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Friday, May 29, 2015

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Highland Games 2015 Cancelled.
Friday, May 29, 2015 (11515 reads)

Bracebridge’s annual highland games won’t be happening this year after organizers announced yesterday that the event has been cancelled. 
A message posted on their website,, read “it is with heavy hearts that the organizing committee of the Bracebridge Highland Games advise that the event has been cancelled.” 
The committee cited 2014’s weather as the primary reason for the cancellation saying “we simply cannot overcome the devastation of the weather in 2014.”
The organizers added that all vendors, sponsors and dancers who have provided money to the event will be refunded. 

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Free Parking Comes to Parry Sound Next Week.
Friday, May 29, 2015 (830 reads)

If you’re heading to Parry Sound next week your trip will be a little cheaper as Parry Sound’s six-month free parking trial is set to start. 
Council voted earlier this month to allow the town’s by-law department to establish a six-month trial run for a free parking system. Parking throughout downtown will be free with a two hour limit on street parking and a three hour limit for municipal lots. 

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Sundridge Councilor Re-Instated.
Friday, May 29, 2015 (769 reads)

Deposed Sundridge councilor Don Richardson has been re-instated after a Parry Sound Superior Court returned the seat to Richardson. 
Richardson was removed from his position as councilor last March after he failed to file his election expenses by the mandated deadline of April 1. 
Justice Edward Koke re-instated the Richardson on May 25 where he said that he believed that Richardson “acted in good faith” and that the late filing was due to “inadvertence” related to a number of other ongoing responsibilities Richardson was tasked with. 

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Doughty Says Hospital Changes Could Be "Deal-Breaker" for Development.
Friday, May 29, 2015 (6740 reads)

Changes to the format of healthcare delivery in Muskoka could stop developers from investing, according to former Mayor Claude Doughty. 
Doughty, who is a developer himself and has talked about potentially investing in the former Empire Hotel lot, said that if Huntsville were to not have a hospital, it would be a “deal-breaker” for development. 
“I, personally, would take that seriously,” he said. “That would really cause me a lot of caution regarding anything I was doing in Huntsville and I don’t think I’m unique in that. It’s absolutely critical that we have a hospital here in Huntsville and I’m sure Bracebridge feels the same way.” 
Doughty did have sympathy for the position of the hospital board saying, 
“I understand the economies of scale of having one regional hospital and I feel for the hospital board, they’re between a very large rock and a very hard place.” 
Doughty also added that if a regional facility was developed Port Sydney, his own concerns about developing in Huntsville would be reduced. 

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Former Mayor Claude Doughty Says It's Time to Sell Waterloo Building.
Friday, May 29, 2015 (17868 reads)

Former Huntsville Mayor Claude Doughty says it’s time to sell the University of Waterloo building.

“[Waterloo] has been consistently underperforming,” Doughty said in an interview on Hunters Bay Radio’s political talk show, Undercurrents.

The Waterloo building, formally known as the Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment, was erected in 2009 and was completed for the 2010 G8 Summit. The building is a partnership through the town and the university and was intended to be used as a research centre for environmental and ecological sustainability. The partnership was established by former Mayor Doughty and then Dean of Faculty for the University of Waterloo, Deep Saini.

Since being established the building has seen less use than had been intended and Doughty says under-usage is something not unique to the Huntsville site.

“Huntsville’s not alone in suffering from visions of grandeur that don’t get fulfilled by the University of Waterloo,” he said. “There are other communities where they’ve retrenched and pulled back from their commitments.”

Doughty said that lack of performance and the failure of Huntsville’s vision for the building was one of his biggest regrets during his term as Mayor of Huntsville.

With the contract between Huntsville and the University of Waterloo set to expire, both parties have floated the idea of renewing the contract, albeit under a different set of terms. Doughty says his advice is to sell off the asset.

“I don’t think the taxpayers should be stuck with the operating costs any longer,” Doughty said. “I support selling that building to the private sector, I think it’s time.”



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Huntsville Councilors to Discuss Strategic Direction at Special Council Meeting
Friday, May 29, 2015 (1090 reads)

Huntsville Town Council will be holding a special council meeting Saturday morning at 10am.  Mayor Scott Aitchison and council will undertake a discussion on the strategic plan for the 2014-2018 term of council.

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Greens Confirm Richter Will Run in Next Provincial Election
Friday, May 29, 2015 (260 reads)

The Parry Sound Muskoka Green Party of Ontario Constituency Association announced that Matt Richter will run as the local candidate in Parry Sound Muskoka for the next Provincial Election in 2018.  Richter was nominated on May 26, at the Candidate Nomination Meeting at Sawdust City Brewing Company in Gravenhurst.


Matt served as candidate during the 2007, 2011, and 2014 elections.   

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NPD to Hold Nomination Meeting June 7th
Friday, May 29, 2015 (519 reads)

The Parry Sound Muskoka NDP will be selecting the party's candidate in the upcoming Federal election next weekend.   The association will be choosing between two candidates, Clyde Mobley who ran in the provincial election last year and Bracebridge resident Matt McCarthy.

The nomination meeting will take place on June 7th at the Canada Summit Centre in Huntsville at 1pm.   Any card carrying supporter is elegible to vote.

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Site Selection for New Hospital to be Determined by Committee
Thursday, May 28, 2015 (11827 reads)

Last night’s announcement by Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) that hospital services will eventually be moving to a centrally located space in Muskoka has a lot of people wondering where exactly that will be. 
It’s a question that MAHC says is not yet answered and one that could take nearly a year to decide. 
“It’s a centrally located site and that is completely open at this point and time,” board chair Charles Forret said. “It is part of the process of the next stage, the site selection will be a lengthy process that has to go through broader sector guidelines. It’s not something we’ll decide quickly.” 
MAHC CEO Natalie Bubela said the site selection process takes at a minimum six months and typically works out to be closer to a year. Bubela added that the 
“…It’s a very rigorous process and often in advance of submitting a parcel of land or site, [it] has to go through criteria to see if it’s eligible to the Ministry of Health before it can be submitted for our consideration.” 
Bubela and Forret said that the site selection will be determined by an as-of-yet uncreated sub-committee that will have MAHC board involvement as well as involvement from community members. The committee will develop a criteria to help evaluate possible locations. 
“Transparency and community involvement is another factor that the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care is expecting and respects,” Bubela said. 

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MAHC Says Road to New Hospital is Long and Service 'Wont Change' for at Least 15 Years.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 (5567 reads)

Last night’s announcement by Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC), that the future of hospital services will be located in one central location, has some in the community seeing red. But MAHC says that things will stay very much as they are until at least 2030. 
In a media conference after last night’s announcement, MAHC CEO Natalie Bubela, along with board chair Charles Forret, said that no “shovels will be in the ground” for around 15 years.  
“When we talked about 2030 and beyond, we were not exaggerating,” Forret said. “It would not be before that time unless the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care took exceptional conditions to grant us something earlier.”
Forret added that the process of creating a new, centrally located hospital is a time-consuming one which requires approval from both the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN as well as the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. Forret said that in the time between, both the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital as well as the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital will remain fully operational saying, 
“Nothing’s going to change in what [Muskokans] receive for at least 15 years.”

