More White River Gates and Road Closures

 

 

Locked-Gate-on-Road

 

Really, …….White River is such a large remote area who the heck cares???

And if you do care, who will listen to you……. certainly not MNR

So let me tell you a story ,the way I understand it, from when it started in 2008 until now.

A plan author submits plans to extend Road 200 to join Highway 631, for the purpose of a mining operation which would benifit the community of White River and the surrounding area.

Two business in Wawa ,North to Adventure and White River Motel did not want this to happen and requested an issue- resolution by MNR in March 2008 and a decission was rendered to not permit the construction of a road at that time . Now fast forward to 2012 and read the attached link letter from the Regional Director as to why the road is now being built.

MNR Regional Director’s letter

A brief preamble : Issue resolution falls under minor or major. If you are dissatisfied with an issue such as gating a road,you consult the plan author,MNR forester for that forest,MNR area supervisor,then the MNR district manager. If you are not satisfied with the results you then proceed to issue resolution. In other words “kangaroo court”.

OntORA, OFAH and Chair of the White River LCC all went to issue resolution to oppose the gating of a road built on crown land,using taxpayers money and classified as a primary road.

Note: Dino Tarian had to remove himself as Chair since he was contesting the gate and would have been in conflict since most LCC members approved this gate. Keep in mind that no one opposed the building of this road,only the         ” gating” since it creates a physical barrier to anyone other then a key holder. Who has the keys?, if I had one perhaps you would never hear this story.

Also in the Wawa district we have 5 forest plans and only the White River forest has 4 gates. This is because there is only one remote outfitter(White River Air,operated by Don MacLachlan) and he has enough influence in the White River area to demand gates be used to stop the public from accessing at least 15 lakes on that forest.

Events in the issue resolution meeting:

OntORA President informed the regional director that he met Zackary White, the MNR White River forester who  informed him that a gate would definitely be installed . Talk about pre determining the outcome…..

OntORA President also asked about minutes or recording of this meeting and was told none were being taken and the only official record would be the MNR  letter stating the outcome of the hearing. Now you know why it is called a kangroo court…… Public meetings that are not recorded, talk about lack of accountability from our public servants. Yes, that’s right, you pay their saleries and they have no accountability.

The OFAH gave an excellent written brief on why gates should not be erected. Now will OFAH  follow up on the regional decision and continue to fight? Knowing their track record , probably not.

OntORA, objected to not having minutes,since the public would  not know what took place. We were told MNR were not required to take minutes.  My guess would be that they feel they could not be held accountable by working this way.

At the public hearings  (opponents to gates) are scheduled at different times and are not allowed  in the  meeting at the same time as others opposing the gate.

How can a small group of people in White River decide on privatization of crown land that negatively affects all other users in Ontario?

The issue resolution process is flawed since the MNR regional director makes a final decision on a minor amendment and we can’t proceed to the MOE .(ministry of the environment) This MNR director appoints the MNR district manager,who in turn appoints the MNR area supervisor,who then appoints the forester.Remember these MNR people sit on the issue resolution committee.

OntORA would suggest that the Chair of issue resolution be a neutral person and appointed by a separate body. How can the public concerns be addressed in a fair and just method under the dictatorship and rule of MNR who answers only to itself?

It would seem just about everyone the the White River area want the road and now it will happen, END OF STORY, not really.

Lets look a the attached link again, it would seem or is implied in the MNR Regional Director’s letter that the road was not built as a result of Remote Tourism and business in Wawa objecting. So in fact, the road was not built as a result of these two business  objecting. When checking out the White River Motel web site it would seem they are closely affiliated with North to Adventure and White River Air.  Are the the same owners? are they partners in some form to in the remote tourism business , to curtale all others from entering their private forest sanctuary. They object and MNR jumps.

Now lets fast forward again in the MNR letter, the situation has now changed, these two businesses now support the road provided a gate is put up, and not at the edge of the mine property but 3 km from Highway 631. The gate will be installed and theWhite River locksmith will be a busy man , and betteR have a full stock of blank keys. One would expect the seven parties named will all have keys and access to this public closed road.  One would also wonder if this road will recieve part of the public subsidy “75 million per year the province pays for these roads”

You decide, if we should continue to let this one sided ………… continue

 

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Paul Carlson February 22, 2013, 4:31 pm

    It must be so frustrating not only to see a dictatorship in a branch of Canadian government,but also to try and make things right for the taxpaying public. I have the utmost respect for all the effort that the team at ontera has done. I feel that the outcome will be positive, don,t give up. I just rec,d a request for support for the May 4 march through Sudbury. I will bring my ATV and try to get others to attend as well. I agree that we need more physical exposure. I also do not know when my membership is due. Thank you all, Paul Carlson.

    • James Hodgins March 1, 2013, 4:45 pm

      Hey Paul. If your my “Uncle” Paul, you can stay at our place for the March instead of heading back home.

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