Click the highlighted headline to read the complete story
February 1, 2023 – Rocco Frangione – Almaguin News
About 45 people attended a presentation in Burk’s Falls explaining why electric vehicles are a healthy alternative to fossil-fuelled vehicles.
The Sundridge-based group Almaguin Climate Action organized the meeting, which included nine owners of electric cars displaying their vehicles outside the Burk’s Falls, Armour and Ryerson Memorial Arena where the presentation took place…
Dunlop, who is retired, said she charges her vehicle at home about 95 per cent of the time during off-peak hours so the electricity costs are minimal. The remaining times she uses public charging stations.
Jan 27, 2023 – Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com
BRACEBRIDGE — Months of protests and requests for a sit-down with MPP Graydon Smith finally paid off for climate activists in Parry Sound-Muskoka last week…
They were there to confront and press the government over their concerns on climate change and re-enforce their weekly messages on its impacts on the riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka.
January 23, 2023 – MuskokaRegion.com – Letter to the editor
Hugh Mackenzie, a former mayor of Huntsville, recently stated:
”Doug Ford earned a solid majority … (was) … handed a strong mandate to make tough decisions.”
As Mr. Mackenzie surely knows, only 18 per cent of eligible voters in Ontario voted for Doug Ford. He did not earn a “solid majority.” The first-past-the-post system handed it to him as a gift.
Doug Ford was not what most voters wanted, and most of them are arguably aghast at the damage he is doing.
Jan 9, 2023 – Orillia Matters
Orillia’s city council has joined a growing number of Ontario municipalities speaking out against Bill 23.
Council agreed in December to send a letter to Premier Doug Ford, several provincial cabinet ministers, Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop and MP Adam Chambers, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and all Ontario municipalities, calling for the bill to be overturned while highlighting its fiscal, environmental, democratic, and quality of life impacts. In addition, council voted to invite Dunlop to a future meeting to explain the “logic and rationale” behind the bill.
“Orillia has a significant loss of wetlands here; this is not an ecologically sound bill, and it burdens us with dubious results and significant risks for marginal gain,” said Mayor Don McIsaac.
The city joins the towns of Aurora, Collingwood, and Georgina, Prince Edward County, and more in speaking out against Bill 23 since its passage in November. Read story.
Dec 27, 2022 – MuskokaRegion.com – letter
Too bad we never read a headline like “… a nurse-friendly answer to health care” or “… a teacher-friendly answer to education,” but I digress.
It is no surprise that the PC government would support a business-friendly answer to addressing the changing climate…
Dec 27, 2022 – Parry Sound North Star – letter
Editor’s note: This letter was sent to MPP Graydon Smith and copied to this newspaper:
Thank you for taking the time for such a comprehensive reply regarding Bill 23. Unfortunately, your party has misinformed you…
Dec 22, 2022 – Muskoka Region
Editor’s note: This is an open letter to Parry Sound—Muskoka MPP Graydon Smith:
Dear Graydon Smith,
Contrary to your own government’s advisors, and against the researched condemnation of scientists everywhere, you are totally ignoring the fact that developing the Greenbelt is completely unnecessary for, and counterproductive to providing more affordable housing in the GTA…
Dec 22, 2022 – MuskokaRegion.com – letter
I read the Dec. 15 Forester letters concerning various climate action groups and our MPP Graydon Smith.
Mr. Smith’s stonewalling tactics and the calling in of police to prevent those protesters from entering his constituency office is despicable. As our representative at Queen’s Park, his duty is to listen to our concerns. Either he is afraid to hear opposing views or he is afraid his boss will not tolerate any show of empathy…
Dec 19, 2022 – Almaguin News – letter
I was among those who participated in a travelling rally on Friday morning, Dec. 9.
