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Friends of Muskoka Waves Newsletter

WAVES XV

With four floods in the last six years, there is an urgent need for the Ontario government to update its Muskoka River Water Management Plan to ensure that flooding and the havoc it creates does not occur in the future.

 IN THIS ISSUE:

 MUSKOKA FLOOD 2019: HOW YOU CAN VOICE YOUR CONCERNS TO THE PROVINCE


1. Email the Province with Photos of your Flood Damage

The 2019 flooding in Muskoka makes it painfully clear that the Province’s Muskoka River Water Management Plan needs to be updated. You can help convince the government of the urgency of this situation by emailing and sending photos of the flood damage to your property. Click here for a sample letter prepared by Friends and the Muskoka Lakes Association to Premier Ford and Ministry of Natural Resources and Fisheries (MNRF) Minister Yakabuski, that includes their email addresses and copies Friends and the MLA. 

2. New Website for Photos of Flood Damage: MuskokaFlood2019.com

We are working with Muskoka residents and collaborating with other groups to display photos of this spring’s flood damage at MuskokaFlood2019.com. We will direct government officials to this website to help them understand the devastating impact of the flooding, and the need to take action to ensure it is not repeated. If you are willing to share your photos of the flood, please email them to muskokafloods@gmail.com

If you prefer to share your photos on social media, make sure to use #muskokaflood2019

3.  Sign the Petition      

Over 1000 people have signed a petition calling on the Province to authorize an independent inquiry into the causes of the spring flooding in Muskoka, to help ensure it is not repeated. Click here to add your name to this petition. 

 INFORMATION SESSIONS ON ONTARIO’S DISASTER RECOVERY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM


The Province is holding information sessions on its Disaster Recovery Assistance program, where it will explain eligibility criteria, support document requirements and how to apply. A session is being held on June 11th in Bracebridge, and on June 12th in Huntsville. You can also get help with your questions by calling 1-844-780-8925 or by emailing DisasterAssistance@Ontario.ca

Applications for assistance are due August 29, 2019. 

For further details about the Province’s information sessions, click here.
In addition, details of eligibility and the application process are available here.

 

 HOW YOU CAN HELP MUSKOKA’S FLOOD VICTIMS


The Muskoka Flood 2019 has caused extreme damage to homes and properties of seasonal and permanent residents across Muskoka, much of which is not covered by insurance. If you would like to offer financial assistance to those in need, you may donate through Muskoka Victim Services, by indicating in the message area that the funds are to be directed to Muskoka Flood Relief on the recommendation of Friends of Muskoka.  

You can support Bracebridge residents impacted by the flood through the Town of Bracebridge’s donation program at this link.

 APPLICATIONS FOR TML’S OFFICIAL PLAN REVIEW STEERING COMMITTEE -  DEADLINE JUNE 7TH


The Township of Muskoka Lakes (TML) is reviewing its Official Plan that will impact development in the township for the next 10 years or more. TML is setting up a Steering Committee to help with this review and to provide important guidance and input.  They very much want public participation in this process and are looking for strong applicants.

Applications for the Steering Committee are being accepted until June 7th, and are available here . You must be a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years old, and eligible to vote in TML. There will only be 7 meetings (not a huge time commitment) and the term will last until the new Official Plan is approved, which is expected in late 2020. This is an opportunity to play a role in the future direction of the township. 


 SIGNIFICANT CONCERN WITH THE PROVINCE’S BILL 108 - MORE HOMES, MORE CHOICE ACT, 2019


Friends of Muskoka has serious concerns with the Province’s Bill 108 - More Homes, More Choice Act. While we appreciate the need to provide greater clarity for both communities and developers, we are concerned that the proposals will make it easier for developers to push through inappropriate development that could cause irreparable damage to the natural features that drive the economy in the District of Muskoka.

Friends wrote this letter to MMAH Minister Steve Clark explaining our concerns, and urging the Province to halt the advancement of Bill 108 to enable consultation with municipalities and communities to ensure its objectives for more certainty on what developers can build is achieved without causing irreparable damage to the environment and without ignoring community needs and goals. 

 SIGNIFICANT CONCERN WITH ONTARIO’S REVIEW OF THE REGIONAL GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE IN THE DISTRICT OF MUSKOKA


In Waves XIII and XIV we described the significance of the Ontario government’s review of dual tier municipal governments in eight regions, including the upper-tier District of Muskoka and its six lower-tier municipalities (Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Georgian Bay, Lake of Bays and Township of Muskoka Lakes). The government’s goal is to find efficiencies in decision-making and service delivery, and we are very concerned that they may be considering an amalgamation of our lower tier municipalities. Our views are summarized on our website

Friends of Muskoka President, Laurie Thomson, made this submission to the Province’s Special Advisors in Bracebridge on May 14th. The Muskoka Lakes Association President, Lawton Osler, also made a presentation. Friends and the MLA then wrote this joint response on May 21st to a number of the questions asked by the Special Advisors. 

We will continue to update you on this important issue that is likely to make a significant impact on all of Muskoka.

FRIENDS OF MUSKOKA

Friends of Muskoka are a group of dedicated volunteers working to protect and to preserve the natural environment and unique character of Muskoka by promoting responsible use and development of its land and lakes. Friends of Muskoka believe that the environment IS the economy in Muskoka since millions of people come to Muskoka and invest here because of its clean water and natural, treed shorelines. Our lakes, forests and rivers are a resource that can drive Muskoka’s economy for decades to come if we put the environment first. To this end, Friends of Muskoka is trying to stop residential subdivisions on the waterfront in Muskoka and will work to enshrine sustainable development in the Municipal and District Official Plans.

JOIN FRIENDS OF MUSKOKA

You can help Friends of Muskoka to protect and to preserve the natural environment and unique character of Muskoka by promoting responsible use and development of its land and lakes.
JOIN FRIENDS OF MUSKOKA

IMPORTANT EVENTS

Click here and bookmark our constantly updated calendar of events or click here to download and import / subscribe to the Friends of Muskoka calendar in your desktop or phone calendar application.

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