Digital Mammography improves breast imaging at Bracebridge hospital

(June 29, 2015, Muskoka Release) – 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. 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. Digital mammography makes it easier for the technologist to correct positioning to record the best possible image and gives our Radiologists more tools for manipulating and magnifying the images.”

The new equipment would not have been possible without the tremendous 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.

Mammography at the SMMH Site is part of the Ontario Breast Screening Program. Nearly 3,000 mammograms are completed at SMMH annually.

“The SMMH Auxiliary was pleased to support the breast screening program with a $250,000 pledge to the new digital mammography machine,” says Auxiliary president Jan Davidson.

The new digital mammography unit includes Stereotactic capability for completing breast biopsies in the future, as well as Tomosynthesis capability, also referred to as 3D breast imaging, to assist when diagnosing patients with dense breast tissue or any questionable findings. We anticipate implementing these additional services later this year.

“The imaging is far better and faster,” adds Radiologist Dr. Jack McCann. “The new unit further enhances patient care through a film digitizer that can convert our archived films to digital images so they can be compared to future breast exams.”

Through technology, images will also be available to other medical professionals using the diagnostic imaging repository.

“Please help put breast health at the forefront and support this project by making a donation through the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation’s Get Better campaign,” adds Colin Miller, Executive Director of the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation.

Submitted Photo: Colin Miller, Executive Director of the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation, MAHC CEO Natalie Bubela, and members of the Auxiliary to the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital including Sharon Davis, Caroline Boyes, Shirley McAnsh-Booth and Jan Davidson, with the new digital mammography unit.

Hospital workers receive excellence awards

(Tuesday, June 23, 2015, Muskoka, ON) – The winners of the eighth annual Board Award of Excellence were announced at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s (MAHC) Annual General Meeting on Monday, June 22nd in Bracebridge.

This year, 13 individuals were nominated by their hospital peers. The award is presented to up to four recipients who best demonstrate the values of MAHC and recognizes staff and physicians who have made significant achievements in patient- and family-centered care, outstanding management of people, financial or material resources, successfully completed a major project or special assignment beyond what is normally expected, and/or an extraordinary commitment to patient safety.

Board Presents Annual Award of Excellence

The winners of the 2015 Board Award of Excellence are (pictured from left in top photo):

Steff Goltz, Systems Analyst

Dr. Jennifer Macmillan, Surgeon

Allyson Snelling, Executive & Communications Assistant

Way Lem, RN – Emergency

“The Board Award of Excellence is a great opportunity for the Board to recognize and honour the outstanding performance and achievements of staff and physicians at MAHC and their contributions to the organization’s success every day,” says Chair Charles Forret. “Congratulations to this year’s winners and to all those who were nominated.”

The nominees further included:

Anne Handley, RN – Obstetrics
Dan Moloney, Manager – Information Technology
Debbie Watson, Manager – Emergency, Surgical Services
Don Muller, Physiotherapist
Dr. Stacey Erven, Emergency Physician
Kim Bendall, RD Clinical Lead – Diabetes Educator
Madison Wright, Respiratory Therapist
Mary Watson, Patient Registration Clerk
Tracy MacKenzie, RN – Clinical Surgical Lead
Monday’s AGM also included presentations by staff about new initiatives such as the recent launch of a new Electronic Health Record and the Ontario Breast Screening Program designation.

During the meeting, members of the corporation elected Ross Maund and Dave Wilkin as new directors. Mr. Maund has been a Community Representative member of the Quality & Patient Safety Committee for the past year and joins the full Board with strong health care background and understanding of operations from both the private and public sector. Mr. Wilkin comes to MAHC highly recommended for his diligence and discipline. He brings significant experience in information technology, not-for-profit governance and long-range planning.  The updated list of Board members can be found online <> .

The MAHC Board of Directors is a volunteer body that plays a key leadership role in setting policies and visioning for the hospital and the delivery of health care in the communities that we serve.

