Return to park index page
Bill 239
on this page please find connection to:
http://www.ontla.on.ca/documents/Bills/37_Parliament/Session3/b239_e.htm   this is a copy of the bill on an external web site
Our comment on it to date is preliminary and can be found below..
The Notice of Proposed Act and,
the government News Release.
LSC press release
All the latter are in MS Word and are copied below.(there might be some small translation errors but the documents are unchanged).
COMPENDIUM attached to bill 239
 

Please note:
In order to get to the EBR posting for the KHRR and to get a quick explanation of the intent of the EBR Registry, I recommend the following steps.
1. Click on the website address  -    http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/env_reg/er/registry.htm    - .
2. When the page opens, read the opening paragraph for an overview of the intended function of the EBR Registry.
3. Click on the blue button beside: "Environmental Registry Postings for Policies, Acts, Regulations and Instruments"
4. Enter the EBR Registry Number AB02E4002 in the appropriate box.
5. Click Execute Query.
6. Click on the title line of the proposal for the details.
7. Save the website corresponding to the page in step 6 in your favourites so that you can easily access this page in the future.  It is the website given at the bottom of the News Release

or go direct at   http://204.40.253.254/envregistry/019525ea.htm
If you wish to view a (somewhat inaccurate) review of the LSC's postings and summaries from August 2000 through to
October 2002, enter the number PB00E3003 in step 4 and proceed to step 7.

Please note the time period for input - December 12th, 2002 until January 26th, 2003.

There was a bit of a problem on the EBR for AB02E4002 with regard to no "official" email address being provided to receive submissions.  Communications sent to "unofficial addresses", email, or others, are not guaranteed to be accepted and / or considered.
Mr. Dan Marinigh, Manager for the KHRR Project, now understands  and has provided us with his email address as an "official address".  Thank you very much Dan!
We suggest that a copy of this message be filed with their copy of the EBR posting for AB02E4002..
Ed note
Dan Marinigh, Manager, Land Use Coordination Section
    Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
    300 Water Street, P.O. Box 7000
    Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 8M5
    PHONE: (705) 755-5042  FAX: (705) 755-1971
 <dan.marinigh@mnr.gov.on.ca>

The address  - http://gateway.ontla.on.ca/library/bills/239373.htm -   will take you directly to a page that provides information on Bill 239 and its progress through the system.  It also provides links to a number of websites operated by cottager associations on affected lakes.  In particular, it has websites operated by Anstruther Lake and Wolf Lake.  It also has links to sites operated by a number of environmental groups who have been attacking JerryOuellette, Gary Stewart and Chris Hodgson in a very unreasonable way.



EBR Registry Number: AB02E4002 Type of Posting: Act
Ministry: Natural Resources Status of Posting: Proposal

Date Proposal Loaded: 2002/12/12
Comment Period: 45 day(s)
Written submissions may be made between December 12, 2002 and January 26, 2003.

NOTICE OF PROPOSAL FOR ACT
© Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2002
This notice describes new legislation to establish Recreation Reserves that received Introduction and First Reading in the Legislature on December 12, 2002.

Proposal Title:
New Recreation Reserve legislation to establish a new legislated category of protected area, and apply the new category to the Kawartha Highlands.
Regulation or Bill Number: 239
Short Description:
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources is proposing to establish a new category of protected public land called Recreation Reserve. Legislation that would establish this designation, and apply it to the Kawartha Highlands, was introduced in the provincial legislature on December 12, 2002.

The new land use designation is intended to provide environmental protection while maintaining traditional recreational uses and existing tenure. The proposed legislation would strictly prohibit industrial uses such as commercial harvest of timber, mineral exploration and development, waterpower development, and peat and aggregate extraction, and it would also prohibit the sale of Crown lands. These policies would help to protect natural heritage values. The legislation would explicitly preclude the inclusion of private lands and areas with existing mining tenure.

