Mayor seeks court judgement against Nishikawa

The Mayor of Muskoka Lakes claims a member of his council has breached the municipal Conflict of Interest Act and he’s now seeking a court judgement in the matter.

Muskoka News Watch has obtained papers filed at the Bracebridge courthouse which show Mayor Don Furniss has launched a civil proceeding against Councillor Ruth Nishikawa.

According to the Mayor’s affidavit, Nishikawa’s conduct at a September 16th council meeting during council discussions about whether she should pay costs after being found guilty of defaming former councillor Ron Brent, was in conflict with Section 5 of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.

The affidavit, filed by MacDonald Law on Friday, reads, in part: “Prior to consideration of the resolution on September 16, 2016, the Respondent was cautioned by the Clerk of the Township of Muskoka Lakes Cheryl Mortimer that she should consider whether or not she had a conflict of interest. The Respondent refused to declare a conflict of interest and took part in the discussion with respect to the resolution (in breach of section 5 (1) (b)). She continued to sit at the council table, but abstained from voting. By abstaining, by operation of the rules of Council, her vote was recorded as a “No” vote, such that abstaining deliberately constituted a “No” vote, contrary to section 5 (1) (b) and (c).”

The matter is slated to be heard in the Superior Court of Justice on December 12th.

Related Links: 

Breaking News: Muskoka District Councillor found guilty of defamation

Fellow councilors order Nishikawa to pay part of defamation judgment


Prominent Bracebridge Lawyer Jean Polak in Sunnybrook following fireworks accident

By Matt Sitler

Prominent Bracebridge Lawyer Jean Polak is in Sunnybrook Hospital following a Friday afternoon fireworks accident.

Polak is a member of the licensed fireworks team that sets up before shows put on by the Rotary Club and is a member of the Rotary Club of Bracebridge.

The show was planned for Friday evening to help kick off the Rotary District Conference Dinner, which was being held at the JW Marriott Muskoka Resort and Spa in Minett.

Muskoka News Watch is told Polak suffered injuries to an arm, her torso and head when there was an explosion during set up for the show.

Sources say Polak has since undergone several surgeries and is in serious but stable condition.

Rotary Club of Bracebridge President Tim Harvey urges everyone to keep the lawyer in their thoughts at this time.

Polak operates Jean Polak Law, which is located at 32 Robert Boyer Lane in Bracebridge.

Gravenhurst and Muskoka Lakes Chamber execs promote local business at provincial conference

Two Muskoka Chamber of Commerce executives were representing Muskoka business this week at the Chamber Executives of Ontario conference in Kingston.

As new Chamber executives, Sandy Lockhart, Executive Director of the Gravenhurst Chamber, and Norah Fountain, General Manager of the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce, were both awarded bursaries to attend the event.

The twice-a-year meeting of Chamber minds offers way to increase value to member businesses while sharpening the skill set of the executives attending.

“Being at this conference helps make our Chamber part of a bigger network of knowledge to draw on,” Lockhart tells Muskoka News Watch. “It was a great learning opportunity, as we got to hear from other new Chamber executives and from some who have been in their positions for decades.”

Strive Presentation

It also gave the Muskoka executives an opportunity to showcase business in Muskoka.

“Now it would be wonderful if Muskoka could host one of these provincial Chamber events,” reports Fountain, “as it would also act as a familiarization tour of Muskoka for people running visitor centres across Ontario. Certainly the connections made for our Chamber are invaluable.”

Inset Photo: Joe Shuker of Strive giving presentation on healthy organizations.

Top Photo: Norah Fountain and Sandy Lockhart with Chamber Executives of Ontario Chair Greg Webb

Safety campaign taking firefighters door to door in Muskoka Lakes

Muskoka Lakes residents will be receiving visits from their local firefighters next week.

Firefighters within the Township will be continuing the door to door campaign, offering to check your smoke alarms and CO alarms as next week is CO Alarm week.

They will either be dressed in the station wear or wearing their orange coveralls and some may even be in their bunker gear in order that they are identifiable.

This service is to ensure warning devices work properly in your residences in order to give you a chance to get out safely in case of an emergency.

Fellow councilors order Nishikawa to pay part of defamation judgment

Township of Muskoka Lakes Council wants Councilor Ruth Nishikawa to pay up after a judge found her guilty of defaming former Councilor Ron Brent.