The momentum began in Sundridge, stopping in Burk’s Falls, then Huntsville, then arriving in Bracebridge, hoping to meet our MPP, Graydon Smith…
Dec 16, 2022 – Bracebridge Examiner – letter
… Having an office, paid for by taxpayers, that is not regularly staffed, is more like window dressing than public service. Yet, when a photo-op arises, like the turkey dinner at Ryde Community Centre, Smith is there with bells on.
Dec 14, 2022 – MuskokaRegion. com – letter
Friday, Dec. 9, I joined concerned citizens gathered in Memorial Park to peacefully demonstrate against Bill 23. From there we walked, letters in hand, gathering in front of your constituency office to deliver them two at a time…
Dec 13, 2022 – NorthBayNipissing.com – letter
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be sworn at and told to “get the hell out” by the owner of the building where our MPP Graydon Smith‘s second floor constituency office is located in Bracebridge…
Muskoka letter writer calls for MPP Smith to resign over lack of access to office during Bill 23 protest
December 12, 2022 – MuskokaRegion.com
Recently, on Friday, Dec. 9, quite a large group of citizens gathered at Graydon Smith’s constituency office in Bracebridge. Our group represented people from all over our riding of Parry Sound—Muskoka.
We were there to protest the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario’s Bill 23 and 29, which is an all-out attack on our democracy, farmland, conservation authorities and ultimately green spaces and wetlands. – more
Bill 23 protesters from across Parry Sound-Muskoka fail in attempt to deliver opposition letters to MPP
Upwards of 100 protesters from Parry Sound-Muskoka arrived at MPP Graydon Smith’s Bracebridge office intending to deliver letters opposing the More Homes Built Faster Act that received royal assent on Nov. 28.
,,,The message of the protesters was clear and was one that travelled from Sundridgeƒ to Burk’s Falls and then Huntsville before landing in Bracebridge, drawing others as far afield as North Bay airing their displeasure – ordering the bill’s repeal.
Thursday, November 24, 2022 – Letter to the editor – Huntsville Forester
With the Doug Ford government lurching from crisis to crisis, many of their own making, it is difficult to remember each cynical step along the way. But what follows is a brief timeline of the events leading up to the latest crisis the Ford government has created. read the complete letter
Wednesday, November 23, 2022 – Letter to the editor – MuskokaRegion.com
Well, here we are again, and Doug Ford and his government are at it again.
Instead of looking after our failing health care and our education problems, which would benefit all of us, he is busy dismantling the Greenbelt and building highways that we don’t need. more
They have been striking for 157 consecutive weeks now, but their message remains the same: climate change must be addressed before it’s too late. Read the whole story. Watch the YouTube video below
August 22, 2022 – opinion – MuskokaRegion.com
I have a nostalgic longing for Muskoka as an icon of environmental conservation. I think it once was, but that may be a delusion based on childhood memories.
I’m starting to see the region as the sacrificial lamb of Northern Ontario. When I find myself east or north of Muskoka, I am relieved and grateful at the presence of wilderness.
Bet Smith, Bracebridge – read Bet’s whole letter
September 13, 2022 – Letter to the editor – Muskoka Region
To say … “Enbridge says pipelines support net zero” and to have the Ontario government supporting this pipeline expansion to the tune of $3.1 million is ridiculous.
Paul Kuebler, Port Sydney – Read Paul’s whole letter
September 2, 2022 – Letter to the editor – Huntsville Forester
In the face of an accelerating climate crisis, is expanding gas service a good idea? Enbridge thinks so, but it gets paid for every meter of pipe it puts in the ground. And at first glance, homeowners stuck with costly fuel oil and propane for heating may think so too.
Angela Bischoff, Director, Ontario Clean Air Alliance – Read the whole letter
September 2, 2022 – Letter to the editor – MuskokaRegion.com
I just had to respond to the so-called opinion piece from Enbridge’s vice-president, Malini Giridhar, of Aug. 8. This reads more like it should be a paid ad. There’s some mighty wild logic in the idea that more gas pipelines will get Muskoka to net zero.