The legislation would provide for the continuation of established recreational activities, such as hunting and snowmobiling, within recreation reserves. The legislation would provide greater certainty for people who hold existing Crown land leases or land use permits for facilities such as hunting and fishing camps, or fly-in tourist establishments. The legislation would also guarantee the continuation of any pre-existing rights of access. All of these provisions are intended to ensure that recreation reserves can continue to provide important recreation and local benefits.

The legislation proposes that the Kawartha Highlands be designated as a recreation reserve. This designation is intended to provide a solution to concerns expressed by some local stakeholders during the public consultation process to determine an appropriate designation for the Kawartha Highlands. If the legislation is passed, the boundaries of the Kawartha Highlands Recreation Reserve would be established through a subsequent regulation. The Kawartha Highlands Recreation Reserve designation would not apply to the existing Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park.

The designation of any additional recreation reserves, or the removal of a recreation reserve once established, would require an amendment to the legislation. Boundaries would be established and amended through regulations.
Purpose of the Proposal:
To establish a new legislated land use designation called Recreation Reserve, and to designate the Kawartha Highlands.
Other Relevant Information:
The text of the proposed legislation will be available at the website for provincial legislation noted below, as soon as the official copy has been printed. A news release regarding the proposed legislation is available on the MNR website. Information on the Kawartha Highlands and the associated public consultation process is available through the Environmental Bill of Rights registry posting and the MNR Ontario’s Living Legacy website. Links to these sites are provided below.
Other Public Consultation:
Substantial public consultation has occurred regarding the Kawartha Highlands.
Comments should be directed to the following Contact Person:
Dan Marinigh, Manager, Land Use Coordination Section
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
300 Water Street, P.O. Box 7000
Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 8M5
PHONE: (705) 755-5042  FAX: (705) 755-1971
Additional material in support of this notice is available by clicking the following hyperlink(s):
http://gateway.ontla.on.ca/documents/Bills/37_Parliament/Session3/index.htm
http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/
http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MRN/
http://www.ontarioslivinglegacy.com/kawartha.html
http://www.ontarioslivinglegacy.com/french/kawartha.html
All comments will be considered as part of the decision-making by the Ministry if they:
a. are submitted in writing;
b. reference the EBR Registry number; and
c. are received by the Contact person within the specified comment period.
Please Note: No acknowledgment or individual response will be provided to those who comment. All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record.
 




News Release Communiqué

Ministry of Natural Resources  Ministère des Richesses naturelles
For Immediate Release
December 12, 2002
EVES GOVERNMENT TO PROTECT KAWARTHA
HIGHLANDS WITH PROPOSED NEW LAND USE DESIGNATION

TORONTO — Natural Resources Minister Jerry Ouellette today introduced legislation to create a new protected area category called a Recreation Reserve.

"The proposed legislation specifies that portions of the Kawartha Highlands north of Peterborough be designated as a Recreation Reserve," said Ouellette.  "In taking this step, we are seeking to address concerns brought forward by local stakeholders during the recent public consultation process to determine appropriate protection for the Kawartha Highlands."

If passed, the Recreation Reserve legislation would provide an option for natural heritage protection that takes into consideration local needs by allowing traditional recreational activities such as snowmobiling to continue.

The proposed strengthened designation would prohibit through legislation industrial uses such as commercial harvesting of timber, mineral exploration and development, waterpower development, and peat and aggregate extraction, as well as the sale of Crown land.

"The Recreation Reserve land use designation would ensure that traditional recreational uses would not be curtailed or eliminated over time," said Ouellette.  "This would provide greater certainty for people who currently enjoy these outdoor activities, or who hold existing Crown land leases or land use permits."

The Recreation Reserve designation complements the Ontario’s Living Legacy land use strategy launched in 1999.  Ontario’s Living Legacy has added millions of hectares to the provincial system of parks and protected areas, provided greater security for resource-based industries and enhanced tourism potential across the province.

"I am pleased that this proposed designation would ensure that longtime recreational activities can continue in the Kawartha Highlands," said local MPP Chris Hodgson.  "Many people enjoy this area each year, and this will allow the protection and management we need, to ensure future generations will enjoy it too."

