return to park index page
 

Ed note:  These messages are presented in the order received oldest at top. They are untouched except that the "To" lists are removed and we have reset the spacing if required, and removed redundancies. Ed comment is noted. All messages follow on this page with the exception of the Paul Eagles letter that is linked to it's location on this site.



Janice & Chuck Griffith email January 07, 2003 4:39 PM  Subject: Read the RRA  wherein she says "The order of silence imposed on the Local Stakeholders Committee for the Kawartha Highlands prevented us from having the open dialogue that all of us wanted.  Now we have a whole new designation and a whole new Recreation Reserve Act. I really I wish I could hop on Minister Ouellette's bandwagon and believe that he has found a way to make
everyone happy. Unfortunately, I know too much to be able to do that.".
Test run response  - -exchanging views about the KHSS / KHRR  by Gary Faulkner who says;  "Now that the "gag order" is off you and your colleagues, it will be very interesting to see how well you can respond to our questions and defend your opinions."
Reply #1 response to Janice G's first 4 points
Reply #2  re fifth pointincludes Paul Eagles and the Field's letter Ms Field is a Catchacoma Lake cottager.
Reply #3 to JG's Point 6.
Reply #4 to JG's Point 7
Reply #5 to JG's Point 8 this includes extensive Notes regarding Land Acquisition by MNR
Reply #6  Summary.    ---   in which Gary says, "We have reviewed the eight points you hoped to make in your email of January 7th, 2003.  We believe that all of your eight points are irrelevant or, much worse, false and misleading.  I hope that you and others find my arguments to be credible.  If not, please point out my inaccuracies and, if you are right, I will acknowledge my errors as I promised in my first message to you, Reply #0.  Remember, I asked you to do likewise."  This text is followed by  two letters from Allan Quartermain, Anstruther Lake Resident and past cottage association president. detailing his view of an information meeting run by Ms Griffith.





-----Original Message-----
From: Janice & Chuck Griffith [mailto:janchu@sympatico.ca]
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 4:39 PM
To: ..
Subject: Read the RRA

The order of silence imposed on the Local Stakeholders Committee for the Kawartha Highlands prevented us from having the open dialogue that all of us wanted.  Now we have a whole new designation and a whole new Recreation Reserve Act. I really I wish I could hop on Minister Ouellette's bandwagon and believe that he has found a way to make everyone happy. Unfortunately, I know too much to be able to do that.

As a member of the Local Stakeholders Committee, I have spent two and a half years listening to public input, studying policy, considering, weighing alternatives, and finding the best solutions for the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site to recommend to the Minister of Natural Resources. Our recommendations were based on logic and reason, on public input and in the best interests of all stakeholders. They are free from any political or personal agendas. For their time frame we adopted the Native Canadian tradition of planning not for the next election (Provincial OR Municipal), but for seven generations.

Notwithstanding that the Minister has chosen to follow an entirely different path, as Deputy Reeve of North Kawartha Township, I feel a responsibility to share knowledge gained from this experience to help our ratepayers understand the proposed Recreation Reserve Act.

The main points I would make are as follows:

 1. Don't just read the spin from the Minister's Office, read the actual text of the Act. You can find it on the internet and it is only three and a half pages. Most bills are 20 or more. Some pretty essential material has been omitted.

 2. The press release that came out from the Minister's Office says it does things that a close read of the text shows are not there, nor is there provision for them to be there in the regulations that are yet to be developed. (I base this on legal opinions from three lawyers who have independently reviewed the bill.)

 3. The Kawartha Highlands was designated a Signature Site. There are only 10 in all of Ontario and each has, by definition, unique natural features to be preserved. This Act does not do that.

 4. There is protection for a handful of traditional activities (not the full list protected under the LSC recommendations), and notably absent is any balancing of human activity with protection of the natural environment; the number one most-mentioned input from the public consultation.  The word "environment" does not appear in the Act.

 5. Those who opposed the word "park" did so because they feared loss of their property and access rights and feared that a "park" would bring numerous visitors.  What we have in the Recreation Reserve Act is Ontario's newest playground for relatively high impact activities. People now know about the KH and there will be numerous visitors as the Province advertises this wonderful new Recreation Reserve they have given the people of Ontario (just in time for an election!). The genie can't be put back in the bottle. People will come.

What  won't be there are the management, enforcement and restrictions on visitor activity that would have been there under the park designation. This was a critical factor in the LSC decision to recommend an Operating Provincial Park designation. The Recreation Reserve Act makes no provision for management, enforcement or infrastructure to support these visitors.

6. I am concerned about the expected increase in walk-in hunters that, through the public consultation, we heard is a safety hazard when they unwittingly stumble into areas being hunted by the established hunt camps. Many of our local people are in those hunt camps and I fear the added risk of hunting accidents.

 7. As for property and access rights, the wording in the Recreation Reserve Act is very similar to that in the Parks policy under the Ontario Living Legacy.  There is no additional protection under the Recreation Reserve Act that property owners wouldn't have had with a Parks designation under the LSC recommendations.  Unfortunately, the Minister's 11 month long gag order on the LSC prohibited property owners from having this important information. By the time our recommendations were made public, some people were entrenched in their position of opposing a park and were not receptive to this information.

 8. Of particular concern to me is article 9 of the Recreation Reserve Act which gives the ability to acquire land to expand an existing Recreation Reserve, referencing the Ministry of Government Services Act. This is very different from the Parks Act. Under policies for Parks established prior to March 1999, private land can only be acquired "from a willing seller by a willing buyer". The policy for new Parks under the Ontario Living Legacy does not speak of acquiring private lands at all, but only of selling small parcels of crown land to cottagers if needed for a septic system.  What is the intent of the minister in including Article 9 while leaving out other, very obvious things? What happened to the "willing seller - willing buyer" concept?
 

I have many, many more concerns with this Act, and the process by which it was arrived. Not the least if which is the fact that the summary of the 30 day public input the Minister received on the LSC recommendations shows 73% in favour of a Park designation. If you want a copy of it I will be happy to provide you with one by return email.Yet the Minister stated in the House that this new designation was necessary because of this same input. How can this be?

If Bill 239 becomes law, those who are now happy that the word "park" isn't in there, may very soon be wishing for the protection that the park designation would have brought to their property, privacy and safety and to the natural environment that we all want to protect.

 Read the Act, not the hype, and then make up your own mind.

The Minister is asking you to 'trust him' that all the protections you want are in there. I can't find them, nor can three lawyers or any other member of the LSC, nor can the environmental groups that have come out in opposition.  This is the same government that asked us to trust them that the Local Services Realignment (read downloading) in 1998 would be "Revenue Neutral". We are all reminded of how trustworthy they were on that one every time we open our property tax bills.