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MAHC Decision "Will Pit Community Against Community" - Withey
Thursday, May 28, 2015 (9422 reads)

The MAHC Board of Directors unanimously accepted a recommendation to move to a single site hospital last night. 

The recommendation came from the MAHC Program Working Group that did not specify a location for the new single site hospital to be built in the future.

Bracebridge District Councilor Lori-Lynn Giaschi-Pacini said that she was disappointed, and that they wanted two sites, but as a council, the Town of Bracebridge has to decide how to proceed.

Huntsville's Tim Withey, who spearheaded the Huntsville’s fight to two sites, said the outcome was not what the petition signers and those in attendance were hoping for.  He said it "would pit community against community as they make their case."

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Fowler & Kimberly Clark Support Full Ironman Race
Thursday, May 28, 2015 (956 reads)

Yesterday the Ironman Organizing committee announced that Fowler Construction and Kimberly Clark have both stepped up to support the full Ironman Race which is coming to Huntsville for the first of three years at the end of August.  Organizers explained that this event - one of only three in Canada, would be bringing 3500 athletes plus an estimated 15,000 in visitors and supporters to the area.

Rich Trenholm, of Tri-Muskoka said that the Ironman 70.3 race set for the end of June has grown in popularity over the last four years and will be used as a training race for the full Ironman in August.  Kelly Haywood with the Chamber of Commerce told those in attendance that the 70.3 race started in 2008 by the Chamber and has become a success in its own right.  Haywood said the 70.3 race is much bigger than 2 weekends with economic benefits to the region lasting throughout the summer season.

Huntsville will host the Ironman from Aug 27-30th.

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Greenbug Gets Go Ahead to Acquire FIT Contract at Brunel Locks
Thursday, May 28, 2015 (6163 reads)

Councilors at Huntsville's General Committee paved the way for Green Bug Energy to try to acquire a contract with the Province under the FIT program to eventually begin producing power at the Brunel Locks.  The town authorized staff to produce a letter of support for Greenbug.

That however does not mean the town can't pull out in the future, or that all councilors were in favour of the facility.

Councilor Brian Thompson said that he was not going to support the project saying that the Province’s policy on hydro is flawed and that these projects cost hydro customers too much and are inflating the cost of hydro by paying producers rates several times higher than what the hydro will be sold for.  Thompson said that Greenbug would gets its money back in 5 years and would have 15 years of pure profit under the government’s program.  It’s time to stop this, he said.

Council however voted to proceed, with the proviso that they were only supporting Greenbug in their attempt to get a FIT contract.

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Huntsville Hears Complaints About Uneven Rents at Train Station
Thursday, May 28, 2015 (6971 reads)

The fate of the new Culture Station is up in the air after two delegations before Huntsville's General Committee heard a  plea from The Suzuki School of Music complain that they were not afforded the same deal as the Culture Station when it came down to rent paid.  The Culture Station entered into a deal to use the waiting room area at the station for the cost of $1 per year, while its neighbour has been paying nearly $10,000 for the other half of the old train station.

Kelly Haywood of the Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce said that her group took the space over after the town had failed to rent it, but could not afford any increase in the coming year. 

The committee asked staff to come back with a report on an equitable lease arrangement for the building and an option to sell the facility.

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MAHC Vote to Go With Single Site
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 (37234 reads)

The MAHC Board of Directors have unanimously accepted a recommendation to move to a single site hospital as part of its plans for the future.
The recommendation came from the MAHC Program Working Group that did not specify a location for the new single site to be built in the future.
Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison said that the MAHC will "undergo a site selection process to find a central location, not where that central location is."
He also said that a no time during to process did the MAHC consult with any of the municpalites to overcome any negative issues with continuing to have two acute care hospitals in Muskoka.
Any decision on a location will be forwarded the LHIN and ultimately the Ministry for approval.

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Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued for Muskoka
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 (6131 reads)

Muskoka is under an severe thunderstorm watch this afternoon after Environment Canada issued a watch for Huntsville, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and Baysville.

Environment Canada is saying that thunderstorms are expected this afternoon and will likely continue into the evening. Environment Canada says that the storm may bring very strong winds, hail and heavy rain.

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MPP Miller Starting Petition Against Provinces Population Cap for Alcohol Sales.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 (20231 reads)

Local MPP Norm Miller wants changes to Ontario’s new alcohol-in-supermarkets policy, and he’s starting a petition to do just that. 
Under the new alcohol sale policy, only towns or cities with a population above 30,000 will be eligible to bid on licenses to sell alcohol in supermarkets. The population stipulation would effectively close rural Ontario out from the bidding while still inflicting tax increases on alcohol sales. Under the current policy no community throughout Muskoka-Parry Sound would be eligible to sell alcohol outside of the LCBO or Beer Store.  
Miller’s petition is expected to be released sometime this week and will be available at his riding office located at 165 Manitoba St. in Bracebridge. The petition will also be available through Miller’s website,

Read More (Rating-2.33)
MAHC to Announce Decision on Hospitals Today
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 (3432 reads)

The future plans of healthcare delivery for the next 30years are expected to be announced tonight at a special meeting held by Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC).

The meeting will be held at the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital at 5:30 p.m. where MAHC board members will review feedback from the public and consider the recommendation made by the Master Program/Master Plan steering committee.

One of three models are being considered includes a single-site option in a central location - Huntsville, Bracebridge & Port Sydney have been mentioned, or  two full-service acute care sites and another option which is being called the Centres of Focus or hybrid model.

We'll have the details on the decision as it is announced later today.

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Gravenhurst Offers Free Business Education Courses
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 (4882 reads)

The Gravenhurst Downtown Revitalization Committee is hosting this unique business education opportunity that is available free of charge for all Gravenhurst business owners, managers and staff.

Offered in 3 two-hour morning sessions, organizers say this dynamic, interactive and engaging program is designed to prepare individuals with the skills and tools to create memorable customer service experiences.

All meetings will be held in the Trillium Room of the Gravenhurst Opera House from 8:30 to 10:30am on June 5th, 11th, and 18th. 

To register cal 705-687-4432 x101

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Town to Take Over Operations of Film North Film Festival?
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 (1194 reads)

The Town of Huntsville will be holding its monthly General Meeting this morning and will be receiving a report on 2014's financial statements by the town's auditor.

As well, the town will hear a deputation about the possibility of Film North Film Festival returning to town this fall.  Film North Organizers meet with Town Staff to discuss the possibility of the town assuming operations of the festival.

Kelly Haywood of the Chamber of Commerce will also be updating councilors on the Culture Station and asking for a lease renewal.

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Ontario Gov't Introduces New E-Cigarette Laws.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 (7514 reads)

Ontarians can no longer smoke, display or promote e-cigarettes in designated non-smoking areas or places where e-cigarettes are sold thanks to a recently passed bill titled the Making Healthier Choices Act. 