The legislation introduced today would apply to the Kawartha Highlands only.  Other areas that are currently under interim protection within selected Ontario’s Living Legacy signature sites could be considered for Recreation Reserve designation in the future, through amending legislation.

Today's announcement launches a 45-day public comment period during which the proposal for the Recreation Reserve legislation will be posted on the province's Environmental Bill of Rights registry at
http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envregistry/019525ea.htm.

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Contacts:
Steve Payne
Ministry of Natural Resources
(416) 314-2103 Gord Prisco
Minister's Office, MNR
(416) 314-2212
Disponible en français

For more information visit www.mnr.gov.on.ca


R.R. #1
Buckhorn, ON
K0L 1J0
705 657-8432
whitesands@primus.ca

December 13, 2002

Hello again POOKHs,

We noticed that the emails flying around last night did not have the referenced documents attached.  Bill 239 is fundamental to understanding what the press release and the EBR posting mean.  For your convenience we are attaching all three documents as companion attachments.  When Bill 239 becomes available on the web, check the wording of Bill 239, the attachment may have minor errors I was told.

We do not mean to be presumptuous, but we are also submitting a number of our initial personal opinions concerning the attachments.

Depending on how certain sections are clarified, or interpreted, it seems that Minister Ouellette has responded positively to many of our submissions and suggestions and we are very appreciative of this consideration from him. We believe that this represents true progress in what has become an unpleasant, marathon communications (or lack of communications) exercise.
 

Our property is quite close to the existing Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park and we are supportive of it remaining as a provincial park as recommended, provided that: it is properly managed, has the appropriate amenities (privies, fire-pits and supply of fire-wood), and a suitable access.  We agree with our close neighbours along the Beaver Lake Road that their road should not be the access to the KHPP.

We believe that certain clarifications of Bill 239 are especially important to owners of private properties in the Kawartha Highlands Area.

Re: Section 4

Will owners of private properties directly adjacent to a Recreation Reserve, and their guests,  be able to exercise the Privileges provided for by the Free Use Policy in the Recreation Reserve.  As we understand it, this is usually the situation on public lands controlled under the Public Lands Act.

If the answer to this question is yes; then, once again, we applaud Minister Ouellette.

Also, if this is the situation, how will the exercising of these privileges be affected by Section 11?

Will Recreation Reserves be directly controlled by Area Supervisors, or at the higher District Manager level?

Re: Sections 5 (3), (4)

These sections seem to repeat provisions of Sections 28 of the Public Lands Act and 3.4.4.a of the Free Use Policy, which were pointed out to the LSC as a reasonable mechanisms to control General Use Crown land.  In the past, local property owners or associations have been able to persuade, or have input to, the local Area Supervisor of the MNR  regarding signage to control certain undesirable or, possibly, desirable activities (e.g. abuse of campsites).  Will this sort of input still be provided for in a Recreation Reserve?
 

Re: Section 7  This is an extremely important section concerning the owners of private properties, especially some of them on Anstruther, Gold, Wolf and Catchacoma.  We submit that for properties in Cavendish and Harvey Townships the existing rights to access private properties are stated on pages 38 and 39 of the MNR’s 1983 Minden District Land Use Guidelines, and have been established by decades of tradition.  There it states that roads and trails are "unrestricted recommended uses" on General Use Crown land.

All private properties on the lakes mentioned above were surrounded by General Use Crown land prior to February 1997 when the Lands for Life initiative commenced.  Many property owners who have not yet built roads to their properties relied implicitly on these permissions when they purchased their properties.  If the rights that existed at that time are in any way diminished by a Recreation Reserve designation, then a buffer zone, or corridor of General Use Crown land, should be excluded from the Recreation Reserve to preserve these rights for affected property owners, as has been suggested throughout our interaction with the LSC.

In addition, by new regulations or otherwise, no private property owner should have to comply with environmental restrictions or standards any more stringent than those that have been used to permit private access roads to be built for decades, and up to as recently as Fall of 2002.

In connection with this section we request that interim freezes on reasonable private property development be lifted immediately to permit a number of affected persons to get on with their lives.  According to Barry Hendry of the Bancroft Times (see below) Minister Ouellette indicated that power line Land Use Permits should not be a problem.

