Speak Up, Huntsville!



  1. We Want YOU
    Ontario Premier Doug Ford recently opined that the former Ontario Liberals had engaged in ‘creative bookkeeping.’ I guess if one’s idea of bookkeeping amounts to what appears to be little more than the cut, cut, cutting of expenses, then perusing the accounting steps taken to maintain the financial health of Ontario while simultaneously introducing innovative social programs to improve the lives of those not fortunate enough to inherit, or purchase, an established successful business would appear creative.
    As anyone who has been around for more than one provincial or federal election probably knows, presenting a dire financial situation inherited from the previous government is pretty well standard political maneuvering by all Parties. That way, in the near term, the newly elected Party will have a handy excuse for their broken promises and, in the later term, a baseline for their miraculous climb back up from near provincial bankruptcy.
    This is not to say that there isn’t some credence to such claims of financial mismanagement. Of course the incumbent Party is going to put forward the rosiest picture possible. It’s just that it seems a bit disingenuous for the incoming Party to feign shock upon discovering discrepancies because if they didn’t suspect that finances might be worse than presented previous to the election then maybe they are too naïve to govern.
    But, all that being said, what the Conservatives have been able to pull off is truly masterful. First, and foremost, was the cutting of corporate taxes. Even though the provincial debt was allegedly many multiples worse than anticipated, corporate tax cuts were never abandoned. This, as my father used to say, would seem akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face. I suspect that even the most accounting-challenged of us understands that reducing the provinces income is going to be detrimental to its ability to fund programs. Of course, if the provinces pain benefits the previous source of personal income of some MPPs, well, just chalk that up to an unintended consequence. The more important thing is for the Conservatives to appear to be getting provincial income and expenses back into sync, without being creative of course.
    Which brings us back, not surprisingly, to the only option available to anyone when faced with a reduction in income -cut, cut, cutting of expenses. And, oh my, what a fertile field those tax-and-spend Liberals left for the Conservatives to plow through.
    Among the first to be axed were multiple green programs like windmills, cap-and-trade and personal home retrofits. Then came an attack on those traditionally least able to organize, the poor. Going, going and soon to be gone was a basic-income program. Scaled back was a promised percentage increase for social assistance programs. Funding commitments for some satellite-university builds have apparently been withdrawn. Safe injection sites are under review and I believe I heard a story on the news about a student-loan forgiveness program being cancelled. The list just goes on and on and on.
    And now, to add insult to injury, apparently the PCs are going to be erecting promotional signs at strategic points of entry into the province proclaiming that Ontario is open for business. Aggregating all the cuts they have made and then extrapolating from them, it would appear to me that if you are a business that doesn’t like to pay taxes, doesn’t like to pay a living wage and don’t mind polluting then you are a business the provincial Conservatives would love to welcome. To paraphrase an old Ontario tourism slogan; Ontario – Yours To Exploit.

  2. Has anyone else noticed that our gas prices are way too high? In recent travels I’ve seen the following prices:
    Gravenhurst $1.18
    Barry’s Bay $1.17
    Ottawa $1.09
    DWIGHT $1.25!!!
    All the while the price in Huntsville hasn’t budged from $1.26 (October 2018).
    I think it’s time for our local gas station owners to cut us some slack by lowering their prices.

    • Leslie Parrott on

      I couldn’t agree more. Just drove from Huntsville to Montreal and the prices in Huntsville are at least 10 cents a litre higher than anywhere else. I would give my business to any of the gas station owners who would do the right thing and bring the Huntsville prices in line with the rest .