Under the Act, which passed the provincial legislature today, it will become illegal to smoke e-cigarettes in any place designated as a non-smoking zone in addition to making it illegal for e-cigarettes to be sold in a place where the sale of tobacco is prohibited. Displaying or promoting e-cigarettes in stores that sell e-cigarettes and tobacco products will also be illegal under the new Act. The age of majority for buying e-cigarettes has also been set at 19 under the Act. 

The Making Healthier Choice Act also increases the maximum fines for selling tobacco to youth, making the Ontario’s fines the highest in Canada. 

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MAHC to Receive Master Program/Master Plan Steering Committee Recommendations.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 (2536 reads)

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) will be holding a special board meeting tomorrow evening to consider the recommendations for the future of healthcare in Muskoka. 
The meeting will be held at the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital at 5:30 p.m. where MAHC board members will review feedback from the public and consider the recommendation made by the Master Program/Master Plan steering committee. 
Three models are being considering including a single-site option in a central location, two full-service acute care sites and what is being called the Centres of Focus or hybrid model. 

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Hollywood Star Rachel McAdams in Dwight for Sister's Wedding.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 (15840 reads)

A-Lister Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Wedding Crashers) was in Muskoka last weekend at the Port Cunnington Lodge in Dwight. 
McAdams, who was born in London, Ont., was in Muskoka to be a bridesmaid for her younger sister Kayleen McAdams' wedding to Evan Turner.
McAdams appearance at the wedding drew Toronto paparazzi to the region, capturing McAdams tearing up during the ceremony. 

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District Receives $18,800 to Bridge Generational Gap
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 (1950 reads)

The District of Muskoka received funding to finance a Muskoka-wide program focused on bridging generational gaps.
$18,800 has been awarded to the district after they applied for a seniors grant through Employment and Social Development Canada in July of 2014. The money will go towards a program that brings children living in social housing together with seniors throughout Muskoka. Heather Elliott, the community engagement coordinator with the district, described the project as being similar to an “adopt-a-grandparent or adopt-a-grandchild” initiative. 
Running for eight months the program will bring kids and seniors together to experience a number of activities including strawberry picking, autumn leaf tours and games night among others. 
Those interested in volunteering for the program can call 705-645 2100, ext. 199

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GRC Contracting Fined $90,000 for Death of Worker Near Kearney
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 (14461 reads)

A Parry Sound court has fined GRC Contracting $90,000 after ruling that violations to the Occupational Health and Safety Act contributed to the 2013 death of a worker. 
GRC Contracting plead guilty and was fined on May 12 for the death of a worker who in 2013 fell through a roof of a mill building at a graphite mine near Kearney, Ont. The worker was wearing a body harness but it was not attached to a fall arrest system at the time of accident. 
The incident occurred on June 21, 2013 when a GRC Contracting was hired to remove a turbine ventilation system and repair the holes with insulation and metal sheathing. During the process two of the holes were covered with insulation but otherwise left open and no guardrail was set up. A worker subsequently stepped onto one of the hole and fell 42 feet to their death. The accident came just days after GRC contracting had been warned about using proper fall equipment after three of their workers had been observed on the building without proper gear.  
The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine as well under the Provincial Offences Act. 
Almaguin Highlands OPP staff sergeant Stacey Whaley has gone on record saying that his area crime supervisor will be reviewing the investigation into the death. 

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Miller to Hold Seniors Seminar
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 (661 reads)

MPP Norm MIller will be hosting a Senior's Day Seminar and luncheon on June 11th.  Specialists in their field will be presenting on; estate planning, avoiding fraud and navigating the CCAC.

The event will be held at the Gravenhurst Senior's Activity Centre on First St. North and is free to attend, with lunch and information packets provided.

For more info, contact Norm MIllers office at 705-746-4266

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Town Loses Appeal, Has to Pay $23,000 in Legal Fees
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 (16863 reads)

The Town will have to pay Hunter-Rutland's court costs after losing an appeal over the C&C router that the town sold in a dispute with a former tenant, Blackbird Boats.

The costs to the town is over $13,000 to cover Hunter-Rutland's legal expenses plus over $10,000 for the town's costs.

The value and settlement on the missing router, which the town sold off years ago after the tenant left it the old MTO building has yet to be determined.

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Former Mayor Explains $3 Million in Unfunded Expenses to Council
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 (26300 reads)

Former Mayor Claude Doughty appeared before Huntsville Council yesterday and took full responsibility over the $3million in unfunded expenses from 2009-2010.  Doughty explained to the new councilors that the council of the day, of which only he and Councilor Thompson served on, debentured $9 million, took $1million from the tax levy and used the balance of just over $3 million from a working capital reserve fund.  The total of just under $13 million is the town's share of the cost of all the projects undertaken for the G8, which is valued at approx $42 million

Doughty explained that by using the town's reserves, that the town saved interest charges resulting in savings of just over $2million over the life of the debenture - if the town had decided to borrow the money.

Not one councilor asked Doughty a question after the presentation, but Finance Chair Karin Terziano explained that going forward the town would increase the levy by $200,000 each year to build up reserves faster, which will result in a status quo budget starting out with a 2% increase in 2016.  Terziano said she was very comfortable with the plan, but told councilors she would be happy to defer a vote on the issue until next month, to give councilors a chance to process the information.  Council voted to defer a decision until next month.

Former Mayor Claude Doughty will be our guest on Undercurrents, Thursday at 11am.

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Georgian Bay OPP Looking to Talk with People who Harassed Teens.
Monday, May 25, 2015 (5405 reads)

The Southern Georgian Bay OPP are asking for the public’s help in identifying what they are calling a suspicious vehicle and occupants.

On May 23 at around 11:28 p.m. OPP responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle on Park Street in Victoria Harbour. Witnesses told the OPP that at around 10 p.m. two teenage women and a teen man were walking on Park Street near Lovejoy Street when a vehicle playing loud music drove by them numerous times yelling things at the three teens.

Police report that at one point the vehicle stopped and a man exited the vehicle, grabbed the arm of the male teen and asked him several times to get in the car. OPP report that the man was laughing, jumping and appeared to be intoxicated when he tried to get the male teen to enter the vehicle.

The three teens were able to push the man away and ran away from the vehicle without injury.

Police report that this was the only incident of that nature during the evening but want to speak with the people involved. A description of the occupants of the vehicle has been released and is as follows: 

The occupant who exited the vehicle and grabbed the teen is described as a non-white male, 16 to 18 years old, around 5’8” in height with very short dark hair. The suspect was wearing a black t-shirt and shorts.

The driver of the vehicle is described as a white male with blonde hair and a white t-shirt

The passenger behind the driver is described as a white male with dirty blonde hair and a goatee and the fourth occupant is described only as a white male.

The vehicle in question was a dark coloured sedan similar to a Honda Civic and had bright white lights and a light hanging near the rear license plate.


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Huntsville Hospital Offering Breast Cancer Screening Services.
Monday, May 25, 2015 (1999 reads)

Huntsville’s District Memorial Hospital will be offering a breast screening program that will help provide easier access to breast cancer detection for residents in Muskoka and East Parry Sound. 
The Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) will provide regular breast examination services for women age 50 or older in an attempt to detect breast cancer earlier. The OBSP program will also make it easier for seasonal residents to have routine screenings while on vacation.
Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare CEO Natalie Bubela commented on the new service saying, 
“Breast screening is important and the OBSP makes it easy for women 50 years of age and older to refer themselves, receive reminder letters and prompt results. This means women who don’t have a primary care provider can book their own mammogram through our OBSP clinics.”
Mammograms are now available at both the Bracebridge and Huntsville hospitals.

