This week OntORA representatives Tom Brason, Mike Boudreau, and Gaye Smith were each interviewed by Radio Q104 on a series the radio station is doing on the MNR. Thanks to Q104 and news reporter Darren Taylor in Sault Ste. Marie, OntORA’s efforts to fight the unjust public access restrictions to our public lands is getting a lot of coverage.
Gaye Smith representing the Temagami area had segments of his interview aired all day Monday, as did Mike Boudreau your OntORA VP from the Wawa District on Tuesday, and Tom Brason Senior VP of OntORA on Wednesday.
In addition, Mike Brown, MPP for Algoma & Manitoulin, is being forced to come to grips with it publicly. Until now Brown has skirted the subject and ignored the public and OntORA. Thursday Oct 8, 2009 Mike had his turn to speak on the issue – albeit out of touch with the reality surrounding the subject. He blamed road closures on the forest industry wrapping up operations, which is in sharp contrast to the MNR he’s defending who are saying it’s to protect “remote tourism values”.
Regardless, the taxpayers forked over $75 million to build these roads. Was this money just thrown away in so much as we can’t use roads we built on our own publicly owned land? If publicly funded roads were strictly built for timber extraction, would this not be a violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement?
OntORA is simply defending the public’s inherent right to access and enjoy their own publicly owned lands and lakes equally, telling us that we can’t enjoy huge tracts of our own land/lakes because others are using it for their enjoyment and monetary gain simply doesn’t fly, we will not allow our collective rights sacrificed in this manner. We do not support the equivalent of private game farms on public land.
The Ontario Outdoors Recreational Alliance (OntORA) supports the tourism industry and recognizes it’s economic importance to many of our towns but our lands, lakes and resources are to be shared, especially by the public, the prime stakeholder here.
No businesses are being threatened, they can continue operations as they have in the past. Progress is inevitable and we recommend changing with the times.
No where are there provisions allowing the citizens of Canada to sign away their rights, let alone those of their children. But somehow the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, presided over by Donna Cansfield, has their own opinion on this.