At Friday’s council meeting, Councilors voted 5-4 to resolve that Nishikawa should pay the Township’s $25,000 deductible on its insurance policy – instead of sticking the Township, and in turn, taxpayers, with the entire bill for the judgment against her. A judge previously ordered Nishikawa to pay $30,000 in damages plus court costs, but until now, it was believed Township insurance would cover the entire bill, less the $25,000 deductible the Township would have to pay.

All Councilors, including Nishikawa, voted on the resolution. Nishikawa voted to abstain on the matter. A vote to abstain is counted as a ‘no’ vote.

Councilors Harding, Currie and Kruckel also voted not to penalize Nishikawa.

Brent says he feels justified now on two fronts.

“I’m glad a judge agreed with me and now a majority of councilors have agreed that I was wronged and she should pay.”  – Ron Brent

He adds he thinks the decision to first cover Nishikawa with Township insurance was mishandled and never even voted on by the previous council, giving her free rein to not have to apologize. Before taking her to court, Brent asked Nishikawa to apologize for sending a defamatory email to a private individual and Township and District Councilors. In the email, Nishikawa claimed Brent had divulged confidential closed session information.

“They [the past council and administration] should never have covered her in the first place. If she had thought she might be on the hook for money for damages, perhaps she would have simply apologized as I had asked,” continued Brent.

Brent says he will donate money received to Andy’s House Hospice.

Muskoka Lakes Preschool wins for Christmasy creativity

(December 6 7pm BALA RELEASE from BALA IN BLOOM) Bala In Bloom and the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce say a huge “Thank You” to the individuals, families, and companies who participated in our 1st Annual Christmas Pole Décor activity. It was a huge success and we look forward to even more participation next year!

Everyone is to be congratulated on their creativity ~ Annie’s Cafe & Deli, Bala Garden Centre, Bala in Bloom, Bala United Church, Beckie, Matt and Rhody, Councillors Currie, Nishikawa and Kruckel, Graham Family, Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Muskoka Lakes Preschool, Overboard, Royal Canadian Legion Bala Branch 424, Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka, TD Bank, Trinity St. Alban’s Anglican Church, Trish Cowie & Ronan Pringle, Vickers Family, Twig, Weismiller Lumber & Ice Dreams for their $100 donation to Muskoka Food Bank in lieu of a decoration.

A special shout out to the teachers and students at Muskoka Lakes Preschool, who received a $50 cheque from Bala in Bloom for being “most creative.” The competition was fierce and we’d also like to acknowledge Overboard, Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka, and Weismiller’s for their outstanding Christmas displays.

Municipal Election: Murphy makes it official, running for Mayor again

Published August 22. 4:30 pm. There’s now a race on for the mayorship of Muskoka Lakes. As expected, and as Alice Murphy had announced as early as last year in the press, the incumbent mayor is seeking re-election. She filed her papers officially this morning.

Her only opponent is Don Furniss. Like Murphy, this past term was Furniss’ first as a Muskoka Lakes councillor.

Potential for flooding as runoff expected to rise: Flood Watch in effect for our region

Flood Watch does not mean flooding an immediate threat, but potential is there water levels rise

Posted April 11, 11:15am: The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) for the Parry Sound-Muskoka District is advising area residents that a Flood Watch is now in effect. The advisory issued just now updates the notice sent out on April 9 that advised of a Flood Outlook.

Feature picture (left) by Norah Fountain: Watching the ice melt at Gull Lake Park in Gravenhurst

What’s the difference between a Flood Outlook and Flood Watch? Minor differences in water conditions terminology can mean a great deal for residents living in areas that are prone to flooding.

  • A Water Conditions Statement can be either a Water Safety or a Flood Outlook message that warns of high water along rivers and lakes. A Water Conditions Statement-Flood Outlook gives early notice of the potential for flooding.
  • A Flood Watch means potential for flooding exists within certain watercourses and municipalities.
  • A Flood Warning means flooding is imminent or occurring. This is NOT the case today, April 11, for our region. Today’s advisory is a Flood Watch, not a Warning.

Residents along rivers and lakes within the Parry Sound-Muskoka area are advised to keep a close watch on conditions, regularly check for updated messages and exercise caution around waterbodies as river flows and water levels continue to rise in the coming days.

A significant potential exists for flooding due to current conditions and forecasted rainfall. Residents may wish to take any further action necessary to secure or protect property in flood-prone or vulnerable areas. Local lakes are still ice covered which has the potential to impact shoreline infrastructure such as docks and boathouses as water levels rise and with prevailing winds.

