To whom it may concern;

seniors

 

To all outdoor enthusiasts, families and woodsmen,

 

For too long now we have operated independently in our own little worlds throughout Ontario, all the while, big brother(MNR) has public funding to fight us off and unfortunately they are located throughout Ontario with seemingly unlimited resources.

 

Most of us, avid outdoor people are tired of not being heard and the MNR systematically, making Crown Land harder and harder to access.  Should we want to enjoy a family outing, go fish , hunt , pick berries, rocks or a number of other activities, MNR are putting up signs prohibiting motorized vehicles on thousands of kilometers of roadways and trails, and where they  do not put up signs they remove culverts and bridges or berm the roadways making them impassible.

 

In many areas MNR do this to protect Remote Tourist Outfitters and their clients, from the people of Ontario, claiming it gives tourist a sense of remoteness, even if it is not remote and there happens to be a road running right through the area.

 

 In other areas the Ministry claims they close the roads because of liability or safety concerns to the general public. Fortunately for us we all know the Ministry puts up signs, “use at your own risk” cannot be held liable for accidents on these forest roads.

 

The rational the Ministry uses, if the above as not accepted is they are protecting the fisheries, wild game or the environment. This rational should be without a doubt acceptable to all. And it would be acceptable if this rule applied to everyone.  As in everything the MNR have found ways to make exceptions to these rules and allow;

 

  • the Remote Tourist Outfitters and their guests or clients
  • the fur trappers
  • the bait trappers
  • the loggers
  • the prospectors
  • the natives
  • and othersinto these closed areas but not the average Ontario family.

    What a mouthful, why should your family have to pay big $$$$ to have access to land that is owned by the people of Ontario, it is called Crown Land.   This Crown Land is held in stewardship for us by Provincial employees who work for the Natural Resources Ministry.  We deserve to have access to these roads, trails and lakes.

    We at OntORA , are now striving to have as many clubs, groups, organizations and road base outfitters join our ranks in our fight to give everyone in Ontario free and equal access to our Crown Lands

     Forest roads on public land should never be restricted to the citizens of Ontario.  MNR must remove berms, gates, barricades, signs, or any other means the currently restricting the public from using these forest roads.

    Many of these roads were partially paid by and maintained with tax payer money, up to 75 million annually. Another reason why we all must be allowed to use these roads.

     

     All public lakes and public land would have equal access to all users.  If for any reason a citizen of Ontario was to be restricted from lands and lakes, please ensure no other individual, Canadian or Non Canadian would have exclusive access to public lands and lakes.

     We are looking to our elected leaders to no longer allow Ontario lakes and crown land to be treated as private game preserves.

 

 

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Paul and Dawn Rowe May 5, 2014, 5:00 pm

    We are members of OntORA. We believe in equal rights for all people of Ontario. At the same time, we believe in remote tourism values. The MNR , it appears, has no idea how restrictive they have been to the average citizen while providing select business clientele and rich clients with excessive opportunity.

    This double standard may yet lead to open rebellion by those of us who treasure democracy.

    It may be the only way to return a democratic perspective to what has become a dictatorial system.

    We do believe that most, not all, Conservation Officers see the inequities that exist. Many will state their believes privately but fear reprisal if they make a public statement.

    It is our hope that the issue of access for all can be cooperatively resolved. We also wish to encourage everyone to treat our CO’s, who are trying to protect our resources, with respect.

    • Zeke Marshall May 7, 2014, 2:43 pm

      Its hard to treat people with respect who show no respect in return. If a CO had any issue with this they would be banding together to stop it instead they are busy handing out fines and paying lip service. Even in my job I speak out and if they want to fire me for it so be it. These CO’s have no will power so stop trying to defend them.

    • Tym Barker May 8, 2014, 7:41 am

      As much as I would like to act the way Paul and Dawn recommend, I completely agree with Zeke.
      Over the past 20 years in Ontario, VERY VERY seldom have I encountered a CO who is the least bit respectful, or interested in our ability to use the natural resources that surround us here in Northern Ontario. I have two words for 98% of them, but I won’t repeat them here.
      And I also agree – no matter where you are employed – that if something is wrong and unjust, you need to speak out against it. Employee or not. Those who don’t speak up are cowards and every bit as much a part of the problem as the “guy at the top”.

