What’s in store this summer?

What’s in store this summer?

Most of you are now opening the cottage in anticipation of a summer that only Georgian Bay can offer. Your city friends cannot understand why anyone would get into the car and drive up north every weekend through all that traffic and then turn around and come back 48 hours later. They, of course, have never seen the sun go down on a day that was so painfully beautiful, words could not describe it.

Nor do they know the serenity and peace you feel that gets you through the week back at work. It’s great just being here.

After all, most of us dream of retirement to our cottage, or at least more time there without our work lives getting in the way. We worked darn hard to be here and anything that happens in Tiny is important.

I’m sure you read the papers and listen to the radio and watch T.V. with special interest when Tiny Township is mentioned.

I felt relieved when the MNR claims to the beach were dismissed and I was free to enjoy the summer without that cloud hanging over my head. I was overjoyed when the decision was not appealed. Then, I was shocked to read that protection of property rights was not a view held by all.

Newspaper articles depicted Tiny cottagers, armed with court orders, shooing people off the beach. Was that me? I called 15 other beach association executives and asked them what they thought they would do in light of the recent judgment. Every one of them anticipated no change from the past.

So who is spreading this misinformation trying to ruin our summer? Who is the source of misinformation for the press?

We’re all familiar with the school room game where Person “A” whispers something in to the ear of Person “B” who passes on what he/she heard to Person “C” and so on. Of course, by the time the message reaches Person “Q” the outcome doesn’t even come close to the message Person “A” actually spoke. This is essentially what has happened with the information, or rather misinformation, surrounding the beach judgment. Read carefully what this publication has to say on this issue.

I got involved in the Federation so that I would have a better understanding of what was going on in Tiny. We, in southern Ontario, are well served by the press. If there is an issue, the coverage is enormous. This is not the case in Tiny Township.

It just seems the issues that affect seasonal residents in Tiny are not reported. Jag Bhaduria would not have rated one line of coverage in Tiny, but, if one cottager says “Excuse me, but this is private property”, that is headlined.

We don’t get information until after the fact. A prime example is your tax increase from the Simcoe County Board of Education. The budget committee meets during March and April when you are not here to participate, nor are you invited to do so.

After reading no fewer than 6 other cottage country publications like “Cottage News”, “The Haliburton County Echo”, “The Muskoka Sun”, “The Rideau Review” , etc. I was astounded that the contents were about summer activities and fun cottage stuff. I subsequently learned that their readers felt they were adequately represented at the Municipal level and that their Council would inform them of any and all issues, because the cottagers were the financial mainstay of their area.

Tax increases were problems for them too, along with Market Value Assessment, but they had no publication like The Tiny Cottager to voice their concerns. In that respect, we are fortunate in Tiny. Think about it. This publication was produced and mailed to your home by FoTTSA. You’re hearing first hand about what is going on in your area. Who else is doing this for you?

So now you know why The Tiny Cottager does not contain recipes and fishing tips. It’s because our mandate is to bring you the news that affects you and your cottage.

Without this paper, who would speak for you on the issues that affect you? If someone had spoken out against overfishing in Georgian Bay 70 years ago, maybe we’d still have fish. If the 5090 voters had pounded on the doors of each municipal counsellor and demanded that the “NO RESTRUCTURING VOTE” be followed, this Council would have been forced to try to save the Highway 93 mall strip, representing 85% of Tiny’s commercial assessment. If more people had spoken out against a Council who sided with MNR’s land grab, maybe MNR would be gone from Tiny. If …

“Get involved. Ask questions. Decide who speaks for you.”

Al Taylor, President of FoTTSA

(Al has been a seasonal resident in Tiny since 1979 and has a cottage in Kingswood Acres off Concession #19. His home is in Mississauga, his heart is in Tiny.)