Research on the Effects of Road Salt in Muskoka Continues

(June 22 11pm BRACEBRIDGE – Submitted Release and Photo) 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 (HESL) and administered by Friends of the Muskoka Watershed (FMW).

This is the third year in which HESL has made the award 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. “The award is intended to stimulate interest in aquatic science as a career choice for students and to help replace the loss of the government student programs that were so important to me as an undergraduate” says Dr. Neil Hutchinson, President of HESL.

On May 15th, the 2015 HESL Award was presented to Michael Schmidt, of Trent University, who will be working on his Honours thesis project “Road salt effects on road-side soils and potential impacts on surface water quality” in the Muskoka-Haliburton region.

“Impacts and implications of sodium from road salt application on our environment is an important, distinctive, and deserving area of study” says Dr. Norman Yan, Chair of Friends of the Muskoka Watershed. “We eagerly await the results of Mr. Schmidt’s work” he continues.

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.

Why Walk for Women and Girls this August? The Y will tell you

(June 22 10pm MUSKOKA) Unemployment, a lack of affordable housing and transportation, domestic abuse and poverty are prevalent in Muskoka. YWCA Muskoka delivers supports to over 1,600 people in 44 different locations throughout Muskoka, whose lives are affected by these conditions.

What you may not know is that YWCA Muskoka relies entirely on fundraising to do this amazing work. Beth Ward is passionate about the positive changes YWCA Muskoka promotes for women, girls and the communities of Muskoka.

Beginning Monday August 10, she will begin the 1st Annual YWalk4Women&Girls heading out from Port Severn and follow a route connecting Georgian Bay Township, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Muskoka Lakes, Huntsville and Lake of Bays, a distance of approximately 170 kilometres. “I hope to conclude in Dwight on August 19,” says Ward. “I intend to walk the entire distance, rain or shine, and invite everyone to join me to:

  • To raise awareness of the lives of women and girls throughout Muskoka;
  • Connect our communities in a common cause and activity;
  • To raise funds in support of the services YWCA Muskoka delivers to over 1,600 women and girls in 44 different locations throughout Muskoka;
  • Walking is affordable, accessible activity that is good for both physical and mental well-being;
  • To highlight the lack of public transportation in Muskoka.
  • Walking is S L O W, enables reflections and connections.”

Be a CHAMPION for Women & Girls

Everyone can be a part of the YWalk4Women. You can sponsor “YWalk” by going to the YWCA Muskoka website ( and making a donation. Recruit your friends and family to sponsor the “YWalk”.

The fundraising goal of “YWalk4Women&Girls “ is $10,000 – that is 200 people at $50 each or enough to fund 4 school-based girls programs or 3 programs for women. Together we CAN do it! You can also follow the daily progress on social media (TWITTER & FACEBOOK) as well as on the YWCA website ( The start and end locations of each day will be posted so that you can join the walk in your community, along with facts about the lives of women and girls of Muskoka and walk updates and photos from that day.

For more information contact:

Beth Ward at or

YWCA Muskoka at 705-645-9827

Electronic Health Records turned on at Muskoka hospitals

(Thursday, June 18, 2015, MUSKOKA) Call in to one of our Muskoka hospitals today and you’ll hear a recording telling you new Electronic Health Records  are being implemented and that there may be some delays as staff get used to the new process.

Today the hospital also issued the following release about the new record system:

A new health information system that allows us to introduce an Electronic Health Record at both of our sites is now live at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare. Through a unique partnership, 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. 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 our hospital sites through a provincial network of sharing through e-Health.

“Implementing a project of this magnitude during our busiest time of the year has not been easy,” says Natalie Bubela, Chief Executive Officer. “There are impacts on our patients because the transition has created delays and longer wait times as our staff adapt to new process flows and get comfortable with the new system. We continue to work at making the transition as smooth as possible.”

