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Clement in Kearney for Gas Tax Project Announcement
Friday, July 03, 2015 (3813 reads)


Residents across Parry Sound-Muskoka continue to benefit from infrastructure projects thanks to the Conservative Government`s Gas Tax Fund, said Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement.

MP Clement was in Kearney today to survey $1.2 million in upgrades to Hwy 518, just one of the projects funded by the Governments Gas Tax Fund, and to highlight the some of the projects which have been completed with close to $20 million in funding spent in the region since 2006. 

Clement said that “Our Government understands that by building stronger communities and modernizing and developing our infrastructure, we are creating jobs and opportunities and building a better Canada for future generations."



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Swift River Issued Trespass Notices
Friday, July 03, 2015 (5456 reads)


Swift River Energy have reportedly issued Trespass notices to the Save the Bala Falls group from  using Margaret Burgess Park near the proposed  construction site for the hydro project.  It has also denied use of the park to the Moon River Property Owners Association for their Canada Day Party on July 4th.

The trespass notice said that "your group is not, under any circumstances, permitted access to, nor permitted to use for any public gathering or event, [on] any of the following list of provincially owned property in Bala"

The Bala Falls group is challenging Swift River's right ban use of the land and it says it was agreed that Margaret Burgess Park would not be impacted by construction.



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Bathtub Derby Returns to Huntsville on Saturday
Friday, July 03, 2015 (1924 reads)


Rotary will be bringing back the Bathtub Derby this Saturday as part of their DockFest event running this Saturday.  Main St will be closed for a short period on Saturday morning to make way for a Parade of Tubs and then the races on the Muskoka River will start at noon.

The day also includes a variety of other events including a pancake breakfast, children’s games and live music at the Town Dock in Huntsville.



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Ironman 70.3 Race This Sunday in Huntsville/LOB
Friday, July 03, 2015 (1133 reads)


Triathletes will be descending on Huntsville today for the start of a 3 day event that will culminate with the 70.3 race on Sunday.  The race which has been hosted in Huntsville since 2008 is one of two races this year in Huntsville.  This weekend's race is the 70.3 or half marathon, and at the end of August, many of the athletes will return for the full Ironman Race, one of only three in Canada.

The race is hosted out of Deerhurst and includes a swim course in Penn Lake starting at 7am.  The road course will follow the "Spin the Lakes" course around Lake of Bays and the running course will wind its way from Deerhurst to Huntsville with participants running on Hwy 60, King William St, Main St,  Princess St, and Brunel Rd to name a few.

Motorists are advised to use extra caution on Sunday.



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Clement Announces High Speed Expansion
Thursday, July 02, 2015 (7112 reads)


Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement today announced a major investment that will bring high-speed, wireless Internet services to 37,900 more rural homes across Northeastern Ontario, including 3,740 households in Parry Sound-Muskoka.

Federal funding has been awarded to Xplornet Communications Inc., which along with the Federal Government contribution of $8.4 million, is providing its own capital for two projects covering rural areas of North Eastern Ontario. The funding comes via the Government`s Connecting Canadians program. Completion date for the two projects is June 2017.

The implementation cost for the 3,740 households to be serviced in Parry Sound-Muskoka will be approximately $217 per household for taxpayers.

Clement said “Today’s broadband infrastructure announcement is great news for Parry Sound-Muskoka. Our Government understands the importance of high-speed Internet access for communities like Muskoka Lakes Township, which is having 582 additional homes serviced under this announcement, as part of the overall 3,740 total. Connecting Canadians demonstrates the Government’s commitment to delivering for rural Canadians.”



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Huntsville Martial Artist, Jeff Allen, Raising Money for Trip to World Judo Championship.
Thursday, July 02, 2015 (635 reads)


Canada’s national heavyweight champion of Judo is Huntsville-based Jeff Allen. The multi-title winning athlete has been training as a martial artist for the last three years and has racked up nearly 20 medals and titles in that time. Now, Allen has another title in mind, that of world champion. 
Allen was invited to represent Canada in the judo world championships in Amsterdam after winning the national competition earlier this year. The tournament is held between Sept. 19 and 24 and Allen is hoping to win it. 
In order to even get to the tournament, however, Allen must raise a significant amount of money to cover travel costs, fees and expenses. To afford the trip, he is currently seeking sponsorships from throughout the region. 
If you’d like to support Allen in his quest to be the best you can reach him at topendrepairs@hotmail.com 



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Fishing Free For All July 4 - 12.
Thursday, July 02, 2015 (3191 reads)


If you’re an aspiring angler but don’t yet have your fishing license there’s good news – you won’t need to shell out the cash for a license this week in honour of Ontario’s family fishing week. 
Family fishing week begins Saturday, July 4 and encourages families to try out the sport. To do so, Ontario allows all Ontario residents to fish, legally, without a license from July 4 to 12. 



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Huntsville Festival Kicks Off Season Tonight
Thursday, July 02, 2015 (381 reads)


Tonight marks the start of the Huntsville Festival of the Arts summer season.  Lisa Way and the Wayward Band take the Algonquin Stage with Oh, Canada, We Sing for Thee - a show that promises music of Gordon Lightfoot to Celine Dion, Anne Murray to Leonard Cohen and other Canadian Stars.

