20142015 MLA Accomplishments

Approximately 125 people attended the 122nd MLA Annual General Meeting to hear our president and committee chairs outline their political, environmental and social initiatives during the past year. The following summarizes our activities.

2014-2015 Actions on Your Behalf:

Communications & Marketing

  • On-going communication through ShoreLines (a quarterly newsletter covering key issues such as the new OPP costing model,  Hydro One rate increases, and topics of interest to cottagers),  NewsBites (a monthly e-blast summarizing political activity in Muskoka), press releases, and weekly columns (throughout the summer) with local media
  • Continued enhancement of the successful Advantage Card program encouraging members to ‘Stock up in Muskoka’ and support the local economy
  • New member recruitment initiatives and collaboration with small lake associations to increase the strength and influence of our membership
  • 2016 Initiatives:
    • Launch a new, mobile-friendly website
    • Build on new relationships with other associations
    • Enhance and/or restructure communication vehicles
    • Continued focus on membership retention and growth

Community Programs

  • Hosting and/or sponsoring numerous events in 2015, including, but not limited to:
    • Aquatic Regatta – August 1st at the Muskoka Lakes Golf & Country Club
    • Sailing Regattas – MLA Regatta on August 2nd at the Beaumaris Yacht Club
    • Curling Bonspiel - at the South Muskoka Curling and Port Carling Curling Clubs
    • Seeding Day – every Victoria Day weekend
    • Free CPR & AED training – July 30th at the Port Carling Community Centre
    • Antique Boat Show –August 13, 2016
    • $5,000 bursary plus an offer of a summer job assisting in the MLA office to a deserving secondary school graduate from Muskoka for continued education
    • Launch of a Speed/Radar sign program in selected restricted Muskoka waterways to educate boaters about their speed vs. the 9kpm speed limit within 30 minutes of shore, buoys, rafts and docks. Made possible by a successful application for a Transport Canada/Canadian Safe Boating Council grant.
    • 2016 Initiatives
      • Antique Boat Show
      • Report to Transport Canada and membership on trial radar program
      • Annual MLA Food Drive – Thanksgiving Weekend

Political & Land Use

  • For the October 2014 municipal elections, conducted interviews and assessed fit with MLA principles. 57 candidates in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Township of Muskoka Lakes (TML) and Seguin Township
  • Participated, by providing written comments and delegating, in the TML comprehensive zoning by-law review to achieve improvements reflecting MLA values
  • In collaboration with other lake associations, encouraged District Council to allocate OPP costs to municipalities in a fair and equitable manner
  • Represented our member interests to municipal councils regarding precedent setting land use applications
  • Attend municipal and district council meetings and report to membership via NewsBites (a monthly e-blast)
  • 2016 Initiatives:
    • Continued monitoring of residential and commercial development, expansion and by-law compliance
    • Represent members on controversial and precedent setting land use applications including shoreline development proposals not currently provided for in existing by-laws such as an extended boathouse on Lake Joseph, two-storey boathouses in Gravenhurst, an over-sized boathouse on Lake Rosseau, etc.
    • Participating in appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) of TML’s comprehensive zoning by-law to establish a minimum distance setback from the lake for septic systems

 Environment & Water Quality

  • Water sampling and monitoring of 175 sites in Muskoka for various items including clarity, phosphorus, eColi, dissolved organic carbon (DOC)
  • Successful fund-raising campaign to initiate enhanced water quality testing in Minett and expand water quality testing protocols in select areas
  • In partnership with the Muskoka Conservancy and funded by the Ontario Trillium Fund (OTF) conduct programs to educate waterfront residents regarding best practices to protect water quality and maintain/develop natural shorelines
  • Published MLA 2014 Water Quality Report which is available on the website at www.mla.on.ca
  • 2016 Initiatives:
    • Report to township and member on results of enhanced monitoring in Minett
    • Participate in upcoming Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry (MNRF) Water Level Management Review