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Introduction
Mike Colles web site
Mike Colle petition
response to Mike Colle
Appendix
Lydia Dobin letter
Murral Campbell G and M writer who is the source of Mike Colle's misinformation - admits his error

Introduction
As some of you may know the local pro-park group, Supporters of the Kawartha Highlands Park, has been trying to motivate some Liberals to assist them to: i) oppose Bill 239,  ii) to promote the LSC's recommendations, and iii) to promote the LSC.
They have had some success and Mike Colle, LIB,  MPP - Eglinton/Lawrence has decided to support them. For this purpose he has created a page called  Fighting For A Kawartha Highlands Park on his website at www.mikecolle.org , and a petition opposing the passage of Bill 239 and promoting the LSC at http://www.petitiononline.com/khpp/ .
As of 10:35 pm Wednesday February 5th, 2003, 894 persons had signed Mr. Colle's petition.
It would be interesting to know how many Liberal MPPs support Mr. Colle's position.  Dalton McGuinty was invited to participate in KHSS issues in October 2001, but as far as I know he has not responded to the invitation letter.
More recently, an associate of Mr. Ernie Parsons, MPP and Liberal critic of the Minister of Natural Resources, has been gathering information regarding KHSS matters that we have been distributing.  It would be interesting to know if these persons support Mr. Colle's position.
As you will see from the below items, I believe that the persons signing Mr. Colle's petition are being misled by false information that is being provided to them.  Please judge for yourself.
I believe that those of us in favour of Bill 239, as compared to a park designation, should let the appropriate politicians know our views.  What do you think?


this is Mike Colle's letter from his web site

-Read the open letter to Dan Marinigh of the Ministry of Natural Resources from the Partnership for Public Lands (PDF)
- Read the article "Ontario reneges on deal" from the Jan 18, 2003 Toronto Star
- Read the article "Queen's Park Ontario wildlife sanctuary bill snubs citizens' advice" from the Jan 16, 2003 Globe and Mail
-Press Release: Local Stakeholders Committee Unanimously Opposed to Bill 239, Recreation Reserve Act
-Visit KawarthaHighlandPark.ca for more valuable information about this area
-Sign the petition to stop Bill 239 and make Kawartha Highlands a park - http://www.petitiononline.com/khpp/

Why the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site should be designated a Provincial Park.
Introduction
The Kawartha Highlands Signature Site is home to delicate ecosystems found in few other places on the earth. There are many rare species of both animal and plant life. Provincial Park status would promote sustainable community economic development in the area, allow continuation of traditional activities, and entrench protection of the environment. Provincial Park status is in the best interest of both the directly adjoining communities and the region of Ontario as a whole. Tourism would be enhanced along with an appropriate boost to the local economy.
How and Why?
Ten points why establishing the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site as a Provincial Park rather than a recreation reserve supports the goal to create sustainable community economic development.
1. The directly adjoining communities have been historically disadvantaged with high unemployment rates (10 - 14%), higher youth unemployment rates (20 - 255) and incomes approximately 30% below the provincial average. Historically, these communities have served as a resource hinterland to the more developed and urbanized southern Peterborough County heartland, down to the provision of water resources today to support the Trent Canal system. Creation of the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park would be an opportunity to partially address this long standing imbalance.
2. As a Provincial Park the area (on a quota system) could provide opportunities for a range of new nature-tourism related ventures such as, interpretive canoe trips, hut to hut ski and dog sled tours, guided trips for wildlife photography and bird watching and backpacking. It is worth noting that the nature tourism sector is growing by an estimated 16%/yr in Ontario. The Kawartha Highlands could, in particular, create opportunities for young entrepreneurs helping to reduce the out migration of young people, something the Provincial Government has identified as a major challenge facing rural Ontario.
3. Given the potential for year round activity, Provincial Park status would also enhance the retention and growth of existing businesses in the adjoining communities.
4. Provincial Park status will act as a magnet for public sector investment in the area - building infrastructure (i.e. interpretive centre, trails, access points) that will make Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park a sustainable development success story.
5. Provincial Park status would also mean dedicated support for marketing and sustainable resource management through Ontario Parks. It is this capacity embodied in Ontario Parks that will make all the other envisioned benefits outlined here possible.
6. Designation as a Provincial Park will also enhance the tourism related marketing of our region and the entire province, for that matter. Creation of the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park will represent a once in a lifetime branding opportunity for Peterborough and the Kawarthas. Imagine, on all maps of southern Ontario it will be the second longest green area next to Algonquin Park. This is an incredible marketing opportunity that the recreation reserve status simply cannot match.
7. Of course, if we are serious about sustainable development then we must take the long view, 20, 50, 100 years into the future. Provincial Park status for the Kawartha Highlands will mean sound management based on best practice in perpetuity. As well, and perhaps most importantly, Provincial Park status will make it both morally and politically difficult for future governments to mess with the Kawartha Highlands, recreation reserve status offers no such protection.
8. From a natural resource perspective remember that wild and semi-wild places will only become more scarce and precious in the future. For this reason preservation of the Kawartha Highlands as a Provincial Park makes the most economic sense, it is a public asset that if protected and enhanced, will only appreciate.
9. Establishing the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park would also have a global marketing perspective. Right now Peterborough and the Kawartha are not on the radar screen, allowing our area to attract these very high end tourists.
10. Provincial Parks have a national and international reputation, recreation reserves have no such credibility.
Summary
In no way does this make an argument for the exploitation or degradation of this semi-wilderness area. It is about the Highlands potential to support sustainable development, like for example, nature-tourism. A recreation reserve simply does not have the market recognition or economic potential of a Provincial Park. If the Government of Ontario is serious about supporting sustainable development and the preservation of rural Ontario, then they must support creation of the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park.
Click here to return to the main issues section