But Bubela says the benefits to patient care that come with moving to an Electronic Health Record far outweigh the initial inconvenience.

“Not only does an electronic health record mean less paper and better access to information, it will improve the quality of care and safety by standardizing documentation and best practices,” says Bubela. “Electronic records allow more accurate and more efficient data collection and eliminate duplication of charting. They provide real-time information about our patients. Whatever the staff or physicians need to know about a patient – whether related to lab results or medications – it is all there on one screen. For staff and physicians working at the hospital, it means they can access a patient’s record at the same time from different locations in the hospital.”

Connecting our patients to care through technology has required significant fundraising by both of our hospital foundations. A team of more than 50 “champions” at MAHC have worked for months to customize the individual computer software components that make up the system. Hundreds of staff and physicians have been trained on the new system.

“The work that has been done to prepare to go live has been incredible,” Bubela adds. “Our staff and physicians, and particularly our Champions, have worked very hard and as a team to bring this system to fruition while continuing to focus on providing patients with safe, high-quality care on a day-to-day basis.”

Nine ATV deaths since April; boy killed Sunday in Kawartha Lakes

(June 16, 2015 2pm ORILLIA) –A nine-year-old boy and a 17-year-old are among nine people who have died in recent off-road vehicle (ORV) incidents investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

On Sunday, nine-year-old Tyler Massey was killed when his ATV (all terrain vehicle) rolled near Burnt River in Kawartha Lakes. City of Kawartha Lakes OPP is investigating how the crash occurred. This tragedy is the most recent in a series of nine deadly accidents since April.

The following is from a release today from OPP headquarters in Orillia who want people to ride smarter and safer:

Highest number of spring off-road vehicle deaths since 2009

With one death having occurred in April, seven in May and one so far in June, this is the highest number of off-road vehicle deaths this early in the season since 2009.  This time last year, there was one ORV fatality on record (within OPP jurisdiction).

Investigations into these fatalities revealed that alcohol was involved in five of the incidents, speeding was a factor in three of them and five of the deceased were not wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. The nine year-old who died was the driver of the ORV and in a separate incident, the 17 year-old who died was a passenger.

Keep yourself safe and live, says OPP

“This spike in fatalities serves as a harsh reminder that unsafe off-roading  keeps costing riders of all ages their lives, leaving families devastated and struggling to understand why their loved ones did not stay safe while out riding,” said Chief Superintendent Chuck Cox, Commander of the OPP Highway Safety Division.

With many months remaining in the off-roading season, the OPP is urging ORV enthusiasts to wear a helmet every time, regardless of how short a ride you plan on taking.  Don’t include alcohol or drugs in an ORV outing and keep your speed under control so that you don’t lose control of your vehicle.


Featured photo is a sample picture of a crashed ATV only. It does not represent any of the tragedies that have occurred so far this spring in Ontario.

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169 now open both ways again for travel to and from Parry Sound

(June 11, 615pm MUSKOKA LAKES) Muskoka Road 169, east of Foot’s Bay and near Bass Lake is now open again to traffic. The highway was closed since Wednesday, June 3, 2015 when an aging steel culvert collapsed.

According to a release from the District of Muskoka, action was taken quickly to undertake the repair, which District staff had previously planned for this year. Crews replaced the corroded steel culvert with a structural concrete box culvert, which is said to yield a longer lifespan and be less prone to failure.

“We worked hard to have the work complete before the busy cottager commute this weekend and we are pleased to be ahead of schedule. On behalf of the District, I would like to sincerely thank the motorists, residents and businesses for their patience while we improved this section of road.” says Fred Jahn, Commissioner of Engineering and Public Works Manager with the District Municipality of Muskoka.

Electronic signage was erected throughout the area to notify residents of the closure in advance and alternate routes were advertised to avoid the area. These signs are in the process of being removed, the road is open and both lanes are now passable.

