Series 4 - Political Portfolio Chairperson's Files : Robert Topp

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Political Portfolio Chairperson's Files : Robert Topp

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ca. 28 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

The Muskoka Lakes Association was organized in 1894 by a group of summer cottagers, and since then has worked on behalf of permanent or part-time residents of Lakes Muskoka, Rosseau and Joseph. "The Association was established to unite all those interested in the lakes and their vicinities in order to protect and promote the interests of property owners, cottagers and tourists, preserve the safe, healthful and sanitary condition and scenic beauty of the lakes; and to encourage skill and prudence in aquatic sports ... Association members were instrumental in forming the Muskoka Lakes Golf and Country Club, which is the scene of the annual regattas and other Association-sponsored activities. The Association has had a major influence on the history of the lakes since the beginning of the century."
Issues of interest to the Association since its beginnings have always included both political and environmental concerns: roads and other transportation facilities serving the area, sanitation standards, well-marked waters, fishing, fire and police services, taxation, water and air quality, acid rain, boating safety, and any other factors contributing to the health, security and pleasure of those living in and around the lakes.

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Scope and content

Series consists of material created and accumulated by Robert Topp in his role as Chair of the Political Portfolio and its Taxation Committee (1994-1995) and member of the Political Portfolio and Chair of its Taxation Committee (1995-1996).

The Political Portfolio was involved in political and tax-related issues, and during this period was especially focused on property taxation and a group appeal of the 1992 property assessment to the Assessment Review Board launched in 1995 on behalf of over 1000 MLA members with property on Lakes Muskoka, Rosseau, and Joseph.

The appeal resulted in a decision favourable for the association that was then appealed by the Assessment Commissioner to the Ontario Municipal Board, where the association was partly successful and was granted leave to appeal to the Ontario Divisional Court.

Series includes correspondence (some drafts), reports, presentations, newspaper clippings (some photocopied), ARB and OMB notices and decisions, lists of members of the group appeal, handwritten notes, news releases, and other material.

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General note

See yearbooks for more information about the appeal, taxation, assessment, etc.
Lots of the material was faxed.

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