Ed. comment:
Dear Mr. Cole
I have reviewed your petition re Bill 239. The Bill has some flaws, but sure beats what you propose.
You say, "The Kawartha Highlands Signature Site is home to delicate ecosystems found in few other places on the earth".
Not true.
You provide a map that is some 40 years out of date. MNR have been asked repeatedly to update that map.
You say ‘"There are many rare species of both animal and plant life".
Please name them.
You say, "Provincial Park status would promote sustainable community economic development in the area" and provide 10 points to buttress your position.
What basis do you have for this grandiose speculation? Is Algonquin Park revenue positive and if so by how much?
There is a provincial park in the center of the proposed KHSS area. It was a reserve for many years and became a provincial park in 1985. Management was promised, there is none. The area is awash with squatters; the ministry has put no money on the ground. Human excrement lies everywhere.
You now dream of enlarging this fiasco.
What budget do you propose to provide these "opportunities, - year round activities, -magnets, - sustained resource management, - tourist marketing, - sustainable development, and global marketing perspective (s)"?
What priority do you give your Park plan related to health care, electricity costs, education, welfare, and taxes? I believe your city wants  91 million dollars. Is this before or after the Park dollars?
What revenue split (if there is any) do you suggest with the local municipalities who will have to pay for the significant increased costs to their infrastructure i.e. (roads and garbage)?
Local councils (both)oppose your point of view, all but one cottage associations in the areas oppose your point of view and the largest ratepayer association opposes your point of view. Doesn’t say much for your point #1, does it?
Your local support consists of a few ‘pie in the sky’ dreamers and a small group who use this legislation to try to stop some local development. Interesting, you promote development and your supporters are trying to stop it.
I view your other outside support as those who when asked what they want, reply "What you have."; and when asked what that is, reply "What I don’t."
I look forward to your response.
 
 



 
 

Mike Colle petition
 

A copy of the text of the petition is presented below as it existed at
1:00pm Tuesday, January 28th, 2003.

  Stop Bill 239 and Save the Kawartha Highlands
 

View Current Signatures <http://www.PetitionOnline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?khpp>   -
To:  Premier Eves and all MPP's
Petition in support of full Provincial Park Status for the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site and the withdrawl of Bill 239

Petition to Ontario Premier Ernie Eves and all MPP's

Whereas the 35,000 hectares of Crown Land known as the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site contains exceptional natural wilderness features that warrant special protection and promotion so it can be passed on to future generations.

Whereas these 35,000 hectares of natural wilderness are threatned and offered no protection whatsoever by Bill 239 the Recreation Reserve Act introduced be the Eves Government on Dec.12, 02 by MNR Minister Jerry Ouellette.

Whereas the official Local Stakeholders Committee spent 2 years and $500,000 dollars consulting, researching and studying the best possible ways to protect and preserve this environmentally sensitive site.

Whereas Bill 239 completely ignored and bypassed all the recommendations of the LSC and affords the lowest possible level of protection and places this precious natural masterpiece at risk to be exploited by special interests and ignoring the public interest.

Whereas the passing of Bill 239 not only jeopardizes the future of the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site but also permits the Minister by secret regulation to strip all of the Signature Sites so designated throughout Ontario under "Lands for Life " of protection and turn them into "Recreation Reserves "

We the undersigned support totally the recommendations of the Official Local Stakeholder Committee which called for the highest level of environmental protection while allowing traditional recreational uses to continue and respecting private land ownership rights while giving the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site full Provincial Park Status. We call on Premier Eves and all MPP’s to support full Provincial Park status for the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site and withdrawl of Bill 239.
Sincerely,




GaryB.Faulkner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 R.R. #1
Buckhorn, ON
K0L 1J0
705 657-8432
whitesands@primus.ca
February 5, 2003
Memo To: Mr. Mike Colle, MPP mike_colle-mpp@ontla.ola.org
Subject:   Anti-Bill 239 Petition, and Pro-LSC Campaign

Dear Mr. Colle,

Last Sunday I received your email invitation to review the KHSS portions of your website and your anti-Bill 239 petition.  I have done both.

Your ten point letter and the wording of your petition (copies attached) indicate clearly what you think the objectives for the KHSS should be, and why you think the entire KHSS should be designated to be a Provincial Park. They also indicate that you may be unaware of some very important information; and also, that you have been provided with some false information.

Sadly, you have actually launched your petition by forwarding false information which was provided to you by journalists that should have been reliable, but were not, in the comments beside your signature.  Your signature is the first signature on the petition and it is obvious from reading the comments of other signatories that many persons have been misled by the false information that you have passed on. Of course, many persons may also have been misled by the original articles published by these journalists.(See points 6 and 7 below.)

