P54  Spring 2008  negotiations and fall-out due PPMP rejection  April 2008 - -Aug

return to the Park index

Paul Beamish email Anstruther Lake CA Feb 19 2008 
-  strategize about possible next options, one of which would be some sort of legal action.
P Chown email  response Feb 20   --Our strength has always been standing together.
Ted Spence response to (CCA)Board  Feb 24 08 -  CCA needs to be careful not to get on one side of the argument only as the association did --
IN RESPONSE TO TED SPENCE EMAIL Mar 20 2008   - - propose the following motion.
and ted replies Mar 21 08   - - is other commercial capacity on our lakes to provide useful access  ?
Rob Pineo report of meetings Feb 19, 29, Mar11, 25 and subsequent - - Minister-  there is no money for this to become an operational provincial park
letter to Adair Ireland Smith on or about Mar 16 2008 - we need to return to the negotiating table to develop a sustainable, made in Kawartha’s management plan
Adair Ireland Smith reply Mar 25
some internal responses to above
SGKH  responds to MNR Ms. Smith  April 30'08  "the local stakeholders, directly affected by the management plan, have reached a level of frustration and mistrust of the process, similar to that experienced at the time the Local Stakeholder Committee presented the Recommendations Report, in secret, to the MNR containing recommendations that were withheld from the public for almost a year. - - - -the PPMP appears to have been based on the false assumption...."
Gary W Jarosz (Pres CCRAI)Monday, May 12, 2008 10:46 AM   Meeting with Minister Cansfield - Minister of Natural Resources  - - report.
Catchacoma Cottagers association letter to  Minister MNR  July "08 re use of Beaver lake road
Donna Cansfield Minister of Natural Resources replies
Beaver lake road parking lot Aug 23 08 and letter to D Coulas

Paul Beamish email Anstruther Lake CA Feb 19 2008

Hi all, Bob Niegarth and I attended a meeting today in Peterborough hosted by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.  It was held to
solicit participation in a coalition to support the OFAH potential legalchallenge to the Ministry of Natural Resources regarding the MNR's
handling of the Preliminary Plan for the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site (KHSS).

There is major concern over the lack of communication and reluctance to move on the KHSS file by the MNR at senior levels.  This has prompted
the OFAH and legal counsel (Tim Danson who has been counsel to the OFAH for about 20 years.) to begin to strategize about possible next options, one of which would be some sort of legal action.

Attending groups and associations were asked today to be "co-represented" by Danson.  There would be no fees to be paid (the OFAH is going ahead anyway so it is free for anyone else) and we can back out at any given time should we have reservations.

Both Bob and I agree with the proposition (as did everyone else in the room, some dozen associations, hunt camp operators, etc) but wanted to
run by our Executive.

Guys, by signing up we can provide needed moral support to the OFAH as they forward the concerns that the signatories to the Charter have.  Ihave no issue with lending our support.

I would appreciate your thoughts by the end of the week.

I will forward any communication from the OFAH if received this week.



P Chown email  response Feb 20

Hi folks, there seems to be some confusion re the OFAH possible actions now and in the future, I too was at the meeting. I have phoned Rob to  suggest he send out a backgrounder with a copy of the support coalition signature sheet [not sure that's what it is called], with the possible actions that might happen now and in the future. The wording of the statement simply indicates that the undersigned wish to collectively state their concern that the Charter and the Act are not being followed in the PPMP. No legal action would be considered until all possible avenues have been explored. In fact there was advice shared at the meeting that legal action would unlikely be considered unless the MNR proceeded to produce a totally unacceptable plan behind closed doors without consultation as a final document. Only then would legal action likely be considered and it was clear that the OFAH, at that time, would not attach any name to it unless they were authorized to do so. Our strength has always been standing together

We must realize that there are a number of indicators[red flags] that suggest the MNR [Parks] are proceeding in the development of the plan without first addressing the major blatant errors in the PPMP.

I have a call into Donna Cansfield's assistant to arrange a meeting with representatives of the SGKH.


This above  Email string  was forwarded to CCA Board  Feb 22 08 - -ed

Ted Spence response to Board  Feb 24 08

Thanks for circulating this material.
I have read this and the earlier note with the minutes of the recent meetingf with OFAH. I find the concerns and issues very interesting but I do not think that CCA membership would be of a single mind on the directions proposed.
I for one would not want to see CCA associated with the potential legal action against MNR. Many of us have taken part in the process so far believing that there might need to be variations from the Charter and that the Act may require some adjustmments. These are not straight forward issues and CCA needs to be careful not to get on one side of the argument only as the association did only a few years ago.
We do need a good article summarizing where things are at and what the issues are from the perspective of the SGKH and OFAH.

Follows your ed response

IN RESPONSE TO TED SPENCE EMAIL of Feb 24 - - sent Mar 20 2008

Given that:

a) Ted has asked for an update/summary,
b) I attended the meeting that Ted comments on as a private member of SGHK and
c) I have for a number of years looked after the POOKHS web site that gathers information re KHSS for Catchacoma cottager:

The secretary CCA has suggested that I respond to Ted’s Email.

Ted has raised a number of valid concerns that I will attempt to address, and suggest a possible solution.  First I should give a short update

As most of you are aware, from Robert’s recent CCA draft newsletter ( see final news letter-ed ), the issues surrounding the KHSS have recently “warmed up” as a result of the release of the Proposed Park Management Plan (PPMP) by the Management Board.  The fundamental concern as expressed by SGKH to the Minister MNR Donna Cansfield revolves around the “Charter” and the perceived failures of MNR to live up to this agreement.  OFHA is the larger of the two remaining signatories to the Charter, has retained legal council, withdrawn support for the charter and considered legal action.  I understand this action is on hold at this time.

To Quote Peter Chown acting Chair SGKH:
“Bob Grey, who chaired the Saint Lawrence Round Table, stated, “one of the greatest challenges was to wrestle the MNR staff to the ground to understand that the roundtable was talking about a different kind of park where traditional activities would continue but the site would receive increased protection.”

It would seem that MNR staff was not wrestled to the ground after all, and that there remains a division within MNR regarding the direction of the Kawartha Highland Signature Site.  The conflicting views being:

a) as a traditional, full blown Provincial Park or
b) a Signature Site as envisioned in the Charter.

