United Steelworkers of America Partners with OntORA

OntORA: Ontario Outdoors Recreational Alliance is proud to announce that The United Steelworkers of America has become an official partner in our fight to end two-class access to public lands and lakes in Ontario.

The following article will appear in the USW March 2009 “News @ Six” member newsletter:

Ontario Lakes and Public Land Reserved for Tourists

The Ontario Outdoors Recreational Alliance (OntORA), a proud Steelworkers Union Ontario partner, believes that Ontario citizens should have the same right of access to our public lands as do paying tourists. The Ontario government now sets aside thousands of our best lakes and many thousands of square kilometers of pristine Crown Land for the exclusive use of paying tourists at remote lodges.

Ordinary citizens who attempt to use existing public roads to acess these virtual “game and fish farms for the elite” are charged by the MNR and subject to hefty fines.

Yet, the government and tourism officials insist that these lands and lakes are “accessible” to the public – yeah, sure they are – if you can carry your canoe, food, hunting, fishing or camping gear on your back and walk in at least 3 kilometers or more on a public road to the lake that we cannot otherwise use. That’s not what we call “accessible”.

The Ontario Outdoors Recreational Alliance (OntORA) is a grass roots organization formed by rank and file outdoors men and women who are concerned about the outdoors recreational legacy in store for our future generations.

Approximately 2,000 of our best lakes and vast areas of public land have been set aside to promote remote tourism, with little or no real public access. While we agree that remote tourist lodges should operate at a profit, we do not agree that the Ontario government can set aside our best lakes and our public land for their private use. Lakes and lands closed for legitimate conservation reasons should be closed to everyone, including paying tourists.

It’s time to end this discriminatory two-class system in Ontario. Private hunting and fishing grounds for the upper class may have been in vogue for the Kings and Lords of medieval times, but in today’s Ontario, this antiquated elitism has to go!

For only $15 a year, you can join the Ontario Outdoors Recreational Alliance (a USW Partner) and make a difference. Mail in the application form today.

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