NB:  As a result, you should immediately withdraw this petition, with an  explanation as to why, until you have a better grasp of the facts concerning the KHSS. This will prevent additional persons from being misled by the false information you have inadvertently, we assume, presented in your petition.

NB:   The persons who provided you with the inaccurate information should also issue retractions and/or apologize. As a public figure enjoying the trust of the public you have a responsibility to behave ethically and promptly regarding this request to keep the facts straight.  So do they.

I believe, from reading the comments on your petition, that the effect of the false information presented is sufficient to completely destroy any usefulness your petition might have had.  Too many people have been misled.

We summarize our views immediately below.  Please see the Appendix for very important additional clarifications, facts and arguments.
 

SUMMARY POINTS:

Mr. Colle we suggest your analysis of KHSS matters has the following flaws.

(1) Your analysis fails to address very important property rights  (or "… private land ownership rights …"  as you refer to them) issues which are of fundamental importance in KHSS problems.  Worse, in the last paragraph of your petition you suggest (assume) that the LSC has dealt with these issues in a satisfactory way - it has not!
 
 

(2) You indicate that the "marketing appeal" of the word "park" is your main reason for designating the entire KHSS to be a provincial park.  Refer to points 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 of your ten point letter. (This is very surprising to many of us "locals" who are familiar with the local group that you have opted to support.) We strongly reject this argument for designating the entire KHSS to be a "park". It will trivialize some of the environmental issues in the minds of some people.  In fact, the marketing value of the word park, that is, the imagery associated with the word park, has been identified by many familiar with the area as one of the main reasons why most of the KHSS should not be called a provincial park.  Most of the KHSS can not be developed to conform to this imagery. This was realized as a result of studies, mainly soil studies, carried out as early as 1959.

(3) The KHSS economic scenario you foresee seems to be based on extravagant conjecture regarding the capacity of the KHSS to accommodate additional development and, as a result, the economic outcome for the northern half of Peterborough County that you predict may be overly optimistic.

 Did you obtain information to support your expectations that fairly intensive commercial development would occur in the KHSS area, if the KHSS were designated to be a park, from Sissy Tanner and the LSC?  In the past members of this group have referred to locating an interpretive center along  Highway 28.

(4) Point (3) is emphasized by your comparison of the KHSS with Algonquin Park in point #6 of your ten point letter.  This is an unrealistic comparison which was first made by the LSC, I believe.  Have you ever visited any part of the KHSS?

(5) Your position on KHSS matters appears to depend on inadequate, incomplete and false information regarding the KHSS, especially regarding capacity studies, the extent of privately owned property within the KHSS and existing infrastructure (roads, etc.) to support the private development.  Once again, have you ever visited any part of the site?  Please see the Appendix and the Field letter regarding the inaccurate map linked to your website.

(6) Some of the newspaper articles you quote contain inaccurate and / or misleading information, particularly the item from the Globe and Mail of January 16th, 2003 by Murray Campbell.  Where did he get the idea that the KHSS was planned to be a "wildlife sanctuary"?  The Cabinet approved OLL Land Use Strategy of July 1999 clearly specified that, subject to boundary adjustments, the KHSS was going to be a park or a conservation reserve.  Simultaneously, it also specified (see pages 22 and 24 of the OLL-LUS) that hunting and angling was to be allowed in all new parks and conservation reserves, and extensions to existing conservation reserves and parks.  The point is, the decision to allow hunting in the KHSS was made by Cabinet three years before Jerry Ouellette became the Minister of Natural Resources.  It was not his decision.  Furthermore, changing the designation from a recreation reserve to a park will not change the status of hunting in the KHSS. To my knowledge, it was never planned that the KHSS would be a wildlife sanctuary.

In the same article Murray Campbell identifies Sissy Tanner, Chair of the LSC, as "a paramedic from Apsely", which is true.  However, his article would have been more interesting if he had also identified Sissy Tanner as the Reeve of North Kawartha. The entire KHSS is situated within North Kawartha and Galway-Cavendish and Harvey.  Some people think that it is unusual to have both the Reeve and the Deputy Reeve of North Kawartha on the LSC, while Galway-Cavendish and Harvey, which pays 80% or more of the property taxes raised in the KHSS, has no representation on the LSC.
 
 
 
 

Did you know that even though the Reeve and Deputy Reeve of North Kawartha are members of the LSC, the five member Council for North Kawartha voted against the recommendations of the LSC on November 6th, 2001.  Both the Reeve and Deputy Reeve voted on the issue. Doesn’t it seem odd that the Reeve and Deputy Reeve cannot get the support of their own Council on such an important matter?  Not everyone believes that the LSC has done an excellent job.

I believe that Murray Campbell owes Jerry Ouellette a retraction.  The research he put into the January 16th article falls far short of what I would expect from a journalist with his impressive resume.  You should delete this very inaccurate reference, full of hyperbole, from your website.
 

(7) Below we provide the comments beside your name on the anti-Bill 239 Petition, verbatim.

1. Mike Colle MPP As Barry Kent MacKay wrote in the Toronto StarJan.26,03"The fact that the Ontario Government betrayed the environmental community,it's own advisory committee and the majority of Ontarians by renaging on it's "Living Legacy "commitment to create a wildlife sacturary in the Kawartha Highlands is disappointing "..Please join me and protect this precious natural masterpiece for future generations.