It is our understanding that Ms. Cansfield has questioned:
a) why this park issue has not been resolved and
b) where this concept of a “fully funded Park has come from,”
c)  the term “Park” and
d) has stated there is no money for such a project.

Given that the management board recently met with Ms Cansfield, and “own” the PPMP, it may well be that some of the perceived failures have been placed on their doorstep. The rumors of their difficulties are not new.

It seems clear to us from the Minister’s comments above, the PPMP, its production process and the KHSS background documentation/history  and the last two weeks of various negotiations (which we did not attend) involving SGKH, OFHA, the Honourable Donna Cansfield, Barton Fielders, Adair I Smith, Ontario Parks and Dave Coulas, Park Superintendant, that Ms. Cansfield has issued instructions.

A Charter is a seldom-delivered extraordinary document that predates any legislation and in this case, has moral suasion.  It brings to bear the enforcement of the legal act that follows it.  It is a powerful document negotiated by a senior minister of the Crown.  It provides for us, a significant measure of local control.   Given this --- one could certainly understand why senior levels in MNR would not look kindly upon it.

It is a short document, a 5 min read and I have a link to it below.

When Ted says
 “might need to be variations from the Charter and that the Act may require some adjustments” My concern is that to negotiate, renegotiate or parse the Charter in any way, will fatally weaken it and I see that as very risky.  There are certainly many people who would like to open that door.

I am acutely aware agreement of this nature contains numerous compromises and not everyone will be content with all of its parts. I am in full agreement with Ted when he says,
“I do not think that CCA membership would be of a single mind on the directions proposed” and “These are not straight forward issues and CCA needs to be careful not to get on one side of the argument only as the association did only a few years ago.”

I suggest that issue that Ted speaks of, in his ever so gentle manner, is “the road”. It is this road issue that has divided the “Western side” and hamstrung any efforts to develop a cohesive approach, much to the very considerable frustration of the folks on the “Eastern side”.  I suggest this very perceptible division has weakened the SGKH in its dealings with MAB and MNR  in the past and now would be a good time to resolve the issue if possible.

First lets look at what that Charter says on page 11 in the section related to Roads and Trails. It is quoted below.

(2) Despite subsection (1), two new roads may be constructed in the Park, one of which shall provide public access to the Park from the western border of the Park and the other shall provide public access to the Park from the eastern border of the Park, if,

(a) the exact location of the entrances to the Park and of their route through the Park is approved by the Minister; and

(b) the construction begins within 30 months of the day this section comes into force.

Limit on location of roads
The western public access road will follow a corridor that ensures the minimum length of construction within the boundaries approximately defined by Lots 16 to 29 in Concessions VIII, IX, X and XI in Cavendish Township.

Thus if there is to be a road in accordance with the Charter it would be, as defined above, from 507 eastward across the Pencil Creek Bridge and directly to the park boundary.

It is this section of the charter that we understand to be the problem.

I therefore propose the following motion.

“That the CCA directors on behalf of their members request the Minister to act in accordance with the Charter, Page 11, Roads and Trails, Section 10 sub Para 2 “Exception” and with regard to the western border road wherein the Charter says, “two new roads may be constructed in the Park”, exercise a“May not“ option. That is to say that no western road access be provided to the Park.”

I believe that this motion would have virtually 100% support from the CCA, membership, all the cottages on the lake, and all the surrounding lakes, associations, and rate payers.
This motion supports SGKH and the Charter.
It shifts the paradigm.
In taking forward this motion (If accepted) the CCA would advise the Minister that there is no intention to restrict access but rather to funnel it though existing commercial operations (Marinas) in a manner similar to that already employed on the eastern side. This routing provides a number of viable options that include
a) control
b) a method/Place of fee extraction for support of local services
c)  It returns the Bottle lake Park back to its original promise of a canoe access only.
d) The township is in control.  - - -and most importantly
e) It supports existing commercial operations and provides increased viability for their future.

For a more complete vision of how this might work please see Haliburton Highlands Water Trails (HHWT) view  (http://www.algonquinhighlands.ca/water/)

I understand that there are more meetings scheduled on the 25th of March and that if such a motion was passed that there is some urgency with regard to time.  I believe CCA is best served by a proactive approach to the issue.

and ted replies Mar 21 08

I was a serious  advocate for the "do nothing" option in early discussions.

I want to provide a bit of historical comment from my experience on the Ecological Integrity SubCommittee of the MAB and then ask you to clarify how you see the Do nothing option working.

In Fall of 2006 I attended a joint session of our subcommittee with members of the MAB. Our Reeve Tom Flynn was one of the MAB members at the meeting. After some information was exchanged about the work of the environmental assessment and particularly the ecological data from the area north of Bottle lake we got into a serious discussion of what it might take to make the "do nothing" road option possible..

I was strongly of the opinion that the EA would result in a conclusion that would be unacceptable to many lake residents if the do nothing option was not kept viable.  I argued strongly that the key to that option was maintaining the Catchacoma Landing property (which was on the market and was rumoured to be up for a zoning change if it did not sell as a commercial operation soon) as zoned commercial and having the MNR or our township buy it if necessary to hold it at least until the study was complete.  
My personal view  was based on my knowledge of the EA process and my belief that
1. the north end of Bottle Lake was not a good access point because of the environmental values of that area (which were already emerging in the studies) and I thought would not meet the tests of the EA. This is the conclusion from the EA.
2. the Mississauga Dam Road made no sense because it was too far removed from the camping areas on Bottle Lake that were the prime destination for visitors on the park's west side. This too was in the EA.
3. the Beaver lake road was not acceptable  because of the strongly held views of residents. Furthermore I  thought that a large parking access area at the Southern end of Bottle and Sucker lake encouraging day use would be contrary to the desire for a "wilderness" type park.
4. I did believe that canoe access up Bottle Creek from Catchacome made sense, could accommodate the numbers under discussion and could be based on a do nothing (or almost nothing option.)
5 but the do nothing canoe access solution would require enough parking and outfitting capacity in the commercial operations on the lake to replace the access capacity from the Beaver lake Road which had become such a big problem.

What some members may not know but which is obvious to those of us who depend on Baldwin bay marina for our water access and parking for ourselves and our visitors is that Baldwin Bay in its present configuration is at its full capacity. There are NO parking spots available on weekends when the needs of the existing water access properties have been met. The intensity of use  increased noticeably in 2007 with the closure of the Landing operation at the end of 2006 season.