It’s the start of a great season which will bring Corb Lund, The Good Lovelies, Jim Cuddy, David Clayton Thomas, Buffy Sainte-Marie and much more.



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Thousands Celebrate Canada Day
Thursday, July 02, 2015 (656 reads)


Despite foreboding skies, thousands of residents attended Canada Day celebrations yesterday all over the region.  In Huntsville, the morning celebrations were moved inside for the singing of O' Canada, speeches from area dignitaries, and the Canada Day cake.  Then it was outside for a full day of fun and music with HBR's Canada Day stage and topped off with a giant Canadian flag being flown from the Huntsville Fire Dept aerial truck.

Port Sydney celebrated the day with festivities at the beach, activities for the kids and demo Ontario Watercross races.

Bracebridge also celebrated with local music, cardboard boat races, duck derby and a barbeque.

At the end of the day, fireworks rained down in both Bracebridge and Huntsville to the delight of on lookers.



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Another Inmate Death at Beaver Creek.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 (12736 reads)


Another inmate at Beaver Creek Correctional facility’s medium security unit has died.
On the evening of Monday, June 29, Mark Jeffery was found unresponsive in his cell by correctional staff. Despite performing CPR and calling emergency services, Jeffery was unable to be resuscitated. The cause of his death has yet to be determined and is being investigated, as per policy, by Correctional Service Canada. 
Jeffery, 34, was serving an indeterminate sentence for the 2002 murder of 13-year-old Jennifer Naglingniq who was found stabbed to death in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Jeffery pled guilty to second degree murder in 2007. 

This is the second death of an inmate at Beaver Creek this month, after Richard Gagnon was found unresponsive in his cell earlier this June. 



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Gravenhurst Introduces Downtown Dollars
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 (529 reads)


Gravenhurst merchants have a currency to call their own. Downtown Dollars is a simple ten dollar gift certificate that promotes shopping in the downtown business community.

"Independent businesses are facing more competition than ever before," said Dan Kerr, Downtown Revitalization Committee Coordinator. "Distant mega malls, national chains, big box stores, loyalty programs and Online shopping options were not huge market factors even just ten years ago. As a collective of businesses in Downtown Gravenhurst, we are competing with all of these other buying options, and we identified the need to start thinking like them." he said.

Downtown Dollars hope to encourage shopping at home and introduce new customers to Downtown Gravenhurst.

Downtown Dollars are available at the Gravenhurst Opera House and Town Office.



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New Equipment in South Muskoka Memorial Hospital Brings Better Service
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 (1183 reads)


Digital mammography at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital Site is bringing high-quality breast screening closer to the home and cottage for patients across south Muskoka. Officials at the MAHC say the new, digital equipment will advance breast imaging for breast cancer screening and diagnosis in both men and women.

“Having such sophisticated equipment improves our ability to screen for cancer and produces better images that offer improved accuracy and detection,” says Natalie Bubela, Chief Executive Officer at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare. “Not only is the imaging quality better, digital mammography is safer for patients as it reduces the amount of radiation exposure to the patient in comparison to film."

The new equipment would not have been possible without the funding support of the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation and the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, which split the $500,000 cost of fundraising for the equipment.



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Bracebridge Announces Locations to Sign Healthcare Petition
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 (797 reads)


The Town of Bracebridge has provided a list of locations that their petition against the MAHC one hospital decision can be signed.  Recently the town passed a motion requesting that the Province of Ontario ensure that a full range of core hospital services, including acute care inpatient, emergency, diagnostic and surgical services, are maintained on a multi-site basis at both the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge and the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital.

The Petition is available at the following locations:

 • Bracebridge Municipal Office • Bracebridge Public Library • Bracebridge Sportsplex • Bracebridge Memorial Arena • Bracebridge BIA Office • Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce Office • Bracebridge Senior’s Centre • Various Bracebridge Dental Offices • Various Bracebridge Doctor’s Offices • Various Bracebridge Pharmacies • Gagnon’s Independent Grocer Customer Service Desk



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Ontario to Invest $6 Million Towards Students with Disabilities.
Friday, June 26, 2015 (794 reads)


The province of Ontario is putting $6 million into helping students with disabilities succeed in college or university.

Since 2002-2003 the number of students with disabilities enrolling in college or university has doubled making up a total of 8.8 per cent of post-secondary students.

As part of the provinces plan to help support these students, Ontario has invested $4.5 million in the Accessibility Fund for Students with Disabilities as well as the Summer Transitions Program. These two initiatives provide a range of services on campus for students with disabilities and offers workshops and courses for students transitioning from high school into post-secondary.

Ontario will also be investing $1.5 million towards additional programs that include note-taking services for visually impaired students, interpreter services for deaf, deafened or hard of hearing students and learning assessments to name a few.