Sue Mckenzie, Gravenhurst – Read the whole letter
August 31, 2022 – Letter to the editor – MuskokaRegion.com
There are now several options for households to switch away from fossil fuels. One is to take out a federal zero-interest loan under the Canada Greener Homes Loan plan.
This letter to the editor is a sham and you allowed it. This is not an opinion, it is clearly an employee toeing the corporate line.
Paul Kuebler, Port Sydney – Read the whole letter
August 25, 2022 – Letter to the editor – MuskokaRegion.com
Enbridge says pipelines support net-zero emissions, but not if they are attached to new hookups like the natural gas expansion in Burk’s Falls and Huntsville’s Hidden Valley.
Joanne Tanaka, Utterson – Read the whole letter
‘Gas pipeline is obsolete technology’: Huntsville to join list of proposed sites for provincial natural gas expansion program
July 25, 2022 – Huntsville Forester – Talha Hashmani
… But for some, there are concerns the project could be too expensive and environmentally damaging. It’s these concerns that Climate Action Muskoka member Lesley Hastie said would cost residents a lot of money — from supporting provincial funding through taxes to expenses related to using gas. According to Enbridge Gas, each customer would have to pay an additional expansion fee of 23 cents per cubic metre over 40 years.
“Once those pipelines are in, I don’t know how many homes are going to want to hook up and how much of a total waste of money this is,” said Hastie. “Gas pipeline is obsolete technology. We have to stop using fossil fuels … it’s costing us — (the) taxpayers.”
According to Hastie, there are alternatives to natural gas like cold air heat pumps and solar panels that cost less and are less damaging to the environment.
July 18, 2022 – letter to the editor – MuskokaRegion.com
The Ontario government wants more money from the Federal government for health care. Perhaps Doug Ford should have thought of that before he:
• cancelled a cap-and-trade program resulting in $3 billion in lost revenue;
• in 2020 spent $2.8 billion to buy three natural gas plants (erasing one-third of the emissions reductions Ontario achieved by phasing out coal);
• gave drivers $1 billion by cancelling licence plate renewal fees;
• spent over $230 million to cancel 758 renewable energy contracts;
• gave Enbridge $234 million to install gas pipelines which when hooked up would cost homeowners and taxpayers over $36,000 per home. (Clean electric air source heat pumps, which also provide air conditioning, would cost half that, with no emissions);
• committed to building Hwy. 413 at an estimated cost of $8.2 billion and adding to the loss of an estimated 319 acres of farmland every day, equal to one average family farm;
• spent $4 million on anti-carbon tax stickers and associated advertising campaign;
• promised to spend $30 million to fight the price on carbon.
All this money could have been spent on Ontario’s inadequate and underfunded public health system. No surprise then that the federal government cannot trust Doug Ford’s improvident government to spend extra money where it’s so sorely needed.
July 8, 2022 – Tamara De La Vega – Huntsville Doppler
Gas-powered motorboats could officially be prohibited on Clark Lake if an application to the Federal government is successful.
The small lake has no public access and is only about five metres deep, explained Clarke Lake resident Teri Souter.
The majority of Clarke Lake residents have had an informal agreement to keep gas-powered boats off the lake since the 1970s, but they’d like to make it official.
Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP, Town of Bracebridge face charges of destruction of endangered species habitat
Wednesday, June 29, 2022 – Mary Beth Hartill – Bracebridge Examiner
Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP and newly named Minister of Natural Resources Graydon Smith, as well as the Town of Bracebridge senior members of staff and the town itself, are facing private endangered species charges.
Each of the individuals are facing charges of directing, authorizing, assenting to, acquiescing in or participating in the commission of an offence to kill, harm or harass Blanding’s turtles, a species at risk in Ontario; as well as directing, authorizing, assenting to, acquiescing in or participating in the commission of the offence of being a danger to or destroying the habitat of a Blanding’s turtle. The town itself is facing two charges to kill, harm or harass a Blanding’s turtle; and causing danger to or destroying its habitat.