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$3 Million Could be Taken From Reserves to Cover Un-funded Expenses
Monday, May 25, 2015 (3972 reads)

Huntsville Council will be asked to approve a motion taking over $3 million from reserves today to pay for the unfunded expenses from 2009-2010.

The amount taken from reserves is to be paid back over the next 11 years.  Currently the town's capital reserve account sits at $6.3 million.

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Huntsville Invites Residents to Pan Am Flame Celebration
Monday, May 25, 2015 (3121 reads)

Huntsville will be welcoming the Pan Am Torch Relay on the evening of June 3rd and are inviting residents to watch the relay and take part in the pre-flame arrival celebration and activities starting at 5pm at River Mill Park.  

The town is promising that there will be lots of fun family activities and entertainment including Tobin Spring and Laganza as well as the Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra.

The community celebration will run until 8:00pm in River Mill Park on June 3rd.

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$15,000 Raised For Dorset Healthcare Hub
Monday, May 25, 2015 (548 reads)

Nearly $15,000 was raised on Saturday in Dorset during the village's 1000 Canoes Campaign, and Gord Henderson's 500 Miles Hike for Health Care fundraiser.

The campaign carried on despite somewhat colder weather and while organizers admitted that they had fallen short of their goal on the canoe count, the money raised for the Dorset Health Care Hub was a resounding success.

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Doughty to Make Deputation to Council Today
Monday, May 25, 2015 (6341 reads)

The Town of Huntsville will be holding several meeting today including the Youth Council and Town council meetings.

Former Mayor Claude Doughty will be making a deputation to council and providing some clarity on the town's recently discovered un- funded $3 million.

Huntsville's Youth Council will be hearing a presentation from Town Staffer Lisa Spolnik on the town's marketing initiatives.

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District to Use Funding for Two-Year Transportation Pilot Project.
Friday, May 22, 2015 (2415 reads)

The District of Muskoka has received $100,000 in funding to establish a Muskoka transportation pilot project. 
In January of 2015 the district applied for funding from Ontario’s Community Transportation Pilot Grant Program, also known as the CT Program. Rick Williams, the commissioner of community services with the district, said the money will go towards a two-year pilot program that will employ excess school buses and other, wheelchair accessible, buses. 
The program will cater primarily to those for whom travel is difficult including seniors, those with disabilities or mobility issues, vision problems or those who don’t own their own vehicle.  
The pilot programs will run during the mid-day and be used to gauge usage and need in the district. If successful, Williams says the district will look at ways to sustain the program but doubts it will ever become a full-time transportation service.  

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Port Carling Garden Centre Supports Hospice with Plant it Forward Initiative.
Friday, May 22, 2015 (320 reads)

A Port Carling based garden centre is giving back to the community with a fundraiser to support “Andy’s House” Hospice. 
Rob and Kristan Farlie are the owners of the aptly named Port Carling Garden centre as well as the Bala Garden Centre. In appreciation of their community, the two have created what they are calling the “Plant it Forward” fundraiser. 
Plant it forward will see the garden centre partner with their customers to help raise money for, and build, a garden at the hospice location in Port Carling. The garden will be called the Memory Garden and will serve a place of comfort for those staying at and visiting Hospice. 
The Port Carling Garden Centre is matching all dollars donated in labour and materials that will be used to help construct the garden.

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FAB 15 in Burk's Falls Tomorrow.
Friday, May 22, 2015 (6351 reads)

Burk’s Falls is getting ready for FAB 15 tomorrow. 
FAB 15 is the annual festival of Almaguin businesses and expo. This year the event is going to be held at the Ontario Street and Arena Hall in Burk’s Fall’s tomorrow. 
The event runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will feature local exhibitors and vendors; live music featuring Pam Millar, horse drawn wagon rides. 
A shuttle service is available to and from the surrounding towns. 

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Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit Reminds People to Reduce Mosquito Breeding Sites
Friday, May 22, 2015 (630 reads)

The Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit is reminding people in the area to do their part to help prevent West Nile virus. 

In a release issued Thursday, May 21, the health unit reminds people that as mosquito season approaches it’s important to reduce available breeding sites. 

“Mosquitoes like to breed in standing water – you can protect yourself and your family from West Nile virus by reducing breeding sites in your yard,” the release read. 

Draining rainwater from old tires, containers, wading pools, pool covers, wheelbarrows, clogged gutters and other areas can help to reduce mosquito numbers. The health unit also recommends that people with bird baths change the water weekly and put screens on rain barrels.

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Tony Clement Sits Down with Muskoka Youth at Mill on Main.
Friday, May 22, 2015 (13245 reads)

MP Tony Clement met with students from throughout Muskoka yesterday for his second annual youth roundtable discussion. 
Held at Huntsville’s The Mill on Main, students from St. Dominic Catholic Secondary School, Huntsville High School, Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes Secondary School and the Alternative Learning Centre in Huntsville all sat down with Clement to voice their concerns and talk politics.
Topics ranged from job opportunities, first nations concerns, youth homelessness and the conflict with ISIS. 
Bracebridge Student Carter Pharoah said he was happy he was able to voice his opinions and ask questions and said he enjoyed the opportunity and would gladly be a part of it again.

Students were chosen for the round table discussion by the administration of their respective schools.

Read More (Rating-4.60)
Bracebridge Announces Community Torchbearers.
Friday, May 22, 2015 (944 reads)

Bracebridge has announced who will be representing Bracebridge as the community torchbearer for the Pan Am Games. 
On May 21, Bracebridge announced that Sandy Bos and Sarah Feaver have been chosen to represent Bracebridge in the 2015 Pan Am games torch relay, which will be coming through town on June 9. 
Bos was chosen for his work as a volunteer coach for hockey and soccer. Bos has also been involved in the Muskoka Kids Triathlon. He has been a role model for youth in the community. 
Feaver is a member of the Muskoka Rowing Club and has been actively involved with the Tim Hortons community skate. She has also helped with food drives; community clean ups and canvassed for the Heart and Stroke foundation. 

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Fire Levels Triplex
Friday, May 22, 2015 (2273 reads)

A fire at 19 Parry Sound Drive in Parry Sound has gutted a three unit apartment overnight. Emergency services are still on scene this morning. One person has been reported dead.  We'll have more details as they become available.

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Men Don High Heels for YWCA Programs
Friday, May 22, 2015 (59161 reads)

Men in red high heels will be stepping up on Manitoba Street in Downtown Bracebridge in support of the YWCA turning point programs for women and girls on Sunday.  Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a playful fundraising event where men will literally put themselves in the shoes of women and walk around Memorial Park and then along Manitoba Street.  This is the first time the event will be held in Muskoka and Hannah Lin, the Executive Director of the YWCA said that "by participating , men in our community are really "walking the walk" when it comes to working towards providing critical services for women and families in our community.