The MNR is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions and will issue further updates as deemed appropriate.

Current forecast calling for rain starting Saturday

The current forecast is calling for up to 45mm or more precipitation Saturday April 12th through Monday April 14th. The forecast through to next Monday is for daytime high temperatures in the range of 6-13 degrees Celsius with near freezing nighttime temperatures.

Current Conditions: The water content within the existing snow pack throughout local watersheds continues to be significantly greater than the normal or historical average for early April. Forecasted temperatures and rainfall will accelerate the melt of the snow pack but flooding is not expected at this time. It is expected that the melting of the snow pack in addition to rainfall will significantly increase the amount of runoff into local waterbodies.

The rate of rise in water levels and flows is expected to increase through the weekend and into next week given current conditions.

Expiry Date: The MNR advises this latest message will expire Monday April 14, 2014 at noon.

About Muskoka News Watch: Muskoka News Watch exists primarily on donations. If you appreciate us keeping you informed, consider tossing a few dollars our way via the Donate Button on the top right hand corner of our Home Page. Thank you!


New technology, methods, products discussed at Working Around Water

Update: Working Around Water event draws crowd

Update Posted April 2, 9am: As part of the Shoreline Stewardship program launched late last year, Muskoka Conservancy played host to a “Working Around Water” Symposium for professionals who work around water in Muskoka on Wednesday, March 26th at Knox Presbyterian Church in Bracebridge. The event brought together about 75 local professionals to hear about the new products and technology for working in and around shoreline properties.

The Shoreline Stewardship and Water Quality Program was launched in the fall of 2013 by Muskoka Conservancy and Muskoka Lakes Association. “This is a multifaceted program that combines community workshops, private landowner consultations, and outreach to local contractors and service providers”, says Kristie Virgoe, Executive Director of Muskoka Conservancy.

“This was a great opportunity for professionals to get together to discuss and share information about working along shorelines in Muskoka so they can continue in the great work they are doing”, says Jenn Head, Stewardship Coordinator. Presentations during this event included permitting agencies, Maccaferri Canada, Waterloo Biofilter and the Wildflower Farm.

“The Symposium is vital part of our program and we are already looking forward to this becoming an annual event” says Head, Stewardship Coordinator. “Participants in the event will have their businesses listed in our Landowner Services Guide that we will provide to every landowner we visit. In that way, we are helping landowners connect with the professionals that can help them improve and restore their natural shorelines”.

“Muskoka Conservancy is thrilled to be working with all areas of our community to help protect our natural features.  The takeaway message from this event is simple – Muskoka has a great listing of contractors and consultants that really care about Muskoka!  This event gave them an opportunity to learn about some new products and technologies as well as to hear what is new in permitting processes”, says Virgoe.

As part of the Shoreline Stewardship program, Muskoka Conservancy will be hosting landowner workshops throughout the year to reach seasonal and year round shoreline property owners. These presentations will include topics like shoreline erosion control, and tips to manage Canada Geese on your shoreline property. Please visit for a list of topics, dates and locations.

Original article follows.

A don’t miss symposium for those who do work on the shores of Muskoka Lakes; event in Bracebridge

Posted March 22, 11am: Muskoka Conservancy is offering a “Working Around Water” Symposium for professionals who work around water in Muskoka. The day-long event will bring together local professionals to hear about new products and technology for working in and around shoreline properties. Permitting agencies, Waterloo Biofilter, and Maccaferri Canada, will be among the presenters.

Waterloo Biofilter has developed solutions for on site waste-water treatment. Maccaferri is a world leader in innovative environmental solutions with extensive expertise in retaining wall systems (gabion, geogrid), reinforcement of steep slopes, embankments, drainage systems, rockfall protection, soil erosion protection and soil stabilization.

Wednesday’s event is part of the Shoreline Stewardship and Water Quality Program launched in the fall last year by Muskoka Conservancy and the Muskoka Lakes Association. “This is a multifaceted program that combines community workshops, private landowner consultations, and outreach to local contractors and service providers,” says Kristie Virgoe, Executive Director of Muskoka Conservancy.

Working Around Water Event Details

  • When: Wednesday, March 26, 8:30am – 4pm
  • Where: Knox Presbyterian Church, Bracebridge
  • Cost: 50 per person and includes lunch.
  • Register now by calling 705-645-7393 ext. 200 or email

Topics for the day will include erosion control, permitting and planning (new construction and improvements), septic technology, site planning, and landscaping.

