ONTARIO OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL ASSOCIATION
Market Mall Box # 24055, Sault Ste. Marie, ON. P6C 6G7
NEWSLETTER – FEBRUARY 2017
NEW ASSOCIATION CONTINUES THE FIGHT
We are the newly-formed Ontario Outdoor Recreational Association, using the acronym of OntORA, and we have taken up the fight against discriminatory Crown lands access in Ontario.
A brave organization that came before us has been silenced by the MNRF and the courts, evidently because they were seen as a threat to the MNRF’s corrupt policy of treating tourist as first class citizens with respect to Crown lands access, and the rest of us as second class.
Less than 11% of Canada’s land is in private hands. 41% is federal Crown land and 48% is provincial Crown land within the various provinces. Most of the Crown land in Ontario is administered by the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forests (MNRF). However some Crown land such as national parks First Nation reserves, some harbours and canal systems fall under the federal government.
Crown land makes up about 87% of Ontario’s land mass, or 937,000 sq. Kms. That’s an area the size of British Columbia. Lands on the beds of most navigable lakes and rivers are provincial Crown land. These beds alone constitute an area of over 164,000 sq. Kms found mostly under the Great Lakes system. With the exception of this “Crown land under water” there is very little Crown land in southern Ontario. In northern Ontario, Provincial Crown Land makes up over 95% of our land base.
PUBLIC LANDS ACT NOT PROPERLY ADMINISTERED
Canadians and Ontarians in particular, under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Public Lands Act (PLA) are supposed to have equal access to our public lands without fear of discrimination or intimidation or being impeded in any way. However, for the last few decades, a concerted effort by the Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters (NOTO) in partnership with the Ministry (MNRF) has seriously impeded our access to over 2,000 of our major and best fish producing lakes and hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of pristine Crown land – reserved by the MNRF for the paying tourist guests of “remote” tourist lodges.
Our predecessor organization has argued for years that there is a complicit and legally erroneous interpretation and application of several sections of the public lands act (PLA) by the MNRF and seconded by the courts, who simply will not rule against the MNRF for reasons that defy logic. Specifically, sections 3, 26, 28, 39 and 49, among several others, are not being administered as they were intended.
Section 3 in particular states: Where 25% or more of the frontage of lands fronting on a body of water are public lands, lands comprising at least 25% of the frontage, and to such depth as the Minister considers appropriate, shall be set aside for recreational and access purposes, and where less than 25%of lands fronting on a body of water are public lands, all public lands fronting thereon, shall be set apart for such purposes.” The MNRF ignores this section also.
MNRF RIDICULE THOSE WHO ARE DENIED ACCESS:
The tongue-in-cheek reply from the MNRF is that they are not preventing us from access to those 2,000 best lakes and vast areas reserved for paying tourists, they are only preventing us from using motor vehicles, quads, or even hand-drawn carts to bring in our fishing/hunting equipment. They say publicly that we can WALK in past these signs, from a minimum of 3 kilometers, up to 50 kilometers, which is quite a feat while carrying a canoe, rods & tackle, camping equipment, food etc. and/or hunting equipment. They are not only denying us legal access, they are laughing at us by claiming that we can walk in. Incredible as it may sound, the MNRF heaping ridicule upon discrimination somehow seems acceptable to the main media and many politicians. It won’t be easy to counter such trash; it will require unity and perseverance.
What we must remember as activists fighting for the rights of ordinary Ontarians, is that every great battle for freedom and for justice has not been easy. It has been daunting for the many competent outdoors people who have fought for many years against an establishment, a government, a court system and even an Ombudsman who all want to preserve the “status quo”. They don’t want to upset the present discriminatory system that provides huge monetary returns for remote tourist operators, government coffers and, they claim, the Ontario economy. But we cannot allow a court judgement against another outdoor organization, a Ministry fraught with inept wildlife management policies, discriminatory wilderness access and rapidly declining public political support, to deter us from our goal.
WE NEED YOU SUPPORT NOW MORE THAN EVER:
That’s why we are asking you to put your boots to the ground. We ask all of the former Ontario Outdoor Recreational Alliance members to sign up with the new OntORA and show up for our first Annual General Meetings and Elections at the Canadian Motor Hotel on Pim Street in Sault Ste Marie on Saturday April 29, 2017 at 1:00 pm to support our team of dedicated activist to continue this fight. We will never give up. (Members in good standing only can vote)
Our Ontario is not only for paying tourists……we want in!
John Kallio, Interim President, OntORA.