Muskoka teen a victim of Internet luring, say police: Fort Erie man charged

(June 10, 2015 BRACEBRIDGE OPP REPORT) Members of the O.P.P. Child Sexual Exploitation Unit and the Niagara Regional Police Service have charged a Fort Erie man following missing person investigation.

On May 25, 2015 police from the Bracebridge Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police received a complaint in regards to a missing 16 year old female. The investigation showed that the 16 year old child may have been communicating with an unknown male on the internet on various social media sites. The O.P.P. Child Sexual Exploitation Unit was contacted to assist with the investigation.

On the May 27, 2015 members of the Niagara Regional Police Service and the O.P.P. Child Sexual Exploitation Unit located the missing child in a rooming house in Fort Erie, Ontario. The child was not harmed and was reunited with her family that day.

On June 2, 2015 police arrested and charged Mark David PREEDON-MACMILLAN, age 46 years, of Fort Erie Ontario. He is charged with two counts of Internet Luring, two counts of Sending Sexually Explicit Material to a Minor, one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and one count of Sexual Assault. As a result of this investigation, two computer devices and other items pertinent to the investigation were seized.

The accused was held in custody following his arrest and attended a bail hearing on June 3rd, 2015. He remains in custody and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in St Catharines, Ontario on June 10, 2015.

Mark David PREEDOM-MACMILLAN was using an online alias as “Blake Winters”. Police are asking the public if they have any information to contact the O.P.P. Child Sexual Exploitation Unit at 705.330.3240.

The investigation is continuing.

Bracebridge welcomes Pan Am Torch Relay

(June 9, 2015 430pm) Winds down the river didn’t deter the Muskoka Rowing Club from making sure the Pan Am torch arrived at Bracebridge Wharf in style. And as they rounded the bend in the river, the sun came out and people on both sides of Muskoka River cheered. Muskoka News Watch was there and here are a selection of photos from the day. Click here for video of Andy Bos lighting flame from rower Sarah Feaver.

Vandals strike blow to Bala Communities in Bloom effort

(June 8 10am BALA) Members of the newly revived Communities in Bloom (CIB) Bala group are still shaking their heads after the destruction of their first effort to bring more beauty to Bala.

They discovered last Tuesday that one of their recently restored flower boxes installed on the bridge in Bala had been ripped from its bolts and thrown into the north Bala Falls. On Friday, you could still see the shattered box stuck against part of the dam.

“It was so disheartening and frustrating to hear about the callous destruction of one of our bridge boxes. Originally gifted to the community in recognition of an event or in memory of a loved one, it was very sad to see that some individual(s) in our community have no respect for other people’s property,” says Janie Graham, CIB member.

flower box destroyed in bala
The remains of one of the flower boxes that was once a gift in a loved one’s memory

Graham adds she hopes “our community will rally together and support the positive work CIB volunteers are doing to keep Bala beautiful, and help us in the fight against such blatant vandalism.”

As a result of this action, she says the remaining bridge boxes will be removed and “Bala will lose a beautiful addition.”

Ripped from its foundation
Ripped from its foundation

Communities in Bloom Bala had bolted and filled the four restored flower boxes on the bridge just days before the vandalism. One box on the north side of the bridge was ripped right from its foundation and destroyed.

Anyone with any information about the incident is encouraged to contact the OPP.

A great deal of volunteer time and effort goes in to the planting and maintaining of gardens and planters around Bala every year, and in the past, Bala has received awards for its beautification projects. The future of the Communities in Bloom effort was uncertain last August when the three remaining former members decided it was time to hang up their gardening gloves (See related articles).

Concludes Graham, “We simply ask that residents and visitors alike respect and enjoy the work done by CIB.”

Along with Graham, members of the Bala Communities in Bloom committee include Jan Turner, Heather Boyce, and Jennifer Overend.