  3. A copy of this letter to MPP Norm Miller was sent to Huntsville Doppler for publication ~

    This is my second letter to a politician! My first was to Right Honorable John Diefenbaker in 1960. This was a laudatory epistle, thanking him for the Bill of Rights. My second, to you Mr. Miller, is not complementary.
    Even-though we are at opposite poles of the political spectrum, I have always held you in the greatest esteem, as a man of integrity and principle.
    Not so now! I am deeply disappointed.
    Where is your backbone and that of your colleagues of the caucus?
    Contracts are cancelled on a whim, seriously damaging the reputation of the integrity of the Province of Ontario. Your leader has pronounced that Ontario is open for business! Do you think that companies consider investing with the provincial government if they cannot trust it?
    The Premier interferes with the municipal elections, while everything is in play. Particularly with cancelling of the election of District Chair here in Muskoka. You don’t change the rules of the game just as the referee is dropping the puck!
    The cancellation of the educational curriculum on our children’s health and reverting to an out-of-date, 20-years, curriculum is unforgivable.
    Decisions seem to be made out of spite or pettiness or kow-towing to vocal minorities.
    Do you and your fellow MPP’s, really agree with these, seemingly impulsive, decisions?
    In closing, I find that the quotation I came across recently, appropriate, by Bertrand Russell (English philosopher and mathematician) “The trouble world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”


    • Further to Mr. Boysen’s comments re the travesty on democracy at Queens Park, those who follow politics might be interested to read lawyer Marie Heinen’s open letter to Premier Ford in the Globe and Mail this week. Ms Heinen, [who some may recognize as the lawyer for Jian Ghomeshi], gives firm direction to Mr. Ford in language that, even he, could understand.

      Marie Heinen starts her piece by stating, ‘…It’s time for a lesson on law and government 101. I doubt that Ontario Premier Doug Ford will take me up on the offer of a one-on-one lesson, and since it appears that none of those advising our Premier have thought to take on this task, here it goes.’

      Those few of us who spoil their day regularly by following municipal/provincial/federal politics will be startled by the firm rap on the knuckles which Ms Heinen gives the Premier on his knowledge of Canadian constitutional law.

      See https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-doug-ford-no-power-grab-is-worth-undermining-canadas-solid/

      Ms Heinen concludes by writing, ‘…Any time you want that one-on-one lesson, or a bit of a crash course on the Charter – including section 33, the notwithstanding clause – I’m here for you.’

  4. Jack & Judy Stewart on

    My wife and I would like to thank the Baysville/Huntsville fire department for saving our home and business last night 7/7/18. When you are awakened at 3:00 am in the morning with the sky a bright red next door, you immediately panic. Our neighbours cottage was completely engulfed in flames. The fire had moved onto our property and we thought that our place would be next as it was only a few feet from the house. Trees were on fire, the bush was on fire. We were then told we must evacuate now. It was a few hours before we were able to return. The fire department had been able to knock down the fire in our bush, preventing another disaster from happening. There is no words for how we feel about the volunteer fire department, all we can say is Thank You Thank You.

  5. Karen Robinson on

    I believe that many media organizations are doing the public a huge disservice by quoting polls that attempt to predict election results. I think that the over-reliance by media organizations on the use of their latest commissioned poll results are guilty of influencing election results by quoting polls as if they are an inevitable fact. That factor is compounded by what I believe is the present and growing inaccuracy of polls because of the behavioural change over the last ten years to cell phones and the many ramifications this change represents (i.e. ages or respondents for a starter). The landscape of willing respondents to pollsters continues to be in state of change and I do not believe polling companies are able to factor in this constant change with a sufficient degree of accuracy. For these reasons I question the validity and reliability of the information gathered in the polls and find that the use of poll information in news reports in the lead-up to elections (Canada and the U.S., provincial and federal) is itself becoming a factor of influence in elections. I have not made my decision as to who I will vote for in Ontario’s upcoming provincial election but I bristle at all media organization’s reporting poll results as if it is a done-deal for any particular party. Worse still – I believe it is interfering with our democratic process.