Every week a few campers use Baldwin bay as the launch point for their canoes but the numbers are small and as we all know most park users are parking off and on Beaver lake Road. That is why I was so concerned not to lose the capacity of the Landing for parking and possibly a park office if owned publically or to share the parking and access burden with Baldwin Bay if it remained a private enterprise.

At that meeting in Fall 06  I argued forcefully that if the authorities especially our Township allowed the Landing property to be converted to residential we would lose the capacity to implement the do nothing option. I was assured by  both Tom Flynn and the MNR folks that they would give serious consideration to how to keep that property in play until we knew if it was needed as the access solution.  I know the MAB discussed the matter decided not to act at that time. I also know that our township council in it usual short-sighted and assessment grabbing way allowed the zoning change and severance. I suspect the council acted without serious discussion of the options related to the loss of a commercial property and possible Park access. I blame our Reeve for failing to grasp the significance of the problem and the opportunity and for not ensuring that a full consideration occurred. The fact that all this happened over the winter when we tend to ignore what is happening  up north  probably makes it partly our collective fault as well.

So that brings me to my question.
If the "do nothing" option were to be supported by CCA and MNR would we expect the current parking off Beaver lake Road to be removed? If so where can we relocate it to given that Baldwin Bay marina is apparently absolutely fully utilized in its current configuration.
Do you think there is other commercial capacity on our lakes to provide useful access. I have tended to think Little Gull is too far removed from Bottle creek to be of much use. Are there other properties that could be acquired near to 507.

Before we decide on your motion I would like to know what we can come up with in terms of an alternative access arrangement on Catchacoma.  
Can we work with our Township to address the problem they have created with their short-sighted decision making?
Should we check with Baldwin Bay to be sure that my understanding that they do not have unused land for expansion is correct?
Could parking be developed on the west side of 507 near the marina?
 I would like to see CCA find a workable solution to send to the Minister but it is not clear to me that the "do nothing" option is viable now that we have lost the capacity of the Landing.

I hope some of us have a solution that can work.


Rob Pineo report meetings Feb 19, 29, Mar11, 25 and subsequent.
the red highlighting is ours - ed

Good Day
I have had a few inquiries regarding an update to the situation with the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site and the Management Plan. Here is a synopsis since the February 19th stakeholder meeting we hosted in Peterborough at the Holiday Inn.

As a result of the Feb. 19th meeting we developed an e-mail contact list. Also several parties submitted summaries of their longstanding histories in the area as requested by the lawyer Tim Danson. Thank you.

32 parties and individuals have agreed to be represented alongside the OFAH by Tim Danson. (I had hoped for more, including some key organizations/
groups/ townships). To date we have not submitted this list to the MNR as we are still negotiating and hopefully do not need to force the issue legally
(which would take much longer).

On Feb. 29th the OFAH met with MPP Jeff Leale reiterating our concerns. It is interesting to note that several parties have met with him on this
issue, all with similar concerns.

On March 3 a meeting was held between the OFAH, SGKH, and representatives from the townships, discussing option, the presentation of a united front
and the recent meeting between the townships and the Minister of Natural Resources.

The Minister has made it clear that their is no money for this to become an operational provincial park. Whether that means that 1) this will be some
other designation than a park, which would be extremely difficult to do under the new Act since the park has already been regulated or 2) that this
should be a non-operational park, which would cause more problems than it solves or 3) that this would be a non-traditional operational provincial
park that would need some unique approaches to problems, remains to be seen.

The OFAH had a conference call with Assistant Deputy Minister Kevin Wilson on March 4th.

On March 11th the OFAH hosted a meeting which included the Township of North Kawartha, the Stakeholder Groups of the Kawartha Highlands, Dave Coulas (Park Superintendent), Bruce Bateman (Parks Regional Manager), Barton Fielders (Parks Senior Policy Advisor) and Adair Ireland-Smith (Parks
Director). At this meeting we voiced united concerns with several aspects of the plan and discussed funding. It was indicated that the Minister may have
been speaking out of context when saying that this would not be an operational park. Parks staff were very divergent in their understanding of our issues and proposed solutions. After several hours several participants had other commitments so it was decided to have a follow up meeting to go over specific issues. This took place March 25th.

Issues and proposed solutions were discussed for boat caching, hunting, bait-fish use, recognition of cottagers, vegetation management (chainsaws),
motorboats, snowmobiles, ATV's and motorized vehicles, mountain biking, the Beaver Lake Road and park funding.

I believe the discussions were productive. Several issues were straight forward and look like they will be appropriately resolved, i.e. snowmobiling, mountain biking, chainsaws. While others involved some broader discussions and possible solutions i.e boat caching, cottager/stakeholder involvement and a free permit system.

Issues such as motorboat control and live bait-fish use met with opposing views from parks. Regarding bait-fish we are of the opinion that the new regulations that came into place in January are adequately addressing the issue on Crown land and no additional controls need to be in place for the park beyond similar exceptions for Crown land lakes. For motorboats it was indicated that some individuals may be trying to protect their personal
interests without considering the whole picture of traditional use, which is our key focus.

With respect to the hunting regulation change, we understand that the reg change hasn't even made it to the Minister yet. We had hear the reoccurring theme that there are concerns that people would be recreational ATV riding using hunting as an excuse and have had the discussion with Ontario Parks that this is an unfounded concerns and there are several controls in place to ensure this does not happen.

Ontario Parks will be taking our concerns on each issue and working on the final park plan (which we understand should be coming out in June or July).

We anticipate having a follow up meeting with ADM Kevin Wilson on Monday.
 Note that turkey season starts April 25th, as the hunting regs stand now, although turkey hunting is permitted in WMU 60 it is not permitted in the
KHSS. Should this continue to be the case come the start of the season, there are several options that we need to consider.

Yours in Conservation

Robert Pineo
Forestry and Wildlife Specialist / Biologist
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

letter to Adair Ireland Smith on or about Mar 16 2008

Peter Chown

To: Adair Ireland Smith
       Managing Director
       Ontario Parks

Re: Kawartha Highlands Signature Site

Dear Adair,
I wish to thank you for sharing your time with the stakeholders at the OFAH office on March 11, 2008.  With the closed process utilized in developing the management plan and the limited opportunities for open public debate, this is actually the first time since the charter negotiations in 2003, that there has been an opportunity for discussion with upper MNR staff on this issue.