If the interpretation of this section conforms with my suggestions above then many private property owners will have the cause of severe anxiety removed and, once again, we vigorously applaud Minister Ouellette.

Re: Section 9  Section 6.1.7 of the Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy states the intent of the MNR to acquire private properties adjacent to newly protected areas in the southern part of the planning area.  The Kawartha Highlands is in the southernmost part of the planning area.

The Ministry of Government Services Act provides that private properties may be acquired from unwilling vendors by utilizing the provisions of the Expropriations Act.

We have been told that when the boundaries of Killarney were expanded in the early sixties, owners of private properties were informed that they had to sell.  We received this information from a person who claimed he sold.  He also told us that by about 1968 some persons were facing expropriation orders but the government ran out of money - and that was that.  Even though it seems that funds for such purposes are unlikely to be available in the short term, we are somewhat intimidated by Section 9 over the long term.

Re: Section 11 and Boundaries   What effect will this section have on private property owners and their guests?  Is any grand-fathering provided for?  Can Section 7 be interpreted to say that established access trails, etc. are exempt from Section 11?  These questions seem more important because of the boundary clarifications we have received that are described below.

Barry Hendry, a reporter with the Bancroft Times, spoke with me today and informed me that he had participated in a press conference with Minister Jerry Ouellette.  During the conference the question of boundaries came up and the Minister confirmed that there was currently no proposal for boundaries whatsoever.  They could be right to private property lot lines; and the buffer zones or exclusions recommended by the LSC were not being recommended, they are gone.  That is, the Kawartha Highlands Recreation Reserve is being proposed for a completely undefined area.

We find this to be a very difficult concept to grasp.  We also find the concept that the boundary of the area to which the Recreation Reserve designation will apply will be determined by regulation, after the designation is defined and made law. This does not seem to allow for any input from affected property owners regarding boundaries, potentially a very undesirable aspect of the proposed Bill 239.

What about provincially controlled Crown land under the water?  If the Recreation Reserve surrounds any one of the lakes, for example Catchacoma, or Beaver, or Mississagua; does this mean the lake (or all of them) is (are) in the Recreation Reserve, including the bottom?  And if so, what does Section 11 imply about docks, cribbing, etc? While surface rights on lakes are matters generally under the control of the Federal Government, we understand that if a lake is in a Provincial Park then the Federal controls can be compromised to give Parks Ontario more control.  Is this a good thing?  What will happen in a Recreation Reserve?  Some of the controls on surface rights proposed by the LSC were scary - potential abrogations of our rights.
 

Summary:  If the clarifications we have asked for are clarified in favour of property owners, and the suggestions for establishing boundaries can be changed; then we believe that Minister Ouellette’s "opening move" is a good one, and it should help enormously to heal the rift that has developed since August 2000 between property owners and, for lack of a better term, the Ontario’s Living Legacy process as it has applied to the KHSS.

Regards, Gary Faulkner




For immediate RELEASE

Peterborough Ontario       December 19, 2002

Kawartha Highlands Signature Site

Local Stakeholders Committee Unanimously
Opposed to Bill 239, Recreation Reserve Act

The official Local Stakeholder’s Committee appointed by the Minister of Natural Resources to draft recommendations for the status and management of the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site has expressed deep dismay at the minister’s decision to ignore the committee’s carefully considered recommendations, including its recommendation to give the site full operating Provincial Park status.

"I was optimistic before I saw the actual legislation," says LSC member and lawyer Tom Cole who with Committee Chairperson Sissy Tanner attended a briefing on the legislation presented by Natural Resources Minister Jerry Ouellette and local MPP Chris Hodgson.   After being assured by both Ministers that this would meet all of their expectations, Cole went on to say " there’s nothing in the legislation to provide for environmental protection, management, or enforcement. I can’t see a single one of our recommendations in this piece of legislation."

