2014 2015 MLA Actions on Your Behalf

Communications & Marketing

  • On-going communication through ShoreLines (a quarterly newsletter covering key issues such as the new OPP costing model, implications of 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

  • Hosted and/or sponsoring numerous events in 2015, including, but not limited to:
    • Aquatic Regatta
    • Sailing Regattas
    • Curling Bonspiel
    • Seeding Day
    • Free CPR & AED training
    • $5000 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 $2,500 Transport Canada/Canadian Safe Boating Council grant.
    • 2016 Initiatives
      • Antique Boat Show
      • Report to Transport Canada and membership on trial radar program

 Political & Land Use

  • For the October 2014 municipal elections, conducted interviews and assessed to 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
  • Attendance at municipal and district council meetings and reporting to membership via NewsBites (a monthly e-blast)
  • 2016 Initiatives:
    • Continue 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 clarity, phosphorus, eColi, dissolved organic carbon and calcium
  • Successful fund-raising campaign to initiate enhanced water quality testing in Minett and continue water quality testing protocols in all areas
  • In partnership with the Muskoka Conservancy and funded in part by the Ontario Trillium Fund (OTF) conducted programs to educate waterfront residents regarding best practices to protect water quality and maintain/develop natural shorelines
  • Published MLA 2014 Water Quality Report on 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