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Special Weather Statement In Effect for Parry Sound - Muskoka.
Friday, June 26, 2015 (12031 reads)


A special weather statement is in effect for Parry Sound – Muskoka this weekend. 
Environment Canada says that the area can expect very “un-summerlike” weather for the weekend with “cool wind-driven rain” affecting most areas of southern Ontario. 
According to Environment Canada, a low pressure system from the American Midwest will bring rain to southern Ontario on Saturday and in some cases may bring heavy rains lasting through to Sunday. Environment Canada noted that areas farther to the north and to the northeast of Georgian Bay should receive less rain than their southerly counterparts and can expect rains to begin Saturday evening. 




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Norway's Consul General in Muskoka Next Week.
Friday, June 26, 2015 (662 reads)


Norway’s Consul General will be in Muskoka next week to celebrate the bonds between Bracebridge and Norway. 
Consul General Eivind Hoff along with Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith and Muskoka district chair John Klink will be at the Muskoka Airport’s little Norway memorial on June 30 to celebrate the upcoming trip to Gol, Norway by Bracebridges youth ambassadors on Aug. 5. 
Muskoka and Norway have a long history dating back to World War II when the Royal Norwegian Air Force used the Muskoka Airport as a training centre. 




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Petitions to Overturn MAHC Decision Available in Bracebridge & Huntsville
Friday, June 26, 2015 (1879 reads)


Petitions calling the Local Heath Integration Network (LHIN) and the ministry of Health and Long Term Care to overturn  the Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare decision to move to a single site hospital are being made available at all town facilities in Bracebridge and Huntsville.

Members of the public are being asked to sign a petition supporting the resolutions. The petition requests that the Province of Ontario ensure that a full range of core hospital services, including acute care inpatient, emergency, diagnostic and surgical services, are maintained on a multi-site basis at both the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge and the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital.

 “Bracebridge will continue to work with Huntsville and our area municipal colleagues to reach out to MAHC, the LHIN and the Ministry of Health to advocate for a long-term solution that meets the unique needs of Muskoka. “said Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith.  "The Town will be fully engaged in any long-term planning processes undertaken by Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare and Council will work to ensure that local concerns and priorities are addressed,” he said.



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Firefighters Spread the Word on Fire Safety this Canada Day
Friday, June 26, 2015 (371 reads)


This coming Canada Day provides an opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate the 148th birthday of our country and the Gravenhurst Fire Department is encouraging all residents to do so safely. To help promote safety this Canada Day, the fire department is teaming up with First Alert and a local business to spread the word about the importance of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms anywhere people lay down their heads to sleep.

"Many people don’t realize that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are required in recreational settings such as cottages, trailers and even some boats," says Rob King, fire prevention officer. "That’s why we’ll be at Earth, Stone and Fire on Highway 11 on Canada Day from 10am through 2pm spreading the word about fire safety," he added. Firefighters, fire trucks, displays and of course food will be available.

King points out that so far this year, 60 people in Ontario have perished in fires that are largely preventable. One recent fire in Parry Sound claimed the life of a man in an apartment that lacked a smoke alarm according to news reports. "We know that smoke and CO alarms save lives; we have several examples right here in Muskoka that attest to this," said King, referring to two incidents recently in Huntsville where the presence of carbon monoxide alarms saved the lives of several people.

King said that "Cottages, trailers and boats with sleeping accommodations that also have fuel fired appliances such as propane stoves or refrigerators are required by Ontario law to have these detectors installed, but you don’t need a law to tell you that these devices are necessary, just plain old common sense."



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YWCA to Hold 1st Annual YWalk4Women & Girls
Friday, June 26, 2015 (428 reads)


YWCA of Muskoka are saying that unemployment, a lack of affordable housing and transportation, domestic abuse and poverty are prevalent in Muskoka and the organization is providing support to over 1,600 people in 44 different locations in the region, whose lives are affected by these conditions.

Beginning Monday August 10th,  Beth Ward will begin the 1st Annual YWalk4Women&Girls heading out from Port Severn through Georgian Bay Township, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Muskoka Lakes, Huntsville and  finishing in Lake of Bays, a distance of approximately 170 kilometres.

Ward says everyone can be a part of the YWalk4Women by sponsoring the walk at the YWCA Muskoka website (www.ywcamuskoka.com) and making a donation.  The fundraising goal of “YWalk4Women&Girls “is $10,000.



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Special Weather Statement In Effect
Thursday, June 25, 2015 (23722 reads)


Most of Southern & Central Ontario is to receive significant rain this weekend.

The Weatherman says a low pressure system arriving Saturday will spread rain across Southern Ontario from west to east through the day. In a lot of areas the rain will continue through Sunday afternoon and may be heavy at times. There is also a risk of isolated thunderstorms on the weekend.

Additionally, significant easterly winds are expected to develop Saturday with gusts generally in the 50 to 70 km/h range with strongest winds along the Lower Great Lakes.



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Clement Donates $10,000 to Dara Howell Foundation
Thursday, June 25, 2015 (2410 reads)


MP Tony Clement presented a cheque to Dara Howell's Foundations for $10,000 this afternoon.  Clement who holds an annual golf tournament for charity every year, presented Howell with the cheque this afternoon.