Janice Griffith



-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Faulkner [mailto:whitesands@primus.ca]
Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2003 2:47 AM
To: ..
Subject: Test Reply #0 to Janice Griffith's Eight point attack on Minister Jerry Ouellette and other persons who have
done their homework.

Dear Ms. Griffith,

I am sending this test run because I believe several of the email addresses you have provided are incorrect.  Once we have established proper communication with our audience, I look forward to exchanging views about the KHSS / KHRR with you, as well as learning more about the fine details concerning the functioning (or malfunctioning) of the KHSS - LSC.

The audience will include a great many persons not addressed in your email of January 7th, 2003 sent at 4:39pm. who, hopefully, will forward items to others, perhaps unknown to both of us.

I can only remember personal adventures in the area going back to 1946; however, I have recently received interesting and relevant information dated prior to 1875.  It will be interesting to discover how your knowledge of the area compares with mine and that of, say, Kim Dunford, or Lydia Dobbin, or Pat Battye, Jack van der Meer or many others I could name that have lived in and loved the area for, in some cases, forty or or more years.

Some of us also have fair residual memories and some research skills, and we hope that you will find your interaction with us to be reasonable and educational ( I hesitate to suggest fun).  We will, initially, be commenting on your memo below and look forward to your replies.  We note that this memo has seven paragraphs in addition to your eight numbered points. We will respond to them separately.  Hopefully other interested parties will join in "the fray".  REPLY ALL is a marvellous feature of email programs.

Now that the "gag order" is off you and your colleagues, it will be very interesting to see how well you can respond to our questions and defend your opinions. We will promptly acknowledge and retract any incorrect statements we have made, or will make, in our arguments.  Can we count on you to do likewise?  We hope that you will be convinced to " ... hop on(to) Minister Ouellette's bandwagon ... ", assuming that he rejects and clearly negates the unfortunate memo sent to Robert Walsh by Julia Bryan on December 16th, 2002.

I believe the forthright manner in which John Bell has presented some of his views on KHSS / KHRR and LSC matters, which I do not comment on herein, is perhaps a proper way to proceed under current circumstances.  Let's clear the air.

Bye for now,

Gary Faulkner
A concerned Pookh
705 657-8432



   Reply 1
From: "Gary Faulkner" <whitesands@primus.ca>
To:
Subject:  Reply #1  to Janice Griffith's Eight point attack on Minister Jerry Ouellette's Bill 239 Proposal .
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2003 12:14:07 -0500
 

Previously sent message     Reply    #0 .

Dear Ms. Griffith,

Below please find comments regarding the first four points in your message of January 7th, 2003

Please note that any support I suggest for Bill 239 is absolutely conditional on Julia Bryans memo { link On this web site}to Robert Walsh of December 16th, 2002 being false, and being declared so by the appropriate MPPs.  Under no circumstances do  I support a Provincial Park as recommended by the LSC being adjacent to private properties in the KHSS / KHRR area, regardless of what it is called.

Below please find the first four points of your attack on the Bill 239 proposal and / or the RRA, along with some comments concerning them.  Your comments are in black and mine are in blue.

1. Don't just read the spin from the Minister's Office, read the actual text of the Act. You can find it on the internet and it is only three and a half pages. Most bills are 20 or more. Some pretty essential material has been omitted.

REGARDING YOUR POINT #1:

Is your statement that " ... it is only three and a half pages ... " , rather than twenty or so pages, an attempt to trivialize the RRA?.  The formula E=mcc is only one inch long, but it summarizes many, many books on relevant subject material.

Section 4 of the RRA references the Public Lands Act (PLA) which is 21 pages long, even if you only use 10 point fonts.  This document in turn references, or is referenced by, the Free Use Policy, which is seven pages long. Please note that these two documents have served us reasonably well for quite some time.

In addition, the RRA also references the Mining Act in Section 2, the Ministry of Government Services Act in Section 9 and, implicitly, many other documents and regulations.   The point is that the RRA is not a trivial document and, if you are only familiar with the three and one half pages, your knowledge of this proposal is clearly deficient.

You claim that "Some pretty essential material has been omitted."  Would it not be more constructive to specify what this material is and how to include it?

2. The press release that came out from the Minister's Office says it does things that a close read of the text shows are not there, nor is there provision for them to be there in the regulations that are yet to be developed. (I base this on legal opinions from three lawyers who have independently reviewed the bill.)

REGARDING YOUR POINT #2:

Once again, why don't you specify precisely what is missing in your opinion?  Be constructive.  Who are the three lawyers?  Some lawyers are clever and rarely make mistakes.  Some are not clever, and sometimes do make mistakes. You cannot clothe yourself in legal respectability by referring to un-named lawyers who address issues that have not been identified.  What is your point?

 3. The Kawartha Highlands was designated a Signature Site. There are only 10 in all of Ontario and each has, by definition, unique natural features to be preserved. This Act does not do that.

REGARDING YOUR POINT #3:

The Ontario's Living Legacy Land Use Strategy of July 1999 identifies nine Featured Areas or Signature Sites on page 29. Where is the tenth?  The RRA only references the KHRR - what are the unique features of this area that the RRA does not preserve?  Once again, why are you so vague with all of your criticisms?  Why don't you specifically identify problems and provide solutions?  Be constructive - tell us precisely how to make things better.

Certainly, most of us who criticized the Recommendations of the LSC were quite specific with our criticisms, and we proposed specific remedies.   Unfortunately, they were ignored by the LSC.

  4. There is protection for a handful of traditional activities (not the full list protected under the LSC recommendations), and notably absent is any balancing of human activity with protection of the natural environment; the number one most-mentioned input from the public consultation.  The word "environment" does not appear in the Act.

REGARDING YOUR POINT #4:

Once again you have totally failed to be precise and / or constructive.  Which activities do you feel cannot be protected, preserved or balanced using the combined provisions of Sections 4.(1),5.(1), 5.(2),  5.(3), 5.(4), 6. and 10 on a "when and as required - site specific basis"?  Have you read Section 28 of the Public lands Act or Section 3.4.4 a) of the Free Use Policy?  These Sections provide very substantial authority to control activities on Public Lands controlled by the PLA, which of course includes the proposed KHRR.
 
 

SUMMARY OF YOUR FIRST FOUR POINTS:

To be brief, in your first four points, because you are neither precise nor constructive - you have not made any points in my opinion.

Most of the persons receiving this message have already received the Bill 239 Table attached (for Janice Griffith only, but if other readers wish to have a copy please let me know).{  link On this web site}  We would be pleased to receive a copy of it completed by you so that we may know PRECISELY what you believe to be wrong with Bill 239 and PRECISELY how you would fix it.  We would be pleased to distribute this table completed by you if you wish.

