Election 2018 – Lake Association Aligned Candidates

On behalf of the 10 Lake Associations listed below, we are pleased to announce the Gravenhurst Municipal Election 2018 – List of Aligned Candidates (pdf). The list reflects those candidates whose views best align with the core values of our members and have been approved by the Boards of the Lake Associations:

  • Gull & Silver Lakes Residents’ Association
  • Kahshe Lake Rate Payers’ Association
  • Loon & Turtle Lake Cottage Association
  • Muldrew Lakes Cottagers Association
  • Muskoka Bay Property Owners Association
  • Muskoka Lakes Association
  • Pine Lake Ratepayers Association
  • Riley Lake Property Owners Association
  • South Muskoka Lake Community Association
  • Sunny Lake Cottagers & Ratepayers Association

In July, the Lake Associations met and agreed on five core/shared values:

  1. The Environment is our Economy
  2. No High-Density Residential Developments on our Lakes
  3. We are One Community of Permanent and Seasonal Residents
  4. Improved Fiscal Responsibility
  5. Good and Civil Governance

The Associations also agreed to provide information and guidance to our members regarding the candidates running for office through the following selection process:

  • All of the 13 candidates running for office were interviewed by a committee consisting of Presidents or Directors of five different associations.
  • The candidates were also evaluated based upon their positions on key issues and the answers they provided during the two hour All Candidates Meeting sponsored by the lake associations, held on August 30 at the Terry Fox Auditorium.
  • For incumbents candidates running for re-election, the selection process also considered their performance on Council and their voting records over the past four years.

For your convenience we have included a PDF of the Gravenhurst Aligned Candidates List. We suggest you save it on your computer, print out several copies, and share them with your friends and neighbours. We also encourage you to share this e-mail broadly with your Muskoka community.

We are fortunate to live in Canada where we get to choose our representatives through open and fair elections.  We are also fortunate to be guaranteed the freedom of association, as well as the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression by the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms.  The Lake Associations who have undertaken the task of developing the attached list take those freedoms seriously.  We trust our members will consider and evaluate this and other pertinent information to assist with making an informed vote in October.

For more information contact Donna Mclean or Jim Davis

Link to: Gravenhurst Municipal Election 2018 – List of Aligned Candidates (pdf)

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Moody Bay Application Defeated by Town Council!

We are very happy to tell you that the Moody Bay Development Application to build 30 townhouses on Gull Lake was rejected by the Gravenhurst Council last night.

 Over 100 people filled the Gravenhurst Council Chambers for the Planning Council meeting – there are usually less than 10 and normally they are people asking for slight amendments or variances.

 The Planning Staff had recommended to defer the application to a later date.  The rationale for deferral was pretty weak  – “to allow sufficient opportunity to hear and consider public comments, and to review the supporting documentation”. We successfully argued that an overwhelming number of comments opposing the application had been received by the Town, the Council Chamber was filled with people opposing the application, and the developer had held a well-attended public meeting, so the public had spoken loudly regarding the application.  We also pointed out to the Council that the Planning Department has had the application for seven weeks and in order for the application to become an agenda item, the Planning Staff is required to conduct a thorough review and deem it “complete”. An application is deemed complete after the Planning Department reviews the information in the file and is satisfied that all the information they require to write a report is contained within the application.  So the point was made, what additional supporting documentation did the Planning Staff need to review.

After some discussion among the Council members and some Council questions to the developer and staff, a vote was taken on the motion to defer.  It was defeated 4 votes to 2 votes.  Mayor Donaldson, Councillor Randy Jorgensen voted to defer and Councillor Lorenz, Eiter, Kelly and Pilger  voted against deferral.

After the motion to defer was defeated, Council was forced to vote on the application with the only options being approve or reject.  The vote to reject the application was 6 votes to reject, 0 votes to approve.

What we learned last night:

  • If the lake associations in Muskoka continue to work together, we can have considerable influence on important decisions by Town Council.
  • If we give the Councillors a clear path and a strong political reason to do so, they will reject the advice of staff and act in the public interest.
  • Numbers matter in politics.  The number of residents at the Council Meeting and the number of written comments (over 40) filed with the Town was a wakeup call to the Council – we will not accept high density development on our lakes.  We reached out to 15 other lake associations and many of them filed objections to the application, and came to the meeting, and it made a big difference.


Another shout out to Frank Beynon, Dave Stephens and Paul and Leslie Gibson who hand delivered flyers.  Many of the recipients came to the Meeting last night and we have a number of new members.  Bravo helpers!

It’s a good day for those of us that believe that Muskoka is worth preserving and fighting for. 

Hope everyone can make it to the All Candidates Meeting Tomorrow night – 6:00pm at the Terry Fox Auditorium

See you on the dock!

Donna McLean

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Update: Moody Bay Development

Last night, 50+ persons attended an information session regarding the potential Moody Bay, 30 townhouse development project.  Attendees included 4 GSLRA Executive members, seasonal and permanent waterfront residents, current Ward Councillors some standing for election in October, including the acclaimed Mayor Paul Kelly.  The current land owner,  Mr. Merv Smith and his planner Steve Fahner  gave a brief presentation and a lengthy question and answer session with the attendees, followed.  

The actual plans are still evolving. There were a lot of details “to be decided” later in the process. Your Executive has serious concerns about both the plans so far and about the “undecided” plans going forward.

Documents from the Meeting: 

Next Steps:

  • the owner/developer has applied for a change in the zoning and that must be approved
  • the Town is currently reviewing all submissions for the development and at the conclusion of its review then it will be presented to the Planning session of Council.
  • at the moment the timing for all of this is earmarked for late August.  Certain notices must be given to comply with procedure.

Your Executive will apprise you of all updates via email and the website. We encourage you to check both regularly. It is paramount that the GSLRA has current email address of all of our residents to fully inform and engage them in this issue! Send all your email addresses of all your household to ensure everyone is informed!

And for heavens sake, sign up to vote.  Every vote in the October election will matter.  Your Executive will be involved in interviewing all candidates to determine how their views align with those of our membership.  You can sign up by calling into the Town.  See Election item below.

Stay tuned…

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