Clement said the Dara Howell Foundation "is a great fund for golf charity to contribute to!" 

The fund established last year by Howell, helps young women from Muskoka pursue their dream of competing in sport and promote physical activity.



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Hospital Petition Available in Huntsville This Friday
Thursday, June 25, 2015 (3165 reads)


Starting Friday the Town of Huntsville will have petitions avalaible to sign showing residents opposition to the decision the Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare made in favour of replacing Muskoka's two existing hospitals with a new single site facility at a yet to be announced location in the District.

At the June 22nd council meeting The Town of Huntsville passed a resolution to circulate a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario regarding the importance of multi-site acute care services in both Huntsville and Bracebridge. The motion called for a full range of core hospital services at both the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital and the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge saying two hospitals are vital for the long-term sustainability and economic vitality of the two communities and the entire MAHC catchment area including Algonquin Provincial Park.

The motion said the decision was contrary to the wishes of the people of the entire MAHC catchment area.

The town says the petition will be available for residents to sign from June 26th until September 8th, 2015 at Town Hall, the Canada Summit Centre and the Huntsville Public Library.

Copies of the petition will be forwarded to other municipalities to distribute.



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Student Given Research Award To Study Effects of Road Salt in Muskoka
Thursday, June 25, 2015 (2452 reads)


Research on the effects of road salt in Muskoka will continue this summer through a $5,000 student research award which is funded by Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Limited and administered by Friends of the Muskoka Watershed.

This is the third year in which the award has been given to a university student working towards their Honours Degree in the environmental science field to assist with ongoing research in any aspect of aquatic ecosystem management in the Muskoka River Watershed says Dr. Neil Hutchinson, President of Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Limited.

On May 15th, the Award was presented to Michael Schmidt, of Trent University, who will be working on his Honours thesis project.

Schmidt’s interest in studying the interaction of sodium in soil chemistry and its mobility in groundwater in the region aligns with the strong community interest in – and need for – local research and analysis. At the end of summer, he will attend a meeting of Muskoka researchers and make a brief presentation on his research and summer experience.



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Lack of Recycling at Community Events Concerns Huntsville Councilor
Thursday, June 25, 2015 (5209 reads)


Huntsville Councilor Nancy Alcock brought up her concerns yesterday regarding recycling at public events being held in Huntsville.  As a participant of Band on the Run, Alcock says she was dismayed that there were no recycling stations at the event and had received complaints from both residents and participants.

Alcock wanted to know why there was no requirement for processing recyclables at events held in town.  Staff responded that there was no formal policy in place, although they were working on one that would be due in the fall.

Alcock expressed her concern that events happening this summer should have recycling stations in place despite the lack of a formal policy.  

It was also explained that the Chamber of Commerce had a substantial inventory of recycling stations that were made for the Muskoka Sound Festival available for use at no charge, but were never used.



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Huntsville Renews Lease on Club 55 for $2/Year
Thursday, June 25, 2015 (1145 reads)


Yesterday Huntsville Councilors agreed to renew a lease for Club 55 for a period of 5 years at the cost of $2 per year plus utilities and a portion of maintenance costs.  The total cost to carry the space by the club is estimated to be about $2200 a year.

The decision came after a council meeting two days earlier that saw town council ask the Chamber of Commerce and art groups to come back to council with a proposal to rent or buy the train station.  Town staff had recommended the rent for the Culture Station jump from $1 per year to $9600, or have the town declare the building surplus and sell it off.

The change wasn't lost on Councilor Nancy Alcock who stopped the proceedings to ask if anyone else on council had noticed the "interesting contrast" with talks around the Culture Station.

The General Committee approved the lease renewal for Club 55 and councilors will wait until next month to make a decision on the future of the Culture Station.



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Huntsville Town Council Supports Memorial for Donnie Eagles.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 (9153 reads)


Huntsville’s Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA) got some welcomed news today as Huntsville town council gave the BIA permission to erect a brass broom statue in memory of local resident Don “Donnie” Eagles. 
The statue will be designed and completed by local artist Brenda Wainman and will be placed resting against the River Mill Park archway on King Street in downtown Huntsville. The location is of significance as it is located directly beside Eagles' long-time home. The tribute statue will bear an inscription in memory of Eagles. 
Eagles died earlier this month after years of living in Huntsville where he became an important and vital part of his community.


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Bracebridge Raises St. John Ambulance Flag.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 (240 reads)


Monday saw the flag of St John Ambulance flying high in Bracebridge. 
Bracebridge councilor Chris Wilson along with St. John Ambulance Barrie Simcoe Muskoka branch manager Cathy Banting raised the flag at the Bracebridge municipal office in a show of support for the humanitarian organization. 
St. John Ambulance is a worldwide organization that provides relief services and helps top assist those in need of medical assistance prior to emergency crew arrival. St. John Ambulance has been active in Bracebridge since 1941 and has over 170 volunteers in Simcoe County and Muskoka. 
Recently, the Barrie Simcoe Muskoka branch began a recruitment drive with the express goal of adding more than 50 new volunteers to help them meet increased demands for first aid coverage. Those recruited have been receiving on-going training and will be able to serve at community events during the summer. 
Councilor Wilson said of the organization, 
“The Town of Bracebridge is pleased to support St. John Ambulance. The ongoing efforts of the local volunteers to enable members of our community to improve their health, safety and quality of life by providing first aid training and other community services is very appreciated.”


