June 19, 2003 No. 1
Hello KHRASS Members and other interested parties.
Most of you now realize Premier Eves introduced Bill 100 on Tuesday, June 17th, 2003 as a resolution to the KHSS conundrum. However, many of you have not had access to the details leading to the introduction of Bill 100 - hence this summary of recent events. It is intended that this summary be free of personal opinions and that it simply present facts for you to consider. The attachments accompanying this newsletter are unedited.
* Bill 239, the Recreation Reserve Act, was introduced as a Government Bill on December 12th, 2002, by the Ernie Eves Government. It drew enormous criticism from some environmental groups, but was supported by most informed parties trying to protect property rights.
* Bill 239 died on the Table, along with 45 other government bills and 198 private members’ bills, when the Legislature was prorogued on March 12th, 2003.
* On March 18th, 2003 Premier Eves appointed Chris Hodgson, MPP for Haliburton-Victoria-Brock, within which the entire KHSS is located, to achieve a consensus position between the major groups of KHSS stakeholders.
* The representatives for the major stakeholders were determined to be:
The Partnership for Public Lands (PPL),
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH),
The Local Stakeholders Committee (LSC), and
The Stakeholders’ Groups of the Kawartha Highlands (SGKH).
* The SGKH was (is) the group whose primary concerns have focused on property rights issues and KHRASS is a Member of this organization.
* Beginning about March 26th, 2003 Mr. Hodgson and staff from the MNR started meeting, separately, with persons (negotiators) representing each of the four groups. These negotiators were requested to keep proceedings confidential from their parent groups.
* At the meetings with negotiators a document called the "Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Charter" evolved. This document contained italicized text which, as much as possible, was to be incorporated into "The Act" or "Bill" that would control the KHSS. The italicized text was embedded within non-italicized text which is intended to indicate the spirit or intent of the act, and which would serve as a guide as to how the act was to be implemented.
* By May 23, 2003 the sixth version of the Charter was produced, accompanied by a Table for the fifth version. The full membership of the SGKH was permitted to review and comment on this document, subject to agreeing to treat it confidentially.
* Version Six of the Charter led to an agreement, albeit one that required substantial compromises, that was endorsed by all four stakeholder groups. The SGKH approved version six of the Charter, but not unanimously. Any change to the Charter could lead to signatories withdrawing approval.
* Note that the Act as passed by the Legislature would take precedence over the Charter.
i) Version 7 (the Final) of the Charter.
ii) A copy of Bill 100.
iii) A copy of comments made by Members of the Legislature regarding Bill 100.
Note: The attachments have been reformatted as MS Word documents to facilitate their handling by computer systems with modest email capabilities and telephone connections. The text has not been altered. I will send you a list of web addresses where the original pdf files can be obtained. Some of these files exceed 2 megabytes in size, can swamp mail boxes and require excessive download times.
The map accompanying the Charter and some of the pictures have been omitted since they require quite large files.
a) The promise to commit $6,000,000. to the proper development of the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park (KHPP) and to provide an access from the west other than the Beaver Lake Road should be greatly appreciated by many residents of Cavendish and Harvey. And Chris Hodgson and Ernie Eves deserve credit for this commitment. This means that the many representations made by the Council for Galway-Cavendish & Harvey, led by Reeve Flynn and Councillors LaCombe and Scott, have not been ignored. Similar representations were made by the Beaver, Bottle, Cavendish and McGinniss Lakes Association, the Cavendish Community Ratepayers Association, Inc., the Mississagua District Cottagers’ Association, the writer, and many other individuals.
b) When the Park designation was originally proposed for the KHSS in March 1999 approximately 500 private properties in Cavendish and Harvey, between the Mississagua River and the Northeast corner of Catchacoma, would have directly abutted the proposed boundary of the park. By November 2001 this number was reduced to about thirty-one properties on Catchacoma, ten to fifteen on Gold Lake and a few more on Pencil Lake. By referring to the November 2001 boundary in the first non-italicized portion of Section 3 of the Charter, Chris Hodgson has acknowledged the wishes of almost all private property owners in the mentioned area not to be directly adjacent to a provincial park. Once again, appreciation is warranted from the 90% of benefiting property owners in Cavendish and Harvey.
In addition, please note the second non-italicized paragraph in Section 3 of the Charter. The promise to properly notify affected adjacent property owners by mail regarding the final regulation of the park boundary offers hope that the small number of property owners whose properties are still adjacent to the proposed boundary may also have their wishes for a "boundary adjustment" granted, to prevent their properties from being made directly adjacent to a park.
c) Similar to b) above, the moving of the boundary north of Big Cedar and Coon Lakes to its position prior to August 2001 shows that Chris Hodgson has acknowledged the many submissions made by individuals and associations not to have private properties on these lakes directly adjacent to a provincial park. Once again, the recognition of property owners’ strongly stated wishes deserves credit. (This boundary adjustment, or exclusion, is clearly shown on the maps on pages 46 and 47 of the November 2001 recommendations of the LSC.)