  • Charly Murray May 6, 2014, 3:06 pm

    Once again a well stated letter that addresses all our concerns with the “Monarchy” type rule of the MNR that benefits only the rich and exclusive. Very very frustrating as it just seems we keep talking and requesting answers but are totally ignored with the same old status answers dictated to by the powers to be. It’s election time “AGAIN” in our wonderful province, the trick is in the voting here, vote for the one that is a definite liar as it’s easier on the mind later when the other choice turns out to be even worse. Voting is a privilege that I understand but it always seems the same results as when I cheer for the Maple Laffs. Big disappointment.

  • Andre May 7, 2014, 7:06 am

    Andre, Thank you for the info. I am printing your letter, laminating it to put with our OntORA pamphlets. Great story and advice. Paul composed the original letter of this mailings.

    On another note I hunted moose 3 years ago up in the Geraldton area. The local there were very friendly and helpful. We stayed at the Wild Goose lodge. Had a great week. My buddy and I saw a cow but the chap with the tag was more than 5 miles away and we wouldn’t take the chance.
    I damaged my tailgate while looking for a lost hunter. He walked out of the bush a half hour after on the trail we had been up. He credited hearing my truck up the road when he walked out. The OPP ran the search and rescue. They showed no organization when they only run the main roads looking for the lost hunter. In Algoma country we have a real Search & Rescue. They are very well trained and a great group of guys. I am not a direct member but I support them anytime they have an event going on.

    Again thanks for your letter.

    On Mon, May 5, 2014 at 12:41 PM, Andre Blanchard wrote:

    Hello Joe,

    Andre Blanchard here from Geraldton. I agree with your point of view on the restrictions of PLA.

    I believe it was my case that had started the formation of OntORA back in the day.

    We had legally shot a moose behind a restriction sign (went in on foot). Being late in the day, we decided to wait till next morning to retrieve the big cow. Being some 2-3 miles behind the restriction sign, and having to cross a number of burms and a bridge removal, I decided to do the right thing and ask the CO for permission to enter the area with a quad and retrieve my game. I was flatly denied access, even though the outfitter that had 3 lakes locked up for him – wasn’t even in Canada and the camp was closed for the season.

    I ended up challenging it in court after I was charged, and loss because the Courts did not want to hear what the outfitter was allowed to do with motorized equipment behind the sign.
    I was charged some $1500 for that offence.
    (I made the mistake of pleading guilty, never to do this – always plead not guilty! The maximum fine that the court could of given me was $200! Lesson well learned)

    We are all dealing with Organized Crime in the highest degree when it comes to any Gov`t body. Nothing will change until a new Political party is formed (one formed by local citizens, not wealthy political people).

    Keep up the good work!

    Andre Blanchard
    Greenstone, Ontario.

  • Paul and Dawn Rowe May 8, 2014, 9:18 am

    Perhaps we have been fortunate in the field but we see the problem as policies not front line people.
    We do however, also agree with Tym’s statement: “no matter where you are employed-that if something is wrong and unjust, you need to speak out against it. Employee or not.” Been
    there, done that!!
    Respectfully, Paul and Dawn Rowe.

  • Zeke Marshall May 14, 2014, 5:09 pm

    Hello Paul and Dawn Rowe I did not mean to come down on you so hard but there is always two sides to every coin and if the CO is showing respect I show it back.

  • Paul and Dawn Rowe May 14, 2014, 9:48 pm

    No problem, Zeke!

  • Joe Schmidt June 13, 2014, 4:14 pm

    Isn’t OntORA great, making friends with similar interests. We don’t have to fully agree with each other. We all have our own opinion but have the same outlook. “We want equal access to our lands”. Thank you Paul & Dawn, Zeke, Tym and Andre for showing class. I forgot Charly, he used to have class. Mom said Charly – you still have class and great tasting venison sausage..lol

  • Dan Neilson June 14, 2014, 11:36 am

    I agree with returning respect to the COs but do not ever trust them, they are not your friend. As for them not standing up within their ministry for what is right , there is a reason for that. If you have lots of time to sit and read one Mans story I will post a link …
    http://takebackdemocracy.ca/page1.html

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