 We are not suggesting that the Bill 239 {link}On this web site}proposal is perfect as is; however, we believe that it can be the basis for a "Win-Win" solution to Kawartha Highlands problems if all affected parties approach it constructively with a Win-Win attitude.

On the other hand, the provincial park proposal presented by the LSC did not present an opportunity for a Win-Win solution mainly, I believe, because the LSC refused to recommend relatively minor concessions requested by "true local stakeholders".  Rather than listen to true local stakeholders it seems that the KHSS - LSC adopted a very paternalistic attitude; and its members believed that they knew what was good for us despite our protestations.

 I will discuss your last four points in  follow-up messages.
Gary Faulkner


Reply 2
From: "Gary Faulkner" <whitesands@primus.ca>

Subject: RE: Reply #2  to Janice Griffith's fifth point in her attack on Bill 239.
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2003 20:11:14 -0500
Previously sent messages     Reply #0    Overview and address confirmation.
    Reply #1     First four points.
Dear Ms. Griffith,

Below please find comments regarding the  fifth point in your message of January 7th, 2003 . My comments are in blue,
yours are in black.

Your fifth attempt to make a point is reproduced below.

5. Those who opposed the word "park" did so because they feared loss of their property and access rights and feared that a "park" would bring numerous visitors.  What we have in the Recreation Reserve Act is Ontario's newest playground for relatively high impact activities. People now know about the KH and there will be numerous visitors as the Province advertises this wonderful new Recreation Reserve they have given the people of Ontario (just in time for an election!). The genie can't be put back in the bottle. People will come.

What  won't be there are the management, enforcement and restrictions on visitor activity that would have been there under the park designation. This was a critical factor in the LSC decision to recommend an Operating Provincial Park designation. The Recreation Reserve Act makes no provision for management, enforcement or infrastructure to support these visitors.

COMMENTS REGARDING POINT #5:

I absolutely agree with the first sentence of your first paragraph - and we had good reasons to have those fears.  Essential private access roads, trails and utility corridors are eliminated or discouraged by legislation for parks and conservation reserves, and you and your LSC colleagues should have been aware of these facts as early as   September 2000.  As you should know some persons in your area, on Anstruther Lake, are particularly concerned as to how they are going to be able to access their properties.

You (the LSC) should have notified all potentially affected local property owners of this information by September 2000, or as soon as the information became available to you.  But you did not.  It only became available to the public, by accident I believe, in September 2001 when the period for input had almost ended.   Didn't you feel you had a responsibility, as Deputy Reeve, to disclose this information to your constituents, people who voted for you?  If not, why not?  How can you possibly justify this action?

I believe that you and Sissy Tanner should also have made the non-LSC members of North Kawartha Council aware of this information at, or prior to, the North Kawartha Council Meeting held on September 6th, 2001 when you were pressing North Kawartha Council to support the LSC's Draft recommendations.  Why did you not do this?  Now that the "gag order" is off perhaps you can rationalize your actions regarding the withholding of the sixty-one policy clarifications. We all realize that I am referring to the 26 pages of policy clarifications withheld from the public for almost a year. They literally changed the meanings of many of the terms we were using in our discussions with you, which we
were conducting in good faith.  These policy clarifications actually proved to us that our worst fears, the ones you refer to, would be realized under a park designation.

Once persons learned of the content of the clarifications, and the fact they were withheld from the public for a year, this "oversight" cost the LSC the support of the North Kawartha Council on November 6th, 2001, and the support of many other persons and groups during September and November of 2001.  Some people think that there must be very good reasons for the Reeve and Deputy Reeve of a five-member council to lose the support of their council on such an important matter.

In this regard we notice that an excerpt from a letter written by Mr. William Mitchell, ex-CAO for North Kawartha, supporting the LSC's position of August 2001 appears on page 27 of the LSC's Recommendations to Minister Snobelen of November 2001.  Since these recommendations were not released to the public until September 2002, very clearly there was ample time to have included an "addendum" or a list of "errata", and it should have indicated that by November 6th, 2001 the LSC had even lost the support of the Council for North Kawartha for its Recommendations.  Since two members of the LSC were on the Council, including you, this was a notable event.

Was a letter rescinding North Kawartha's approval written and delivered as required by motion 01-540 of North Kawartha Council?  If so, we suggest that a copy of it should be sent to every person who obtained a copy of the LSC's November 2001 Recommendations to correct the gross misrepresentation which currently occurs in this document. (There are similar provable misrepresentations in other parts of  this document.)

The last three sentences of the first paragraph strike me as being unjustified, fear-mongering hype.  Actually, the word hyperbole comes to mind.

With regard to  attracting numerous visitors to the area, we should not be opposed to attracting a NON-EXCESSIVE number of visitors to exercise their privileges under the Free Use Policy.  However, these visitors should not be attracted to INADEQUATE camp-sites, supplies of wood, parking facilities, garbage disposal and access roads as has been happening partly as a result of inaccurate maps distributed by the LSC.  Given the expected availability of funds for "park" purposes during the foreseeable future, it seems extremely reasonable to develop only the existing KHPP properly and to eliminate the unrealistic designation of any lands exterior to the KHPP to be a provincial park.
This seems to be the intent of Bill 239.
 

Finally, please review the letters from the Fields and Prof. Paul Eagles who describe less desirable park scenarios than you envisage.  These persons have very direct personal experience with the matters of which they speak.  Do you?

Please note the emphasis placed on "buffer zones" by the Fields.   The LSC might have had more success if it had listened to affected property owners' requests for buffer zones.

Please explain why you believe that the entire KHSS was going to, or could, be funded as a full-operational park after you read Prof. Eagles letter.  It seems that the (much smaller) existing KHPP may be tough to fund and staff.  Certainly no larger project should be contemplated until the KHPP is up and running properly.
 
 

Attachment  Paul Eagles.
Attachment :Field letter of Dec. 13 below
 




Attachments to above conversations
 
 

Dave and Marilynne Field own properties on Lake Catchacoma very close to the Bottle Creek access to the existing Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park.  They wish to share their experiences with persons who might be unaware of some problems Associated with being so close to an advertised Provincial Park.  They sent this letter before they realized that the Recreation Reserve was proposed by Minister Ouellette
=====================================================================================
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 11:46 AM

TO:   All our neighbors who have a stake in the park boundary.
RE:  Comments regarding the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Stakeholders’ Committee   Recommendations (EBR#PB00E3003)

Our properties are located on the east side of Lake Catchacoma, immediately south of Bottle Creek, and we feel we are directly affected by decisions stemming from the recommendations concerning the KHSS.

My husband and I are supportive of a park, in general.  However, we are only in favor if it is managed with staff and adequate funds to operate it, as in Algonquin Park.