“This isn’t a training event,” says Jenn Head, Stewardship Coordinator, “it is an opportunity to share information and to hear about some of the new technologies that will help Muskoka landscapers, builders, and contractors in the great work they are doing.” Additional landowner workshops are offered throughout the year to reach seasonal and year round shoreline property owners.

Businesses get listing in Landowner Services Guide
“This Symposium is vital part of our program,” she says. “Participants in the event will have their businesses listed in our Landowner Services Guide that we can provide to every landowner we visit. In that way, we are helping landowners connect with the professionals that can help them improve and restore their shorelines.”

For more information and to register for Working Around Water, please contact 705-645-7393 ext. 200 or email

To know more about the Muskoka Conservancy visit or call 705-645-7393.

Please share a link to this article with anyone you know who works on and around the water in Muskoka.

Other events coming up in April from the Muskoka Conservancy include Canada Geese Shoreline Stewardship Workshop on April 2 and Flooding and Naturalizatin Shoreline Stewardship Workshop on April 9.

About the Muskoka Conservancy
For over 25 years, the Muskoka Conservancy (formerly the Muskoka Heritage Foundation and Trust) provides comprehensive environmental stewardship and outreach programs. The first property was donated 23 years ago and the Muskoka Conservancy has been protecting the regions’ natural spaces ever since. Today, the organization protects a total of 32 properties totaling over 1,800 acres of sensitive wetlands, forests, rock barrens, and shorelines. With over 200 active volunteers, the organization keeps its operation costs low and dedicates most resources to stewardship projects, land conservation, and community outreach. Muskoka Conservancy believes in working with community to build and support a vibrant Muskoka that honours the natural environment and the traditions of the area.


Science Matters, April 3, a presentation about science and how it is shaping our future by former astronaut and present MP Marc Garneau, Rene Caisse Theatre, Bracebridge. To buy tickets, click here

Muskoka Summit on the Environment – resolving the Dichotomy of Economy and Environment, May 8-9 and featuring keynote speaker, the renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman. To learn all about the summit, please click here.


Dust the snow off the Muskoka Lakes Museum: big plans for its 50th year!

Muskoka Lakes Museum marks its Golden Jubilee – opening day in May starts a summer-long celebration of 50 great years

Posted Mar. 6, 5:30pm: 2014 marks the 50th year of The Muskoka Lakes Museum and the museum has a big 50 goal: to grow its Endowment Fund to $50,000 to support programming.

“The board of directors is spearheading this initiative to grow the Endowment Fund to $50,000 to help enhance programs,” says museum board Chair Liz Lundell. “The income generated supplements our grants and membership revenue, providing flexible funding to help create new offerings – such as a new exhibit or children’s program.”

Founded in 1964, the Muskoka Lakes Museum has relied on municipal, provincial and federal grants, charitable donations, program fees and fundraising to cover operating expenses. The Museum’s annual operating budget is roughly $100,000 and that covers wages, insurance, facilities maintenance, programming costs, administration and care of the collection.

museum, golden jubilee of museum, port carling
Muskoka Lakes Museum in Port Carling

As a registered charity, the museum has received generous gifts from donors and bequests over the years and the Endowment Fund currently sits at approximately $30,000. The capital in the fund is preserved, while the income is used to pay for programming costs such as children’s activities, lectures, and family events. The Endowment Fund is invested with a highly reputable investment management firm and the income provides a sustainable source of funding that is not vulnerable to government cutbacks or fundraising fluctuations.

The museum Board of Directors is hoping museum members, sponsors, and community supporters will consider a one-time birthday gift to the Endowment Fund to help the community museum reach its target and create a legacy to celebrate. All contributions are eligible for a charitable receipt for income tax purposes. Information about how to donate can be found at

Save the date for July 26th to celebrate Muskoka Lakes Museum Day

A number of additional festivities are also planned for the Museum’s 50th season. The popular lecture program will be offered at no charge. A 50th anniversary book is in production and a photography contest will run throughout the summer. All members of the community and visitors will be welcomed to a day of celebration at the island between the locks in Port Carling on July 26 – Muskoka Lakes Museum Day. Watch for details about these and other events at

Some history on the museum’s history…

Indian River cottager Marion Catto first proposed the idea of a museum in Port Carling to preserve the area’s pioneer past and provide a tourist attraction. The Port Carling Historical Society was founded at her cottage on September 9, 1961. While the group sought a permanent home, the society collected and borrowed artifacts, which were displayed at the Algonquin Hotel on Joseph Street.