May 27, 2022 – Sarah Law – Muskoka Region.com
It’s week 140 of the climate strike in Bracebridge, and this time the activists were joined by well-known environmental advocate Elizabeth May.
May, the former Green Party of Canada leader and current MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands in British Columbia, showed her support for Parry Sound-Muskoka’s provincial Green candidate, Matt Richter.
May 18, 2022 – MuskokaRegion.com – Opinion
… We must stop Ford’s plan to build Hwy. 413, the Bradford bypass and other highway plans alluded to, during the recent all candidates’ debate. Our future and our children’s futures depend on us doing the right thing for people and the planet, now.
April 18, 2022 – MuskokaRegion.com – Opinion
April 22 will be the 52nd Earth Day. Starting in 1970 with teach-ins across U.S. campuses, Earth Day became global in 1990. It is a day to pause and reflect, a day to inspire and to strive to do better as we struggle to remedy the many wrongs we have inflicted on this planet. But what does Earth Day mean for a beautiful place like Muskoka? We also can do better; Muskoka suffers environmental degradation too.
April 18, 2022 – Mary Beth Hartill – Bracebridge Examiner
The cause of blue-green algal blooms on Muskoka’s lakes may be linked to more than human habitation — climate change may be taking its toll.
Phosphorous levels in lakes are a known cause of blue-green algae; however, when pristine lakes with no human habitation begin to bloom, environmental experts raise the red flag — climate change is affecting Muskoka’s lakes.
COVID-19 has shown global crises can be tackled quickly, say climate strikers.
Every Friday for more than two years, Muskoka residents have been protesting for climate action.
The protestors are members of Climate Action Muskoka (CAM), a grassroots group that has gained much momentum during this time. The group pushed Muskoka municipalities to declare climate emergencies, it launched a community carbon challenge to help people half emissions by 2030, and it is working to further educate the community on environmentalism.
February 1, 2022 – MuskokaRegion.com – letters
What will $10 billion buy you? Apparently, a highway.
And what will Highway 413 offer all Ontarians? Well, a very limited number of people and a few truckers will enjoy a few less minutes on the road. Not more than five minutes, some analysts have predicted.
Jan 25, 2022 -South Muskoka Doppler – letters
In December 2009 The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) published Act Locally: The Municipal Role in Fighting Climate Change.
“Municipalities can play a key role in helping Canada meet commitments for both significant and long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions.” The report stated. – more
Jan 12, 2022 – Muskoka Region – Opinion
If your bathtub is overflowing, what would you do first? Grab a towel to mop up the mess? Or turn off the tap?
December 30, 2021 – MuskokaRegion.com – opinion
Scott Aitchison, our MP, has just voted against pandemic aid for workers and businesses as it would be “incentivizing people to stay at home.”
Nov 30, 2021 – MuskokaRegion.com – issued by the District of Muskoka.
The working group will look at the impacts of climate change across Muskoka’s communities, identify future risks and draft a regional plan to adapt to these changes.
‘Forget gas prices we are all going to die’ Muskoka climate change warriors take to streets of Huntsville
Climate activists from across Muskoka met on Saturday, Nov. 6 in Huntsville for a lunchtime rally at the G8 Flag Park organized by Climate Action Muskoka.
Upbeat, sign-waving folks gathered under the flags and judging by the car horn cacophony — they had a lot of support from drivers as well.
Tuesday Nov. 2nd, 2021 – Martin Halek – My Muskoka Now
As world leaders head to Glasgow this week to discuss climate change, local activists are making their voices heard in Muskoka.
The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) runs from October 31st to November 12th, and Climate Action Muskoka (CAM) will stage a demonstration on November 6th in Huntsville’s G8 Flag Park.
Advocate promotes greener building solutions with new builds
… the Town of Gravenhurst declared a climate emergency and committed to a climate action strategy plan.
