OntORA Sudbury District Group Erect Another Highway Sign:
Thursday May24th, a group of OntORA supporters got together to erect a third OntORA billboard sign in the Sudbury area. Our first billboard sign was put up just north of Cartier, followed by a second sign placed on the eastbound side of Hwy 17 East, in Warren. This one is located along Hwy 17 West about 3 Kms west of the Fairbank lake turn off, facing the westbound lane. It took several years of looking and waiting to find a suitable location for our third sign, which we were hoping to erect west of Sudbury between Whitefish and McKerrow. Last year a suitable location came available and Sudbury Chapter Director Andy Zandarin jumped at the opportunity to obtain it. A third sign was acquired and up it went. In the photo above can be seen those who took their time to help put up the sign.
SORRY PHOTO NOT AVAILIABLE AT THIS TIME
From left to right are Nick Bulfan, Scan Sakoloskie, Andy Zandarin, Sudbury chapter Director, Howard Leon, Al Munartto and Tom Hewitt. Many thanks to them and others who helped us accomplish this project, especially Dave Petryna from Sign City Inc. and Andy Zandarin. Unfortunately this is Andy’s last contribution to the Sudbury chapter as he has now resigned as Director. OntORA President John Kallio regretted Andy Zandarin’s resignation after his many years of devoted and exemplary leadership in building up the Sudbury Chapter. He leaves big shoes to fill. According to President Kallio: “Andy Zandarin has been a most devoted and earnest leader which we have been very fortunate to have him with us. He has a long history of sterling service to the outdoors community in a variety of roles, and we thank him sincerely for his leadership, organizational skill and hard work. We wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement”
WHITMAN DAM ROAD COMMITTEE SUCCESS STORY:
The Whitman Dam Road Committee (WDRC) was formed in March 2018 as a dedicated group focused on repairing and maintaining the Whitman Dam Road from Searchmont to Domtar Road. The popular forest road had fallen into disrepair and official neglect since the forestry industry had moved away from the area. Despite the absence of forestry harvesters, the Whitman Dam Road has become a major thoroughfare for campers, ATVers, anglers, trappers, hunters and nature enthusiasts. The WDRC, under the leadership of Todd Slotegraaf and executive officers, is dedicated in keeping this access open to all users of Crown land.
This year the committee set a goal to raise $30,000 dollars to finance desperately needed road repairs. OntORA has offered its assistance and has authorized a donation to the WDRC at its recent Annual General Meeting.
The recent Pasta Dinner organized by the WDRC raised just under $15,000.00, bringing them ever closer to reaching their $30,000.00 goal. A few generous contracting companies have donated equipment towards the road and the WDRC is still in the process of bringing other companies on board for the project.
Discussions with the MNRF are moving forward and road work should begin soon. Discussions with the Ministry of Transport are also taking place. Working agreements for repairs to the road and bridges are being completed with the MNRF with some work being completed by the WDRC and the Trail Blazers group. Liabilities regarding the road work are responsibility of the contractor preforming the road work.
The WDRC is actively pursuing volunteers to help with the work on two bridges that is expected to take about three days.. Volunteers wishing to help can send an email to the email@example.com and they will be contacted when the bridge work time frame has been established.
The WDRC’s Todd Slotegraaf has expressed his committee’s appreciation to OntORA for its support and financial donation and is happy to be working together with OntORA to maintain access to our public lands. OntORA encourages its members to volunteer for this worthy cause.
MNRF TESPASS ON PRVATE PROPERTY – AND THE LAW IN ONTARIO:
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”. While the MNRF CO was found guilty of trespassing, the motions judge tied it specifically to the taking of a photo, which means that the Judge bought the MNRF argument that they can inspect private property whenever they want to. The Judge’s decision is perplexing because when you look at “inspection powers” of regulatory bodies like the ministry of labour, liquor control board, etc. their inspection powers are for commercial enterprises only. These are private commercial enterprises but they have a licensing agreement with the government that permits government inspection because their enterprise is open to the public, or employs people, so there is a public interest in making sure things are safe for the public. And ironically these inspection powers permit the agents to take pictures. MNRF’s essential argument is that since all animals belong to the crown, they have the right to inspect on private property. Such appears to be the law in Ontario – unjust, but from past experience, it appears unlikely that any Ontario court will find any wrongdoing with the MNRF.
MINUTES OF THE APRIL 28, 2018 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING:
1. Call to order at 1:10 pm:
2. Roll call of Officers/District Reps
Present: John Kallio, Joe Schmidt …Absent: Tym Barker, District Directors: Andy Zandarin
3. Approval of previous minutes
The President, John Kallio read out the minutes of the April 29, 2017 AGM.
Motion: moved by Fred Dufrene and Larry Euale to accept the minutes of the April 29, 2017 AGM minutes as read. Carried
4. Constitution changes
No changes at this time.
5. Treasurer’s report (update)
Joe Schmitt reported on the financials of OntORA.