Related Articles:

March 27, 2015, Gravenhurst Banner: Bala’s Communities in Bloom alive and well and needing help

Pan Am Flame travels through Muskoka and ends day in Parry Sound

(June 8, 9am MUSKOKA) Here comes the Pan Am flame! Tomorrow (Tuesday, June 9) the Pan Am Games Torch will be relayed through Orillia, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Parry Sound before ending the day at the Charles W. Stockey Centre.

The flame starts the day at the OPP Headquarters in Orillia, before visiting a few schools in the community. Torchbearer Pete Tucker then takes it to the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst for a community celebration that will be followed with a stop at the historic Bethune Memorial House.

It then takes a trip on a rowing scull at the Muskoka Rowing Club in Bracebridge before travelling on the Park to Park Trail by ATV in Parry Sound. The relay day wraps up at Charles W. Stockey Centre where community torchbearer Scott Copland will light the community cauldron.

Details of Relay Day 11: Orillia to Parry Sound

OPP Headquarters– 10am. (777 Memorial Avenue, Orillia)

Start of day celebration:

Torchbearer Pete Tucker, selected by the OPP, will depart carrying the Pan Am flame

Muskoka Wharf– 1pm. (821 Bay Street, Gravenhurst)

Day celebration:

Community torchbearer Cara McLeod will carry the Pan Am flame and light the community cauldron

Bethune Memorial House – 1:10pm. (235 John St N, Gravenhurst)

 Susan Keast, selected through TO2015’s public torchbearer contest, to carry the Pan Am flame at this Parks Canada National Historic Site of Canada

Muskoka Rowing Club – 2:45pm. (271 Ecclestone Drive, Bracebridge)

Sarah Feaver, a member of the Muskoka Rowing Club, will transport the Pan Am flame in a rowing scull

Park to Park Trail – 5:40pm. (1 Horseshoe Lake Road, Seguin)

Community torchbearer, Andrew Ryeland, will carry the Pan Am flame on a quad bike

Charles W. Stockey Centre – 6:55pm. (2 Bay Street, Parry Sound)

Evening Celebration:

Community torchbearer Scott Copland will arrive with the Pan Am flame and light the community cauldron

Gypsy Kumbia performs at the celebration

The Pan Am Games Torch Relay is a 41-day journey that shares the Pan Am spirit in more than 130 communities, and sets the stage leading up to the Games. There will be more than 3,000 torchbearers and 180 community celebrations taking place.

Photo shows runner Andy Bos holding flame high in Bracebridge, June 9, 2015. Photo by Norah Fountain.

Nipissing University Muskoka campus to close

(June 5 530pm BRACEBRIDGE) It’s official. Nipissing University is pulling out of Muskoka. September 2015 will be the last time students will be accepted at the Bracebridge campus because the University Board of Directors voted yesterday to end operations there.

The announcement came at 2pm today, and the news was quickly communicated to staff, student and alumni.

In a letter today to Nipissing Alumni, University President and Chancellor Dr. Mike DeGagné wrote, “The decision to eventually close the Muskoka campus was a necessary financial decision, and a difficult one.  After 19 years in the region, and many different initiatives, there was not enough students enrolling in courses to continue.  This move will allow Nipissing to better concentrate efforts and finances on supporting our students and faculty on the main campus in North Bay.” He says students currently enrolled in courses at the Muskoka campus will have the opportunity to complete their studies and will continue to be supported.

The bell tolls for Nipissing Muskoka

September 2015 will represent the final intake of students for Nipissing’s Muskoka campus. However, it is unclear whether that is for Fall 2015 and Winter 2016 courses or how many terms might continue. In the past, the campus has also run Spring and Summer courses.

Nipissing started up in Muskoka in 1996 and built its $6.6 million, 26,000 square foot campus in 2008.  A residence was added in 2011. A unique programming feature was that it was the only university campus in Canada to have a Studies in Culture and the Arts undergraduate degree program.