The walk gets underway at 1pm on Sunday, with registration starting at 11.30am.  The walk will be followed up by a BBQ in the park.

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Police Arrest Three in Connection to Vehicle Thefts.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 (18906 reads)

Police in Huntsville have arrested two youths and a man in connection to a string of thefts from vehicles.
The series of lefts began around May 12 and resulted in several vehicles being robbed of items including electronics, golf clubs, cash and tools. 
As a result of the investigation police arrested two youths and a 20-year-old male for the thefts. One of the youths has been held for a bail hearing in June while the other two will appear in court in Huntsville in July.
Most of the stolen property has been returned to the rightful owners, however, some of the recovered items were not previously reported stolen. 
Police are reminding residents to lock their vehicles and to take their valuables from the car.

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1000 Canoes to be Launched in Support of Dorset's Health Care Hub
Thursday, May 21, 2015 (424 reads)

1000 canoes will be launched this Saturday on Lake Kawagama and Lake of Bays in Dorset,  in an event to help raise money for the Dorset Community Health Care Hub.

Organizers are hoping that area residents will launch from Dorset or their own dock and are inviting visitors to participate as well.  The fundraiser will culminate with a bbq and entertainment.

For more information visit

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Live It! Getaway Cancelled This Year
Thursday, May 21, 2015 (14520 reads)

The Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce has decided to cancel the Live It Getaway Event  this summer.  The event which was the heavily criticized last year after residents discovered that the swing bridge remained closed for several days, was to be moved to River Mill Park this year.

The Chamber declined a Celebrate Ontario grant for the event, citing a lack of support from the community and instead will focus on other events including Girl Friends Getaway in the fall.

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Car Crashes into Building at the Beer Store
Thursday, May 21, 2015 (8520 reads)

A second vehicle has crashed into a building in less than week.  This time the accident occurred at the Beer Store parking lot, where a white SUV crashed into the wall of the Rental City store adjacent to the Beer Store.

Last week another SUV crashed into the side of the new Windmill Bakery location on King William St. in Huntsville.  We'll have more on this story as it becomes available.

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Parry Sound Based Author Ready to Release Next Novel.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 (859 reads)

A Parry Sound author is preparing to release her latest fantasy book, Rooted in Dreams
Nicole Jalonen is a 27-year-old fantasy writer and has been writing since she was 16. She has published a number of books including Mindsweepers, Living the Nightmare and Dreams and Danger among a handful of others. Her upcoming novel is expected to see store shelves in six to eight weeks.  

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Almaguin Highlands Student Selected to Work with Education Minister.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 (1379 reads)

An Almaguin student will get a chance to work with provincial government after being selected to serve on the Minister of Educations student advisory council. 
Nathan Jeffery was chosen to serve on the council and will do so with around 60 other students from throughout Ontario. 
Jeffery and his council peers will meet with the Minister of Education, Liz Sandals, twice during their one-year term. 
The goal of the student advisory council is to provide the Minister’s office with a student-based perspective of education in Ontario.

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Bracebridge Hosts Community Recognition & Sport Awards
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 (287 reads)

The Town of Bracebridge is hosting the 2015 Community Recognition and Sport Awards Celebration at the Rene M. Caisse Theatre on Tuesday June 2nd.  A number of local residents and organizations will be honoured for their outstanding achievement in volunteerism and sport.

The following individuals and organizations are being recognized locally at the 2015 Awards Celebration:

• Diana McDonald - Bracebridge Good Citizenship Award

Recognizes individuals who, through exceptional long-term efforts, have made outstanding contributions to their communities.

• Annette Allen - Bracebridge Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Award

Recognizes individuals and groups for outstanding volunteer contributions to their communities and to the province of Ontario.

• Marlene Tynan - Bracebridge Senior Achievement Award

Recognizes residents who have made an outstanding contribution to their community after age 65.

• Nicholas McIsaac - Bracebridge Young Volunteer Award

Recognizes youth between the ages of 15 to 24 who have donated an abundance of time to a charity, a not-for-profit organization or a person in need and who is a role model and inspiration to other youth.

• Sharon Mace & Don Hutchinson - Bracebridge Volunteer Service Award

Recognizes individual volunteers for continuous years of commitment and dedicated service to an organization.

• Rink Rats Hockey Club - Christopher Todd Lang Accessibility Award

Recognizes community members who have gone above and beyond in improving accessibility and awareness for people with disabilities and who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment in supporting awareness of accessibility and disability issues.

The Town also submits nominations for Provincial awards to the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration’s Honours and Awards Program and to the Ontario Heritage Trust based on recipients who have been recognized locally for their contributions.

The following individuals will be recognized at the Awards Celebration:

• Madison Hughes - Jim Quigley Memorial Award for the Bracebridge Athlete of the Year

Presented annually to an amateur athlete who has excelled in sport, who is a resident of Bracebridge or the immediate catchment area during the past twelve months and who participated in a sport based in Bracebridge.

• Muskoka Aquatic Club - Norm Harkness Memorial Award for the Bracebridge Team of the Year

Presented annually to the sports team that has excelled in sport, the majority of which have been residents of Bracebridge or the immediate catchment area during the past twelve months and the sport is based in Bracebridge.

• Jake Yard - Bracebridge Community Coach of the Year

Presented annually to the coach who has excelled in coaching, who is been a resident of Bracebridge or the immediate catchment area during the past twelve months and coaches a sport based in Bracebridge.

The evening includes the presentation of the 2015 Bracebridge Community Sport Awards. The Sport Awards are presented annually to the athlete, coach and team of the year.

The meeting starts at 7pm. 

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Green Party Nomination Meeting Next Week
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 (188 reads)

The Muskoka-Parry Sound Green Party Constituency Association will be hold a Candidate Nomination meeting on May 26th to select a candidate to run in the next Federal Election.

The meeting will include candidate selection, entertainment and a social and takes place at 7pm at the Sawdust City Brewing Company in Gravenhurst.

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Towns Outvote Townships on Policing Costs
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 (8922 reads)

The towns outvoted the townships on the topic of police billing at last night’s district council meeting.

Councilors voted 12 to 10 against a resolution brought about by Lake of Bays Mayor Bob Young and Muskoka Lakes Mayor Don Furniss. The motion asked that council vote to support and implement one of two alternative OPP billing models that would more accurately reflect the police service rates used by Lake of Bays, Muskoka Lakes and Georgian Bay.

Mayor Young gave an impassioned speech calling on councilors to use logic and their morality to “make the right decision. While Muskoka Lakes councilor Phil Harding said that district should bill appropriately, based on the costs associated with policing each region individually.

Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith along with Mayor of Huntsville Scott Aitchison and Gravenhurst Mayor Paisley Donaldson all spoke out in opposition to the resolution citing that OPP service is a district-wide service and that townships cannot “pick and choose” what they want to pay for.

Many in opposition asked whether or not passing the resolution would lead to further requests for alternative billing models for other services such as ambulances services.

Councilors ultimately voted along party lines with all of the town councillors voting in opposition to the resolution and all of the township councilors voting in favour.