Zytaruk encouraged council to have staff develop a sustainable development program within six months, and to implement a new climate-aware building fee structure which will incentivize the use of low or negative carbon building materials in all new builds.
Thursday Oct. 14th, 2021 – My Muskoka Now- Martin Halek
“We want people to see that there is an issue” The weekly “climate strikes” are organized by Climate Action Muskoka (CAM), and take place every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Huntsville’s Riverside Park and Bracebridge’s Memorial Park.
July 19, 2021 – Mary Beth Hartill – Bracebridge Examiner
“When we are all working together, it really inspires us and it gives us the strength to co-ordinate and collaborate,” said the Bracebridge resident and member of Climate Action Muskoka. “It’s actually given me so much hope because, for decades, many of us have been so fearful…
JULY 9, 2021 – MuskokaToday.com – Mark Clairmont
BRACEBRIDGE — Who better than teachers to help educate kids and the public to take more action on the climate crisis in Muskoka?
At noon today a new initiative was launched at the weekly Friday Climate Strike in Memorial Park.
Town of Huntsville declares a climate emergency, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050
July 1, 2021 – by Doppler On-line
… Spurred on by Climate Action Muskoka—a local not-for-profit group concerned about climate change and its impacts—Huntsville councilors unanimously agreed to join the Town of Gravenhurst and District of Muskoka and declare a climate emergency.
Letter to the editor
June 23, 2021 – Muskoka Region.com
Imagine what could have been done for Burk’s Falls and the Huntsville area with a different investment, an investment that is energy-efficient, affordable and grows the local economy.
Open letter to MPP Norm Miller, Premier Doug Ford
June 15, 2021 – Muskoka Region.com
— Climate Action Muskoka believes that affordable heating is a laudable goal, but new gas lines are indefensible. Any and all subsidies should be applied to converting to non-fossil fuel, non-greenhouse gas-producing, renewable forms of heating and energy.
JUNE 15, 2021 – Muskoka Today
Ed. note: This letter from Climate Action Muskoka was copied to MuskokaTODAY.com
Surely the Ontario government is aware of the international call to reduce the use of fossil fuels, writes Climate Action Muskoka in their letter the MPP and premier.
May 18,2021 – Huntsville Doppler – BY TAMARA DE LA VEGA
With the District of Muskoka and the Town of Gravenhurst each having passed a climate emergency resolution promising to lead by example to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), Climate Action Muskoka plans to ask the Town of Huntsville to do the same at its May council meeting.
April 21, 2021 — MuskokaToday
Muskoka’s ‘Gateway’ community is the first large local municipality to officially declare a climate emergency and to align its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals with the District of Muskoka’s targets.
Climate Action Muskoka (CAM) is calling it a significant event during Earth Week and ahead of Earth Day tomorrow, Thursday April 22.
By Mark Clairmont
April 21, 2021 — Gravenhurst Banner
Gravenhurst has become the first municipality in Muskoka to align with the district by committing to a climate action strategy plan.
The decision was made at the Tuesday, April 20 council meeting — during Earth Week — following a presentation by Sue McKenzie of Climate Action Muskoka.
By Sarah Law.
April 22, 2021 — Muskoka 411
The District of Muskoka is excited to celebrate Earth Day 2021 with the launch of an extensive community-wide greenhouse gas initiative that will engage community groups, businesses, area municipalities, utility companies, and schools to raise awareness of climate change causes and impacts, and explore ways that we can work together across sectors and communities in Muskoka to reduce emissions. Learn more about the District’s New Leaf Strategy and other climate initiatives on their website: www.muskoka.on.ca/climatechange. By Kelly Hart.
APRIL 25, 2021 – MuskokaTODAY.com
Dreams of the Northlander’s return face the reality of COVID passenger service — as even it sister bus routes were decimated the past year by customers fearful of any form of transportation road or rail. by Mark Clairmont
April 19, 2021 — Gravenhurst Banner
The Ontario Northlander made its last trip in 2012, and since then, there has been much advocacy in Muskoka and the north about bringing it back. Premier Doug Ford made a campaign pledge in 2018 to restore the Northlander. By Sarah Law.