  6. Why can’t Muskoka drivers use studs In their tires? Somehow Parry Sounders can use them to drive to work and shop in Huntsville, and Muskokans can’t? Why doesn’t Mr. Miller bring this up every chance he could? Our weather is the same as Parry Sound District’s, our roads are the same, if not more snow and Ice covered. In Novar, one side of the street can, – but not the other side, – use tire studs.
    – and don’t get me started on the perks of half priced automobile licences. (Shut up Jim)

  7. There is so many kind an helpful people in Huntsville. I was stuck with my mobility scooter and people stopped to help. Then my battery died and people stopped to help. But the best thing of all was Mike and Jeanette helped me push my scooter over 2km to my front door an in my house. Mike an Jeanette, l can’t thank you enough.
    I haven’t lived in Huntsville for very long but this is the place to be of you need help. THANK YOU SO MUCH TOO EVERYONE WHO STOPPED TO HELP.

  8. Rock of Ages
    I would like to COMMEND the Band, and the cast and all who put this show on at the Algonquin Theatre!!! This show was EXCELLENT!!!! The whole show was incredible!!! They did an amazing job!!!!! They all deserve a huge THANK YOU for their dedication and hard work. It truly paid off. I have been to musicals in my life but let me tell you THIS MUSICAL far exceeded any show I have ever been to and that includes the Phantom of the Opera. This show was the best show ever!!!!! I would like to tell anyone who did not go they missed a huge successful entertainment!!! ROCK OF AGES you ROCK BIG TIME!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE WONDERFUL SHOW. CONGRATULATIONS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!!

  9. Ted Knobelsdorf on

    I’d like to do a shout out for the new Brick in Huntsville. My mother purchased a chair for the old Brick in October 2016.
    I thought to drop in during the grand opening and see what they may do to help my 88 old Mom.
    The offered to look into it as the warranty has expired.
    Today I received a call from Them and a new chair was ordered for her!!!!
    Thank you Brick!!
    That’s customer service!!!

  10. Lela Shepley-Gamble on

    As a practitioner of SGI Nichiren Buddhism for almost 30 years, I recently have been asked by several people in my community, “ How can Buddhists be involved in the persecution and slaughter of the Muslim minority in Myanmar?” My instantaneous response is, “Though they call themselves Buddhist, they are not acting in accord with key Buddhist principles – i.e. reverence for the sanctity of life; acknowledgment of the interconnectedness of all phenomena (including all people!); and the strict Law of Cause and Effect that guarantees whatever causes you make, the effects are simultaneously planted in your life and will manifest when conditions are right. If you truly believed in that one Buddhist principle alone, persecution and slaughter would not be on your agenda!

    I am glad to know that many people today think of Buddhism as a totally pacifistic religion and are shocked by images of Buddhists participating in scenes of violence. However, Buddhists are human beings, and as we all know, human beings are capable of great acts of courage, compassion, and wisdom as well as foul acts of depravity and degradation.

    We need to be shocked by the darkness in the human heart, no matter what label is associated with it.

    As Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, or atheists, we all need to be working to ensure that we bring out the best in ourselves and others, that we strive daily to make the world a more peaceful and tolerant place, and that we stand against injustice in whatever form it takes. We make choices every day; let’s make sure we’re doing the very best we can do.

  11. John Rivière-Anderson on

    A lot of ink has been spilled about what Trudeau’s trip to Washington will mean for the future of NAFTA, but there’s been shockingly little coverage of a dramatic NAFTA story playing out here in Canada.
    This week in Toronto, oil and gas company Lone Pine Resources is using Chapter 11 of NAFTA to sue our government for over $100 million, over a temporary fracking ban under the St Lawrence River.
    The “Investor State Dispute Settlement” rules in Chapter 11 give billionaire corporations special rights to sue governments in shadowy international tribunals for passing laws or policies that might reduce their expected profits.
    Canada is already the most-sued country in the global north because of NAFTA’s Chapter 11 ISDS rules. Most corporations sue us over our environmental regulations.
    These rules let corporations undermine our democracy in the pursuit of profits, and should be removed.
    The NAFTA renegotiations offer an opportunity to put an end to these outrageous corporate lawsuits.