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Georgian College Hosting Workshop on Sexual Violence Tomorrow.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 (1182 reads)

Georgian College’s Orillia campus will be hosting the first in a series of inter-professional workshops focusing on sexual abuse tomorrow.
The workshops series is known as the United Front Against Sexual Violence and will centre around the roles that community safety sectors and post-secondary human services groups play in supporting those who have become involved in the legal system due to sexual abuse. 
Haily MacDonald is the community development coordinator with Huronia Transition Homes, a Simcoe County based non-profit that works to create safe and secure refuge for abused women and their children.
“We all have a responsibility to eliminate sexual violence from out schools, community and society at large,” MacDonald said. “This event will educate students about the complexities of violence.” 
Students from the human services and community safety programs at Georgian College will take part in a day-long event that along with police and social and community service organizations.
Activities will include interactive workshops, panel discussions and a networking session.
Those interested in taking part can register online at

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Mayor Young to Tackle OPP Funding Fairness
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 (3378 reads)

Mayor Bob Young of Lake of Bays is on a mission to right what he feels is a wrong in terms of the funding of the Ontario Provincial Police services throughout Muskoka.  He hopes to use both logical and moral arguments to convince Muskoka District Council to change the funding formula to account for the smaller size and service demand levels of some areas of Muskoka including the one that concerns him the most - Lake of Bays.  Staff Sergeant J.P. Graham of the Huntsville Detachment of the O.P.P. presented his annual report today at the Lake of Bays Town Council.  The report outlined the extent of incidents and service to the Lake of Bays area during the 2014 year. At the conclusion of his report, Mayor Young attempted to summarize the situation by stating that “The Lake of Bays area have very few calls for service compared to Huntsville” with Sergeant Graham agreeing.

The District of Muskoka has their monthly meeting tonight and Young is determined to convince them that they need to come up with a more just method of allocating funds for policing costs. Young stated that there are two arguments in his favour. The first one involves logic; some areas of Muskoka, such as Lake of Bays and Muskoka Lakes, fund the OPP budget far out of proportion to both their population and number of service calls. He stated that the people served are customers and that,

“You can only beat up on the people - mainly seasonal residents – for so long before they decide that they don’t need you”  

Young also hopes to use a moral argument in which he would make the case that it is immoral to charge some residents disproportionately more for the same or less services.

Young went on to say that he has found examples around the province of OPP funding models that are more fair than the one currently being used by the District of Muskoka.

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Clement Says Canada's Emissions Reduction Plan is "Fair and Ambitious"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 (358 reads)

Local MP Tony Clement says Canada’s plans to reduce greenhouse gases to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 shows that the Harper government is committed to the environment.  
On May 15 Clement said of the announcement, 
“This is a fair and ambitious target that is in line with other major industrialized countries and reflects our national circumstances, including Canada’s position as a world leader in clean electricity generation.”
Critics of the plan announced by Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq have called it the weakest of all G7 countries. 
Environmental Defence, an environmental action organizer, said the announcement paled in comparison to Canada’s European Union counterparts who have lower per-capita emissions and have committed to a 40 per cent reduction by 2030.

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Bala Falls Fundraiser Collects Over $35,000.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 (2282 reads)

Don’s Bakery donut fundraiser proved fruitful last weekend raising over $35,000 towards the Save The Bala Falls project. 
Held on Saturday, May 16 in Bala the fundraiser drew hundreds in support including local MP Tony Clement. 
Don’s Bakery sold a whopping 200 dozen donuts with all of the proceeds being funneled into the Save the Bala Falls group who will be using the money collected from donations and donut sales to help fund a legal challenge against the proposed hydro-electric project at the Bala Falls. 

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People First Canada Brings Language Project to Huntsville.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 (651 reads)

People First Canada and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society were in Huntsville earlier this week to spread awareness about language use towards people with disabilities.
The Language Project was held at Community Living on Thursday, May 14 by People First Canada, a member organized non-profit that advocates for the rights of those living with intellectual disabilities.
The presentation was the first to an adult audience and dealt with ending the stigma faced by those with disability and ending the use of derogatory and discriminatory language.
The project has typically been delivered to middle-school students across Canada and Huntsville’s presentation was the first foray into adult focused seminars.   

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MAHC Seeks Feedback on 24/7 Visiting Hours
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 (3159 reads)

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare is gathering feedback on a proposal to welcome visits from family members and other partners in care 24 hours a day at their hospital sites. This proposal would ultimately replace MAHC’s Visiting Hours Policy and would be known as our Family Presence Policy.

The concept of eliminating visiting hours through a Family Presence Policy is growing in popularity across North America.

“Research shows that the participation of family, friends, and other support members in the patient’s hospital experience improves our patients’ safety and comfort, medical and psychological well being, and enhances the healing process,” says Karen Fleming, Chief Quality & Nursing Executive at MAHC.

To provide your feedback, follow the link . Feedback will be accepted until Monday, June 15th.

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Miller Challenges Province on Relocation of OPP Helicopter
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 (2244 reads)

Last Thursday, Parry Sound – Muskoka MPP and PC Critic for Northern Development and Mines and Aboriginal Affairs questioned the government on the recent decision to relocate the single OPP helicopter based in Sudbury to Orillia.


Miller said “The emergency response and search and rescue services provided to our Northern communities and First Nations by the OPP helicopter unit is critical.  By moving this helicopter permanently to Orillia, flexibility will be lost in responding to calls,” added Miller.


A case from this past weekend rang alarm bells as weather conditions prevented the Orillia-based helicopter from responding when the emergency call came in.


“I urge the Minister to do what is in his power to review and hopefully reverse the decision so that an OPP helicopter remains based in Sudbury,” concluded Miller.

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Toronto Star Compares Muskoka to the Hamptons
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 (5116 reads)

Comparing Muskoka to the Hamptons, the Toronto Star reported that sales in region for high end waterfront homes or cottages are up 66% in 2014 according to a Christie's International Real Estate Global Market white paper.

The results come from sales on the big three lakes in the region - Muskoka, Rosseau and Joe plus a variety of smaller lakes.

Some realtors are predicting a record year for luxury sales, with 27 high end sales already this year compared with 17 last year.

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Muskoka Students Preparing to "Tech It Out" in Peterborough.
Monday, May 18, 2015 (1031 reads)

Some of Muskoka’s finest students will be heading to Fleming College in Peterborough, Ont. this month to “tech it out.”
Trillium Lakeslands District School Board alongside Fleming College will be sending 7 Grade students from throughout Muskoka to a residential camp catering to skilled trades.
The camp, which runs from May 25 to 29, is being called Tech It Out and will give students the chance to experience courses and activities at Fleming College’s Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre. During the camp the students will get the opportunity to experience carpentry, plumbing, welding, electrical work, solar energy, culinary arts and arboriculture.
The students will stay in Flemings residence building for the duration of the camp.

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HBR Sponsors 2015 Kearney Regatta.
Monday, May 18, 2015 (439 reads)

Hunters Bay Radio will be the media sponsor for this year’s Kearney Regatta.

Kearney council voted on Wednesday, May 13 to support a resolution naming HBR the official media sponsor for the upcoming festival which is slated to be held on Aug. 1 and 2.

