Bill 100 passed parliament on May 18th with only 3 members voting against. At a recent Saugeen Landowners Association Meeting one of the lead voices in the fight against Bill 100 , Elizabeth Marshall, actually supported the OFSC and it’s modified Land Use Agreement and suggested that ( hypothetically) if approached as a landowner she would sign to allow use across her land. A new LUP will be presented to our landowners for their consideration this fall.
Update to Bill 100: The club has been working extremely hard to minimize the damage caused by the mis-information regarding Bill 100 but there is still going to be some trails lost. Please respect closed gates as many of the landowners are taking a very guarded approach to this situation.
On a positive note the latest correspondence I received indicated that the government is willing to listen to amendments to the wording within the Bill to clarify and address the concerns of the various users groups. The OFSC and the Ontario Trails Council are spearheading this effort . There are more and more individuals and organizations who have come out in support of this Bill after researching it.
Attention Landowners in reference to Bill 100 ( In support of Ontario Trails 2015) presently before the provincial legislature:
Bill 100 and some of its contents has lately became the subject of much discussion among the community in this area and with this discussion has also come some “mis-information” about its contents and its intent. The concept of this bill originates from the Mike Harris government and its intent was to protect existing landowner rights while offering long term solutions to those seeking such. The committee listened to various “user groups” as well as farmers OFA) and other private landowners in this Province and groups that work in conjunction with these groups. A group known as the Ontario Landowners Association has raised false alarm with this bill. In a printed statement from this group they state that if this Bill passes through Provincial Parliament it could force a private landowner to be subject to easements from user groups such as snowmobile clubs. This is not true. Section 12 (3) of the bill states that : Any owner of land MAY grant an easement with or without covenants to one or more eligible bodies .
No where in this Bill 100 does it state otherwise. It is your property and you have the ultimate decision over who you let on your land. If you as a landowner do not agree to and enter into an easement with one of the user groups then none shall be imposed.
The Stoney Keppel Riders value our landowners and the permission granted to use for the use of their lands for the expressed purposes of snowmobiling. You as a landowner have a written Land Use Agreement with your snowmobile club and we value that relationship. Nothing in Bill 100 changes this agreement.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the Ontario Trails Council, the Bruce Trail Conservancy as well as outspoken land rights advocate MPP Randy Hiller all support this Bill . Schedules 2,3,4,and 5 also offer increased protection for all landowners and other groups as well as increased fines for such offences as trespassing and damages .
For further information please refer to an article in the Manitoulin Expositor dated Feb 17 under Local News or look for media releases from the OFA, OTC and BTC. MPP Randy Hillier has also offered support. Inquirers can be sent to his MPP website.
Manitoulin Snowdusters, minister assures landowners properties safe with Bill 100