  12. Bad Air
    About a year ago, the train station was closed to the public. Readings had been taken and air quality was deemed unsafe. Mole. Mildew. Disintegrating insulation was releasing asbestos. The site was pronounced unsafe and closed.
    Recently, groups that had been using the station were requested to remove anything they had in the building as the building is to be sold, For 2 dollars.
    Arriving at the site, no fans were running, purging the building of all that bad air. No one was shown recent readings that showed the air to now be safe, but neither was anyone required to wear a HAZMAT suit nor personal breathing apparatus. Not even those little paper masks were needed. Apparently the air is fine now. The building has cleansed itself?
    It would be interesting to compare this years readings with those taken a year ago, the ones that closed the building.
    Or was the ‘bad air’ story that emanated from the station akin to the air one might notice wafting from a neighbours pasture, The air seems to have been the excuse used to vacate the building and the first step in the process of declaring it surplus.
    My opinion for sure, but I think it as viable as the one used by council to close the building
    Allen Markle

  13. Walking the fairy Vista trail on a daily basis, we noticed the water damage it did to part of the trail, where there is a near total washout on the section from the sewage treatment plant to the road leading to o Mara golf course ..the town did put up some pylons (2) to indicate the break almost halfway on the trail ,but closer inspection shows that the soil underneath the asphalt is also disappeared ,,which makes it dangerous for people navigating the trail,and prone to a larger cave in.. maybe the town should be made aware of this situation,and rectify this problem a.s.a.p, as in to avoid potential accidents..

  14. A suggestion for Huntsville Mayor and Council
    With a sigh and a shrug, council has deemed the train station too expensive to repair and will list it as surplus property to be disposed of. An RFP was issued and the matter debated, but since volunteers had invested time and money in the station some years ago, councils have done little to maintain the building. Now it will pass to private ownership; to someone who doesn’t seem to feel it too expensive to repair and for the price of 2 bucks, find it a sweet deal.
    Another town property, where the Allensville Hall once stood, was worthy of no such debate or RFP. A ‘FOR SALE’ sign was simply hammered in the earth. The price tag is 39.000 dollars.
    ‘Touch the past. Embrace the future’ Indeed! The past, our heritage, seemingly has little future once ‘touched’ by this mayor and council. What some worked hard to build and maintain, council will now dispose of for 2 dollars. It shows little interest or respect for what has been left to us and even less desire to maintain it.
    Might I suggest that in the future council go the ‘FOR SALE’ sign route, rather than subjecting itself to the ’emotional struggle’ of divesting of a heritage site. It seems that the return might be exponentially greater than 2 bucks.
    Allen Markle

  15. Please move the “artwork” from the middle of our river-way.
    Yes, it’s ‘artistic’, in the eyes of those who worked to create & plant it there, but in my opinion it is poorly placed and dangerous, in present location.
    It’s just not attractive. It poses a safety hazard.
    Relocate it to where it won’t be a danger to passing water-traffic.
    I am not alone in this opinion.

  16. To those residents of Huntsville who live along the Muskoka Road 3 North corridor and also to parents of children who attend Spruce Glen Public School, there will be a Town Planning Committee meeting in chambers on August 16th commencing at 9:00 am, to consider a proposed amendment to Zoning By-law 2008-66P, which would change zoning on an adjacent property from a Rural One (RU1) Zone to a Heavy Industrial (M1) Zone to permit a rock cutting and processing facility on the property. Notification was previously published in the July 20th edition of the Huntsville Forester.
    The proposed zoning amendment application is identified as Z/41/2016/HTE (Muskoka Rock Company Ltd.)
    I would urge everyone to consider the negative effects of such an operation in a residential area should this zoning amendment be permitted.

  17. Bud Hambleton on

    On behalf of the Huntsville and area Historical Society, I would like to thank the Reverend Derek Shelley and the congregation of the Trinity United Church, Huntsville for permission to set up a table on the church lawn on Canada Day. Also to Suzy Simson for a quick response to our request. We had a very successful day.