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Buy a Donut, Help Stop the Bala Falls Hydro Project.
Friday, May 15, 2015 (1444 reads)

Save the Bala Falls has teamed up with a Bala bakery to raise cash this weekend in support of a legal challenge opposing the proposed hydro-electric project in Bala.
The fundraiser, put on by Don’s Bakery, will be held on Saturday May 16 in Bala. The bakery will be selling a donuts and t-shirts with all proceeds going towards the Save the Bala Falls initiative.
In addition to baked goods, the Save the Bala Falls group will be offering commemorative STOP cookies, posters, lawn signs and car stickers that support stopping the project. 

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Seasonal Residents Advised to Check Fire Safety Equipment at the Cottage
Friday, May 15, 2015 (2508 reads)

To minimize the risk of fire and burn injuries, the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department is urging residents to include fire safety in their holiday weekend plans.

Fire Chief Steve Hernen says that “Fire safety is not just for homes, it’s for cottages, cabins and seasonal homes too.  This weekend, consider purchasing new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and batteries in case they need replacing at the cottage and check heating appliances and chimneys before using them” he said.

This holiday weekend is often the first time residents will open up their cottages for the season. The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department recommends:

• Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your cottage, cabin or seasonal home: it’s the law in Ontario.

• Test smoke alarms to ensure they work.

• Clean heating appliances and barbecues before using them.

• Install a carbon monoxide alarm near sleeping rooms if you have a fuel-burning appliance or attached garage. Now required by law!

• Keep barbecue lighters and matches out of sight and reach of children.

• Check the daily Fire Danger Rating for any restrictions on burning before starting campfires or burning brush. Remember there is NO DAYTIME BURNING allowed.

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Breakfast TV Broadcasts From Bracebridge This Morning
Friday, May 15, 2015 (1243 reads)

Breakfast TV is broadcasting from Bracebridge this morning with Jennifer Valentyne of CityTV’s morning show goes live from Santa’s Village and other locations in Bracebridge.

The show airs from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. to launch the beginning of the Victoria Day long weekend.

The show will feature tourism operators from Bracebridge who will promote some of the attractions available in the region.

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YWCA Accepting Applications For $500 Awards for Young Women
Friday, May 15, 2015 (273 reads)

YWCA Muskoka is currently accepting applications for four $500 awards from young women graduating this year from secondary schools in Muskoka, who have participated in a YWCA Girlz Unplugged, Girlz Choice or Girlspace program. The YWCA Muskoka High School Award recognizes four young women from Muskoka high schools for their resilience, determination and vision.

The deadline for applications is Monday, May 25th, and the awards are presented to recipients during graduation ceremonies in June.

For more information about how to apply for the YWCA Muskoka Award, call 705-645- 9827, email or visit

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Clement to Make a Funding Announcement Today
Friday, May 15, 2015 (686 reads)

MP Tony Clement, on behalf of Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for FedNor, will be in Seguin today, to meet with local stakeholders and make an announcement in support of manufacturing in the region.

We'll  have full details on the announcement later in the day.

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Local Talent Hit the Big Stage for HBR's First Anniversary on FM
Thursday, May 14, 2015 (1209 reads)

Tonight, Hunters Bay Radio celebrates its first anniversary on the air, with a huge concert involving the best of HBR's local talent on the Algonquin stage.

24 different acts will be performing in support of Muskoka's only locally owned, volunteer-run radio station.

Some tickets are still available, and can be purchased online at or at the box office.

Proceeds of the event will go towards equipment purchases.

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Flag Raising at Huntsville Town Hall For Community Living Month Today
Thursday, May 14, 2015 (1269 reads)

Community Living Huntsville is inviting everyone to come out today at 11:00 a.m. in front of the Algonquin Theatre for a Flag Raising Ceremony, Cake Cutting  and Live Musical Performance by Sean Cotton.

May is Community Living Month in Huntsville.

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Muskoka Lakes Fire Chief Warns of Charges For Daytime Burning
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 (4206 reads)

Over the last 6 weeks the Township of Muskoka Lakes Fire Department has responded to several calls of open air burning and out of control grass/brush fires. A few weeks ago firefighters were called to a property in Torrance on Ridge Road where a small attended brush fire resulted in roughly an acre of bush being burnt, because of high winds carrying burning embers downwind.

Fire Chief Richard Hayes wants to remind Muskoka residents that “there is no day time burning between April 1st and October 31 without a permit. If you are found to be burning during the day time without a permit you can be fined costing you up to $300 plus victim surcharges and court fees”. If the fire Department has to respond and extinguish an out of control grass/brush fire you may be charged a fee for services which, he says can become very costly.

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Miller Questions Premiere on Winter Road Maintenance
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 (1616 reads)

Yesterday Parry Sound – Muskoka MPP Norm Miller directly questioned the Premier on her role in the changes to the structuring and awarding of contracts for the maintenance of Ontario’s winter roads.

“The special report recently released by the Ontario Auditor General illustrated how the changes to the awarding of MTO contracts in 2009 has led to the sub-par conditions that Ontario drivers have experienced the past number of winters,” stated Miller.

“I feel that it is reasonable to ask the Premier why it took her government so long to acknowledge that there was an apparent problem with the new system especially when considering the fact that she served as Minister of Transportation from January 2010 to October 2011,” added Miller.

The Premier declined to answer the direct questions and instead instructed the Minister of Transportation to respond on behalf of the government.

“The Auditor General’s special report on Winter Highway Maintenance shows exactly what needs to be done to improve safety on our roadways and I will continue to hold the government to account on this important file,” concluded Miller.

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Uni-cycle Fundraiser Tour Stops in Gravenhurst
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (394 reads)

23 year old Paul Abraham is travelling from Sudbury to Toronto, one peddle at a time, on one wheel! He hopes to raise $10,000 for Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Over the weekend Paul made an unscheduled pit stop into Gravenhurst following tire troubles with his unicycle.

After a quick repair job, he is back on the road and on schedule to arrive in Toronto today. Paul says his inspiration comes from the children who are battling much greater challenges in life. He also feels compelled to inspire others to make an impact, big or small. 

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Huntsville Council to Decide on Lights at Conroy Park
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (3427 reads)

The Huntsville Soccer Club along with the town held an information session last night at the Active Living Centre to advise area residents of their plan to install lighting at Conroy Park that would enable the club to play later into the night several days per week during the season.

The club said that they would purchase and install the lights and cover the associated costs.  The lighting system would be donated to the town once complete.

The meeting which was sparsely attended, had a few questions from area residents most about how the the lighting would affect nearby homes.  The club explained that the project would be night sky friendly and lighting wouldn't be beaming into their windows at night, however nearby residents with a view of the field would be able to see the games being played on the field.

The project will now go back to council for a decision on whether to proceed.

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Fire Destroys Cottage
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (13931 reads)

Just before 7:00 pm last night the Muskoka Lakes Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 1048 Phyllimar Lane in Muskoka Lakes. On arrival the 2000 square foot cottage was engulfed in flames which were extending through the roof. Fire crews from Milford Bay and Port Carling with 20 firefighters responding. Fire Chief Richard Hayes reports that no one was present at the cottage and one firefighter sustained a minor ankle injury. The estimated loss is$450,000. The fire is still under investigation.

