|…Now that I have your attention, read on. As crazy as it sounds, our own MNR is holding us captive to our constitutional right to fish and hunt on our own lakes and forests. Yup that’s the same Ministry who has the mandate to ‘protect our lands, forests and lakes’. To ensure proper policies are made to protect wildlife and enforcement is upheld on these policies. Sounds fair enough, right? Think again.Before I give you a little background about this contentious issue, or should I say, ‘heated debate’, let’s clarify a thing or two first. I know you’re going to ask, so let me answer it for you. What the hell has this got to do with ‘inspiration’? since I’m an inspirational author).Nothing! Right? I’ll let you in on the definition. When you google it, Inspiration is, ‘The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative.’… So let’s do something creative about our policies governing our Ontario Lakes and Forests!While I absolutely agree with Oprah, ‘negative energy breeds negative energy’ this is why I don’t miss this debate over our constitutional rights. It’s a never ending battle. As Mother Theresa believed, ‘Call it a pro peace rally instead on anti war rally, and I’ll be there in a heartbeat.’ It’s not the purpose behind, or the actions toward the policies, in general that matter, and they should. It’s the entire atmosphere that brings about angry opponents during this process that last forever, and they shouldn’t.
Who am I to speak my mind? A Canadian citizen, of course. That should be the only prerequisite! And a tax paying one. (But you don’t fish or hunt? And are a Greenpeacer and vegetarian!) But I am married to a hunter and trapper. Who does not poach, avidly plants fish for the MNR, practices humane regimens when he traps, and wants to pass on this legacy to our kids and their generation. Besides, before I had a massive stroke in 95 and vowed from that day on, not to participate in government policy debates, I was considered a heavyweight in lobbying about Gov’t policies. Morgentaler, Pro-Choice and Greenpeace were major on my agenda. And yes, I have a University degree in Political Science and in absence of my stroke, I would have been a constitutional lawyer, fighting for these rights and more. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that qualifies me to speak and be heard. But, I know the animosity this type of discussion breeds, so I choose not to speak on this again. Now that I clarified or should I say, qualified your thoughts, and set my objective, let’s get to the point.
It’s not about “Poaching” or “Raping” the land, but it may unfortunately come to this. It’s about fair and equal access to Crown lands for our sake and future generations! Let’s face it. We live in Northern Ontario. We abide by the fishing quotas. We welcome tourists to experience the wildlife in our beautiful part of paradise. We don’t begrudge tourist outfitters and business enterprises for opening up our great countryside to tourists and promoting the North. BUT what we do disagree on is the exploitation of our constitutional rights as Ontarians. And I think, in fact, I’m sure if we band together we have a leg to stand on. I’m sure of it!
Did you know soon we will not be able to fish in 2000 or more lakes in Northern Ontario because we will be denied road access to them? They will be prescribed for remote access to tourists. How fair is that?!
Speaking of fair, did you know there are no lakes affected in southern Ontario. Wawa district has 155 lakes removed from the public and are looking at another 49 as opportunity lakes. Chapleau has 89 remote lakes, Timmins, Thunder Bay, Dryden, Ear Falls, Kenora, Nipigon, Terrace Bay, Geraldton and many other MNR districts have set prescriptions for lakes classified as remote.
For example, Little Missinaibi in the Chapleau district was classified as a wilderness lake. Wilderness means ‘no motorized equipment’. That’s fine but they grandfathered the Outfitters to land planes and use outboard motors on this lake. And we were refused snow machine access in the winter time. So let me get this right. If you are a tourist in and Outfitter’s camp, you don’t need a boat license or an ATV license and can hunt and fish on our Ontario grounds? But we can’t. In fact, the MNR makes it so difficult for us they need to put signs up like ‘no motorized access’ 3 kilometers from the lakes we have always fished on. And why is that? They do so, because they want to make it nearly impossible for a man and his son to enjoy an afternoon of ice fishing on one of these lakes they have always enjoyed doing before. (We weren’t grandfathered in.) But they see no objection to promote remote tourist outfitters and their money paying tourists to go into our lakes and fish at their hearts content. It doesn’t take a person with a political science degree to figure this one out. Anyone with a cracker box mentality, who is even illiterate, can put two and two together, and think something isn’t right here. So what’s the problem guys?
Doesn’t our tax-paying vote count? Hell, it’s our land! Of course we want our kids and our grandkids to be able to enjoy this beautiful land. We tread onto it carefully and replant along our way to ensure this. We expect our government policies to support us, protect us and uphold our rights and values. And when they fail us, we need to take notice and exercise our rights. Yup, we are inspired to do the right thing. That’s right. Read that again. ‘Inspired to do the right thing.’
This isn’t about rallying against the MNR, the outfitters or tourists. Some of our dearest friends work for the Ministry, are American, and own outfitters camps. I understand they have to make a living and want to enjoy the sport. No argument here. Just fair access and equality for everyone would be nice. From what I can see, that’s all it’s about. But I am only one person. With one view. So there you have it. You know how I feel. But don’t take my word for it. Decide for yourself. Take a stand. Lots at stake here. Future generations depend on it. Be informed. Read :
“If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it.” Anonymous.