We are strongly in favor of a significant buffer zone being left OUTSIDE the park, between the proposed KHSS Park boundary and the private property on the east side of Lake Catchacoma.  The current recommendations call for the park boundary to extend right up to the road/lane way that runs into our property.  This seems totally inadequate.

We find it naive for anyone to believe that there is no negative difference between there being a park right up to our roadway, as proposed in the recommendations, when compared to having a significant buffer zone of general use crown lands between Park and our properties.

Why would park users think that they could not use our land???  Who would be there to point out that they had "crossed the line"??  There is a greater risk of our privacy, tranquility and flexibility in our own land usage if there is no buffer zone to prevent park users from trespass and possible damage to our property.

For those of us who are right next to a water access it is already becoming difficult.  Already cars, vans and canoeists are using my lane, my beach and my dock to get closer to the park.  My cars have already been vandalized and property stolen.  I am repeatedly giving directions to drivers who appear at my door and canoeists who land on my dock looking for the "park entrance", believing that this lane or "short-cut" will bring them closer to their destination.

They have already camped on my beach, left their garbage, dirty diapers, and pop cans, lucky me!!!!  I am not the camp ground, do not wish to be the camp ground, do not wish to be the Warden, but DO wish for a buffer zone to protect ME!!!!!!!!  My investment in property in this beautiful area is sizeable, as is yours. My travel time to reach this property is a 14 to 15 hour drive.  I WANT to be here, searched
for years to find this property, feel threatened by this new park and feel that we MUST protect ourselves and other cottagers like us.

We have invested far more, both financially and emotionally, in this area, than any canoeist ever will.  The deciding powers have a responsibility to the cottagers to
protect our investment TODAY, and not leave this undecided and unresolved much longer.

We do not want Lake Catchacoma shorelines to be part of the parklands, give us the buffer zone we deserve.  Let the campers enjoy Bottle Lake and Sucker Lake, but let us enjoy our land too, leave Lake Catchacoma shoreline outside of the proposed park.

David S. and Marilynne Field
Permanent Residence:  1185 Arrowhead Drive, Dubuque, Iowa 52003.



Reply#3
Previously sent messages    Reply #0.     Overview and address confirmation.
    Reply #1    First four points.
    Reply #2     Point 5.

Dear Ms. Griffith,  Re: Point 6 of your memo of January 7th, 2003

Below please find the  sixth point in your message of January 7th, 2003 . My comments are in blue, yours are in black.

6. I am concerned about the expected increase in walk-in hunters that, through the public consultation, we heard is a safety hazard when they unwittingly stumble into areas being hunted by the established hunt camps. Many of our local people are in those hunt camps and I fear the added risk of hunting accidents.

REGARDING YOUR POINT #6:

Once again, what is your point?  What do you recommend?  Is there some reason in your mind that hunting will be more hazardous in a recreation reserve than in a park, or a conservation reserve, or on general use Crown land?  This is what you seem to inferring, but  it does not make any sense to me.

Are the dangers of hunting going to change depending on the recommendation by which it is authorized?  I don’t think so.

I think your point #6 is a "red herring" that has nothing to do with your objective " … to help ratepayers understand the proposed Recreation Reserve Act … "



Reply 4
Previously sent messages     Reply #0.    Overview and address confirmation.
    Reply #1       First four points.
    Reply #2     Point 5.
    Reply #3    Point 6.

Dear Ms. Griffith, Re Point 7 in your memo of January 7th, 2003.

Below we comment on the seventh point in your message of January 7th, 2003 . My comments are in blue, yours are in black.

Janice Griffith writes

"7.   As for property and access rights, the wording in the Recreation Reserve Act is very similar to that in the Parks policy under the Ontario Living Legacy.  There is no additional protection under the Recreation Reserve Act that property owners wouldn't have had with a Parks designation under the LSC recommendations.  Unfortunately, the Minister's 11 month long gag order on the LSC prohibited property owners from having this important information. By the time our recommendations were made public, some people were entrenched in their position of opposing a park and were not receptive to this information. "
 

REGARDING YOUR POINT #7:
Bill 239, the Recreation Reserve Act, includes the following statement:

A:  "Right of access
   7.  Nothing in this Act shall limit or in any way diminish a right of access to or through land that is part of a recreation reserve where that right was created before the day the recreation reserve was established under section 2."
 

September 22nd, 2000 Acting Deputy Ministers Patricia Malcolmson and Rob Galloway of the MNR issued a letter clarifying Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy for the Parks designation.  This letter contains the statement:

B: "Private Access Roads
Where there is no prior commitment, a proposal for a new private access road will not be considered.  Private access roads are not permitted in parks, conservation reserves or forest reserves."

The letter even goes on to provide that the MNR had to have made the commitment for the access road prior to March 29, 1999, eighteen months before their letter was written.

Similar statements are made for conservation reserves and parks in the 26 pages of OLL - LUS policy clarifications withheld from the public by the LSC.
 

Ms. Griffith,  you seem to understand English - how in the world can you say that statements A and B are "very similar"?   Compare them! Obviously they are not similar, and your point #7 is false.

To make matters worse, in February 1998, according to the Lands for Life Round Table, access roads were permitted not only on General Use Crown land but also in Conservation Reserves and Parks.  The public was not informed of the change in this policy by the LSC until the 26 pages of Policy Clarifications were released in September 2001.

Meanwhile, in August 2001, the LSC recommended that the designation of Crown land surrounding many properties in the KHSS area be changed from the General Use designation to the Provincial Park designation without disclosing to the public that the permitted uses on lands designated to be Provincial Park had been changed to prevent access roads from being built.  Does this seem reasonable or fair to you?  It certainly does not seem reasonable or fair to me.

Similar information concerning utility corridors, Free Use Policy restrictions and trails could be presented.  Your point 7 is false.
 



reply #5
Previously sent messages     Reply #0.    Overview and address confirmation.
    Reply #1     First four points.
    Reply #2    Point 5.
    Reply #3    Point 6.
    Reply #4    Point 7.

Dear Ms. Griffith, Re point 8 in your memo of January 7th, 2003.

Below we comment on the eighth point in your message of January 7th, 2003 . My comments are in blue, yours are in black.

Janice Griffith writes:
8. Of particular concern to me is article 9 of the Recreation Reserve Act which gives the ability to acquire land to expand an existing Recreation Reserve, referencing the Ministry of Government Services Act. This is very different from the Parks Act. Under policies for Parks established prior to March 1999, private land can only be acquired "from a willing seller by a willing buyer". The policy for new Parks under the Ontario Living Legacy does not speak of acquiring private lands at all, but only of selling small parcels of crown land to cottagers if needed for a septic system.  What is the intent of the minister in including Article 9 while leaving out other, very obvious things? What happened to the "willing seller - willing buyer" concept?
 