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Hydro Project at The Brunel Locks Gets Warm Reception
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (3975 reads)

Greenbug Energy received a warm welcome from area residents who attended a public meeting at the Active Living Centre in Huntsville last night.  The company came to town to explain their plan to install a small Archimedes screw hydro electric project at the Brunel Locks.

Officials from the company told residents that this is the first step in a long process and were here to gauge support for the green energy project and move forward through the different phases of approvals to construction only if the town and residents were supportive.

Residents asked questions, and only a few voiced concerns about the project after seeing the presentation.  A group of nearby neighbours headed by Fire Chief Steve Hernen who lives directly across from the locks said that he and area residents  looked forward to the project going forward and hoped that they would be able to stay engaged in the project as it moved forward.

A report will be made by staff to council on the project at an upcoming council meeting.

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Local Businessman Donates $1 Million to Huntsville Hospital
Monday, May 11, 2015 (152950 reads)

Jason and Audrey DeZwirek, long time Lake of Bays cottagers and huge fans of Huntsville Hospital, today announced a $1,000,000 donation to the Emergency department. DeZwirek said he 'grew up' in the area, and while spending summers at the family cottage, he met his wife of 25 years Audrey while at camp in the area.  Dezwirek owns a small business with 30 employees right here in Huntsville.

DeZwirek said this gift is for the thousands of people who will visit the emergency department, for the staff who will care for them and the community that means so much to us.”

The donation is earmarked for technology and other assets that will help the hospital continue to provide outstanding emergency care in the Huntsville region and Muskoka. The donation includes re-designating the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital Emergency as The DeZwirek Family Emergency Department.

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MAHC Meeting to Consider Delivery Model Recommendation on May 27
Monday, May 11, 2015 (1616 reads)

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare will be holding a special board meeting on Wednesday, May 27 to consider what the future of healthcare will look like in Muskoka. 
The board meeting is to be held at the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital site at 5:30 p.m. where board members will discuss a report hand down from the Master Program/Master Plan ad hoc steering committee. The report will be a recommendation as to which new model of healthcare delivery should be considered. 
Board members will also discuss and review feedback collected from residents in the area. 
MAHC board chair Charles Forret spoke to the special meeting saying, 
“The recommendation that the Board will receive from the Master Program/Master Plan Ad-hoc Steering Committee is far too important to be considered alongside regular Board business. This work has been two years in the making and merits its own special meeting.”
Forret added that the decision is the most significant decision faced by MAHC since amalgamation. 

Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting as observers but must register in advance and can do so at

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Smoke-Free Ontario Act Changes Mean Smokers Will Have to Butt Out on Patios.
Monday, May 11, 2015 (2834 reads)

Smokers will have to take it to the curb this summer thanks to changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act that bans all smoking on patios where food or drinks are served. 

Amendments were made to the act, which came into effect in 2006, that will protect people from involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke. The amendments were made in January of 2015.

 Martin Kuhn, the tobacco enforcement supervisor for the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit said that the health unit has been working to make sure all owners and smokers are aware of the new law. 

“We have been working hard to get the required signage and information out to all establishments in our area. The onus is now on the owners to ensure that they remove all ash trays, post signs, educate their staff and stop patrons from lighting up in no smoking areas.”

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Public Meetings to be Held on Hydro Project & Sports Lighting Tonight
Monday, May 11, 2015 (1105 reads)

The town of Huntsville will be holding two public meetings tonight at the Active Living Centre to discuss to the Brunel Locks and Conroy Park.

The first meeting, held at 6:30 p.m., will discuss a proposal by GreenBug Energy Inc. to build and install an Archimedes screw hydro-electric system at the Brunel locks. GreenBug had previously sought to build the hydro system at the Mary Lake Dam in Port Sydney but chose not to pursue the projects further due to considerable backlash. GreenBug also proposed to build the facility in Baysville but faced opposition and a lack of support from council there as well.

The second meeting will take place immediately after at 7:30 p.m. and will discuss a proposal by the Huntsville Soccer Club to install sports field lighting at the turf field at Conroy Park.

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Cowie to Run for Liberals
Monday, May 11, 2015 (2909 reads)

The Muskoka Parry Sound Liberals elected Trisha Cowie as their candidate in the upcoming Federal election.  Cowie was chosen from a field of three hopeful's on Saturday.  More than 300 Liberals cast ballots.

Cowie sits on the board of the YWCA and works as a lawyer in Muskoka Lakes.

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HBR Welcomes Phil Ward to Community Radio
Monday, May 11, 2015 (1768 reads)

Hunters Bay Radio is proud to announce that long time radio sales executive Phil Ward has joined the team.  Ward brings years of experience in retail and over a decade with Moose FM owned by Haliburton Broadcasting and more recently Vista Radio.

Ward joins a team of over 55 volunteers and staff at the regions fastest growing and only locally owned radio station.

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Business As Usual at TLDSB Elementary Schools
Monday, May 11, 2015 (1058 reads)

The Trillium Lakelands District School Board says that strike action by elementary teachers will not impact extra-curricular activities, day and overnight field trips, and graduations. It will also not impact school board initiatives such as the Trillium Lakelands Arts Camp and Yearley Outdoor Education Centre excursions.

At this point the job action is targeting Ministry of Education initiatives such as EQAO testing and ministry-related teacher professional development activities.

All TLDSB elementary schools will be open as usual today.

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Fednor Funds Economic Development Officer in Almaguin
Monday, May 11, 2015 (844 reads)

Parry Sound–Muskoka MP Tony Clement announced FedNor funding of $298,100 to strengthen the economic outlook for the Township of Ryerson and surrounding communities, and to help the region capitalize on business and economic development opportunities.

 The investment, provided through FedNor’s Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario (CIINO), will enable the Township of Ryerson, in partnership with the Village of Burk’s Falls and Armour Township, to hire an economic development officer (EDO) for a three-year period to implement key economic development and growth initiatives for the region.

 Some of the regional projects to be undertaken by the EDO include undertaking a marketing plan to increase tourism activity in the region, creating and implementing a business retention and expansion plan, and developing an industrial park opportunity.

Clement said “The Harper Government is proud to support this initiative that will help strengthen the economic competitiveness of the Almaguin Highlands region and create jobs. The announcement will enable Ryerson, Burk’s Falls and Armour Township to diversify and stimulate business investment and growth, as well as attract potential investors,” he said.

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Time is Right to Try a Tri
Monday, May 11, 2015 (344 reads)

There is only 6 weeks until the inaugural TriMuskokan Try-a-Tri and Sprint Tri to be held on June 21st.  Rich Trenholm says that if you have always wanted to give this sport a go but never thought you could, what we call that being "Tri-Curious", then we have a fully fledged training plan for you.

Trenholm says most people can run, and most people can bike.  He is urging bikers and runners to go to the pool and try a swim workout that is outlined on their website.

Trenholm says the sport is for people who are okay to good at a bunch of sports and not awesome at any one of them

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