On behalf of the OntORA interim officers: Vice President, Joe Schmidt, Treasurer, Tym Barker, Directors – Andy Zandarin, Ezekiel Marshall.
Responses can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please print off a copy for our snail mail friends…
Ontario Outdoor Recreational Association
“Ontario’s Crown Lands Should be Accessible to Everyone”
275 Second Line Rd W., Box 24055, Market Square, Sault Ste Marie, ON., P6C 6G7
OntORA Membership Application Form
POSTAL CODE ______¬¬¬¬¬____
Our Ontario does not discriminate. Equal public access for all.
Single $20 / YR 2 yrs $40 3yrs $60
Family $25 / YR 2 yrs $50 3yrs $75
Corporate $100 / YR Lifetime $350
(For family memberships, please add names of family members)
Donation to OntORA Legal Defence Fund: ______________
Amount enclosed: _$_______________________
I wish to volunteer my time to help OntORA: __________
Preferred volunteer activities:____________________________________
THE NEW OntORA IS BORN:
As all members and associates were previously informed, the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the newly formed and newly incorporated Ontario Outdoor Recreational Association (OntORA) was held on April 29, 2017. The first order of business was the adoption of a new constitution for the organization. Interim President John Kallio read out the details of the proposed new constitution to the assembly, which was then put to a motion and adopted unanimously.
After Interim Treasurer Tym Barker’s financial report, elections were held and the following were elected to these positions: President – John Kallio; Vice President – Vacant; 2nd Vice President – Tym Barker; Recording Secretary – Vacant; Treasurer – Joe Schmitt.
The general business of the new organization was carried out, as well as reports of officers. Any member in good standing may receive a copy of the minutes of the AGM by e-mailing Joe Schmitt at email@example.com.
Gerry Plante of District 6, Sudbury, updated the assembly on the activities from the Sudbury chapter. Due to everything that was going on, they did not hold their Annual Spaghetti Supper this fall. The group is also looking at erecting a third “Access Denied” sign on Hwy 17 west. The rent was paid for this year in order to hold the location. They are also looking at putting a 4th sign up south of Hwy 69S. He reported that they could use some help with funds to have the 3rd sign painted right now. A motion was passed that OntORA pay the lease costs for the three signs for 2017. A second motion was also carried that OntORA would help defray costs of the Hwy 17W sign, to be left at the Executive Board’s discretion.
President John Kallio reported on the final orders of business of the previous organization and the steps leading to the formation of a new organization:
Several new bulletins and newsletters were sent out last year and in the beginning of this year.
Court Case update. The Foleyet rally was held back in August 2011. It was a peaceful rally to help clear a road that a trapper had used into Oswald Lake. This road was made impassable by the MNRF staff by chopping down a number of trees across the road. The senior C/O who attended the scene initially said there would be no charges then the upper brass in the Ministry got involved. After many delays by the Crown the trial finally got under way on September 10, 2013. We received the JP’s terrible decision one year later on September 10, 2014. We filed the appeal to the Ontario Court of Justice to have the case heard before a Judge. After a couple of delays, the case was heard on July 16th, 2015. The decision against OntORA was received in August of 2015. We sought leave to appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal. We were turned down. We sought and followed legal advice from our lawyer throughout.
OntORA needs more volunteers for executive positions and a District Director for the Sault Area. Please get in touch with John if you are interested.
John thanked the United Steelworkers Union (USW) for their generous donation to the new organization, and their past loyal support and assistance..
John also reminded members that a provincial election is not far away. He urged the members to ask candidates for their stance on equal public access.
MNRF 2017 UNFAIR MOOSE TAGS ALLOCATIONS
Mike Boudreau, a Past President of the former OntORA organization and an avid outdoors activist, has again this year looked into the MNRF’s Moose Tags Allocation and has made some startling discoveries of the inept and unfair manner that tags are allocated. Mike has also sent an official request to the MNRF head office in Peterborough asking to know the composition of members on the Big Game Advisory Board, for instance, how many members are from the remote tourism industry, from the general public and other stakeholders. At press time, Mike still had not received a reply from the MNRF. More information will be supplied to you as soon as it is forthcoming from the MNRF.