The answer to your question to staff to provide the rationale behind the Preliminary Park Management Plan clearly revealed the reason the process has gotten off track.  It would appear that MNR staff and/or those advising MNR staff have taken the direction that the Kawartha Highland Signature Site is a traditional, full blown Provincial Park rather than the original direction of a special designation of a Signature Site.

Bob Grey, who chaired the Saint Lawrence Round Table, stated, “one of the greatest challenges was to wrestle the MNR staff to the ground to understand that the roundtable was talking about a different kind of park where traditional activities would continue but the site would receive increased protection.

The Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Recommendations Report, November 2001, recommended increased protection by a permit system: (using boat caching as an example): “We further recommend that boat caching be regulated by permit.”

The KHSS Charter, June 2003, stated: “Traditional activities including cottaging will continue to be an integral component of the area”.

Bill 100, An Act respecting the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site states as one of its purposes: “that the policies governing the Park, including its management,… maintain its traditional uses…”

The rationale behind the Preliminary Park Management Plan, as outlined by MNR staff using the example of cached boats, clearly indicated that the principle of a traditional park was employed and not the original principle of a signature site.  This was evident in the statements:
1.) Boat caching is not allowed in parks.
2.) It was interpreted that boat caching was not in keeping with the values of a semi-wilderness park.

It would appear that this traditional park principle was employed in the banning and/or severely restricting the majority of traditional activities.

The further explanation of banning the use of boat caching for the purpose of back lake fishing, is a major concern to me personally and the many fellow cottagers who purchased water access cottages partly based on such activities that have been permitted under the Public Land’s Act for the last 100 years.  To suggest that at the age of 70 I must drag a boat over two portages to get to Triangle Lake to trout fish and not be able to use a small motor to troll with a metal line is totally unacceptable.

The Stakeholder Groups of the Kawartha Highlands, who have the knowledge, resources and communication network, offered a management strategy for controlling boat caching which would reduce the number of cached boats, assist with storage areas where appropriate and assist with monitoring through a free permit system.  Why is this not being considered? 

With the realization that the MNR budget will not provide for a traditional, full blown operating provincial park, we need to return to the negotiating table to develop a sustainable, made in Kawartha’s management plan, employing a partnership with the two townships, the stakeholder groups of the Kawartha Highlands and the MNR.

Yours truly,

Cc: The Honourable Donna Cansfield
       Kevin Wilson, Asst. Deputy Minister
       Barton Fielders, Ontario Parks
       Brian Alexander, Ontario Parks
       Dave Coulas, Park Superintendant
       Jim Whelan, Reeve
       Tom Flynn, Reeve

Adair Ireland Smith reply Mar 25



some responses to above

"not even lip service to any concerns."

  "that was a real brush off."

"I just had a chance to read it.
They are definately not telling us what we want to hear. HOWEVER, they are saying the most they can say in writing to us.
That is they can't come out and say you guys are right on alot of stuff and we support your views, in case that would get into the hands of the anti's.
This is what scares me the most:"

"It strikes me that the SGKH will need to meet in the not to too distant future as the Minister's thoughts on the KHSS become clear and the MNR's
intentions towards hunting in the KHSS become clear and the practical impact of the Minister's 'shortage of funds' for the KHSS becomes clear
and Ontario Park's interpretation of 'protection of traditional activities' becomes clear. (Too bad we didn't think to create a Charter to
have made these points clear right from the beginning...)"

Ed note follows
Adair Ireland Smith is Managing Director Ontario Parks. She reports directly to Kevin J  Wilson, Assistant deputy Mininter Natural Resources Management Division, and he reports directly to David L Lindsay Deputy Minister Natural Resources who in turn reports to the Minister. David Lindsay is a career civil servant who is new to his post (sometime after July 2007). Mr Wilson is identified a U of T grad in government administation and seems to have been there since Oct 2006.   - - -from MNR org charts Internet. telecom question to MNR, and person search.

With regard to the letter above :
Ms. Smith quotes the ACT. The Act is irrelevant to this conversation.
1) SGKH is not a signatory to the Act. The Charter predates the ACT. It is the agreement that framed the Act and take precidence.
This charter includes proposed content for a “Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park Act”.  - - Page 3

With regard to the letter above :
The letter correctly quotes the Charter as follows
Provide interim direction for the management of the recommended park until such time as the area can be protected under legislation and a management plan is approved.  - -Page 3
we note There is no approved management plan at this time - - therefore the Charter rules.

The Charter also says
Traditional activities including cottaging will continue to be an integral component of the area, and diverse low-density recreational opportunities will continue to be available. 
Continued public involvement in the planning and management of this area is essential. Management of the area will respect the existing private lands and tenure within the park.
The charter provides immediate and long-term direction for the management and planning for the area, --
 (c)that the Park will be managed so as to permit continued access to and enjoyment of private property and of Crown land that is subject to a land use permit, licence of occupation or lease under the Public Lands Actwhere that private property or Crown land is surrounded by Park lands or abuts Park lands;
(d) that decisions with respect to the development and any major revision of the management plan for the Park are made with prior public consultation.
And that the management board would
Ensure that information is made available to the public about the ongoing work of the Board, and the progress of the park.
And function in
Ongoing partnership approaches to management.
And the Minister
 shall ensure that the management plan for the Park and any major revisions to that plan are prepared with prior public consultation.
And the Management Plan
will address a wide range of issues, and will incorporate the direction that has been identified in the legislation and charter,
will also respond, where necessary, to the LSC recommendations that have not been specifically dealt with in the Charter
And the MAB will
assist local municipalities or individual cottage associations to examine (where appropriate) alternative approaches. These discussions could consider the use of motorboats (including water skiing) and personal water craft on lakes where there are private properties.
And concludes
<>Municipal support is essential to ensure that the park vision and values are fully considered in the review of any proposals for new lots, plans of subdivision or commercial development on private lands within or close to the park.
Thus we suggest Ms Smith does not understand when she says she is "committed to consult with stake holders ". She is obligated to do that,  and to a whole lot more that she also does not appear to comprehend.