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Ironman Organizers Provide Update to Huntsville Council
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 (3808 reads)


Organizers of the Huntsville Ironman Triathlon were before council on Monday and outlined their progress so far to council.  Most importantly, council wanted to hear about the financial status of the event, which is expected to bring thousands of athletes and spectators to the area.  The Ironman in Huntsville is one of 3 full triathlons in the country and races in Whistler and Mt. Tremblant are both wildly successful, councilors were told.

Huntsville's plans are moving along nicely and organizers told council that their contribution is expected to come in at less than $50,000 or possibly at no cost the town.

The economic spin off of the race is expected to be in excess of $6 million.



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Bracebridge Council Meets Tonight
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 (295 reads)


Bracebridge Council will be meeting tonight and will present resident Annette Allen with the Bracebridge Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Award.

Councilors will also be asked to support to a request by Muskoka Brewery to obtain a manufacturers sales licence that would allow the company to sell beer by the glass at the brewery.

The meeting starts at 6pm.



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Huntsville Council "Funds" $3million in G8 Expenses
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 (2942 reads)


Huntsville Council voted not add $200,000 to 2016’s budget at Monday’s council meeting as they approved a process that would officially "fund" the $3million in G8 expenses.  The expenditure was taken from the working capital reserve fund.

Originally council had indicated that they would add $200,000 to the levy starting in 2016 until the amount taken from reserves was repaid.

Some councilors asked that they not tie their hands for next year's budget so early in 2015 and hold off making any decisions on next year's budget until they are in the process later this year.

Deputy Mayor Karin Terziano told councilors that "we will have to pay the piper sometime."

Council voted to hold off on a decision until the budget process started.



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Huntsville Councilors to Hear About Don Eagles Memorial
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 (1553 reads)


Huntsville's General Committee will be meeting today and will be receiving several deputations including one from the YMCA Employment Resource Centre.  The town will also start looking at how decisions made this year will impact the 2016 budget.

Councilors will learn of a project to commemorate the life of Don Eagles, who was a regular in Downtown Huntsville, who recently passed away.  The Downtown BIA, Community Living and sculptor Brenda Wainman Goulet want to cast one of Donnie brooms and place the bronze in downtown core as a reminder of the work he did.



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Clement Speaks to U.S. Senate Committees
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 (2436 reads)


Parry Sound Muskoka MP Tony Clement appeared in front of a joint hearing by US Senate Budget and Homeland Security and Government Affairs yesterday.

Clement spoke at the invitation of Senators on the Government's Red Tape Reduction policies.

Clement told his audience that one of the ways to help Canadian business succeed is to control federal regulatory red tape on a permanent basis.  "It was my honour to share our successes here in Canada with our U.S. friends and colleagues," he said.



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Cottagers Lucky to Be Alive - Fire Chief
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 (12343 reads)


Last night Lake Of Bays Fire crews responded to a reported CO alarm sounding and found extremely high levels  of Carbon Monoxide  entering the cottage. The occupants of the cottage were showing early warning signs of Carbon Monoxide  poisoning, and 3 people were transported by ambulance to hospital where they were all treated.  
This is the second time this month that fire crews  responded to a Carbon Monoxide call.  On June 2nd Huntsville fire crews responded to a Carbon Monoxide  alarm sounding and found the townhouse had a faulty installed gas hot water venting system that was allow high levels of poisonous  carbon Monoxide to enter the house. 
Fire Chief Hernen says that “ Carbon Monoxide is often referred to as the silent killer because you can’t see, smell or taste it.  Carbon Monoxide  is a by-product of combustion produced by anything that burns fuel, such as gas furnaces, water heaters, barbeque grills, wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, alternative power sources and autos.   Exposure to CO causes many flu-like symptoms and can be fatal, in fact has this family not had a proper work CO alarm installed in this cottage, I am sure we would have been dealing with fatality’s by this morning.” 


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Huntsville Moves Forward With Power Project at Brunel Locks
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 (4296 reads)


Huntsville gave Green Bug the go ahead last night to move forward with its plan to install a Hydro Electric power plant at the Brunel Locks.  The approval is only for the first step in the process - trying to acquire a FIT contract.  The town would still have the option of pulling out or participate in key decisions going forward.

Councilor Wiebe was surprised the project was still moving forward despite hearing news that the amount of energy to be produced would be cut back because of Hydro transfer technology at the site.  The system cannot take in as much power as the project would produce.   The amount the project could produce has been dropped by 50%.  The town’s estimated yearly income will also drop to approx $29,000 per year.

The town also gave 2 properties owned by the district its blessing to move ahead with solar installations. 



