shared his indignation last week through email, Facebook, Twitter, his blog, and a website posting. fill the need, too many kids are still going to school on empty stomachs.”

Among the depressing statistics: one in five households assisted by food banks has income from current or recent employ- ment. In addition to the “working poor,” people living on old age or disability pen- sions account for about 20 per cent of food bank clients. The HungerCount 2012 re- port provides recommendations to federal and provincial governments that, if imple- mented, will make significant progress in reducing the number of people who need help from food banks. Recommendations include investing in affordable housing so that low-income Canadians don’t have to make the difficult choice between paying the rent or feeding their families and im- proving the Guaranteed Income Supple- ment so that no senior in Canada lives in poverty. Poverty rarely ranks high on the political agenda, but some keep trying to focus at- tention on an issue that will never go away. “Groups challenge new Liberal leader- ship to deal with the increased poverty McGuinty left behind,” begins a blurb from anti-poverty groups. They want the poor to become a priority for the candidates hoping to succeed On- tario Premier Dalton McGuinty. “The next Ontario Liberal leader must undo the toxic legacy of Dalton McGuinty and raise social assistance rates,” said John Clarke of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP). “To afford the necessities of life today, people on social assistance would need an increase of 55% just to be at 1995 income levels. The government must raise the rates, immediately, for people liv- ing on Ontario Works and the Ontario Dis- ability Support Program.” More money would solve many prob- lems. However, when it comes to personal finances, too many people are banking on the luck of the draw. As Harried learned when he searched“Fi- nancial Literacy Month,” one third of Cana- dians admit winning the lottery or receiv- ing a large inheritance is part of their plans for a secured financial future, according to a recent survey commissioned by Credit Canada Debt Solutions and Capital One Canada. At the same time, more than two thirds have felt anxious or lost sleep think- ing about their financial situation over the past year. “It’s troubling to see so many Canadi- ans putting more trust in the lottery than sound financial planning - but I see the ef- fects every day in our agency,” said Laurie Campbell, CEO, Credit Canada Debt Solu- tions. “Canadians need to recognize that there is no magic solution to gaining control of their finances. It means hard work and sticking to a budget determined by in- come.” With those sobering words, Harried moved on, seeking the perfect gift for the person who already had everything. He also noted that he ought to find time to consider the many others out there who need a helping hand.

“For one thing, some very anti-social comments are made on the social media. Some people. Honestly. Civilization is not far from tipping into the Abyss. And I am finding that there has been an invasion of commercial pitches. Everybody is trying to sell me something. And it is not just the spam. The commercialism is pervasive and sophisticated. I cannot tear myself away.” As he shifted to text messages, conced- ing that he was becoming consumed by consumerism. “I have concluded that everything I own is outdated. Just realized I need a new 300- foot TV screen, and a new fridge that dou- bles as an oven and entertainment centre. Of course, the phone I bought yesterday is already obsolete.” Sadly, Harried is not alone. Toomany of us are hooked on being con- nected that face-to-face contact has gone the way of dial-up. We must be constantly wired, just in case we miss something. “I have recovered from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which I will still be paying for in July. But this is all about the true spirit of the season, right?” As he surfed for more bargains, Harried came across some “News” items that un- derlined the great economic divide that becomes more defined during the pre- Christmas buying frenzy. We know that many people live in pov- erty. For example, about 2,500 people in Prescott-Russell rely on social assistance. The percentage of people depending on what was once called “welfare” has tradi- tionally been high in the Far East of Ontar- io. The current 8.1 per cent unemployment rate in Eastern Ontario is par for the course. The traditional Yuletide appeals to help the needy have been issued. Everyone is being urged to donate food, money, toys so all can share the warmth of the season. Harried visits There he learns that Food Banks Canada re- ports that the number of Canadians using food banks has reached record levels. HungerCount 2012 shows that after dipping slightly in 2011, food bank use in Canada increased by 2.4% this year, and is now a staggering 31% higher than before the 2008-2009 recession. The HungerCount 2012 report relates that in a typical month, food banks across the country provide food to 882,000 peo- ple, and more than 339,000 (38%) of those helped are children. “It is shocking that, in a country as pros- perous as Canada, hundreds of thousands of children rely on food banks to have enough to eat each month,” said Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director of Food Banks Canada. “Though food banks do what they can to

Les sportifs de l’École catholique Elda- Rouleau d’Alexandria ont encore une fois réclamé la gloire lors de la saison de soccer. En effet, les filles de la 7 e et de la 8 e année ont allié leurs forces aux ailes de l’école L’Ange-Gardien sous l’égide de l’équipe régionale pour capturer la couronne. Les garçons de l’escouade intermédiaire de Glengarry ont eux aussi hissé le pavillon de la victoire.


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Megan Assaly from the Hawkesbury Figure Skating Club fared well at her first competition of the year. Megan competed at a higher level at the annu- al Asticou Invitational in Gatineau. She won a bronze medal with her solo at the Junior Silver level.


EN FRANÇAIS Quebec Grenville VEN. ET SAM. À 6H30 DIM. MATINÉE À 1H30

SKI-VENT-CLIC INC. Le club de ski de fond Ski-Vent-Clic Inc. de Vankleek Hill est prêt pour une autre saison, il y a un petit changement sur la piste à la traverse sur la route 34. C’est le temps de profiter de nos prix réduits, en vigueur jusqu’au 24 décembre 2012.

Prix rég. Prix réduits

Famille Adultes

55 $ 45 $ 25 $ 20 $ 5 $ 5 $

jusqu’à 18 ans

Enfants moins de 18 ans

Les cotisations peuvent être payées aux endroits suivants

Visitez notre Site Internet : Cliquez sur Entrez, tourisme, puis Ski-Vent-Clic. See our Web site: Click on Enter, tourism and Ski-Vent-Clic. Rens. : 613 678-3874, 613 678-3621, 613 678-320s VANKLEEK HILL Lalande Dépanneur, 143, rue Main E. White Palace, 110, rue Main E. HAWKESBURY Intersport, 454, suite 110, County Rd. 17 E. Dr Dominique Charbonneau, chiropracticien, 1, rue Main E.

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