The financials were audited by Paul and Dawn Rowe.
Motion: moved by Wilf Findlay and John Malkki to approve the Treasurer’s report as read. Carried
6. Report of Executive Officers
President John Kallio reported the following:
• Two news bulletins and two newsletters were sent out last year and in the beginning of this year.
• Clive Henderson Court Case update. As reported earlier, Mr. Henderson was a property owner on ST. Joseph’s Island where two MNR officers trespassed on his property without permission. The case was heard in the Motions Court of the Superior Court of Justice. Either party is able to appeal the Motion Court decision rendered by the Deputy Judge. If neither party appeals then it proceeds to small claims court. The acting Deputy Judge ruled against the claim for damage for nuisance and intrusion. The claim for general damages for breach of Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was struck. The claim for exemplary and punitive damages was also struck. The Deputy Judge did rule that the MNRF C.O. who took a photograph of the no trespassing sign was not acting under Section 94 of the act and accordingly was a trespasser. The Deputy Judge did ask for submissions in writing from both parties with regards to costs.
• Old Goulais Bay Road. The President reported that access for snowmobilers was again being denied unless you had a trail permit. This issue came up in 2012 and got resolved. He contacted the MTO in the beginning of February and they agreed that it is an access road and that there were no trail signs on their portion of the road. The signs stating that you needed a trail pass were on the city owned portion of the road. After many emails to the mayor and solicitor it was finally cleared up that the road is open to the public to use. If the groomed trail leaves the Old Goulais Bay Road at any point you must stay on the Old Goulais Bay Road unless you have a trail permit. The signs were taken down.
• MNR cuts back Moose Tags. There will be an overall reduction of 8% across the province. The Thunder Bay region has been hit hard according to the Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen’s Alliance.
• MPP Jeff Yurek from Elgin-Middlesex-London introduced a private members bill, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Special Purpose Account Transparency Act. The special purpose account was created in 1997 to pool all the funds from license fees for angling and hunting. This fund was to be used improve angling and hunting across the province. A 2016 report shows that the money is being used on expenses unrelated to fish and wildlife conservation. The new bill will not allow unrelated expenses to be used from the special purpose account.
• OntORA needs more volunteers for executive positions and a District Director for the Sault Area.
• Whitman Dam Road. The MTO consider the Whitman Dam Road to be a logging road. This is an access road. A road committee of local campers and stake holders was formed to address the poor condition of the access road. They are raising funds to fix the road. There are ongoing discussions with the MNR and MTO.
• OntORA and OFAH. He reported that he had a call with Angelo Lombardo Executive Director of the OFAH. We have had some differences in the past but both parties agreed to work together wherever possible.
• Ontario Landowners Association. The President reported on the call he had with the President of the Landowner’s association. He reported that they don’t deal with access issues.
• A provincial election is looming. He urged the members to ask those campaigning what their stance is with regards to equal public access.
7. Election of Officers
The President asked for nominations for the executive officers as per the constitution.
Nominated for Office were:
President – John Kallio by Joe Schmidt and Wilf Findlay
Vice President– None ,2nd Vice President – None, Recording Secretary – None
Treasurer – Joe Schmitt by Wilf Findlay and Paul Rowe
Standing for Office were:
President – John Kallio , Treasurer – Joe Schmidt.
Positions Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Recording Secretary – Vacant
Motion: moved by Dawn Rowe and Fred Dufrene to accept the elections results held at the AGM. Carried
The President reported that Tym Barker was unable to attend but will accept the appointment as 2nd Vice President by the executive as per the constitution.
8. Correspondence and Recommendations (Motions)
The President read out a financial request from the Whitman Dam Road committee. They have also requested a letter of support. They are currently fundraising in order to raise funds to repair the road. Various other stakeholders such as the Sault Trailblazers, MTO, MNR and logging companies are involved. This is an access road that connects to many other roads. A permanent solution is the goal of all stakeholders. After some discussion a motion was put forward.
Motion: Moved by Larry Eaule and Paul Rowe that OntORA donate $500.00 to the Whitman Dam Road committee and also draft a letter of support. Carried
9. District Directors Reports No reports.
10. Old Business None to report
11. New Business None to report
12. Other Business (Members)
Joe Schmidt reported that we have to upgrade the OntORA sign on the Whitman Dam Road.
Paul Rowe reported on an article by outgoing OFAH President Kerry Coleman in the Ontario Out of Doors magazine. It speaks about the importance of access on public lands.
13. Date of next meeting – April 20th, 2019.
14. Motion to adjourn
Motion: moved by Paul Rowe and Wilf Findlay to adjourn the meeting. Carried
Meeting adjourned at 2:45 pm
OntORA Membership Renewal
Memberships keep our OntORA group strong:
Market Mall PO BOX 24055
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6C 6G7
NAME ________________________________ Join / Renew:
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TELEPHONE ______________ E-MAIL _______________________________
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Donation to OntORA Legal Fund: ______________ Amount enclosed: ________________________
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