Major fire averted at Huckleberry Rock in Milford Bay

The Muskoka Lakes Fire Department says a major fire was averted today at the base of Huckleberry Rock in Milford Bay.

Firefighters from Milford Bay and Port Carling responded to the call which was about a reported brush fire.

With fears of a repeat blaze happening at the location like the one that occurred back in 2012, the department was relieved to find only a small fire which was quickly brought under control. Due to the quick actions of those who first noticed the flames and the firefighter response, a major fire was averted.

All residents and visitors are reminded that during these extreme conditions there is a complete burning ban. This ban is in effect throughout the whole of Muskoka. What this means is that there are no fires permitted at any time, no fireworks permitted & no outdoor open flames permitted.

The likelihood of fire spread is extremely likely as noted by this recent fire and the Muskoka Lakes Fire Department is taking a zero tolerance approach to offences.

Offenders will be subject to a fine of up to $300.00, and/or a fee for service ($125/hour for each apparatus + firefighter wages), and/or a summons to appear in court.

(Photo via the Muskoka Lakes Fire Department)

Municipal Election: Meet your Ward B candidates for Township Council and acclaimed District Councillor

Barrick-Spearn, McTaggart and Towsley vie for two available Township Council posts; Edwards acclaimed for District

Muskoka News Watch requested self-written, 450-word submissions along with a photo that would not be edited. Two of three candidates for Township Council provided submissions; one declined. Allen Edwards faced no competition and was acclaimed as District Councillor (he also provided a submission which follows the candidates for Township Council). We thank those candidates who took time to provide information for voters in Ward B. As with all candidate information, MNW presents the candidates in alphabetical order.

LINDA BARRICK-SPEARN: I have been a resident of Muskoka since a child. I was

Linda Barrick-Spearn for Ward B
Linda Barrick-Spearn

born in Toronto and moved with my family to Muskoka at age 13. My parents owned and operated a tourist related business for over 30 years.

I graduated from Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School in the late 70s. I married and raised 5 children here.

My husband David and I reside in Muskoka Lakes Township and own and operate our own business. I have continued my education by taking business courses at Georgian College and Nipissing University.

I bring a sensible and level headed attitude to the council chambers. I have strong organizational skills along with my business skills which are transferable to the council table. The environment and economy of the area are issues that need to be addressed, to insure a strong future for generations to come.

Three top accomplishments (as requested):

  • Raising 5 responsible children, passing on strong morals, beliefs and honesty
  • Managing a successful business
  • Successfully organizing, clearing, brokeri nging private sale of elderly parents land assets while putting into place the proper estate planning on their behalf

GAULT MCTAGGART: I have been coming to Muskoka since the mid 1960s and moved here permanently in 2000: definitely one of our family’s “best ever” long-term decisions.

Gault McTaggart, Gunta Towsley
Gault McTaggart

My background includes an MBA in 1971 followed by 29 years of senior management experience in the fields of logistics, product management, project management, and operations.

This has equipped me with a skill set to look at problems, situations and opportunities from many sides with an objective to finding the best available solution or outcome to a wide variety of issues.

The following criteria are, I feel, the ones that can be applied to nearly all projects, events, or zoning exemptions:

  • Applicable by-laws
  • Environmental impact
  • Cultural implications, and of course
  • Financial and risk consequences

Since moving here my local community involvement has included:

– Muskoka Lakes Museum – Director 5 years

– 5 years as Treasurer of Spinning Reels, a volunteer film organization which contributes about $2500-3000/year to the Muskoka Lakes Library forthe DVD collection

– With my wife played a key role in delivering a lake stewardship program to 400+ waterfront properties on Three Mile Lake –Treasurer 5 years

– Ongoing activity with an International Service group whose local motto is “Giving Back” to the community

Over the past four years on Council I have been a member of the Library Board for a year and since then Chair of Emergency Services and Vice Chair Administration.

Last year I had the opportunity to experience being a “fireman for a day” at the Ontario fire Chiefs Annual Conference and gained a hot, vivid first hand appreciation of the need for the extensive training and specialized equipment required to effectively providing Fire Service. I will be an ongoing supporter of the Fire Department.

Over the next four years there are a number of things that I wish to see continued and improved on:

  • First and foremost is, of course, the preservation of our environment – water and forest – through the judicious application of our zoning bylaw which is in the final stages of a revision after 25 years-
  • Improvement of the townships governance which I believe can be achieved with the development of a procedural and code of conduct bylaw-
  • As the Bala Falls small hydro project moves forward – to work with the proponent to achieve the best possible outcome for the Township with respect to minimizing construction time, traffic and business disruption, and the preservation of Margaret Burgess Park
  • Ensure that our financial plan will meet the necessary infrastructure spending needed as identified in the Roads Needs Study
  • Improve township communications via our website

Our updated, revised, and improved zoning bylaw will, I expect, bring a never ending stream of asked for exemptions as no two properties in the Township are alike. There simply is no “One size fits all” and judicious application of the bylaw will always be required.

I strongly believe that while we legally “OWN” the land we live on, we are in reality the guardians and caretakers of it for our children and future generations. I feel this is especially relevant in Muskoka, and is the guideline I use when considering exemptions to our zoning by-law.

It has been a pleasure to have been a conduit between members of the community and township staff in sorting out minor problems before they could escalate.

GUNTA TOWSLEY: Declined to respond.

Allen Edwards, Acclaimed District Councillor, Ward B Township of Muskoka Lakes

Allen Edwards, Ward B District Councillor, Muskoka Lakes Township, Municipal Election 2014
Allen Edwards, Ward B District Councillor, the only Muskoka Lakes candidate to be acclaimed.

It has been a pleasure to serve as your Township & District Counsellor for Ward B for the past 4 years. I am humbled and honoured to be acclaimed as your Councillor for the next 4 years. I would like to thank everyone for their support and all the offers to help campaign to get me re-elected.

I give you the same promises as the last election that I will be visible, and available to assist any way that I can. I will listen to your concerns. We may not always agree, but I will listen.

As you know I am only one vote on Council and I pledge to work cohesively with the new elected Council. I will work with the District to bring primary health care to the entire District of Muskoka.

Along with Brock Napier, my wife Linda, and the Community, I will continue to volunteer my time to bring the Muskoka Lakes Nursing to Port Carling, as well as Hospice Muskoka/Andy’s House and the Lions Retirement Residence. I want to see the Brock & Willa Wellness Centre completed. This project will bring over 9 million dollars of Economic Development to Port Carling and area and provide permanent employment when completed.

Work for a cohesive Council, by working constructively, not destructively. Council may not always agree but should not criticize Council’s decision publicly. Once again, thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

Note: Comments are closed for Candidate information.