 Mr. Colle, we believe that this is the most serious flaw, so far, affecting your intervention in KHSS matters.  As mentioned in point (6) above the KHSS was never proposed to be a wildlife sanctuary.  How did Murray Campbell and Barry Kent MacKay get misled in this regard?  Why didn’t your staff confirm the veracity of such important information?

The effect of this particular false information is to create the impression that before Bill 239 was proposed there was to be no hunting in the KHSS, and that this is what the LSC was recommending.  As noted above this is absolutely untrue.  In fact, on page 36 of the LSC’s recommendations of November 2001, the LSC specifically recommends that hunting be allowed to continue in the KHSS, even if it were designated to be a provincial park.

Since most persons signing a petition such as yours would be inclined to read the comments of previous signatories, especially those of the petition’s creator, we believe that the false information presented in your comments completely compromises the usefulness of your petition.

All you have to do is to read through the comments on your petition and it becomes clear that people are blaming Bill 239 and Minister Ouellette for the fact hunting is recommended in the KHSS.  Obviously, they have been misled by false information suggesting that the KHSS was going to be a "wildlife sanctuary" before Bill 239 was introduced.  And this is only one of many points on which your audience has been misled.

Obviously, Premier Eves, Minister Ouellette and all other MPPs need to be made aware of this distortion of the facts.

(8) Some of your other references also present misleading information.  For example, in point 5 of its submission, the Partnership For Public Lands neglects to mention that "boundary adjustments" were also an option for the LSC, which it did not utilize properly.  And in point 6 of the same submission the reference to 72.5% of the respondents approving of the recommendations of the LSC ignores a preposterous arrangement of the data that occurred to produce the 72.5% figure.  But we must close.
 
 
 
 

On the plus side, no one that I know who is supporting Bill 239 objects to the environmentally sustainable development of the existing Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park (KHPP) along the lines suggested in your ten point letter.  Hence, you are correct to recognize that there is some untapped economic potential within the KHSS. But, all of the studies we are familiar with suggest that very little of this potential exists outside of the existing KHPP.
 

NB: The existing KHPP is going to remain a "park" if Bill 239 is passed, so your comments regarding the use of the word "park" for marketing purposes have been contemplated by Bill 239 in the only portion of the KHSS that is suitable for "park" type development.
 

NB: There is no need whatsoever for the development of this "park" potential to compromise the privileges, or rights, of long-time private property owners in the KHSS area, or vice versa.  The LSC’s recommendations would definitely compromise property owners’ rights and privileges.  And these persons have generally been praised for their long-time conscientious stewardship of the KHSS area.
 
 

CONCLUSIONS:

Your anti-Bill 239 Petition should be dropped. Its usefulness has been compromised. For the reasons stated above, and for very important additional reasons outlined in the Appendix, we submit that it would be absolutely foolish for any KHSS area property owner to oppose Bill 239 and to accept the recommendations of the  KHSS - Local Stakeholders’ Committee.

We submit that all KHSS stakeholders, property owners or not, should objectively examine the opportunities afforded by Bill 239 and should work constructively with Jerry Ouellette, Gary Stewart, the MNR and each other to create a Win-Win solution to this long-drawn-out conundrum.

If you and your anti-Bill 239, pro-LSC colleagues believe that Bill 239 is deficient in some way, be specific and constructive, and suggest improvements that might ameliorate the situation.  We suggest that the confrontational and global political grandstanding being promoted by the LSC is more destructive than it is constructive.

Criticism, unless it is constructive, is useless. So too is the hyperbole in many of the comments made by supporters of the petition opposing Bill 239.

Many of your comments and those of your references show an alarming lack of knowledge of KHSS developments that commenced in 1997 with the Lands for Life initiative and have culminated in Bill 239.
 
 

It would be tragic to see the important environmental, socio-economic and property rights issues we are considering reduced to the level of petty, pre-election, partisan politics.
 

Regards,
Gary Faulkner,
A concerned Pookh (Property Owner Of the Kawartha Highlands)
 


APPENDIX

In this appendix we review information most of which is well-known to persons who have been following KHSS developments closely.  We request your patience.
 

SECTION 1 - BACKGROUND:

Most Pookhs were somewhat relieved when Bill 239 was presented.  Few persons that I have talked to believe that Bill 239 is perfect but most believe that, with some reasonable clarifications and a few amendments, which could be included at second reading, it provides a basis for  win-win solutions to Kawartha Highlands problems. From the point of view of local property owners Bill 239 provides for a huge improvement over the recommendations of the LSC.

The LSC’s recommendations, if implemented, would cause the redesignation of General Use Crown land that has surrounded most private properties in the KHSS area for decades with the very restrictive Provincial Park land use designation. This redesignation of Crown land immediately adjacent to private properties would have unnecessary and devastating effects on Free Use Policy and Property Access Privileges for the owners of many of these private properties. About 2,000 properties could be affected, directly and indirectly. Some would even become land-locked with no road access, or even hydro.