In fact, after reviewing the legislation in detail, the committee has unanimously agreed that Bill 239, the Recreation Reserve Act, 2002, adopts almost none of the recommendations of the Stakeholder committee.  While the Act is specific to Kawartha, which was something the committee recommended, it does not include the strong protection for the area’s natural environment that the committee also called for and leaves out protection of the many traditional activities that the committee said needed to be considered.

Two and a half years ago, the Government of Ontario appointed the local Stakeholder Committee to provide advice on the most appropriate protection designation for the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site. This is a 35,000-hectare tract of Crown land north of Peterborough, to be protected under Ontario’s Living Legacy, as one of ten Signature Sites in the Province. Each signature site contains exceptional natural features that warrant special protection and promotion.

Three choices were available to the committee, a Provincial Park, Conservation Reserve or some combination of the two. The committee was asked to recommend minor revisions to the boundaries, to recommend management policies within the protected area and to make recommendations on developing and implementing co-stewardship management of the area.

After an extensive public consultation and over a year of study, the Committee made recommendations to the Minister in November of 2001 and were subsequently ordered into silence until the Minister could make his announcement.  After 11 long months, Minister Jerry Ouellette finally made the report public and invited public comment for a further 30 days in the fall of 2002.

The committee recommended to the Minister that he opt for an operating Provincial Park (Natural Environment class) with:

-An Interim Management Statement (IMS) developed and implemented immediately;
-A commitment to provide adequate funding to support IMS and management planning and implementation;
-A co-stewardship management model with equal decision-making powers with MNR officials;
-Specific legislation developed ("Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park Act") to enshrine planned activities and management policies.

"The Minister has invited the committee to meet with his staff to explain how this achieves our recommendations. We’re eager to hear what they have to say and will meet with them in the new year" says Sissy Tanner, Chairperson.

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Contacts:
Sissy Tanner   705-656-9162
Tom Cole        705-652-8161
Fred Helleiner 613-475-5309
Murray Kidd    705-657-7380
 

Ed comment: It is believed that governments "manage" their reports. It would seem to us that Ms. Tanner, an appointee, did/does not understand her role!



COMPENDIUM

Recreation Reserves Act, 2002

Purpose:

Establish, through legislation, a new protected areas land use designation termed a Recreation Reserve.

Context:

Currently, there are three categories of regulated protected areas that can be applied to Crown lands: Provincial Parks, Conservation Reserves and Wilderness Areas which are established under the Provincial Parks Act, the Public Lands Act and the Wilderness Areas Act, respectively.

In addition to these regulated areas, a new protected areas designation is being proposed to strengthen current policies on:
* existing recreational activities (e.g., hunting, snowmobiling, all-terrain vehicle use, motor boat use), and
* existing Crown land tenure ( e.g. leases or land use permits for hunting and fishing camps, trails, tourism facilities, etc.).
 
 Highlights:
 
* This new protected areas land use designation would enshrine, in legislation:
 
* Greater certainty for existing recreational uses and opportunities for the enhancement of those uses (e.g., additional snowmobile trails).
* Greater certainty for non-industrial commercial uses (e.g., commercial fur harvest, guided hunting, wild rice harvest, and bait fish harvest).
* Greater certainty for existing Crown land tenure (e.g., leases or land use permits for hunting and fishing camps, trails, tourism facilities, etc.).
* Greater certainty for existing access and the opportunity to apply for new access.
* Prohibition of industrial uses (commercial forest harvest, mineral exploration and development, waterpower development, peat and aggregate extraction and sale of Crown lands).
 
* This designation would be applied to Kawartha Highlands initially, and could subsequently be considered for application to areas under current interim protection within other selected existing Ontario’s Living Legacy Signature Sites by future amendments to the Act.
 
* Any additional areas to be designated as recreation reserves, or changes to permitted uses or prohibited activities, would be established through amendments to the legislation.  The legal description of a specific reserve would be defined in regulation.
 
* Resource management could occur subject to normal planning processes.
 
* The legislation would provide the administrative authority for the Minister to set user fees.

Consultation:

The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed legislation, through the EBR posting, at the time of introduction.

Other Legislation:

This proposed legislation would not affect any other Ministry’s legislation.
 
 

December 12, 2002