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Huntsville Calls on Province to Overturn MAHC Decision
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 (5615 reads)


The Town of Huntsville passed a motion last night calling for the Province to overturn the Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare's decision to move forward with a single site hospital in the region.

The motion called for the province to maintain two acute care hospitals in the area to serve Muskoka, Algonquin Park and the Almaguin Highlands.

A similar motion was passed in Bracebridge last week.  All area municipalities are expected to pass motions in opposition to the MAHC decision.



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Mayor Optimistic that Waterloo Will Stay On, In a Smaller Capacity
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 (1244 reads)


Huntsville Town Council will be putting out a Request for Proposal for the empty space at the University of Waterloo building.  Mayor Scott Aitchison told councilors that its probable that Waterloo will stay on in a limited way, using only the lab and some 3rd floor space year round and needing only teaching space in the summer.

The town is looking to the private sector for ideas on uses of the rest of the un-used space.  Mayor Scott Aitchison said that he had received several calls on the space including rental and sale inquiries.



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Town Asks for Proposal on Future of Train Station
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 (4468 reads)


The fate of the tenants of the CN Train Station remains unknown after last night's Huntsville Council Meeting where councilors were given options of either declaring the building surplus, or increasing the rent so both tenants paid the same.

Kelly Haywood with the Chamber, representing 3 other groups that use the old waiting room of the train station known as the Culture Station, outlined the successes of the first year of operation and told councilors that they had a 5 year lease at $1 per year, which should be honoured by the town.

Alternatively, Haywood offered that the Chamber would buy the building for a dollar, the way the town had previously disposed of some underused community halls in the past.

The issue was deferred, giving all the groups involved to come up with a proposal.  However some councilors felt that the town did not give those involved clear enough direction.



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Mitchell Says This is Cowie's Time At Liberal Kickoff
Monday, June 22, 2015 (3483 reads)


Liberal Candidate Tricia Cowie kicked off her campaign on Friday in Port Sydney.  Cowie talked with a crowd of nearly 100 people including former Liberal MP Andy Mitchell at the North Granite Ridge Golf Club. 

Cowie told the crowd of her experience and her plans for the riding and the Liberal’s policies on equality, open and fair elections and reform of the senate.

Mitchell told the crowd that it can be done as he had unseated the conservatives in the riding before, saying it was Cowie’s time – don’t let anyone say you can’t.



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Several Issues On Huntsville Council Table Tonight
Monday, June 22, 2015 (6794 reads)


It will be a busy Huntsville Council meeting tonight as councilors will grapple with several issues including deciding on how to fund $3million dollars in "unfunded" projects from the G8.

Council will also be asked to support an application by Greenbug Energy to move forward with its plans to build a Hydro electric project at the Brunel Locks.

Staff will also be asking councilors to declare the CN Train Station surplus and sell it off or authorize the town to lease the Culture Station portion of the building to the chamber at a cost of $9600 annually.  Previously the chamber had entered into an agreement to rent the vacant space for $1 per year.  The increase was triggered after the Suzuki School of Music asked for parity in rent costs for the other side of the building at last month's council meeting.

The meeting starts at 7pm.



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Explorer's Edge Doles Out Top 10 Motorcycle Spots in Cottage Country.
Friday, June 19, 2015 (1419 reads)


Explorer’s Edge, the regional tourism organization that encompasses Parry Sound – Muskoka, has announced its list of the top 10 roads to ride for motorcyclists in Muskoka.

In an article published on June 6, Explorer’s Edge lists what it describes as some of the best touring roads in the entire province, located right here in Cottage Country.  Making the list are a number of familiar roads including Ravenscliffe Road, Peninsula Road and Aspdin Road. The number one spot was clinched by Highway 60 through Algonquin Park. 
For a full list of the roads visit explorersedge.ca




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Ontario Adds New Rules to Help Save Bees.
Friday, June 19, 2015 (3561 reads)


Next month will mark a new hope for bees in Ontario when the province becomes the first jurisdiction in North America to enact new rules to protect bees and other pollinators.
 
Starting July 1, Ontario will introduce new regulations that will reduce the number of acres of corn and soybean seeds treated with neonicotinoid by 80 per cent by 2017. 

The new regulations will serve to ensure that crops treated with neonicotinoids are only used when there is evidence of a pest problem, rather than as the default. 

The decision to create new rules surrounding pollinator health comes after a shockingly devastating season for Ontario beekeepers in 2013-2014 where they saw 58 per cent over-winter losses versus the acceptable rate of 15 per cent. 

Ontario is also in the process of developing a "pollinator health action plan" according to their website which they say they will develop in coordination with the public and pollinator experts. 


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Trisha Cowie, Liberal Candidate, Kicks Off Campaign Tonight in Port Sydney.
Friday, June 19, 2015 (1146 reads)


Liberal candidate for Parry Sound – Muskoka, Trisha Cowie, will be launching her campaign with a kick-off party this evening. 
The event is to be held at the North Granite Ridge Golf Course in Port Sydney at 6:30 p.m. with speeches starting at around 7:15 p.m. 
Former MP for Parry Sound Muskoka, Andy Mitchell, will be on hand to show his support for Cowie who hopes to unseat current Parry Sound-Muskoka MP, Tony Clement in the upcoming election. 
The event is open to the general public. 