The obvious way to mitigate the concerns of private property owners has been to provide for buffer zones between their private properties and any portions of the KHSS to be redesignated from the General Use to the Provincial Park designation.  "Buffering" is a concept well understood by planners and other reasonable people.  Management prescriptions could be developed for these buffer zones that would address the concerns of property owners and would NOT unreasonably restrict the enjoyment by the public at large of the Crown land involved.

Members of the Local Stakeholders' Committee and their supporters have failed to recognize that the provision of REASONABLE "buffer zones" between all private properties and park designations has been the catalyst that could have triggered solutions to most Kawartha Highlands problems long ago. This point has been brought to the attention of the LSC by many persons on many different occasions.

The Reeve of Galway-Cavendish and Harvey, Tom Flynn, backed by Councillors Don Lacombe and Guy Scott, has publicly suggested that about 95% to 98% of the KHSS problems could have been solved by a simple and small compromise by the LSC regarding the buffer zone issue. Gary Stewart, MPP Peterborough, and Councillor Kim Dunford from North Kawartha's Council, have also stressed the importance of protecting property rights, a concept apparently foreign to LSC thinking. But remember, most LSC members do not own properties near the KHSS and the PROPERTIES of few, if any, of them are affected by their recommendations.

The LSC has been particularly obstinate and inconsistent on the issue of buffer zones, and it has even ignored the advice of its own consultant, Jack van der Meer of Meteek & Co., who clearly indicated that placing parks or conservation reserves (restrictive designations) immediately adjacent to private property was a bad idea. (See Sections 7.7.1 and 7.7.2 of his report.)

Bill 239 could, in effect, provide these buffer zones or their equivalent through the provisions of Sections 4(1), 5(1), 5(2), 5(3), 5(4), 7 and 8.  Very adequate controls to prevent abuse or environmental degradation can be implemented as provided for in Sections 5(3), 5(4) and 6 of Bill 239, along with Section 28 of the Public Lands Act and Section 3.4.5(b) of the Free Use Policy.
 
 
 

A very attractive feature of the control mechanisms provided for under Bill 239 and the Public Lands Act is that they could be put into effect on a "SITE SPECIFIC - WHEN, WHERE AND AS REQUIRED BASIS". This enables them to be cost-effective. These control mechanisms are not an "off-the-shelf" package that might be unsuitable to an area with the diversity of existing user groups and complex of accesses found in the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site. Hopefully, the implementation of these control mechanisms would be sensitive to the input from all stakeholders.

SECTION 2 - OPPOSITION TO BILL 239:

As most recipients of this memo know, the LSC and a relatively small number of local persons have launched a campaign to oppose Bill 239.  The members of this group are well-known by name to most local persons who have been following KHSS developments. This group has been promoting a Provincial Park designation for the ENTIRE KHSS, including Crown land immediately adjacent to many private properties.

The website www.kawarthahighlandspark.ca is privately run.  Nancy Jack, her husband Bob Walsh and brother Mike Jack organized this site and a group called "Supporters of the Kawartha Highlands Park", I believe.

Nancy and Bob, I have been told, have an island property on Anstruther Lake, and brother Mike is on the mainland; hence, they are relatively unaffected, compared to many others, by the loss of property access rights that would occur if the LSC's recommendations were to be implemented. (Similar statements apply to many "park advocates" on Lake Catchacoma and Wolf Lake who already have road access or occupy islands or landlocked properties.)

Members of this trio have been corrected, publicly, regarding at least three items of false or misleading information they have spread to promote their cause.  They seem not to be sympathetic when they give cottagers such as Lydia Dobbin, one of the earliest cottagers on Anstruther Lake, news that she might not be able to access her property. (See letter from Lydia attached, and the last paragraph of Nancy Jack's email to Jim Whelen, et al, sent at 3:09pm, Friday, Dec. 20th, 2002.)
 
 

SECTION 3 - THE MIKE COLLE INTERVENTION:

Recently, the local pro-park, pro-LSC group, Supporters of the Kawartha Highlands Park, has contacted Mike Colle who is the Liberal MPP representing the Eglinton-Lawrence Constituency (northwest Toronto).  He notes that issues affecting the GTA are of special interest to him.

Mike Colle has taken up the cause of this local pro-park group and is running an "Anti-Bill 239 Petition.  Mr. Colle appears to be a very active "Activist" - and this is terrific - provided that he has a base of accurate information upon which to form his opinions and from which to launch his actions.

I have read through all of the KHSS material on his website and have just skimmed through the input from 756 persons that have signed his petition (1:56pm, Tuesday, February 4th, 2003.).  It is very clear to me that Mike Colle, several contributors of articles he references, and many persons signing his petition do not have accurate or complete information regarding the KHSS.

In my opinion, some of the information on Mike Colle’s website and in his petition is not accurate, and some of it is extremely misleading, unbridled speculation and hyperbole.
 
 

Please see  Mike Colle's ten point letter and petition, attached.

SECTION 4 - ARGUMENTS SUPPORTING CLAIMS MADE IN THE SUMMARY ARE PROVIDED BELOW:

(1) As mentioned above, we have read most of the material on Mr. Colle's website and the comments accompanying 756 signatures.  We have only found ONE reference to "private land ownership rights", and it appears in the last paragraph of his petition.  In our opinion Mr. Colle is DEAD WRONG!