    Thanks once again,
    Bud Hambleton

  18. Bruce Stimers on

    Just returned home to witness the huge, ugly, navigational hazard in the middle of our beautiful river at the focal point of our downtown. The word idiotic came to mind right after stupid. Why on earth was that eyesore ever allowed? More to the point, why is it still there? Another gross waste of our tax money?

    • Well, the money and the figure were donated but I agree with you–beauty is in the eye of the beholder and most “beholders” have judged it to be ugly. The more serious issue is the danger to boats navigating the river. I think it has already been removed to a safer location.

  19. Proposed Development of Quarry and Pit

    There are plans proposed by Mr. Frank Lippa to develop a new pit and quarry operation which would be located at 1089 Butler Mill Road which is north-east of Aspdin Road (Con. 4 Lots 3 &4 of Cardwell Twp). It would be licensed for a maximum annual extraction of 200,000 tonnes of sand, gravel and bedrock. The proposed pit would operate 7 days a week, Monday to Friday from 6:00am – 9:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am – 6:00pm. There would be a massive increase in heavy truck traffic on the Aspdin Road – an average of 100 heavy trucks taking out material per day (and then returning). Many of these trucks will head eastward towards Huntsville and the rest westward through Rosseau.

    Allowing this quarry and pit development to proceed would have many negative effects:
    *Poor sight lines on Aspdin Road means danger for cars entering and exiting driveways /sideroads, school children getting on/off the bus, pedestrians, cyclists and wildlife. Trucks already drive on the yellow line for fear of dropping off the paved road onto the gravel shoulder.
    *Proposed pit and quarry will be operating above and below the water table.
    *Negative impact on wildlife-turtles, deer , turkeys etc trying to cross the road as well as animals and birds in the area of the quarry.
    *Massive impact on air quality and water sources originating from the grinding of granite and the potential for holding ponds to overflow.
    *Negative impact from the noise and vibrations of the machinery processing the materials, the constant movement of the trucks and the blasting that will occur on a regular basis. Cottagers and homeowners would be subjected to this continual intrusion.
    *Negative impact on the waters of Skeleton Lake whose creeks originate near the site and drain into the lake. The distance being less than 2 Km .

    To see more information and the map of proposed quarry and pit log on to: https://muskokalakes.civicweb.net/document/97947
    or call Ross Earl
    Aspdin Road
    Phone 705 -646-3848

  20. S. Derek Shelly on

    In reply to Professionally Speaking: Finding God in Nature https://doppleronline.ca/huntsville/finding-god-in-nature-jeremy-mcclung-of-muskoka-community-church/

    As much as I really like and enjoy Jeremy I would have to say that he seems to have omitted the idea of the late Marcus Borg (a Lutheran pastor and theologian) who also speaks of the idea of “panenthesism “. The basic difference between pantheism and panentheism is that the former holds the idea that everything is God, while the later holds the idea that God is in everything. I realize the difference may not be much to some but it is – everything is God vs. God is in everything.

    Secondly, there are a large number of Christians who would be critical of the use of the male pronoun when speaking of God. Scripture reminds us that we are “no longer male or female” (Galatians 3:28) and we are “made in the image of God, both male and female” (Genesis 1:27). In essence, it is not incorrect to refer to God as male, neither would it be incorrect to use the feminine pronoun. We can think of God as Father and Mother, but for centuries we just haven’t used such inclusive language. To me it would be most inclusive not limit God to human images at all, to let go of anthropomorphic images altogether. That is to say, God is not an old man with a long beard living “up” in heaven somewhere. However, I realize too that I might be in the minority on this issue; but minorities are important too.

    I would totally agree with Jeremy in that God is found in nature, outdoor worship is great especially here in Muskoka. (Actually Trinity United Church is holding their worship outdoors at the Martin’s farm (formerly driving range) at 10 am on Sunday, June 26). No matter where we gather in large numbers or on our own, God is with us and all we can ever do is worship the God who is “holy mystery and wholly love” (The United Church of Canada, Song of Faith).