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Tina Turley Headlines "The Hoot" for Table Food Bank
Friday, June 19, 2015 (1886 reads)


Saturday, June 20th, Tina Turley and a group of musical acts will be once again performing at the 9th Annual Family Traditions Hoot at the Stisted Fairgrounds.  The event is a fundraiser for the Table Food Bank and Turley promises everyone a good time while raising funds for a worthwhile cause.

Gates open at 10.30am and admission is by donation.



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Fire Destroys Garage
Friday, June 19, 2015 (3831 reads)


Yesterday afternoon, the Muskoka Lakes Fire Department responded to a garage fire on Rosseau Lake Road 1 in Muskoka Lakes. Firefighters from Windermere/Raymond, Minett with Marine 5, and Foot's Bay/Glen Orchard with Marine 1, responded to battle the blaze.  On arrival the 14' by 29' structure and contents were completely destroyed. The fire loss is estimated at $40,000.00.

The fire dept report the blaze was accidental and there were no injuries. 



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Aitchison Optimistic About Future of Waterloo Building
Friday, June 19, 2015 (5418 reads)


Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison said that there may be a new deal with the University of Waterloo for the Forbes Hill Drive facility in the fall.  Aitchison told HBR that the town is working with Waterloo to hammer out a new deal that would mean that university could stay on in a smaller capacity and it would result in the Town of Huntsville having more control over the use of the facility.

Aitchison said that the town would put out a request for proposal for vacant parts of the building and even hinted that there is interest to lease vacant parts of the building at commercial rates.

A motion is expected at Monday's Council Meeting that would start the process.



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MAHC Introduces Electronic Health Records
Friday, June 19, 2015 (1138 reads)


A new health information system that allows the MAHC to introduce an Electronic Health Records is now up at running at both hospital sites in Muskoka. The MAHC has joined the Grey Bruce Information Network (GBIN) to share patient care software with five hospital corporations.

An Electronic Health Record changes how care providers at MAHC sites record and document clinical functions by moving away from paper-based systems to electronic charting. Nursing staff, physicians and allied health professionals are replacing their pen and paper patient chart with a keyboard and mouse attached to a Workstation on Wheels. The MAHC says that staff in multiple departments will use these mobile workstations to access patient records, input information – whether in the lab or pharmacy or at the bedside – and pass along information about the patient from one shift to the next in a seamless way. It also provides MAHC with the platform to make this information available to health care professionals outside of their hospital sites through a provincial network of sharing through e-Health.

Natalie Bubela, the CEO of the MAHC said that “Not only does an electronic health record mean less paper and better access to information, it will improve the quality of care and safety,” she said. “Electronic records allow more accurate and more efficient data collection and eliminate duplication of charting. They provide real-time information about our patients.”



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Bracebridge Welcomes Four New Volunteer Fire Fighters.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 (4552 reads)


You're four times safer today if you live in Bracebridge,  thanks to the recruitment of four new volunteer fire fighters. 

Mayor Graydon Smith along with Fire Chief Murray Medley welcomed the four new fire fighters after they completed a five month training program that was established by the Muskoka Fire Cheifs Association and involved eight weekends of hands-on training. 

The program typically trains around 30 new recruits per year. 
Mayor Smith said he was pleased to welcome the recruits saying, 

“It takes an exceptional amount of training and effort to achieve this significant milestone. Bracebridge is fortunate to have such dedicated individuals willing to serve our community.”


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First Nations Celebration Today at the Canada Summit Centre.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 (932 reads)


Huntsville's Summit Centre will be the host of a First Nations celebration this afternoon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The celebration is in honour of National Aboriginal Day which is held on June 21. Huntsville had hosted celebrations of First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture in observance of the day for the last decade.

The event will include traditional teachings and culture sharing from artists and representatives from Wasauksing First Nation, Chippewas of Rama, Wahta Mohawks, Metis Nation of Ontario and others.

The event is free, open to the public and will take place in the Don Lough Arena.



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No Specific Exit Strategy for Nipissing
Thursday, June 18, 2015 (4085 reads)


Nipissing University officials told Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith that the university does not, at this time, have a specific detailed timeline to implement their plan for program consolidation in North Bay.  The information came at a meeting between the town and the post secondary institution on June 15th, shortly after the announcement that the Bracebridge campus would be closing after the 2015-16 intake of students. The University says it is planning for the intake of approximately 20 new full-time students in the fall of 2015 at the Muskoka campus.

The President of Nipissing, Mike DeGagne reiterated that those new students and all students currently enrolled in courses at the Muskoka campus will have the opportunity to complete their studies and will continue to be supported by the University.

Officials told the town that although the Muskoka campus will continue in full operation in the immediate future, the opportunity to establish a joint staff working group will be mutually advantageous and will help to eliminate any duplication of effort and confusion in regard to planning for use of the campus in the future.