REGARDING YOUR POINT #8

Ms. Griffith, since article 9 of the RRA is of "… particular concern … " to you why haven’t you done your homework  regarding the issues that you address?

For your assistance we provide you with three items, 3(1), 3(2), and 3(3) from the existing (to March 31, 2000) Provincial Parks Act, we quote:

Begin quote:
Existing parks continued
 3.  (1) All provincial parks in existence when this Act comes into force shall continue to be reserved, set apart and known as provincial parks.
New parks and additions, etc.
 (2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may set apart as a provincial park any area in Ontario, may increase or decrease the area of any provincial park and may delimit any provincial park.
Acquisition of land
 (3) Land may be acquired under the Ministry of Government Services Act for the purposes of this Act.

End quote:

As you should know, the Ministry of Government Services Act provides for the expropriation of property from unwilling vendors.  Obviously, your first two sentences are false.  With regard to the acquisition of private property, both the RRA and the PPA allow for the utilization of the Ministry of Government Services Act.

Furthermore, please note that if the MNR surrounds a property with a land use designation that prohibits overland access (roads and trails), utility corridors, and effectively confiscates the owner’s Free Use Policy privileges; then the owner would, most likely, become a "willing vendor" very quickly - possibly at an enormous cost to him and / or her.

Of course, this is precisely how some of the LSC’s recommendations would have affected some private property owners; and the LSC knew this as a result of many submissions it received.  Obviously, the members of the LSC were, collectively at least, unconcerned by this unfortunate consequence of their recommendations.
 

The first clause in your third sentence absolutely astonishes me.  What have you been doing for the two and a half years that you have been involved with the LSC?  How can you possibly believe that the OLL - LUS does not address the acquisition of private property in or near parks?

Below, in black, please find sections quoted from notes that I have been distributing to interested parties for more than a year.  The complete set of notes is attached  (see below)  for your review, and the references in superscripts can be provided on request.

Begin quote:

3) Patented (private) Land Acquisition is addressed in Section 6.1.7 on pages 13 and 14 of Ontario’s Living Legacy Proposed Land Use Strategy, March 1999 [18, p.13,14].  The section reads as follows, we quote:

6.1.7  Land Acquisition

 As part of MNR's Strategic Lands Initiative, a reinvestment plan has been developed that will direct financial resources to the acquisition of significant natural heritage lands, primarily for new or expanded protected areas. Funding partnerships have been negotiated with other agencies and interest groups that will provide additional contributions towards the acquisition of selected lands.

High priority areas for acquisition of lands by MNR and its partners include:


Although there are areas warranting acquisition in all parts of the planning area, the highest priority is assigned to land acquisition in the southern portion. Since more of the land here is privately owned, there is a greater need for acquisition due to existing and future land use pressures.

 4) Patented (private) Land Acquisition is addressed Ontario’s Living Legacy,  Land Use Strategy (LUS), July 1999 which is Cabinet approved policy [40, p.1] and section 6.1.7 on page 17 reads exactly as Section 6.1.7 above.  Obviously, this policy was not modified between March and July of 1999; therefore its intent is amplified.

NB:   The Kawartha Highlands Signature Site is the most southerly newly protected site in the planning area. [50]

End quote:
Obviously, the first clause in your third sentence is totally false and given your "… particular concern … " regarding this issue, I am flabbergasted by your ignorance of relevant legislation.  Your point #8 really does make a point, and the point is - you don’t seem to know what you are writing  about.

Do you provide other members of the LSC with the opportunity to review your messages before you send them out?  If so, the implications are downright scary.

Notes Regarding the Acquisition of Private Property  by the MNR
 

Understandably, quite a few POOKHs (Property Owners Of the Kawartha Highlands) have expressed interest in the possibility that the Ontario Government / MNR may wish to acquire properties in close proximity to the KHSS.  The KHSS is in the southernmost portion of what was described as the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Planning Area during the Lands for Life process.

Since July 1998 there has been provided a sequence of documents that comment on advice to the MNR / Ontario Government regarding its policies on this issue, and its reactions to this advice. Both the Lands for Life and Ontario’s Living Legacy initiatives comment on the acquisition of patented (private) land by the MNR.  Below please find several of these comments, unedited, for you to interpret as you see fit as a potentially affected property owner.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

1) Patented (private) Land Acquisition was addressed by the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Area (GLSLA) Round Table during the Lands for Life phase of KHSS proceedings.  In its Draft Land Use Planning recommendations of July 1998 [11, p. 70,71] , Section  4.7, we find the following items:

4.7 Crown Land Management
Goal
To contribute to the environmental, social and economic well being of Ontario by  providing for  shared sustainable use and development of Crown land within the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Planning Area.

Further on the GLSLA Round Table writes:

B. Crown Land Disposition and Acquisition

Crown land disposition (e.g. sale, lease) has been of significant concern to many public participants in Lands for Life. Perspectives varied from the need to foster local economic development, to the need to maintain the Crown land base for recreation, resource use and natural heritage protection. Major issues identified to the Round Table included the opportunity to assist Northern Ontario community stability through Crown land cottage disposition and the need to protect and maintain important recreational landscapes such as Georgian Bay. Acquisition of private lands by the Crown or partners and clients, offers the opportunity to acquire lands with significant natural heritage, recreation and resource management value.

The Round Table recommends that the Province of Ontario promote and encourage economic and social development in the Planning Area by providing for appropriate disposition of Crown lands, while balancing the need to maintain Crown land in areas of limited supply or high recreational and resource use (Recommendation #235).

Crown land areas suitable for disposition should be identified through the Ministry of Natural Resources' sub-regional planning processes, with associated public consultation (Recommendation #236).
 

The Round Table recommends that the Ministry of Natural Resources acquire private lands, through direct purchase or through partners and clients, where these lands contain significant natural heritage, recreation or resource management values (Recommendation #237).
 
 

2) The GLSLA Round Table was effectively disbanded in July  1998 and a consultant was retained by Minister John Snobelen to consolidate the reports of the three Round Tables.

Patented (private) Land Acquisition is addressed in Section 4.4 of  the Consolidated Recommendations of the Lands for Life Round Tables of October 1998 [13, p. 24],  we quote:

Recommendation 105.  MNR should acquire, on its own or with appropriate partners, private lands that have significant fish, wildlife, or other Crown Land recreational values that would not otherwise be protected. [GLSL]
 

3) Patented (private) Land Acquisition is addressed in Section 6.1.7 on pages 13 and 14 of Ontario’s Living Legacy Proposed Land Use Strategy, March 1999 [18, p.13,14].  The section reads as follows, we quote:

6.1.7  Land Acquisition

 As part of MNR's Strategic Lands Initiative, a reinvestment plan has been developed that will direct financial resources to the acquisition of significant natural heritage lands, primarily for new or expanded protected areas. Funding partnerships have been negotiated with other agencies and interest groups that will provide additional contributions towards the acquisition of selected lands.