Mike says that according to Peter Davis, the moose biologist for North East region out of South Porcupine, the following is the moose tags allocation for resident hunters in WMU 22: 41 bulls and 76 cows, but for non-resident hunters, the allocations go up to 51 bulls and 105 cows . WMU 22 is North of Dubreuilville, south of the White River, the Horne Payne highway and west of the ACR rail line. WMU 22 contains some of the larger, more productive lakes such as lakes Kabinakagami, Esnagi, Cameron, Nameigos, Negwazu and Kabinakagamisis. The MNRF has continually bermed and decommissioned roads, removed culverts, and otherwise stopped motorized vehicle access to these lakes and placed a 1 Km buffer zone around these lakes. Also, many smaller lakes have cabins on them and are used by outfitters, but are not designated as “REMOTE TOURISM LAKES” such as Fred Lake. There are also many more that are access restricted such as Anahareo, Ermine, Mosambik, Kabiskagami and Wejinabikun. If our readers are interested in checking WMU 22, they need the provincial maps KABINAKAGAMI and HORNEPAYNE. They will note that there are no areas or lakes for resident anglers or hunters.
Presently, non-resident tags, mostly at remote tourist lodges, far outnumber the tag allocation to Ontario residents, again. The whole access and allocation scenario smacks of PRIVATIZATION and REMOVAL of public access with unhindered access being granted only to a preferential few paying tourists. Why are we, in 2017, still tolerating this unfairness and discrimination?
Mike also points out that the historic and usual 10% of tags allocated to non-residents is being totally ignored by the MNRF. Furthermore, mysteriously, the number of non-resident tags is not shown in the total number of tags allocation listed in the hunting regulations booklet. Mike also takes issue with the MNRF allowing one particular remote tourist outfitter, Pine Portage Lodge, to advertise its business on page 19 of the 2017 hunting regulations handbook.
Ontario’s 2017 Hunting Regulations and the scary direction it’s all heading.
(From: MyAlgoma.ca) (Opinion)
by Mark Downey, North Bay
Chief Executive Officer, Fur Harvesters Auction Inc.
I have been deeply concerned about the direction this ministry has been travelling for some years now as laws are now being based on emotion and driven by special interest and protectionist lobby groups. Ontario’s 2017 Hunting Regulations and our Moose, Deer, Wolves, Bears and the scary direction it’s ALL heading.
I am a native Canadian being born and raised in Ontario and having made my entire living from this Province’s rich and at one-time well-managed resources.
In my younger years growing up in Sundridge, the moose season fell on every even year and lasted a week. You bought your moose license and shot a MOOSE. There were plenty of moose and trappers harvested wolves, hunters harvested spring bears and laws were based on science and time-proven management practices. During this time the powers that be were the Ontario Lands and Forests, later changed to Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). Recently renamed Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Much has changed over the past two decades within what I once considered Ontario’s flagship ministry, for without our rich resources what does Ontario have to offer?
I guess I took notice with the cancellation of our spring bear hunt a couple of decades ago. One Robert Shad and his protectionist group lobbied so hard against the Mike Harris government that it caved in and cancelled the hunt. The fallout was unspeakable and those of us that spoke out were quoted as saying “you protect a predator long enough it will lose its fear of humans and become much more than a nuisance”… The biggest predator on calf moose at the time of birth and months after is ADULT MALE BLACK BEARS. This was the only population being hunted in the spring by LAW. Well now the spring bear hunt is back and for the reasons we warned of so many years ago.
Soon after the cancellation of Ontario’s spring bear hunt 40 Townships abutting Algonquin Park in the 1990`s put a 100% moratorium on WOLF AND COYOTE harvesting. This was to be a trial pilot project and it remains in effect to this day. At the time I had a registered trapline in Boulter Township which was one of the 40 townships commandeered by the MNR and the new regulation driven by emotion and one lone private researcher saying the wolves of Algonquin Park were a separate species. To those of us like-minded outdoorsmen that make our living from the bush and feed our families, we laughed at such a notion. The DINGOS of Australia are a separate species because they live and evolved on an island as do the KIWI of New Zealand. Algonquin Park is NOT an Island and animals are free to go in and out of its fenceless boundary so, therefore, it is IMPOSSIBLE a unique species of anything lives within it.
Well I gave up my trapline in Boulter Township the moment this moratorium was put in effect mid 90’s as I knew I had lost my ability to LEGALLY manage my trapline and these HYBRID wolves being now protected would wipe out my beaver population before moving on.
Now just last year this same ministry put moratoriums protecting this HYBRID and coyotes (try to tell the difference) in Killarney and Kawartha Highlands regions shutting down all harvesting of this coyote-wolf HYBRID. The most outrageous regulation was posted just a few months ago by our Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is this Hybrid is now in fact legally named “The Algonquin Wolf”
The DNA of this predator which has existed and evolved for thousands of years is a coyote-wolf hybrid and often called coy-wolf, Brush wolf, Eastern wolf. The hybrid’s scientific name was until MNR gave it a new one remains Canis Lycaon. It is larger than “Pure” Western Coyotes. It has longer legs, a larger jaw, smaller ears and a bushier tail and red on the back of its ears. Still, the taxonomy is not simple as many biologists are debating this all over North America, as there are DOG genes also involved in various hybrids from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, our MNR biologist leading the charge on protecting this Hybrid is supported and funded by Earth Rangers (Bring back the wild), World Wildlife Fund, The Friends of Algonquin Park, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, W. Garfield Weston Society Canada.