With regard to her quote in the letter from the Charter  as below:
Provide interim direction for the management of the recommended park until such time as the area can be protected under legislation and a management plan is approved.

All parties involved have expressed great concern regarding this comment.  Their common interpretation is that MNR is taking the position that the delivery of the Management Plan renders the Charter redundant, null and void.  We conclude that if this is the case,  SGKH (and any other party) is left with the only possible recourse to such a breech of trust --- that of legal action.

With regard to her quote  " Ontario parks is committed to making sure that Ministry decisions - -are transparent and include full consultation with the public and stakeholders. "
We are unsure of what that means and have therefore reviewed the subject on the internet via Wikipedia, and the included definition from OECD and their Background Document on Public Consultation, the link to the Canada Gazette, and the UK Governments Better Regulation Executive Code of Practice on Consultation.
Nothing springs out from the Ontario Government.
 The one site we like best is  from the UK  (Cheltenham) and we quote it below:

"There are a number of different definitions of consultation that exist, but perhaps the simplest and most straightforward is:
 'a process of dialogue that leads to a decision'

-- The term 'dialogue' means a continual exchange of views and information, and suggests a two-way process of sharing knowledge and opinions and working together. This means that when we consult you, we listen to what you have to say and we act upon it."
  A review of transparency and public consultation is linked
end ed

SGHK respondes to Ms Smith

Peter's introduction  received May 2 2008

Hello, please find enclosed a letter of response to a letter received from Adair Ireland Smith  which responded to an original letter I wrote to Adair Re the KHSS.

Adair's response is a bit concerning in that it implies the MNR has unlimited powers using the clause 'the overriding priority is the protection of ecological integrity' which could mean the MNR could  ban anything they deemed was a threat to the ecological integrity. It appears that the MNR continues its secretive process with lip service to consultation.

If you can use any of the issues raised in the letter to influence anyone who can help, please do.

Thanks to Doug for the info and renewal for the SGKH membership. We'll work on an update for the SGKH in near future.

from Peter Chown                                                                                    April 30, 2008

Re: Kawartha Highlands Signature Site

To: Adair Ireland Smith
       Managing Director
       Ontario Parks

Dear Adair,

Thank you for your letter of response dated March 25, 2008. Having been actively involved in the ongoing discussions of the Kawartha Highlands for the past nine years, I would like to share the following comments in relation to this response. I believe the following comments represent the views and perceptions of the majority of the stakeholders who will be directly affected by the final management plan of the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site.

I think it is fair to say that the local stakeholders, directly affected by the management plan, have reached a level of frustration and mistrust of the process, similar to that experienced at the time the Local Stakeholder Committee presented the Recommendations Report, in secret, to the MNR containing recommendations that were withheld from the public for almost a year. The two remaining signatories, the Stakeholder Groups of the Kawartha Highlands [SGKH] and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters [OFAH] have outlined on several occasions a number of serious concerns in relation to the Preliminary Park Management Plan [PPMP].

After intensive consultation, negotiations and promises cemented in a Charter and an Act, a Preliminary Park Management Plan was produced that blatantly contravened the Charter. Examples include but are not limited to:

The following comments are in response to your letter of March 25, 2008 and our meeting with you and your staff on March 11, 2008. Since our meeting was restricted in time to address only the boat caching activity I reference this as one example of the many serious concerns displayed in the PPMP:

Ecological Integrity

The statement of the KHSSP Act, “that the protection of the ecological integrity of the KHSSP is recognized as the overriding priority” was included to ensure the protection of certain areas or rare species that might be identified as needing special protection.

The statement was certainly not meant to provide unlimited authority to MNR staff to ban or severely restrict traditional activities throughout the entire site - especially “protected” traditional activities that have not displayed any overall negative impact. In fact these same traditional activities have existed for the past 50 to 100 years during which time the ecological integrity of the KHSSP has flourished.

Ecosystems have integrity when they have their native components [plants, animals and other organisms] and processes [such as growth and reproduction] intact. If Ontario Parks is saying that a traditional activity such as boat caching is causing harm to the integrity of the KHSSP ecosystem one would assume that a biologist has conducted a study to prove the activity is taking place at a level that is harmful to the ecological integrity. If this is not the case one might speculate that possibly some staff and advisors to MNR find these activities offensive to their wilderness sensibilities. The fact is the KHSS is a semi-wilderness park, acknowledges the obvious human presence and practicing a number of traditional activities. 

The MNR has also stated that a rationale for restricting or banning a traditional activity such as boat caching was due to the fact that they didn’t know how to control it. The Stakeholder Groups of the Kawartha Highlands have provided, on different occasions, a management strategy and have offered to assist in implementing it. So much for consultation, partnering and developing trust.

It is further offensive to stakeholders directly affected when a statement of rationale is how the MNR would differentiate from a traditional user and an imaginary new user from Toronto. This has already been dealt with in the Recommendation Report. Active traditional users would be granted a permit and strict criteria could be established for new permits.

One must keep in mind the ongoing historical support local stakeholders have contributed as stewards when the MNR was forced to withdraw from managing responsibilities due to budget cuts such as the MNR abandoning the maintenance and supervision of canoe route camping in the 70’s and withdrawing from managing access points in the mid 80’s leaving municipalities and cottage associations picking up the responsibility of managing public access, marketed by the MNR, being superimposed on roads, parking lots and boat launches that were paid for and developed by local stakeholders.

History appears to be about to repeat itself. Just as the KHSSP is about to open as a park we are told that there will severely restricted funding. I doubt that any of the signatories would have supported a poorly funded park model for the KHSS.

If there is a shortage of funds then once again the support of the local stakeholders, especially the two local townships will be needed to avoid abuse and overuse of the area. I suggest that the present situation doesn’t encourage this partnership or promote ecological integrity.

Enjoyment of Private Property

The statement in the act, “to permit continued access and enjoyment of private property”, employing the present proposed restrictive approach of the MNR would result in property owners and lessees being trapped on their own property unable to enjoy traditional activities that actually attracted them to purchase and or lease their properties in the first place.

There appears to be a total lack of understanding, by MNR staff and many Management Advisory Board [MAB] members, of the importance of traditional activities such as boat caching, the use of small motors on back lakes for the purpose of fishing and the use of ATV’s for fishing.