  21. Robin's Rebels on

    Community Letter of Thanks

    Robin’s Rebels silent art auction held at Hidden Valley Resort this past Friday evening raised over $6800.00!
    We are a group of riders who will be cycling 220 km for two days from Toronto to Hamilton, Hamilton to Niagara.

    When each of us signed up to do the ‘Ride to Conquer Cancer’, we each committed to raise $2500.00 or more in order to participate.

    We are close to raising the $30,000.00 as a team. We have so many people to thank.

    First and foremost, Hidden Valley Resort offered the ball room to host the event. Thank you to Rose Evans co-owner, Scott Dougthy GM, Melissa Coulson and Courtney Coker, conference service managers and all the staff for being so generous and helpful in putting this event together.

    Thank you to all who helped promote the event, Doppler, our local online news source, 105.5 Moose FM for air time and the Huntsville Forester.

    Thank you Cavalcade Colour Lab, The Framing Place, and Fabricland for your generous support as well.
    A special thank you to our artists. Those that make art their business and those that create art as a hobby, we thank you. Without your support we simply could not have done this. Lorrie Morton, Thomas Morton (Morton Muskoka Chairs), Katherine Robinson, Marike MacDonald, Bonnie Harris, Gabrielle Anderson,
    Gwen Smales and Connie Fisher of Artsy Pear Studio, Helena Renwick, Catherine O’Mara, Laurie Gordon, Heidi Driedger, Carol Stevenson, Marguerite Taylor, Marsha Forsythe, Jeff Lemire, Tony Varney
    Lesley Anne Green, Roxanne Driedger, Peter Bloom, Brian Markham, Tina Calberry, Judy Smith, Susan Higgins, Margaret Penner, Bonnie Markle, Shirley Smith, Jane Wolfe, Deanne O’Donoghue
    Susan Love, Teri Howell, Mary Spring, Shelly Nobile, Ashley Love, Ken Morrison, Kelly Holinshead, Susan MacDonald, Ryan Rea, Jenny Kirkpatrick, Ben Howell, Elle Fox, Jerry Schmanda, Teri Brunner, Laura Rea, Lindgren Pottery, Donna Elliott, Randy Spencer (Tall Trees), and Barry Brear (Rolston’s).

    Finally, a big thank you to all who came out to support this event and to remember our friend Robin Crawford and all those in your circle of friends who are fighting the good fight.

    May they never give up fighting and may the research the Princess Margaret Hospital is doing, find that cure to conquer cancer.

    Robin’s Rebels.

  22. Corinne Island on

    It saddens and annoys me that I have to write about the seriously irresponsible people out on the lakes in their boats this weekend. The water levels are still so high that many docks are underwater and boathouses are flooded, debris from the winter is floating everywhere … yet … foolish uncaring jerks are roaring around creating huge wakes causing even MORE erosion on shorelines and moving docks that are lifted off of their cribs by the water levels. Please, please stay off of the lakes until the water levels have returned to their norm.

  23. Tanya Sprathoff on

    I would like to take a moment to thank the community of Huntsville for its generosity and enthusiastic response to causes of all kinds. You have a big heart! I particularly want to say thank you on behalf of the Huntsville Suzuki School of Music, as last month we had our most successful Indian Dinner yet. We sold all 300 tickets in advance!! Due to the incredible support of local families and businesses, and the enthusiastic bidding of our dinner guests, the auctions were a success as well. We are so grateful for each individual who contributed in their own way to a fun and enjoyable evening. For a more detailed thank you to our supporters please visit our website at http://www.huntsvillesuzuki.org. So thank you for helping us continue to provide the kind of violin, viola and cello instruction one normally only finds in a large centre. We are delighted to be able to contribute to the cultural fabric of Muskoka in this unique way.

    Tanya Sprathoff
    Huntsville Suzuki School of Music