Princeton University in New Jersey has conducted research that has contradictory findings to the MNRF research. In fact, Princeton states that the Ontario Researchers biased their own findings by not looking at the whole DNA Genome which includes DOG DNA. MNRF never mentions this and takes the road of junk science to forward their agenda.
Biologists in Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and our neighboring states are all calling foul on this matter as the science is questionable at best.
I am the Chief Executive Officer at Fur Harvesters Auction and have worked here since the early 80`s and I can state with confidence this newly invented HYBRID SPECIES our government has now named is not special nor is it in any danger of going the way of the dodo bird. As it is harvested in the thousands and increasing numbers from all over our region as well as Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Maine, New York State, both of these states have NO WOLVES and yet the same animal is granted export permits and shipped here by US Federal Fish and Wild Life Service for sale ever since 1947 when this auction house was built.
Keeping in mind wolves and coyotes main prey species during the winter months is moose and deer. In Oct 2009 a19-year-oldd Toronto folk singer was killed by two such animals while hiking in Cape Breton.
Well since 1991 I have had a Registered Trapline on Nipissing`s West Arm and for years had an MNR assigned beaver quota of 225. By law, I must harvest 75% of this MNR assigned quota or run the risk of being charged and losing my line. I harvest a few wolves and coyotes each year off my line as do all professional trappers in order to properly manage our traplines. My trapline is registered to me by MNR which is located in WMU#42.
Now to my west is Killarney region and its new wolf moratorium and to the east the Algonquin moratorium and I fear our government`s future plan is to connect them putting myself and a great many others in a position of being unable to manage our traplines. During the past 25 years I have seen the moose tags in WMU#42 go from a very STRONG number to looking at the 2017 Ontario Hunting Regulations today shows WMU#42 being issued two ADULT BULL Tags and ZERO cows. The WMU#47 to the south east has 1 Bull tag and Zero Cow tags for the entire vast region.
Ontario`s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has been on a crusade to find out what the hell is happening to our once strong provincial wide moose population. Well we are the only jurisdiction in the world as far as I know who promotes a CALF MOOSE HARVEST and have done so for decades now. So this plays a big role in hampering recruitment. We had a 20 plus year ban on spring bear hunting which takes place while all our province`s moose are calving and the ministry’s own biologists attest to this. For 20 plus years the big male Black Bear population was free to grow in great numbers all the while pounding down yearly calf moose recruitment. Ontario went from having one staff predator control officer hired to control wolves in MNR managed deer yards all across Ontario to no deer yard management at all and implementing wolf trapping moratoriums and now taking it upon themselves to make up a new species.
What really shocks me is our government’s position on ungulate predation as it flies in the face of provinces and territories such as Alberta and NWT who are dealing with shrinking moose and caribou populations by implementing predator culling incentives.
Ontario`s resources are being managed by emotion and poor science and this ministry’s track record the past 20 years is a direct result of where our moose herd is today. I hate to think about what is ahead of us the next 20 years. Ontario residents pay $55.70 for a calf moose license only then apply to the lottery adult moose draw. All this revenue goes back to the resource and as always it is those depending on the resource and utilizing the resource that are the true conservationists.
Rather than make thousands of moose hunters pay $55.70 and apply for an outrageous chance at drawing one available adult moose tag for vast WMU`s like 41, 42, 47, and so on, CLOSE THE ENTIRE SEASON AND SHUT DOWN THE MOOSE HARVEST FOR EVERYONE … EVERYONE!!!! Allotting one or two or three tags for WMU`s is a joke and an embarrassment to those of us who care. Let this province`s trappers harvest wolves, hybrids, coyotes and let hunters continue to take a spring bear if they wish. In a few years, our MNR could pound their chest as the crusade is over and our moose herds are back. “As goes the prey goes the predator, as goes the predator goes the prey” OUR MNR HAS LOST ITS BALANCE. Ontario`s rich resources must be managed free of emotion and sketchy science studies funded by special interest groups in order to achieve the balance needed to sustain Ontario`s great diverse resources.
Mark Downey, North Bay
Chief Executive Officer, Fur Harvesters Auction Inc.