The Pen and Quill, 2014, Part 5




Minister Orazietti  is under the impression there are no access issues in Northern Ontario. This is one letter that will show him  there are many unresolved access issues and he has many unhappy taxpayers in and out of his riding. If Mr. Gunn gets any results on this issue we will let you know as soon as we find out.

Do you have a letter  that went without action or a story to tell about your ACCESS  issues . Send it to us and we will publish it.


 Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2013 1:11 PM
To: Mantha – QP, Michael
Subject: A Road Problem


Good Afternoon Mr. Mantha,

I am writing you to ask about a road access problem.  I use the Whitman Dam road north of Searchmont to access my cabin in Desbiens Township .

A bit of history first:

We built our cabin in 1975 using the Ranger Lake Highway/  Gong Lake Road/  Domtar  which at that time was maintained as a fire access road by the MNR.  At some point the MNR stopped maintaining that road group and let it fall into disrepair.  It is now apparently impassable.
We started using the Whitman Dam series of road to get to the Domtar then on to the cabin when the logging companies improved the road so it could be used for hauling.  The logging company has ceased repairing the road and it is now declared impassable as of this weekend with the last rains of Thursday.
Also at one point the Mile 38 Road coming from Highway 17 North at Chippewa Fall was open for public use to get to Mekatina and then on to my cabin.  The MNR removed the bridges on the McDonald Creek road section to make that road impassable as well.
Also the Laughing Lake Road was opened by loggers and we could go from Ranger Lake Highway, to the Domtar, then to our cabin.  This road has been left to deteriorate since logging has ceased and has been deemed impassable.

I do know that all of these roads were financed with the help of the government providing the public would be allowed to use the road.  Now we cannot.

It would seem that the MNR is now deliberately closing access to our camps.

Over the years the local camp owners have done maintenance on the road at their own time and expense.  However the recent rains have made this extremely difficult to do with shovels and chainsaws. Most of us own four wheel drive trucks to get us to our camps but they do not help when the road washes out to considerable depth so that it stops even 4×4’s.  We do not need paved access like Muskoka would have with the same number of cottages.  We simply need a road that will allow us to get to our cabins.

I would estimate that over a hundred cabins are serviced by the Whitman Dam Road access.  I do not have the resources to get an actual number but I’m sure you do.  I do know that there are over 35 camps in my area alone. The Whitman Dam Road services camps on Trout Lake, Gavor Lake, Tribble Lake, Clear Lake, point Lake  Mekatina, Running Township, Desbien Township, Way White Township, the Batchewana River and so on.   I know that if one of these roads is not opened up and kept open it will be very dangerous for us to be at camp since a  forest fire or other disaster could threaten our lives.

I believe that the government has an obligation to keep at least one access route reliably open for safety.  I also have come across roads in the area which are kept open just for that purpose.  I have witnessed a very well kept road in the Armstrong area which was just for fire access and was maintained far better than we would need.

I appeal to you Mr. Mantha to look into this problem and see to it that a solution is found to this dilemma. You are a man of this area and I’m sure you are aware of the problem too.  I have heard that you are quite diligent in helping the people in your area so I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Bill Gunn


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ted strolenberg December 28, 2014, 10:19 am

    Can you let me know if an answer or any action was provided in response to this request regarding the access road?
    Thank you.