March 24, 2021 — Huntsville Doppler
Home ownership, particularly for those entering the market, has become next to impossible for many people in the community. Read the whole story here. By Tamara de la Vega.
March 26, 2021 – Huntsville Doppler
It is incomprehensible that the Conservative Party of Canada has denied the climate reality with one simple, downed motion. At their convention last week, a majority voted against a motion to declare Climate Change is real and needs action. How did this fact-denying voice raise its ugly head in a mainstream Canadian institution? By Linda Mathers
March 24, 2021 —
It took 8½ years of advocating for the return of the Northlander. Today the Northeastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) is excited to announce the Ontario government has committed to funding the next step to moving forward on the project with $5M and hopefully then to the final stage: putting ‘bums in seats’ on the train between Toronto and Timmins/Cochrane.
March 11, 2021 – MuskokaRegion.com
Editor’s note: This is the first submission in the Reimagining Series from Climate Action Muskoka
Imagine a future where we are no longer staring down a climate crisis but are experiencing a drawdown of carbon from the atmosphere, where the health and well-being of people in an equitable and resilient Muskoka are reflected in communities around the world…
By Linda Mathers
March 3, 2021 – Huntsville Doppler
At its February 22 council meeting, the Town of Huntsville joined the City of North Bay in urging Ontario Premier Doug Ford to stick to his campaign promise made during the 2018 provincial election and bring back the Ontario Northlander passenger rail between Toronto and Cochrane, which was discontinued in 2012.
By TAMARA DE LA VEGA
– our changing climate is increasing this flood risk and many in our community expect “the government” will take steps to “fix” these risks to our properties and our lives.
Peter Sale – MuskokaRegion.com – opinion, Thursday, February 25, 2021
Effective management will utilize, sustain and grow that natural infrastructure while allowing the development required to house our population and sustain our economy.
Kevin Trimble – MuskokaRegion.com – opinion, Thursday, February 18, 2021
The college is set to close on March 31
Gravenhurst Banner Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Gravenhurst council passed a motion for the province to reconsider the closure of the Ontario Fire College. To date, the townships of Augusta, Baldwin, Lake of Bays, Machar, Magnetawan, Parry Sound, Seguin, Terrace Bay and now Gravenhurst have all passed motions in support of keeping the college open, according to Save the Ontario Fire College.
by Sarah Law
Trail connection would go from Gull Lake Rotary Park to Bala. Some councilors expressed concerns
Sarah Law Gravenhurst Banner Thursday, January 21, 2021
In the past year, it has created a website, a steering committee, a podcast called Muskoka Drawdown on Hunters Bay Radio, launched a Community Carbon Challenge and put forward a motion for the District of Muskoka to declare a climate emergency, which has been passed…
Sarah Law Bracebridge Examiner Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Through funding provided by the Government of Ontario, and in partnership with Hammond Transportation Ltd., the District Municipality of Muskoka (the District) is excited to announce a new transportation service for Muskoka. READ MORE.
Pressure is mounting in Muskoka to push water levels lower. The Muskoka River Water Management Plan currently includes some protection for spawning fish. But after recent spring floods, some say it’s worth losing some fish to protect shoreline structures… If we don’t understand all of the risks, it’s like throwing a dart at a dart board while blindfolded.
Kevin Trimble – MuskokaRegion.com – opinion Friday, January 1, 2021
Muskoka is set to turn over a new leaf for the environment in 2021.
Christy Doyle, director of environment and watershed programs for the District of Muskoka, and Kevin Boyle, climate change co-ordinator, offered a well-received overview of A New Leaf: Muskoka’s Climate Strategy to district council on Dec. 21.
Alison Brownlee – MuskokaRegion.com Wednesday, December 23, 2020