High priority areas for acquisition of lands by MNR and its partners include:

ß patented lands adjacent to or within Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves;
ß provincially significant natural heritage sites, particularly in ecological site districts where there is a high proportion of patented land, and natural heritage representation which cannot be achieved on Crown land; and,
ß significant fish and wildlife habitats which offer the opportunity to protect key habitat or provide enhanced opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Although there are areas warranting acquisition in all parts of the planning area, the highest priority is assigned to land acquisition in the southern portion. Since more of the land here is privately owned, there is a greater need for acquisition due to existing and future land use pressures.

4) Patented (private) Land Acquisition is addressed Ontario’s Living Legacy,  Land Use Strategy (LUS), July 1999 which is Cabinet approved policy [40, p.1] and section 6.1.7 on page 17 reads exactly as Section 6.1.7 above.  Obviously, this policy was not modified between March and July of 1999; therefore its intent is amplified.

NB:   The Kawartha Highlands Signature Site is the most southerly newly protected site in the planning area. [50]
 

5) On page 23 of the LUS, Section 7.2.1, which describes Provincial Parks, the following paragraph appears:

"Table 3 summarizes the policy on selected uses in Provincial Parks within the Strategy’s planning area.  Those uses and management activities not listed in the table are governed by existing Provincial Parks policy."

Table 3 does not mention land acquisition; therefore, existing Provincial Parks policy should apply to this activity.
 
 
 
 
 

6) The document "Ontario Provincial Park Policy As Amended By the Ontario living Legacy Land Use
Strategy, September 26, 2000" contains statements clarifying park policies.  (See note ***)

 On page 2, under the heading Existing Policy, appears the statement:

"All patented private lands including cottages within regulated provincial park boundaries will be acquired from willing sellers as funds permit."
 

7) Sections 3(2) and 3(3) of The Provincial Parks Act read as follows:

New parks and additions:

3 (2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may set apart as a provincial park any area in Ontario, may increase or decrease the area of any provincial park and may delimit any provincial park.

NB:  Acquisition of land

3 (3) Land may be acquired under the Ministry of Government Services Act for the purposes of this Act.
 

8) Sections 8 (3) and 8 (4) of The Ministry of Government Services Act read as follows:
Expropriation
(3) Subject to the Expropriations Act, the Minister, for and in the name of the Crown, may, without consent of the owner thereof, enter upon, take and expropriate any land or interest therein that he or she considers necessary for the use or purposes of the Government.
Expropriation by Minister on behalf of Government or Government related agency
(4) Subject to the Expropriations Act and this Act, but despite the fact that the Government or any Government related agency has, under any other special or general Act, authority, without the consent of the owner, to enter upon, take and expropriate land or any interest therein, the Minister, upon the request of the Government or Government related agency or as he or she may be directed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, may, for and in the name of the Crown and without the consent of the owner thereof, enter upon, take and expropriate land or any interest therein on behalf of the Government or Government related agency under this Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. M.25, s. 8 (1-4).
________________________________________________________________________________________________

*** This is the document that was withheld from the public by the LSC / MNR for a year. When property owners, and associations and / or councils representing these property owners discovered this document, and the circumstances under which it became public, the LSC lost the support of virtually all of these persons and / or organizations.



Gary B. Faulkner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        R.R. #1
Buckhorn, ON
K0L 1J0
705 657-8432
whitesands@primus.ca
January 12, 2003
Dear Ms. Griffith:     Reply #6 - Review of the parts of your  January 7th message not previously covered, and

Summary.
 

We have reviewed the eight points you hoped to make in your email of January 7th, 2003.  We believe that all of your eight points are irrelevant or, much worse, false and misleading.  I hope that you and others find my arguments to be credible.  If not, please point out my inaccuracies and, if you are right, I will acknowledge my errors as I promised in my first message to you, Reply #0.  Remember, I asked you to do likewise.

My reviews of your eight points were presented in six messages (just in case you have misplaced some of them):

Reply #0 - Overview and recipient confirmation, including many persons not on your list of 35.
Reply #1 - Review of your first four points.
Reply #2  - Review of your fifth point.
Reply #3  - Review of your sixth point.
Reply #4  - Review of your seventh point.
Reply #5  - Review of your eighth point.
 

In the first paragraph of your message you indicated that you and other LSC members were under an "order of silence" preventing you from engaging in "open dialogue".  Now that the gag order has been lifted, many of us are looking forward to "open dialogue" with you.

This means that when you, or your colleagues, send out messages such as yours of January 7th, 2003 -  we get to ask questions about them, and you are expected to answer our questions; that is, to defend your positions.  We are not inclined to accept your pontifications. Your prompt refusal to answer my questions regarding your message confirms to some of us that you, and some of your colleagues, prefer one-sided information exchanges in which we, the true local stakeholders, get to do all of the listening, and you get to do all of the talking - whether we like it or not.

Certainly this was the format for the Catchacoma Cottager’s Association meeting of October 12th, 2002 attended by some LSC members.  Inaccurate KHSS information was presented at that meeting by persons associated with the LSC  (I can be specific if you wish), and we (persons opposed to LSC recommendations and processes) were not allowed to correct this inaccurate information; some of which was presented by Sissy Tanner and Nancy Wilson.

Astonishingly, G-C&H Reeve, Tom Flynn, was not allowed to address that meeting, whereas Sissy Tanner, Reeve of North Kawartha and LSC Chair, was allowed to address the meeting.  Some of Ms. Tanner’s information, as mentioned, was not accurate.  Almost no meaningful dialogue occurred.  I left the meeting with a list of about eighteen points that should have been corrected and discussed.

Mr. Allan Quartermain makes a similar point in his recent letters to you (copies attached) regarding meetings with the LSC that were organized in North Kawartha and chaired by you.  All of the LSC meetings I attended were in this format and it is now known that this format provided a most unsuccessful form of communication with "true local stakeholders".  Even you and your colleagues must recognize this fact by this time.

In your second paragraph you tell us that you have been a member of the LSC for two and one half years, and convey the impression that you are an expert with regard to:

  1. listening to public input,
  2. studying policy,
  3. considering and weighing alternatives,
  4. and finding the best solutions for  the KHSS problems.


I submit that the best solution for the KHSS problems, or any other problems for that matter, will never be found by committees such as the LSC blandly sitting and listening to input, but answering no questions and permitting no dialogue, and then departing to sit around some table to arrive at its consensus decision.   The consensus decision arrived at will most likely be irrelevant or unsatisfactory to persons who were not represented at the table.