In 1964, the Port Carling Pioneer Museum was incorporated by Letters Patent from the Province of Ontario and the first directors were Marion Catto, Gertrude Tassie, Dorothy Duke, Lorraine Amey and Adel Coutts. Plans for a centennial project began and on July 2, 1967 the Museum opened its doors in its present location on the island. After a name change to The Muskoka Lakes Museum in 1989, the organization continues today as a non-profit, registered charity guided by a board of directors.

The original centennial building was expanded a number of times to house a growing collection. In 1982-83, the Hall family log cabin was moved from its original location in Glen Orchard and reconstructed on the island.

Over the years, descendants of early settlers made many generous donations of artifacts and these have been joined by others contributed by both permanent and summer residents. The Honourable James Bartleman donated a large collection himself in 2013 chronicling his Port Carling and Rama background, as well as his contributions in the diplomatic service and as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

Haven’t visited the museum recently? Be sure to be there this summer to wish museum curator Doug Smith and all the great volunteers a hearty happy 50th! The museum re-opens on May 17, 2014.

Featured Photo in Top Left: The 50th Anniversary Logo (logo designed by Rob Donald, Interlink Graphics, Port Carling).

About Muskoka News Watch: Muskoka News Watch exists primarily on donations. If you appreciate us keeping you informed, consider tossing a few dollars our way via the Donate Button on the top right hand corner of our Home Page. Or tell potential advertisers about us. Thank you

Distracted Driving Campaign Starts March 8 and so does March Break: Be safe!

OPP Asking for Public’s Help with Distracted Driving Campaign starting March 8 and a reminder: It’s March Break!

Updated March 7, 11am: The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding the public that the annual school Spring Break starts today in many of our areas.

Chief Superintendent John Tod, Regional Commander of the OPP Central Region is reminding the public that with March Break starting, “there will be many children playing in areas during the day that we are not used to seeing them. Please watch for children at all times.”.

Outdoor enthusiasts are also being cautioned to use caution as milder weather is in the forecast and this will no doubt compromise the quality of snow and ice conditions. “Although winter is still very much upon us, safety and planning ahead should be always an important component of any outdoor activity in the coming days and weeks as snow and ice conditions can start to change hourly,” adds Tod.

And drivers, remember that the OPP’s Distracted Driving Campaign is continuing and that Distracted Driving has become the number one factor in motor vehicle related collision deaths. Inspector Dom Beckett, Manager of the OPP Central Region Traffic and Marine Unit is asking motorists to “please keep your eyes and attention focused on the road; that is where it needs to be ALL the time. Distracted driving related deaths can be reduced if drivers change their behaviour and pledge to always reach for safety and not for their phone”.

OPP Distracted Driving Campaign starts March 8

Release from OPP Posted Mar. 3, 10.38am: Irresponsible driver behaviour has the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) concerned about the fate of many road users this year as officers prepare to launch their next campaign against Distracted Driving (Mar 8-14).

2013: Distracted driving caused more deaths than impaired and speeding drivers

In 2013, distracted driving fatalities surpassed both impaired and speed related fatalities in fatal motor vehicle collisions investigated by the OPP.  A total of 78 persons died in distracted driving related collisions compared to 57 impaired driving deaths and 44 speed related deaths last year.

“When you consider the overall impact of these 78 fatalities last year and the 325 other distracted driving victims who have died since 2010, the number of people these irresponsible drivers have had a profound and devastating impact on is in the thousands,” said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support.

“Everyone, from the victims’ families and friends to the police officers who attend these horrific collision scenes and have to notify next-of-kin, knows the emotional impact of one life lost to this senseless driving behavior trickles down to so many people who, sadly, through experience, know how badly this behaviour needs to stop,” he added.

The OPP recognizes that the only way to stop people from dying in distracted driving related collisions is to raise awareness of how serious the problem is and to have everyone make a firm, lifelong commitment to helping the police and safety partners eliminate it altogether.  According to the OPP, it can be done.