 The LSC has not safeguarded property owners' interests, contrary to Phase Two of its "Mandate" and provision 6 of its "Responsibilities".  (See Terms of Reference for the LSC.) Many of our rights and privileges will be abrogated if the recommendations of the LSC are implemented.

  It is unfortunate that Mr. Colle does not seem to realize that there are about 2000 private properties distributed around the shores of all of the major lakes in the KHSS, except Bottle and Sucker Lakes.  Contrary to the assertion in the last paragraph of his petition, the LSC has done an abysmal job of protecting property rights, or of addressing the concerns of adjacent property owners.

 There is absolutely nothing in the recommendations of the LSC, or the Provincial Parks Act, that compares with the protections afforded private property owners by Bill 239. Please correct me if I am wrong.
 

(2)  Clearly, Mr. Colle's main reason for preferring a "PARK" designation is that the word "PARK" will be more effective for MARKETING the KHSS area than the term Recreation Reserve.  See Mr. Colle's points 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10. Many of us have already noticed that this is true and we agree with him.

However, that is precisely why we believe that the entire KHSS should not be called, or designated to be, a "park".  The term "park" should be used judiciously while paying careful attention to the product that can be delivered.  Data readily available, particularly soils studies carried out in the fifties and early sixties, suggests that the term "park" in the KHSS context should be reserved for use only in the existing, 1850 hectare Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park (KHPP).

 Of course, this is precisely what is proposed in Bill 239.
 

(3)  One thing Mr. Colle makes absolutely clear is that he understands that parks are not created to keep people away.  In fact, he suggests that the KHSS could (maybe he means should) be developed into a Provincial Park that would generate sufficient economic activity (visitors, commercial ventures, public investment, etc.) to solve many of the economic ills of the northern portion of Peterborough County.  These views seem to be in stark contrast with the views expressed by some of the local persons he is supporting. Some of these persons have frequently stated, essentially, that parks should be devoid of "transient visitors" and commercially motivated activities.

However, it seems possible that he may have identified with the goals of the LSC in this regard.  Some of its members have advocated an interpretive center on (old) Highway 28, for example, a feature Mr. Colle refers to.

The economic benefits Mike Colle refers to would be desirable, subject to their environmental sustainability.  However, it seems that Mr. Colle may NOT have received information concerning the limitations of the KHSS area, exterior to the existing KHPP, to accommodate significant development.  He may not be aware of the soil studies carried out during the late fifties and sixties that indicated significant camping facilities could not be developed in the KHSS, except within the KHPP, without fairly massive alterations of the environment; for example, fill might have to be imported for septic systems, etc.

Therefore, we suggest that he might wish to temper his optimism for huge economic benefits being derived from the entire KHSS, and should focus on the realistic potential of the existing KHPP to provide significant, environmentally sustainable economic benefits to the region.  It follows that only the KHPP portion, perhaps with minor extensions, should be called a "park". (We acknowledge the repetitive nature of this point relative to point (2), but it is very important and it needs to be emphasized.)

(4) It is unfortunate that Mr. Colle draws the comparison between the KHSS and Algonquin Park, since this comparison conjures up expectations in the minds of visitors that are unlikely to be met within the KHSS (as has been pointed out many times).  However, it is likely that he has noticed similar comparisons made in the LSC's literature promoting the KHSS.

(5) We believe that Mr. Colle's failure to refer to the extensive private property holdings in the KHSS area is probably due to the fact that maps and promotional materials distributed by the LSC have inaccurately portrayed the area as an uninhabited wilderness - it is not!  But Mr. Colle may not be aware of this fact.

 For example, the KHSS map that is accessible from Mr. Colle's website is quite inaccurate. Check it out.  There is no road from the east end of Beaver lake that runs halfway along the south shore of Bottle Creek.  On the other hand, there is a road along the north shores of Beaver and McGinniss Lake all the way to Catchacoma which is not shown on the subject map.  Nor are the private properties occupying almost all of the north shores of Beaver and McGinniss Lakes.  This particular map has caused considerable inconvenience for transient visitors and residents alike.

 The LSC was asked to remove this map from its website some time ago because visitors were using it to access the KHPP and were getting lost.  Please see the letter from the Field Family attached.  Their properties are located at the west end of the "actual road" along the north shores of Beaver and McGinniss Lakes, and it's easy to see how persons looking for the "non-existent road" shown on the map could wind up at their properties by traveling along the "existing road".

 Eventually, after many requests, the LSC's management did correct the road error on this particular map. Unfortunately, it reappeared on the Supporters of the Kawartha Highlands Park website.
 

It might be appropriate for Mr. Colle to remove the link to this map from his website before it causes any more inconvenience for visitors to the KHSS or residents.  The writer will gladly provide him with more accurate maps of the KHSS area.
 

There are many other pieces of information that Mr. Colle should have in order that his intervention in KHSS matters be fair, honest, democratic and effective.  We should all try to provide him with the information that we perceive he may be missing.  His effectiveness should only be judged when he has accurate information and we see what he does with it. Let's provide him with accurate information as soon as possible.  His contact numbers follow.
 

