2018 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
This year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and executive board elections will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at the Canadian Motor Hotel, downstairs, located at 410 Pim Street, Sault Ste Marie. All members are welcomed and encouraged to take an active part in making OntORA the instrument that will finally open pristine forests and numerous lakes accessible to ordinary taxpaying Ontarians.
ONTARIO ELECTION AND EQUAL PUBLIC ACCESS:
Ontarians go to the polls on June 7th to elect a new provincial government. The latest polls show a major disapproval rating for the governing Liberals, which, under a new government, may offer hope for a new ideology and people-centered policies in a revitalized Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). The MNRF has been criticized for its outdated and discriminatory policies on public access to our lakes and forests, now virtually reserved for paying tourists while excluding ordinary non-tourist Ontarians. Please ask the candidates in your riding where they stand on the issue of equal public access to our own natural resources heritage, and let them know how you feel about the issue.
OLD GOULAIS BAY ROAD ACCESS:
As a result of a concerted effort by President John Kallio and a great deal of dialogue and correspondence with City of Sault Ste. Marie and Ministry officials (MTO). The posting of signs by the local snowmobile club that you require a trail pass to snowmobile on the city owned portion of the Old Goulais Bay Road has been cleared up. The signs are down and snowmobilers are able to access the Old Goulais Bay Road. The rest of the road is under the MTO control and there never was an issue with the public accessing the Old Goulais Bay Road with snowmobiles for that portion of the road. Snowmobilers without a trail pass must stay on the Old Goulais Bay Road at all times.
OntORA AND OFAH:
As most members are aware, OntORA and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) have had their share of differences, especially over the issue of equal public access. The reality is that both organizations represent the outdoors community and both groups realize that the gulf that has been created between them can only help those who wish to limit the rights and privileges of outdoors people in Ontario. With that in mind, OntORA President John Kallio and OFAH Executive Director Angelo Lombardo have reached out to each other and agreed that there would be an advantage to take on the government and the MNRF as a united front. Both leaders have agreed to continue discussions to see if areas of agreement can be reached.
WHITMAN DAM ROAD REPAIRS: REQUEST FOR FUNDS:
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has considered the old Whitman Dam Road in the Searchmont area, to be a logging road and has stopped any maintenance work since the forest contractors have left the area. However, after a large group of campers and stakeholders long raised serious concerns about its condition, and the lack of access to various destinations via that road, the MTO has agreed to help with fund-raising for road repairs and maintenance.
According to Todd Slotegraff, a property owner at Cowie Lake, a road committee was formed at a March 12th meeting attended by NDP MPP Michael Mantha. Slotegraff has also thanked OntORA for its interest in helping out and has indicated an interest in his committee building a community partnership with OntORA. Please give generously. All donations are welcomed:
E-transfer to: firstname.lastname@example.org Cheques can be mailed to: Whitman Dam Road Committee, P.O. Box 22010 McNabb P.O., Sault Ste Marie, ON., P6B 6H4.
CLIVE HENDERSON & MNRF TRESPASS CASE:
As earlier reported, a property owner on St. Joseph’s Island had accused two MNRF CO’s of trespassing on his property without permission, and with no apparent reason to believe that any offences had been, or were being, committed. After a series of different court appearances, retained lawyers and one who became not available, finally the case was heard recently before Deputy Judge Ken Lawson in the Motions Court of the Superior Court of Justice. Either party may then appeal the Motion Court decision rendered by this Judge, which would then proceed to Small Claims Court. As per the usual expected court decisions whenever the MNRF is involved, the Judge found that the Conservation Officers were within their lawful right to enter Mr. Henderson’s property without permission or without any reasonable doubt of offences being committed. However he also found that the fact that one CO took photographs of Mr. Henderson’s “No Trespassing” signs, that he was not within his legal right and therefore this action constituted “trespassing”. The Judge asked for submissions from both parties as to costs and damages, and will take the matter under advisement.
IF YOU HAVE NOT YET RENEWED YOUR MEMBERSHIP IN OntORA, IT’S NOT TOO LATE – DO IT NOW!
TELL YOUR OUTDOORS BUDDIES THAT WE NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET TO MAKE OUR GREAT EXPANSE OF PRISTINE FORESTS AND ABUNDANT LAKES OPEN AGAIN TO ORDINARY, TAX-PAYING ONTARIANS.