“Over and above every driver pledging to never text or talk on the phone, pledge to be a good passenger and speak up if the driver in your car is using his/her phone or engaged in other forms of distraction.  Pledge to regularly encourage your friends and family to not be distracted while driving,” said OPP Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander of the Highway Safety Division. “Even though our campaign only runs one week, make this a year-round commitment because it is a fail proof way to help us eliminate the tragic deaths that occur every year because of distracted drivers,” added Bell

March 18: fines jump to $280

The OPP is reminding motorists that on March 18, 2014 the current distracted driving fine of $155 will jump to $280 (this includes the increased $225 fine plus a $50 victim fine surcharge and $5 court cost).

The OPP’s Distracted Driving Campaign runs from Saturday, March 8 to Friday, March 14, 2014.  During that time, the OPP will be doing its part to eliminate the threat of distracted driving through its own awareness raising efforts and focused enforcement of distracted driving laws throughout the province.

The OPP is asking Ontarians to show their support during this important campaign.  Go to the OPP’s Facebook page and/or follow them on Twitter and let them know how you plan on helping to eliminate distracted driving on Ontario roads. The OPP will highlight some of your entries in a campaign wrap-up news release following the campaign.

Bracebridge shows it has heart for Heart Month; learn how you can prevent heart disease

Bracebridge raises flag for Heart Month awareness; experts say heart attacks fully preventable

Posted Feb. 4, 1:15 pm: The Town of Bracebridge is recognizing February as Heart Month by flying the Heart and Stroke Foundation Flag at the Bracebridge Municipal Office.

Foundation Program Coordinator Vernice Smith and volunteer Rhona Windsor joined Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith yesterday in raising the flag in a bid to increase awareness of heart disease and stroke.

Heart month, news about Muskoka, Bracebridge, Graydon Smith, Heart and Stroke Foundation, February news about Muskoka
Heart and Stroke Foundation Program Coordinator Vernice Smith and volunteer Rhona Windsor join Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith in raising the Heart and Stroke Foundation Flag at the Town of Bracebridge Municipal Office to signal the start of Heart Month. (Submitted photo taken Feb. 3)

Heart Month is the Foundation’s major opportunity to connect with millions of Canadians and to inform them about the risks of heart disease and stroke. The volunteers are the face and voice of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and they give it their all during the Person-to-Person campaign to raise funds for research and share the health knowledge.

“The Town of Bracebridge is pleased to support the incredible work of the Heart and Stroke volunteers in the community,” said Mayor Graydon Smith. “As heart disease and stroke have touched many of our lives, the Person-to-Person Campaign is a very effective way to ensure people understand the risks of heart disease and stroke,” said Smith.

Over $1million raised in our region

In Simcoe County/Muskoka, the Heart and Stroke Foundation raised over 1 million dollars in 2013 through Door to Door Campaigns, Jump Rope for Heart, Big Bike and the Chase McEachern Tribute fund thanks to volunteers. The funds that are raised go toward lifesaving research of heart disease and stroke.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation:

  • Heart disease and stroke take one life every 7 minutes.
  • More than 1.6 Canadians are living with the effects of heart disease and stroke, and 9 out of 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor.

While the cardiovascular death rate in Canada has gone down by nearly 40 per cent in the last decade – largely due to research advances in surgical procedures, drug therapies and prevention efforts (as well as awareness campaigns like that run by the Foundation), several esteemed experts say no one ever needs to have a heart attack.

Heart attacks are predictable and preventable

“Nobody should ever now die of a heart attack – we can prevent them,” says Dr. Elaine Chin, a leading expert in preventative health and Chief Medical Officer for Executive Health Centre (she is also a member of the Muskoka News Watch editorial board). “Today we can identify and predict those who are at risk for a heart attack before it happens – and stop it from ever happening: early screening can save your life.” Read more about preventing heart attacks in an article by Dr. Elaine Chin. In it, she recommends Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s “The Last Heart Attack” as a must-watch video.

Heart disease is tragic personally and also devastating to our economy. According to the Conference Board of Canada, heart disease and stroke costs the Canadian economy more than $20.9 billion every year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity.

Links to Township of Muskoka Lakes Budget & Strategic Plan

Tonight's the night to give public input into the Township of Muskoka Lakes budget: Don't like the idea of tax hikes or raises or million dollar legal fees? Better speak up.

Here is the links to the budget. Click on the February 6 Agenda Package to download it once you get here:

Here is the link to what has publicly been released so far as the Strategic Plan (which guides departmental business plans at Township). Again, this will prompt a download.(Don't blame me, it's how the Township has it set up)

Have asked but there's no word yet on whether public will get chance to comment on Strategic Plan (which normally helps guide township departmental budgets).

Read these and if you want to comment, please do!