Most of the "true KHSS local stakeholders" feel that they were not represented at the table at which the LSC arrived at its consensus decision, and that is why its recommendations are unsatisfactory to us, with almost no exceptions.

Dialogue regarding KHSS issues is a fundamental requirement for an optimal win-win solution to KHSS problems.  Apparently you do not realize this fact, since you are declining the current opportunity for dialogue that I am affording to you and / or your colleagues.
 

Your third paragraph makes a very important point which I agree with,  you are the Deputy Reeve of North Kawartha and you do have responsibilities to your ratepayers.  (Why did you and Sissy Tanner not sense these responsibilities to your ratepayers on September 6th, 2001 when the policy clarifications were withheld from them and the other members of your council?)

Unfortunately, the eight point memo that you have distributed does not convince me that " … the knowledge (you have) gained from this (LSC) experience … " is adequate to help your ratepayers understand the proposed Recreation Reserve Act.  In fact, it strongly suggests otherwise.

It would be useful to all parties concerned for you to participate in this information exchange, and: a) to either point out where I am wrong or, b) to concede that you have erred, on a point by point basis.  In the absence of your reply, some will assume that you concede all eight points.
 

In your fourth paragraph you open another Pandora’s box.  I have only spent a short time reviewing the summary of responses, but I have already discovered some suspect  information.  There is no time to deal with that issue now, especially since your recommendations appear to be less threatening since December 12th, 2002.

However, I will leave you with a few thoughts to consider.

1. The LSC’s Recommendations of November 2001 present some false information and some misleading information that could have, and should have, been corrected before it was released to the public. (e.g. given the events of November 6th, 2001, Mr. Mitchell’s quotation on page 27 of your Recommendations should have been updated to reflect NK’s non-agreement with the LSC’s Recommendations)

2. It makes no sense to summarize the responses only for  the thirty day period from the date the LSC’s  Nov. 2001 Recommendations were released to the public, in September 2002, in order to judge the overall acceptance of the LSC.  This is particularly true for property rights issues which generally involved "exclusion" or "buffer zone" requests.  In this case, all of the submissions on the issue, regardless of the date, should have been summarized.  This is particularly true for those made just after August 14th, 2001, but is also true for submissions made prior to August 2001.  We illustrate our reasoning with two examples.
 

i)  After the Draft Recommendations were released in August 2001, the LSC received dozens of submissions from property owners on Big Cedar and Coon Lakes vehemently objecting to being included in the KHSS, by surprise, and with insufficient notice and / or consultation by  the LSC.  I am sure you remember LSC Member Tom Cole’s colourful exchange with David Northcott from Big Cedar Lake on this issue at the LSC’s  Meeting of August 25th, 2001 in Apsely.  We all do -  wow, it was impressive!

 In late September or October 2002, when these property owners learned from the four-line note on page 19,  or from the maps on pages 46 and 47 of your Recommendations of November 2001 that they were no longer "included" in the KHSS, but were excluded, did you expect them to write thank-you notes for the LSC having wasted so much of their time?   Not likely.

 The point is, the submissions from these persons were mostly negative concerning LSC recommendations, and almost all of them were made outside of the time period for which submission data was summarized.
 
 

ii)   With the boundary proposed for the KHSS in July 1999, there were approximately 474 mainland properties in Cavendish and Harvey that would have been directly adjacent to Crown land recommended to be redesignated from General Use to the Provincial Park designation.

By August 2001 the LSC had recommended "exclusions" or "buffer zones" around portions of Mississagua, Gold, Beaver, Cavendish, McGinniss and Catchacoma Lakes that reduced this number by 424 from 474 to about 50.  These 50 properties are located on Gold Lake and the Northeasterly shore of Catchacoma.  (Why were exclusions not recommended for these 50?  And why were exclusions not recommended for property owners on Anstruther, Loon Call and Wolf lakes?  LSC recommendations on this issue have not been fair or reasonable, but have been unfair, inconsistent  and illogical.)

It follows that most requests for exclusions made by the owners of these 424 properties were made prior to August 2001 and it is very unlikely that the owners of many of these properties would have made subsequent submissions to thank you.  Doubtless, they probably wished they had been left alone in the first pace.

In other words, submissions from as many as another 424 property owners, and / or their associations, who did not wish to be adjacent to a Provincial Park were not included in the summary of September-October 2002 submissions that you refer to.
 

For these reasons, and others - the report summarizing the September & October 2002 submissions is useless for judging the acceptance by local property owners of:

Much important data was not considered and the report is very biased and unsatisfactory as a result.
 

The rest of your comments in paragraphs 4, 5 and 6  consist mainly of:


With regard to the environmental groups you refer to, we strongly believe that inaccurate information being provided to these groups such as your message, and inaccurate maps and descriptions of the KHSS area provided by the LSC, is providing fodder for the feeding frenzy these groups seem to be engaged in currently.

Your surprising attack on Minister Ouellette and the Provincial PCs, it seems, might be motivated by political agendas that have gone awry.  They certainly suggest a new frame of thought for yourself and some of your colleagues.  I found the exchange between John Bell and Sissy Tanner to be quite interesting in this regard. (Contact me if you need copies.)

Summary:

1. The second paragraph of your message contains the passage, I quote:

" …  Our recommendations were based on logic and reason, on public input and in the best interests of all stakeholders.  They are free from any political or personal agendas …"

Unless you successfully rebut the comments that I have made in this sequence of memos, some persons (locally) might suggest that the credibility of this passage would be improved if it were altered slightly to read:

" … Our recommendations were based on political and personal agendas.  They are free from logic and reason, consideration of local public input and are in the best interests of persons living remote from the KHSS,   not true local stakeholders. …"

2. As you have pointed out , as Deputy Reeve of North Kawartha you have a responsibility to the ratepayers of that community to be accurate when you present yourself as an expert and provide them with information on very important  matters affecting them.

As a Member of the LSC you have a responsibility to property owners in both Galway - Cavendish and Harvey to be accurate when you present yourself as an expert and provide them with information on very important matters affecting them.  Remember, G-C&H has had no representation from our Council on the LSC, whereas North Kawartha has had both its Reeve and Deputy Reeve on the LSC.  Scandalous!

I suggest that, in the absence of information to the contrary, you have defaulted with respect to these responsibilities in your message of January 7th, 2003, and your expertise to make such recommendations is highly questionable.

3. When persons, especially public figures, make presentations of their views on extremely important matters, they should expect to be questioned respectfully and to encounter polite, rational challenges regarding their views. They, in turn, should be able to answer these questions, respectfully, and to provide polite, rational responses to the challenges.