A major traditional seasonal activity, for cottagers and lessees, is planning back lake fishing trips with neighbours, families and especially grandchildren. To suggest, as a senior citizen, one must drag a boat across 2 portages to take a grandson fishing and to troll for lake trout with a metal line at a constant speed without a small motor or locally purchased live bait displays a total lack of respect as well as a lack of understanding of these traditional activities.

It appears that some MNR staff and/or advisory committee members have developed negative opinions on boat caching based on pictures of boats cached at a few major portages. One must keep in mind that the accumulation of these boats was legal under the Public Lands Act and that the MNR has not provided any management for boat caching for the past 50 years.  As previously proposed a simple up-to-date inventory, a culling of derelict and unused boats, amalgamation of users, construction of storage facilities, where appropriate, combined with a permit system would adequately control and manage this.

It would also appear that staff and many advisors don’t understand or appreciate the network of cached boats that are strategically hidden on back lakes. Many of these back lakes have 1 or 2 hidden boats that were transported in the winter by snow machine. To suggest that 3 or 4 times a year a local stakeholder with a small motor fishing on one of these back lakes is a threat to the ecological integrity is outrageous. These are the very same boats and motors that are utilized in the stewarding of the site whether it be a search and rescue operation, a park watch or to extinguish a fire.

A similar traditional activity is for a cottager or lessee utilizing a motorized vehicle on an approved trail to take a grandson fishing on a back lake. These are the same folks who stand ready to assist with search and rescue and/or to transport fire-fighting equipment. It’s quite possible that without the support of the local stakeholders it might take another 50 years for MNR staff alone to fully implement the proposed ban on boat caching for the purpose of back lake fishing.

Public Consultation

The statement, “that decisions with respect to the development and any major revisions of the management plan for the Park are made with prior public consultation”, was certainly not followed in the development of the PPMP which doesn’t instill faith or trust for the future. A contracted MNR staff person authored the PPMP without any consultation with those directly affected and when questioned at the open houses displayed a limited amount of knowledge of both the Charter and the Act that was to be the very basis of the plan.

To suggest “MNR staff strove to achieve an appropriate balance” is somewhat offensive to directly impacted local stakeholders and traditional users who have already made significant compromises in the Park designation of the Signature Site and the Charter, which now appear to have been based on unrealistic promises that obviously cannot be honoured. The PPMP, to those stakeholders directly affected, is extremely out of balance.

One should be aware that this is the same secretive process employed by the Local Stakeholder Committee and the same lack of consultation with those directly affected that landed the KHSS issue on the floor of the legislature, not once but twice, and that resulted in the North Kawartha Council to be replaced by a council that respected local stakeholder concerns.

When the issue was raised that there was a lack of representation of those directly affected being on the Local Stakeholder Committee, the MNR stated that when the next phase of developing a management plan took place that would be the time for their representation since their partnership would be needed. At present the MAB has no representation from either township. What we appear to have is a repeat of the Local Stakeholder Committee make up and process, the same staff resource person and the majority of committee advisory members continuing the unrealistic distant ongoing discussion of protection through a fully funded traditional operational park.

Since the PPMP appears to have been based on the false assumption that the KHSS was to be a fully funded traditional operating park, the PPMP will require major revisions to address the reduced funding and will require a different management model that promotes partnerships with the townships and their local stakeholders.

Surely the first step in addressing a realistic management plan would be to establish the amount of money that will be allocated for infrastructure and annual operating costs followed by an inventory of what supportive infrastructure and recourses are available to provide partnerships to develop the overall plan. One would think that this would also be the first step in developing a sound practical business plan as opposed to holding remote discussions on what one could restrict or ban of the traditional activities of the very people one needs the support of.

In that the PPMP will require significant revisions as well as a dependency on partnerships with those local stakeholders directly affected, one would expect that Ontario Parks would provide an opportunity for representatives of the two local stakeholder signatories, the SGKH and the OFAH, to review and discuss the proposed changes to the PPMP prior to its release to the public

One would also expect that the MNR would realize that the MAB has more than served its purpose and implement a Management Board that would be restructured in membership and direction to address the real issue, a sustainable practical management plan that encourages partnerships between the MNR and the local stakeholder groups.

Yours truly,

 Peter Chown

C.C. Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources
        Kevin Wilson, Assistant Deputy Minister
        Barton Fielders, Ontario Parks
        Bruce Bateman, Ontario Parks
        Dave Coulas, Ontario Parks
        Jim Whelan, Reeve
        Tom Flynn, Reeve    

Update from ED
We understand D. Coulas has recently established contact with both Reeves trying for an "improved relationship". Both P. Chown and G. Jarosz CCRAI are expected to have meetings with Minister  MNR D. Cansfield  this month (May). We expect a report from each.  Secretary CCA has requested responses from the 2 western marinas re proposals mentioned above - one is in and other to come, things look positive.  Responses from other local associations and parties also look positive. A request for definition of terms "Transparency" and "Public consultation" has be requested of Ontario Government. No response to date.
A number of SHKG responders have express considerable frustration with MNR, citing the lack of viable options remaining, and the need to move to the legal option.
We find the intractable responses from Ms. Smith, collectively from her letters, appointments (MAB), and actions, beyond comprehension.

----- Original Message -----
From: Gary W Jarosz
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 10:46 AM
Subject: Meeting with Minister Cansfield - Minister of Natural Resources