COLLE, Mike  LIB  Eglinton-Lawrence  Greater Toronto Area

Constituency Office Address
2882 Dufferin St.
Toronto, Ontario  M6B 3S6
Telephone: 416-781-2395   Fax: 416-781-4116
Email mike_colle-mpp@ontla.ola.org <mailto:mike_colle-mpp@ontla.ola.org>
website www.mikecolle.com
 



From: lydia [lydiadobbin@sympatico.ca]
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2002 11:56 AM
To: whitesands@primus.ca
Subject: Fw: EBR Registry #PB00E3003 Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

----- Original Message -----
From: lydia
To: minister@mnr.gov.on.ca
Cc: tom flynn ; gary ; bob ; jim whalen ; janice ; sissy tanner ; kim dunford ; chris hodgson ; gary stewart
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2002 11:40 AM
Subject: EBR Registry #PB00E3003 Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

As a cottage owner on Anstruther Lake since the lake was opened up by the then Department of Lands & Forest in 1958 I have grave concerns in this entire area becoming a Provincial Park. We have had boat access only for over 40 years and when we bought it was indicated that sometime in the future we would eventually have road access as a road allowance was indicated on the property.  A portion of the lake now has private road access through Crown Land but we do not.  With the possibility of a Provincial Park this would then be an impossibility and I would urge you to look very hard into a boundary adjustment or whatever it would take to insure that a road be built through Crown land adjacent to the possible park.

We had two marinas to serve the lake but now with the approval by the North Kawartha Council and the County of Peterborough to restructure one of the marina's into a condo development, it now leaves all the owners who dock and park at that location with no access to their cottages.  The other full service marina is at maximum and any improvements or additions to this marina will only be a stop gap for the present time and will certainly not give us assurance that this location will remain in its present form in the future.  The present owners have had the marina up for sale for a number of years and to extend docking and parking facilities is a costly proposition.  If this is to proceed my question has to be: will we be able to afford the docking and parking fees that obviously would be required to recover the cost.  The only solution is to, for a better word, either a corridor or a boundary adjustment to allow a road to extend around the lake.

Since there is a Kawartha Highlands Park (on a much smaller scale) already designated in the area, I can not see the need for the entire area to become a large Provincial Park considering the number of lakes that presently have cottages. Highway 28 is difficult to maneuver now and how will it be able to handle the increase in traffic?

How will the Government have the money to fully sustain and maintain a fully operational park?

Too many questions with no answers!

It is now more apparent that a road surrounding Anstruther Lake must be looked at as a priority with the untimely accidental death on May 15th, 2002 of a resident on the lake who had to take a work crew and supplies to shingle a cottage in rough waters.  This accident would not have happened and the water transport of men and material would not have been necessary had there been a road to access the work site.

The Local Stakeholders Committee has not listened to the many concerns of residents in the entire area that is under review and I would also suggest that they be disbanded immediately and an impartial committee with knowledge of the entire area be appointed to recognize all the concerns that have been presented and to proceed with great caution.

I urge you before proceeding with the KHSS that a moratorium be put on the implementation of the "Park" and a lot of thought be given to the many cottagers with no access to their cottages.

Yours very truly,
Lydia Dobbin,
253 Davidson St.,
Pickering, Ont.
L1V 2P9
Anstruther Lake #1052



The following is a series of e-mails to Globe and mail writer Murray Campbell on the subject of "wildlife sanctuary" that Mike Colle have picked up on.
Mr. Campbell admits his comment was incorrect
 

Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 1:37 PM
To: Murray Campbell (E-mail)
Subject: KHSS - A wildlife sanctuary?
 

Hello Mr. Campbell,

Could you please provide me, by reply, with your source of information indicating that the KHSS was planned to be a "wildlife sanctuary" as you indicated was the case in your article of January 16th, 2003.  It is a matter of some urgency.

Thank you very much,

From: Campbell, Murray [mailto:MCampbell@globeandmail.ca]
Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 2:46 PM

I just got back in the office.  Sorry for the delay. Somebody -- it might have been you -- asked me about the reference to wildlife sanctuary some weeks ago.  I looked through my notes and gave a quick scan of the volumes of material I had and couldn't find any reference. I don't believe I made it up but I can't find the source at this moment. I understand the distinction that is at the heart of that -- wildlife sanctuaries tend not to have cottages or mills, for example -- but it hasn't proved contentious.  If I was sloppy, I apologize.
mc
 

Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 4:49 PM
To: 'Campbell, Murray'

Hello Murray,

Re: your message below, I appreciate your candour. Also, I always buy pencils with erasers on them, I make mistakes.

Unfortunately, the situation has become rather complex. Barry Kent MacKay used the term "wildlife sanctuary" on January 26th in an article in the Toronto Star.  Given the nastiness of his attacks I believe he should have done a bit more personal and independent research on the subject. I have not been able to reach him so I do not know what his source of information was - but it could have been you.

Subsequently, Mike Colle, MPP-LIB, Eglinton/Lawrence, picked up Barry Kent MacKay's article and, without corroborating his facts, has launched an unreasonable attack, a petition, against Bill 239 and Minister Ouellette who, although he is a hunter, had nothing to do with the original "cabinet approved" decision to protect hunting in the KHSS. Colle quotes the Barry Kent MacKay item in the comments beside his signature on the petition, which is the first signature on the petition.  He also cites your article as one of his references in his ten point letter.

