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Letter: Tourism preventing local use of area lakes

By: Letter to the Editor

 | Jun 30, 2014 - 11:29 AM |
Congratulations to Andy Zandarin and the others from Ontario Outdoors Recreational Alliance (OntORA) for reminding all of us that the MNR is treating Ontario taxpayers as second-class citizens when it comes to enjoying our own forests and lakes.

The Sudbury OntORA Chapter erected a sign on Hwy 144 pointing out that much of our Crown land and best lakes are off limits to ordinary Ontarians.

The MNR has closed off more than 2,000 of our best lakes, as well as thousands of square kilometers of pristine Crown lands for the sole benefit of the influential and lucrative remote tourist industry and their paying guests.

Locals are not allowed, by pain of heavy fines for trespassing on our own public lands, to use forest roads paid for by Ontario taxpayers. And it gets worse every year.

Bridges and culverts are removed after forestry operations are completed; large berms are built; gates are erected with “No Trespassing” signs posted on roads leading to well-stocked lakes for the benefit of the remote tourist lodges on those lakes.

This, of course, allows the tourist operators to charge premium rates for the added “remoteness,” which means locals will not interfere with their guests’ enjoyment of these virtual private game and fish farms for the wealthy.

The MNR and Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario (NOTO) will tell the public these 2,000 tourist lakes are indeed accessible to the public – all you have to do is walk in carrying your canoe, food, fishing gear and camping equipment on your back for a minimum of three kilometres. No motorized vehicles are allowed.

This effectively prevents any kind of real access to much of our natural heritage. This cannot go on.

Ontarians deserve better – if you agree, speak up, tell your MPP and join the fight.

Simon R. Guillet
Guilletville, Ont.

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