I wanted to update everyone on my recent meeting with Donna Cansfield, Minster of Natural Resources on May 7, 2008.
I discussed two topics with her:
The Kawartha Highland Signature Site Park, current status and the path forward
Water levels in our lake systems and the need for improved water management relative to requirements from the Trent Severn Waterway and the outcome of the Panel on the Future of the TSW
On the KHSSP, I reviewed what I had observed as some of the issues that are causing friction among many different stakeholders. She was very aware of them and was very well briefed on many of the activities in the past and currently underway I made the suggestion that perhaps given where we are, the in place groups and structures likely are not appropriate any longer relative to getting this project to end of job. I recommended that she consider replacing the MAB and other structures with a new group consisting of all key stakeholders including the right people from her Ministry and specifically Parks Ontario with a plan to gain consensus and work collaboratively on the path forward and get this park project to an agreed on conclusion.
Minister Cansfield brought up a number of points that you should be aware of
She said that she has a desire to better understand the hunting aspect – broaden her overall understanding on this topic
What is the definition of “traditional use”, historical as it was in the past or within the confines of a definition of a park – there are considerable differences
Does KHSSP now fall under the new Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act – she asked her staff to investigate this, this would change the interpretation of traditional use from what I can ascertain
Funding is still an open issue – it will not be funded like an full operating park
I also met some of her staff that are working on this file. They stated that the final plan is expected to be released in late summer (August to September 2008 time frame)
On the water levels and water management, I informed her that there are approximately over 160 dams managing water in some way, shape or form, some that are managed by Parks Canada, some by her Ministry and some are private. The majority of them were built 50-70 years ago and most are in a state of disrepair and currently there is more technology in a street parking meter in the City of Toronto than there is in the entire water management system, including the Trent Severn Waterway, many of which are still manually operated. I described the property and environmental damage caused by current water management practices and suggested that the solution likely lies in a cross functional group including Parks Canada, Federal infrastructure, her Ministry, Minster Kaplan in Infrastructure, and Minister Phillips in Energy to develop a long term plan to rebuild the infrastructure and deploy technology so that water management could be automated better managed and meet the requirements of all stakeholders. 
I mentioned the fact that even though the TSW shuts down after Thanksgiving, there is still water draw downs to the TSW. I also mentioned that her Ministry has a lowest water level agreement with TSW/Parks Canada of September 30 to protect trout spawning, yet there continues to be water draw downs to TSW beyond that date.
She brought up the fact that in conjunction with the dams issue, there is also a similar issue relating to many of the bridges over waterways as well and both require significant amounts of funding in order to remediate. She said that she is prepared to work with us and the Fed’s on this but needs to get a full understanding and has asked her staff for a briefing.
I also extended an invitation for her to attend one of our public meetings this summer and her staff will get back to me on this.
That’s the quick summary. Call me if you want to review anything in particular
Regards ... Gary W. Jarosz

ed note this email has been edited to remove address and phone numbers for privacy reasons all else is untouched.
Gary is current president of CCRAI
Recent letters of response have been received from AI Smith and an update will follow soon.
We are receiving reports MNR intend to deliver the Management plan in July Aug. with little consultation input and have informed local reeves of same - -they have received very strong and negative response(s). We expect to receive copies of these letters soon.

Catchacoma association letter to  Minister MNR on CCA letterhead

Donna H. Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources

Ministry of Natural Resources
6630-99 Wellesley St W, 6th Fl, Whitney Blk,
Toronto ON M7A 1W3
Tel : 416-314-2301 - Fax : 416-325-5316
dcansfield.mpp@liberal.ola.org    Etobicoke Centre, Liberal
4800 Dundas St W
Toronto ON M9A 1B1
Tel : 416-234-2800 - Fax : 416-234-2276

July 6th, 2008

Dear Ms. Cansfield:

I am writing on behalf of the Catchacoma Cottagers Association, (CCA), which includes representation from Mississsauga lake, with regard to concerns received regarding the use of the Beaver Lake Road as an access point to the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site.

Many of our cottagers reside along the Beaver Lake Road and have expressed serious concerns over its’ use as outlined in the current Management Plan.

Accordingly, the CCA undertook to solicit a response from the local two marinas that provide service to the lake system as to their willingness to provide access to the Park.  As the remaining two marinas, both Baldwin’s Bay and Little Gulf have expressed in writing, their readiness and capacity to meet the needs as the parking location and gateway to the new park from the west.  Further, that they both could expand to meet the park demands without jeopardizing the services already provided to the cottages and particularly to our water-only accessed communities.  Part of their eagerness to provide this service is to enhance a greatly needed sustainability on the Lake system.

Given the viability of water access to the Park, as outlined above, we would urge the Ministry to reconsider the  “no road option” stated in the original Charter.


Ann C. Kidd
Secretary: Catchacoma Cottagers Association
addresses removed

Attached:  Letter:  Baldwin’s Bay Marina
                 Letter:  Little Gull Marina

this letter was CC'd to Board, reeves GCH and NK, OFHA, CCRAI, and SGKH.
the two attached copies are below  they are copied over  to this format and originals are on file
Division of 1297115 Ontario Ltd .• 144 Misslssagua Lake Road

R.R.#1 • Buckhorn, Ontario. KOL 1JO

Phone 705-657-9088. Fax 705-657-8672. Email richard@litflegullmarina.ca

May 11,2008

To Whom it May Concern,

I have been asked to express our ability and willingness to provide a parking location and access to the KHSS. We currently own 20 acres on the North West corner of Mississagua Lake, Cavendish Twp.
With approximately 5 of those acres cleared we have room and parking ability for a fairly large number of vehicles.
My concerns rest with the ability to dispose of the recyclables and garbage that would be hopefully returning with the campers/users of the area. If a viable plan could be implemented to address this concern I can see no problem with us supplying the needs of the users of the area.
I feet that with a proper plan and administration structure in place we could deal with the added travel through our facility.
Fee structures and collection systems would also have to outlined in this administration policy.
If there is any further questions/concerns please feel free to contact myself at the above number or email address at your convenience.


Richard Carroll

Owner: Little Gull Marina

From: "Bob" <rplug@baldwinbaymarina.com>
Date: April 17, 2008 9:17:38 AM EDT (CA)
To: <kiddbatt@osha.igs.net>
Subject: Re: parking facilities for KHSS water access
Return-Path: <rplug@baldwinbaymarina.com>
Hello Ann --  the Secretary of the CCA
Re: parking facilities and gateway location for KH park
Most people do not realize the extent and capabilities of our facilties.  The fact is we have 85 designated parking spaces for our seasonal cottagers and we also have approximately 70 parking spaces readily available for guest and campers.  Should there be a need for more space we can with  little effort prepare our back storage area to accommodate another 50 vehicles.  I do not foresee that need in the near future unless the park is fully developed without parking facilities.
We currently do not get many people parking with us and canoeing into the park.  It is a long trek and can be dangerous depending on the lake conditions.  On a number of occations we have had to taxi campers with their goods and canoes to the dam portage and then pick them up at the end of the weekend.  The First Bridge is the favoured spot for campers to park and depart and probably always will be.
The term -- gateway --   needs to be defined.  If that means it to be the registration point and the only access point to the park, then some consultation and planning would be required, but I doubt that it would be an impossible task.  We already have Douglas on staff.
For over 30 years we have always been able to meet the needs of our customers.
Sincerely   BOB
                 Baldwin Bay Marina