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Port Carling Seeking Donations for New Health Hub
Thursday, June 18, 2015 (409 reads)


The Township of Muskoka Lakes is busy preparing to welcome the new Community Health Hub in Port Carling.  Construction will start soon with the opening date scheduled for January 2016. The new Health Hub will provide access to a full-time a Nurse Practitioner and Administrative Assistant plus collaborative association with a Physician.   The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has agreed pay start-up costs and operational funding.  $700,000 still has to be raised  and will cover purchases such as apparatus for the procedure room, laundry appliances, waiting room furniture and specialized equipment.

Donations to the Health Hub can be sent to Township of Muskoka Lakes municipal office marked "Nursing Station".



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Northern Ontario's Largest Car Show in Gravenhurst This Weekend.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (1290 reads)


If you’re looking for something to do with dad this father’s day weekend the 22 annual Car Show is taking place in Gravenhurst this Saturday, June 20. 
The Gravenhurst Car Show is the largest car show in all of Northern Ontario and this year hundreds of cars have registered to take part in the event which will feature live music, vendors and an award show. 
The event begins at 9 a.m. and the award show kicks off at 2:30 p.m. when the 2015 Piston Cup will be up for grabs. Additionally, awards will be given out for best paint, most chrome, best hot rod, best truck, oldest car and more. 
The price of admission is $5 by donation, 16 and under enter free. 



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Huntsville Seeks Volunteers for Official Plan Review
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (3152 reads)


The Town of Huntsville has opportunities for residents to become a member of an Official Plan Review Working Group.

The group will act as an advisor and sounding board to Town Staff and the Consulting Team during the official plan process and will ultimately make recommendations to Council the proposed amendments to the Official Plan.

Applications are available at the Municipal Office or on the Town of Huntsville web site: www.huntsville.ca


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Organizers Looking for Volunteers for Ironman 70.3
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (1039 reads)


Organizers of Huntsville’s Ironman 70.3 race are still looking for volunteers for the event.  The race which is scheduled for Sunday July 5th, needs volunteers in a variety of positions including Bike Aid Stations, Bike Marshalling and course assistance.  Help with the running and swimming portions of the race also need volunteers including aid stations, course marshalls and registration.

For more information on volunteering, follow http://trimuskoka.com/trimuskoka-tri-club/volunteer/ 



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District Defers Animated Sign Decision, Gives Bracebridge a Chance to Discuss It.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 (1586 reads)


A decision on whether or not to allow Rotary to install two animated signs on district roads was deferred at last night’s district council meeting. 
Rotary had previously submitted applications to the district asking for permission to install signs measuring the equivalent of a 33” by 69” television screen.  Under district by-laws animated signs are prohibited and allowing an exemption for Rotary could cause more requests and result in district being forced to consider changes to their by-law. 
The issue was deferred after councilors Lori-Lynn Giaschi-Pacini cited that Bracebridge council , where the signs would ultimately be located, had not been given a chance to consider the application in their municipal council proceedings, where animated signs are permitted. 
Council passed a motion to defer the issue to the July meeting to allow Bracebridge a chance to discuss the issue. 




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District Approves Funding for Fourth "Pay It Forward" Program.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 (1579 reads)


The District of Muskoka voted unanimously last night to approve $36,801 to be used for the fourth annual Pay It Forward program. 
The Pay It Forward program uses district allocated money to support organizations within the community that help make the community a stronger and more vibrant place to live. 
This year saw 48 applicants apply to the program with 27 grants being approved for funding. This number is down from 84 applications last year and 41 applications being approved. District attributes the fall in applications to the sustainability of programs previously funded over the last four years. 
District also noted that some of the applications weren’t eligible for the Pay It Forward program but were eligible to be funded by other district programs. 




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Gravenhurst Seeks Residents to Sit on Downtown Revitalization Committee
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 (640 reads)


The Town of Gravenhurst is seeking members of the community to sit on the Downtown Revitalization Committee for this term of Council.  Anyone interested should be a resident or business owner in Gravenhurst and:

• Have Financial and business management experience;

• Experience with government regulations and process;

• Consumer relations experience.

The deadline to apply is June 30th.



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Bracebridge to Call on Province Not to Sell Hydro One
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 (1168 reads)


Bracebridge Councilors will also be providing input to the provincial government through a discussion of a motion calling on the government not to sell Hydro One.  A motion being considered is calling on the Liberals to halt the sale of any part of the utility and maintain Hydro One as a public asset for the benefit of all Ontarians.

The Town of Bracebridge plans to circulate the resolution to the Premier, with copies to the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Energy, Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller, and other municipalities in Muskoka.



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Bracebridge Councilors to Discuss 2014 Financials & Hospital Situation
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 (901 reads)


The Town of Bracebridge's General Committee meets this morning and will be reviewing the town's financial statements for 2014. 

The committee will also discuss a motion that calls on the Province to maintain two acute care hospitals in Muskoka - a motion that will be presented to all municipalities in the MAHC catchment area calling on the province to overturn the MAHC Board decision to build a new single site hospital at a yet un-announced location in Muskoka.

All municipalities in Muskoka, East Parry Sound and Almaguin Highlands are expected to pass similar motions.



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