It is clear that Colle's comments have misled many respondents to his petition who are amplifying his unjustified attacks on Ouellette.

This decision to allow hunting was made by cabinet prior to July 1999, and Ouellette was not a cabinet minister at tat time.  The LSC, Sissy Tanner who you met is the Chair, actually recommended that hunting be continued in the KHSS on page 36 of its Recommendations of November 2001 (which were only released to the public in September 2002 ???).

Now, many persons believe that the KHSS was transformed from a "wildlife sanctuary", where hunting would not be allowed, to a "Recreation Reserve", where hunting is allowed. (It is also allowed in parks but the opponents of Bill 239 seem to be unaware of this fact.)  They believe that this transformation occurred on December 12th, 2002, when Ouellette introduced Bill 239.  The rest of the story is included in the attachments.

The fact of the matter is that the LSC's recommendations were rejected for reasons that have nothing to do with hunting - but everything to do with property rights and unjustifiable arrogance and unreasonable behaviour by some members of the LSC.  Contrary to popular belief outside of the KHSS area, the LSC has done a terrible job, and Ouellette has likely realized this fact.  I could provide many specific examples, if you are interested, and would be pleased to do so.

The property rights issue is occurring elsewhere in the province in other "protected sites".  This issue is currently lost in the KHSS in the rhetoric being spewed by environmentalists attacking hunters.  Most cottagers and property owners would consider themselves environmentalists first and foremost - the facts are being distorted.

If you examine Bill 239 closely you will find that the only real differences between provincial parks and (proposed) recreation reserves is a degree of protection for the rights of adjacent property owners.  The rights of hunters are unchanged.

How do you suggest we proceed to correct this situation?  I hope that you will be able to scan the attachments and get back to me fairly soon.

Thank you for your attention,
Regards,
Gary Faulkner
 

Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 10:47 AM
To: 'Gary Faulkner'
Subject: RE: KHSS - A wildlife sanctuary?

I found the document I lifted the phrase "wildlife sanctuary" from.  It was from Earthroots, an environmental organization.  I just
talked to someone there and they say they use the term because they believe Ontario's protected lands should be sanctuaries for trees and animals.
It's not a government term, they agreed, and I used it imprecisely.
mc
 

Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 11:13 AM
To: 'Campbell, Murray'
Subject: RE: KHSS - A wildlife sanctuary?
 

Thank you Murray,

If you have read the attachments that I sent, I suspect that you will understand why I am concerned. I hope that you understand why vicious attacks on Jerry Ouellette, full of objectionable hyperbole, are totally unjustified in this context.  The major difference between the Recreation Reserve proposed by Ouellette and a park is that the former affords a degree of protection for property rights of about 2,000 KHSS area property owners that would be seriously compromised by the latter.

Thanks for the follow up.  Are you going to print a retraction of some sort? Please advise and copy me.  The timing is urgent.

Regards,
Gary Faulkner
 

Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 12:01 PM
To: 'Gary Faulkner'

I'm not retracting anything.  I don't know why you're so worried about Ouellette -- the stakeholders have been overruled.  The bill may not pass before the next election but the whole process has been derailed.
mc
 

To: 'Campbell, Murray'
Cc: Jerry Ouellette (E-mail); MPP Gary Stewart (E-mail); MPP Gary Stewart (E-mail 2); Premier Ernie Eves (E-mail); Mike Colle (E-mail)
Subject: Re KHSS - GB to Murray Campbell, Feb 11, 2003
 

Dear Mr. Campbell, Queen's Park Correspondent, Globe and Mail

The cavalier manner with which you discard your responsibilities as a journalist to provide accurate, verifiable information is shocking and disgusting.  The
impression I obtained of you from your resume just went "down the tubes".  Was it written with the same lack of concern for accuracy that you have displayed in your January 16th article in the Globe and Mail concerning the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site.

According to our telephone conversation and the items below you have intervened in a process about which you know next to nothing, by your admission you have been "sloppy" and "imprecise" with regard to your handling of critical information, and you have maligned a Cabinet Minister most unfairly.  And you do not understand why I am worried???!!

One possible source for the false information you received from Earthroots is an article written by Melissa Tkachyk on December 13th, 2002.  However, as a journalist (you shouldn't have to be reminded) you have a responsibility to make certain the information base from which you launch nasty attacks on people is accurate.  You have failed miserably to discharge your responsibilities in this regard.

To make matters worse, Liberal MPP Mike Colle has now launched a petition relying on false information presented by you and others who are not obstructed by the truth.  I made you aware of this fact.  Mike Colle probably does not realize that Dalton McGuinty was sent a written invitation (not by me) to participate in KHSS developments on October 15th, 2001.  As far as I know he did not even respond to the invitation.

Your unwillingness to acknowledge your mistakes and to issue a retraction further discredits you as a competent journalist. I am aware of the fact that you were informed that your article was deficient by other more informed, competent journalists.

As you may detect from my tone, the KHSS is a matter taken very seriously by some persons and uninformed interventions by persons such as you are most unwelcome.

I suggest that you reconsider your position regarding retractions and apologies.

Sincerely,
Gary Faulkner

It is our understanding that Mike Colle , when presented with this information, "didn't care". and also suggested the bill was dead.