August 8, 2008
Ms. Ann Kidd
address removed
Dear Ms. Kidd:
Thank you for your e-mail regarding access to the western side of the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park (KHSSP).
Ontario Parks is preparing a final park management plan based on comments received from the release of the preliminary park management plan last fall. A draft Environmental Study Report (ESR) considering access to the park was also released last fall. Comments received relating to the draft ESR were considered in the development of the final park management plan. Several proposed park policies would impose control on park use that has been previously uncontrolled, including the western side of the park.  Safety concerns identified by the owners of Baldwin Bay Marina will remain paramount in any future discussions.
I understand that Park Superintendent David Coulas attended the regular public meeting hosted by the Cavendish Community Ratepayers Association on June 21, 2008, and provided an update on park planning and development.  I encourage you to contact him at (613) 332-3940, extension 255, to discuss this or other matters in greater detail.
Thank you again for writing.
Original signed by
Donna Cansfield
Minister of Natural Resources
c:         David Coulas, Park Superintendent

This letter was forwarded to all directors and those cc'd.
We understand the management plan sits in the ministers office for signature. CCRAI Annual general meeting is due Aug. 23 '
08 and Mr. Coulas is to attend.  SGKH plans a meeting this Sept. '08 with a report to the members on the events to date. We understand they are sitting on a number of promised changes to the management plan that so far the Ministry has refused to put in writing, despite repeated requests. MNR has become decidely unco-operative.  as  below from SGKH

As reported previously
Donna Cansfield had meetings with the townships she  stated the KHSS would not be a fully funded park but would be a different kind of organized park with some funding for such things as enforcement. Following this meeting the minister confirmed in writing that the MNR would invite the townships to the table to discuss their concerns about funding for roads, fire, police, waste etc after the management plan was finalized.

The Township of North Kawartha wrote a strongly worded letter to the minister stating that their understanding was the townships would be involved in the development of the plan and not after the fact. The letter clearly states that the stakeholders directly affected by the plan are the ratepayers of the township and therefore the township and the local stakeholders have the same mutual concerns.

The OFAH first held a meeting with its members in April to explore strategies of how to influence positive changes to the original PPMP. One strategy was discussed in relation to taking legal action but it appeared that if this was necessary it would be best be implemented only if the MNR came forth with an unacceptable plan.

A combined meeting of OFAH and SGKH representatives was held with Adair Ireland Smith and her staff to discuss common concerns around the hunting issue and the severe restrictions and/or banning of various other traditional rights. A follow up meeting was held to further the discussions. Ongoing meetings and conference calls with the deputy minister’s office have also taken place.

The OFAH requested copies of the responses to the PPMP and were told it would cost $2,500 to provide the information.

Members of the SGKH have written letters to the Minister and the head of Ontario Parks as well as having held meetings with the minister. The minister appears to be open to our concerns that the plan does not follow the Charter and we have taken this as a positive sign with regards to potential revisions to the PPMP.

Countering this positive message from the minister was communication from Ontario Parks staff that claims, for example, that despite the severe restrictions proposed on traditional activities in the PPMP that there has been full consultation, transparent decision-making and balanced representation on the management advisory board. This left us to wonder who we should believe the minister or her staff?

Currently, it is our understanding that as a result of previously mentioned face to face meetings, Ontario Parks have attempted to incorporate our broader stakeholder issues and concerns into the PPMP. We now have a verbal commitment that stakeholder representatives will be able to review the preliminary plan prior to it being posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights for public review. It remains our contention that the draft plan would have to be significantly revised in order for the final plan to meet the intention of the Charter and Act.

In addition, it appears that despite long-term MNR recognition that they were in error when passing regulations for the KHSS that restrict traditional hunting activities, they have been slow to correct this regulation and it now appears that the regulation will not be corrected for the fall 2008 season. This could create some issues with respect to unintentional infringements of the law and enforcement issues as well. It remains to be seen how the MNR will address these issues, if at all. 

We believe that there will be new information by the next SGKH meeting and urge all members to attend.

Beaver lake road parking lot Aug 23 2008

The following is an email sent to Mr. Coulas on Sept 4 2008

David Coulas, Park Superintendent
Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park
Ministry of Natural Resources
106 Monck Street, Box 500
Bancroft Ontario K0L 1C0
Phone: (613) 332-3940 Ext. 255       
Fax: (613) 332-1800       
eMail: kawartha.highlands@mnr.gov.on.ca

Dear Dave
Linked (He was linked to this site-see below) please find a connection to a series of photographs you can view by pressing Beaver lake road parking lot Aug. 23 08.
They will illustrate for you the condition of the above noted parking lot on Saturday August 23 '08, and the environmental abuse the KHSS is being subjected to.

Recently you will have received a copy of a letter from the Catchacoma Cottagers Association (CCA) to Minister MNR expressing concern with the use of the Beaver lake road by KHSS "campers" and suggesting alternate routes of access and some measure of control.

I would remind you that this parking lot is contrary to the Charter  Para. Page 11 and to the more recent Environmental assessment  Page 2 both of which prohibits any park facility within 100 meters of private property. You should know that the right hand side of the road in the first photo is private property- some 10 meters from your facility.
I understand you have been advised of similar types of abuses from the eastern access folks and that these letters also included photographs (See also included below ) of significant overcrowding.

I would like to know what you intend to do about these ongoing problems, and when a proposed solution may be forthcoming. The "Proposed Management Plan" did not address these issues as I recall although these issues were clearly identified in the Meetek report (The original study).
I will be attending the SGKH meeting on the 22 September and respectfully request your response by that time.

signed by editor

looking east
Looking east at 9:30 am aug 23 '08
the lot
a view of the parking lot
beyond the lot
east of the lot -parking outside the lot
lokking west

looking west - -  the lot overflowed

Below is a camp site photo sent to D Coulas showing some of the misuse of a camp site  from P. Chown  - -some 16 people "party"
We are aware of persons booking/charging for campsites. You book and pay -  and the campsite is "squatted upon", prepared and set up for you.

camping overcrowding long lake