 When they consistently fail to answer the questions, and refer to all challenges as "misinformation", with no specifics - then,  they should expect to encounter excoriations of their submissions and views by affected persons.

 If you review the correspondence concerning KHSS matters that has been circulating since September 2001, you will discover that there are five persons who have over-worked the word "misinformation", with no specifics, to a very considerable degree.  They have thwarted rational dialogue. This troop of five might be called - The Misses of Misinformation.  They frequently refer to my submissions as misinformation, but there are others who have been alienated by them.  You may receive some of their works in the near future.

I will respond to your other two emails and new list of recipients shortly.

Gary Faulkner
Attach. A.Q. Letters



We are also attaching two letters from Al Quartermain commenting on "information meetings" organized by the LSC and / or North Kawartha Council (sometimes it's hard to tell) and chaired by Janice Griffith.  Those of you who attended the Catchacoma Cottagers' Association Meeting on October 12th, 2002 will recognize the meeting format that Al describes.

Al is a retired high school teacher who has had a keen interest in political science, history and the great outdoors.  He has been president of the Anstruther Lake Cottager's Association.



 

Kawartha Highlands "Information" Meeting
Democracy high jacked

The information meeting on the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site (K.H.S.S.) organized by the North Kawartha Council was yet another example of the ongoing muffled process.  After a long, unnecessary presentation of historical information, the audience was allowed to put forward written questions only.  The chair of the committee of the whole, Janice Griffith, had notified in advance that there  would be no discussion allowed - a typical example of the closed process that has stifled a clear exchange of information.

Participants had carefully prepared questions in advance as requested by the Reeeve, Sissy Tanner, at the previous week’s council meeting when the council voted not to support a request from the North Kawartha Cottagers’ Association.  In order to place the questions in a proper context, since one was not to be allowed to speak, many of the prepared questions had a preamble or background.  The M.N.R. resource person, Nancy Wilson, who read out the questions, left out the background information and simply read the questions out of their proper context.   On two occasions frustrated participants tried to speak to clarify the questions and were immediately told by the chair they couldn’t speak.  What a sad day for Ernie Eve’s new approach to open consultation!  The unfortunate thing was that the M.N.R. and Parks Ontario had some excellent resource people at the meeting but, with the imposed ban on speaking, it resulted in a missed opportunity for open dialogue.

Some of the information that was brought out of the controlled questioning was of great concern to many of the people who are directly connected to the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site including:

The only glimmer of hope to have an open discussion to answer the many unanswered questions was an offer by a Park official to attend a town hall meeting in the near future.

The North Kawartha Lakes Association and the Stakeholders’ Group of the Kawartha Highlands represent over 100,000 people and yet, given the stifling of an open democratic forum, the present Local Stakeholders’ Committee continues to allude to us who are directly affected as a "vocal minority".  This "vocal minority" will have a voice in the next election.

Yours truly,
Allan Quartermain,
Anstruther Lake Resident.
 


Kawartha Highlands Issues ? A "Rude" person’s response.

This letter is a response to "Deputy Reeve, Janice Griffith’s, November 22nd letter "Clarifying Kawartha Highlands Issues."  I am proud to be the " individual who rudely and repeatedly interrupted a Ministry staff person".  "Rudeness" exists in the eye of the beholder.  Please read on and be the judge as to what constitutes "rudeness".  We, who are the "true" stakeholders (i.e. people living and working in the boundaries of the designated signature site), have been sidelined and silenced as a self-interested "vocal minority".

In short, the background to this November 22nd meeting is as follows:  The North Kawartha Lakes Association (N.O.R.K.L.A.) constitutes an umbrella organization representing all lakes in the North Kawartha Township.  It has been frustrated in getting hard, direct answers to hard questions concerning park issues.  At a previous council meeting, Norkla was assured that it would be given a forum to accomplish the above.  It was told that written questions only would be allowed.  Norkla would have preferred a more open dialogue but it would take what it could get.

What we got was something we should have expected.  More than one half of the time was wasted listening to a hashed over, feel good monologue by project manager, Nancy Wilson.  She began her presentation lamenting the divisive, bad feeling that had been generated over the issue.  They just don’t get it!!  Give us an open forum where a true (if somewhat chaotic) exchange of information and ideas can take place.  In lieu of the above,  what we got was an excessively, one-sided, controlled forum typical of those who don’t understand the democratic process.  Janice Griffith justifies the above by stating "that there was little time available (no wonder considering Nancy Wilson’s redundant presentation).  They allotted only 30 minutes to answer many of the complex questions of the anxious assembly.

Since they were concerned about questions whose preambles would in fact be speeches, they decided to edit the questions by leaving out the preambles.  The preambles were essential to the understanding of the nature and scope of the question.  My questions were written in the space allowed: three or four lines not three or four pages as quoted.  In fact, no question had a preamble of more than one half page.  Mine was the first question read by Nancy Wilson; I barely recognized it!  The editing resulted in its making the question impossible to answer.  I repeatedly and "rudely" requested that the question be read in full but was shouted down by Janice Griffith.  The park representative, Barton Fielders, said he could only guess at the scope of the question and gamely strove to answer a phantom question.  He seemed truly embarrassed and looked apologetically at me as he attempted to overcome the limitations imposed on the both of us.  Again this "rude" individual demanded that his question be answered but was again shouted down by Janice Griffith.  I was so upset and frustrated with this behaviour that is so typical of the treatment given we true stakeholders that I almost walked out in disgust.  Regrettably, I didn’t.  I have since discovered many others felt the same way.  They just don’t get it!

Norkla is a member of a larger umbrella group, The Stakeholders’ Group of the Kawartha Highlands (S.G.K.H.), whose combined membership amounts to over 140,000 people.  The S.G.K.H. has, to use a euphemism, serious concerns over the recommendations for the proposed site and has subsequently  withdrawn its support.  In her article Janice Griffith, takes issue with the fact that the S.G.K.H. represents over 100,000 people who oppose the site recommendations since, presumably, all members may not agree with the executives of their associations.  The majority of each group does in fact support its executive.  Even if one third of their members disagree with their executives, that still leaves a "vocal minority" of over 100,000 people.  The real issue with this "vocal minority" is that anyone  who does not readily and blindly agree with the assumptions of park proponents is the enemy, and therefore, the strategy is to frustrate the attempts of those who dare question their dogma.  That, Nancy Wilson and Janice Griffith, is what has created "the ugliness" and has prevented "the healing of the rifts in our community".  You claim "the healing has to start with accurate information".  You have not done so, and therefore, at election time I predict a "rude awakening" for those with political aspirations who do not understand the true nature of the democratic process.

Allan Quartermain
Anstruther Lake