Related Articles:

September 2009: What’s Up Muskoka, Nipissing sets sights on future, by Norah Fountain. See pages 5-6 of this PDF: WUM_SEPT_2009

Mohawk language funding welcomed by Wahta Chief Franks

(June 5 4pm WAHTA MOHAWK TERRITORY) The federal government has announced funding for the Wahta Mohawk community to help teach and preserve the Mohawk language.

Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement announced the $72,614 in funding at the Wahta Administration Centre this afternoon on behalf of the Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The funding from the Aboriginal Languages Initiative aims to help Wahta fund its own language program, providing lessons and learning resources for the rest of this year and into 2016.

In a release today, Wahta Chief Philip Franks said the “Wahta Mohawks are pleased to be the recipients of federal funding in support of our language initiative proposal. This is an important first step in the development of a language program that will form an integral part of the foundation for healing in our community. Healing through language and culture is a renewed focus of our health and social department programs at Wahta Mohawks, and we are excited that the federal government has recognized this, and has become a strong partner and supporter of these initiatives in our community.”

Mohawk language program funded
Submitted photo (from left): Amos Key Jr, MP Tony Clement and Wahta Chief Philip Franks

Facts about the Aboriginal Languages Initiative:

  • Language instruction will be broken down into three levels: fundamental, transitional and skilled. Each level will include up to 12 participants and take 10 weeks to complete.
  • Participants will learn grammar, conversational skills, reading and writing through virtual and one-on-one sessions.
  • The language learning resources will include print, audio and video resources.
  • The Aboriginal Languages Initiative supports community-based language projects that contribute to the revitalization and preservation of Aboriginal languages and increase their use in community settings.

Adds Clement: “This support will help the Wahta Mohawks provide this important language-learning opportunity to their community, and it will benefit them today and for generations to come.”


Watt school children lose as soccer field torn up, again, plus damage at Bracebridge field

(June 5, 3pm UTTERSON & BRACEBRIDGE) Weekend vandalism has left the soccer field unusable for children at Watt Public School. And it’s not the first time someone has made their own fun by tearing up their play area.

Bracebridge OPP are reporting that someone drove a vehicle onto the soccer field and tore up the grass leaving a substantial amount of damage and rendering it temporarily useless.

Police is appealing for the public’s assistance regarding the mischief that occurred sometime between May 30 and June 1, 2015.

Watt Public School is on Highway 141 in Utterson, with a school population just under 100 students. When a similar incident happened last fall, employees from the school board spent an entire week trying to repair the damage by bringing in equipment, top soil and grass seed. At that time they had hoped that by Spring 2015 the field would be back in top shape.

Bracebridge soccer field ripped up as well

Sometime overnight on June 1, someone also played havoc on the Gostic Park soccer field at Hamblin Drive in Bracebridge. Police say an unknown suspect also drove a vehicle onto that soccer field and tore up the grass there, leaving a substantial amount of damage.

Related Articles:

September 29, 2014, MNW: Public school soccer field ripped up


Seguin Council hires from within for new CAO

(June 5, 2015 12:50pm SEGUIN) Seguin Mayor Bruce Gibbon today announced the appointment of Chris Madej as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Seguin Township effective July 1, 2015.

Madej joined the Township in 2008 as the Director of Planning. His 22 years of municipal experience includes the Town of Huntsville and the City of Oshawa.

In a release today, Mayor Gibbon stated: “Mr. Madej is an excellent choice to move into the role of Chief Administrative Officer. He brings to this position administrative experience and knowledge in the Township of Seguin’s operations and has established strong relationships within the Community”.

Madej says he is excited about this “tremendous opportunity” and he looks forward to “working with Mayor Gibbon, Council, Citizens and Township Staff to build a better community by being good stewards of the environment, enhancing economic vitality and efficiently and effectively delivering municipal services.”.


Gravenhurst gets funding to launch marketing strategy

(June 5, 2015 12pm GRAVENHURST) The Town of Gravenhurst today received federal funding to help the town launch a marketing strategy positioning the town as an ideal place in which to live, work, invest and grow a business.

Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement announced the federal investment of $131,500 on behalf of Minister of Natural Resources and FedNor, Greg Rickford. Here’s how the funding breaks down:

  • $100,000 to help Gravenhurst implement its marketing and communications plan
  • $31,000 to pay for a youth intern to support the Town’s Economic Development Plan and Downtown Revitalization Strategy

“The funding announced today builds on the community’s inherent strengths to promote itself as an ideal place to establish roots or set up shop,” says Clement.

Gravenhurst embarks on new plan to attract business, families

Mayor Donaldson tells crowd this "is a good day for Gravenhurst"
Mayor Donaldson tells crowd this “is a good day for Gravenhurst”

After thanking the Minister and federal government for recognizing the “unique needs of our community and investing in these projects to grow our economy,”

Mayor Paisley Donaldson invited the Town’s Director of Economic Development and Communications, Renato Romanin, to speak about the town’s hopes for attracting business to Gravenhurst. In particular, he says the desire for a life “away from the hustle and bustle of the city” combined with growing technology advances is helping position Gravenhurst as a great place to be. Watch video.

Featured photo (from left): Gravenhurst Mayor Paisley Donaldson, MP Tony Clement, Gravenhurst’s new Intern Research Assistant Jeff Lonely and Director of Economic Development and Communications, Renato Romanin. Photos by Norah Fountain


Miller welcomes passing of cycling bills

(June 4 QUEEN’S PARK – Release from MPP Norm Miller) The following release about the passage of Bill 13 and Bill 31 was sent to media from the office of MPP Norm Miller.

Miller Welcomes Passage of Bill 13 & Bill 31 – Benefits to Cycling in Ontario

During the final week of the spring session of the Ontario Legislature, Parry Sound – Muskoka MPP Norm Miller was on hand to vote in support of two Bills that will benefit cycling in Ontario as they passed 3rd reading.

“I am very pleased with the steps taken in the past two days that will make cycling safer and more accessible in the Province of Ontario,” stated Miller. “By making it legal to travel the paved shoulder section of a highway, cyclists can ride confidently knowing that they are within the law and feel safe while doing so.”

This specific provision referenced in Bill 31 was a component of Norm Miller’s most recent private member’s bill aimed at improving cycling opportunities and safety, Bill 137, which passed second reading with unanimous support of the legislature in 2013.

On June 3rd, Bill 13 passed third reading – proclaiming the month of June as “Ontario Bike Month”. This legislation was introduced by Eleanor McMahon, MPP for Burlington and founder of the Share the Road Cycling Coalition.

“Updating legislation to support cycling in Ontario has tremendous value and I look forward to advocating for progress in the future,” concluded Miller. Over previous sessions, Miller had introduced a total of 4 private member’s bills that would promote safety and increased cycling opportunities by allowing for paved shoulders on new and resurfaced provincial highways.

Photo:  Norm Miller, MPP (3rd from left) with MPP Eleanor McMahon (4th from right) and cycling advocates at Queen’s Park following 3rd reading of Bill 13 on June 3, 2015.

MLA and Fowler to closely monitor water quality in Wallace Bay

(June 2, 2015 PORT CARLING) The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) and Ken Fowler Enterprises (KFE) have joined forces to monitor water quality in Lake Rosseau’s Wallace Bay.

The association and company will conduct parallel and complementary scientific studies to better understand water quality readings in the Minett area bay.

In 2013 and 2014, the MLA’s Water Quality Initiative recorded a series of elevated E.coli readings in Wallace Bay in the summer. In its release today, the MLA says the source of the elevated readings remains unknown. The independent and collaborative second stage monitoring programs will allow the MLA and KFE to work toward a common goal of identifying potential sources of contamination. If any are identified, a remedial action plan will be developed and put in place.

The work is expected to wrap up this September, with results available early in the fall. Read the full press release by clicking here .