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PostPosted: August 29th, 2015, 6:56 pm 
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I just recently returned from 5 days of paddling in the beautiful Philip Edward Island area just outside of Killarney Provincial Park. This is all Crown land right now but will soon cease to be available for paddling if the government's plans succeed. Please read the following letter from the Northern Georgian Bay Association. There are also 2 attachments associated with this.....which I will make available also (there seems to be a problem with attachments right now, so I will get this fixed asap!)


Here is the letter attached:

Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
160 Bloor St. East, 4th Floor,
Toronto ON M7A2E6
Att: Richard Aniol

Dear Richard,

Re: The Wiikwemkoong Land Claim.
 
 
I am a property owner in the beautiful, pristine area of Georgian Bay….Killarney and am very concerned about the proposal to transfer all remaining Crown land in our area to the Wiikwemkoong.

I understand that the Government of Ontario and the Wiikwemkoong leadership have now identified 17,000 acres of islands and several small blocks of mainland that are currently Ontario Crown Land and that might be acceptable to the members of the Wiikwemkoong First Nation as settlement of their outstanding claim. The bulk of the land is Philip Edward Island, many smaller islands around Philip Edward Island, George Island, Lansdowne Channel islands, some mainland on the north side of Collins Inlet and two parcels of mainland to the north and east of the existing Point Grondine Reserve.
 
If this settlement is approved all Crown land in our area would be gone. Islands that I have used for recreation for years would become Wiikwemkoong property and no longer available to me. That’s not fair!

Our area is remote and thinly populated. We enjoy our privacy. Many of us bought property here because the majority of the land around us was either Crown or Provincial Park. It guaranteed more privacy than almost anywhere on the Bay. But now you want to transfer the Crown land to the Wiikwemkoong. That’s not fair!

We felt confident that previous legislation would keep the area lowly populated and environmentally sound.

The Northern Georgian Bay Recreation Reserve Act 1962-63 was intended to keep the area pristine and give us access to unspoiled recreational islands. Now you want to give all that away. That’s not fair!

In 1999 your government announced Ontario’s Living Legacy, a strategy for expanding Ontario’s system of parks and protected areas. We trusted you to live up to it. And now you want to change it. That’s not fair!
                                                                                                               
The settlement also affects others who use Philip Edward Island and its surrounding islands, George Island and Lansdowne Channel as a place to picnic, to camp, to moor a boat and explore on their way up and down the Georgian Bay coast. Thousands of visitors come to our beautiful area every year. All the lands to be transferred to the Wiikwemkoong under the proposed agreement will become private and permission would be required from the Wiikwemkoong to set foot on those lands. That’s not fair!

 
We understand that some transfer of land is necessary. But we do not agree that Philip Edward Island, George Island and the islands surrounding them should be included. For the property that is transferred we need terms written into the settlement agreement that ensure low density by having minimum setbacks from existing property (ie 300 meters/ 1000 feet), that follow provincial guidelines for building and septic systems to ensure safety and water quality and that have procedures identified to ensure these terms are followed.
Please continue to negotiate. What we have seen to date is unsatisfactory. The agreement needs to be fair to all Ontarians.





Your name and email or mailing address
Send to:
Richard Aniol
Negotiations Branch, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, 160 Bloor Street East, 4th floor,
Toronto, ON M7A 2E6

Richard.Aniol@ontario.ca

CC

1.Kathleen Wynne, Premier, Legislative Building, Queen’s Park, Toronto ON M7A 1A1

premier@ontario.ca

2.Claude Gravelle, MP, 2945 Highway 69 North Suite 203, Val Caron, ON P3N 1N3 
claude.gravelle@parl.gc.ca 

3.Michael Mantha, MPP, Lester B Pearson Civic Centre, Unit 310, 255 Highway 108 North, Elliot Lake ON P5A2T1

mmantha@ndp.on.ca

4.David Zimmer, MPP, 5801 Yonge St., Unit 3, North York ON M 2M3T9

Dzimmer.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org


5.Northern Georgian Bay Association

northerngeorgianbayassociation@gmail.com
6.Bruce Heyman, US Ambassador to Canada. Mailing Address (Canada): The Embassy of the United States of America, PO Box 866, Station B, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5T1. Mailing Address (United States): Embassy of the United States of America, P.O. Box 5000, Ogdensburg, NY 13669
ottawaACS@state.gov


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PostPosted: August 29th, 2015, 7:28 pm 
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Location: Waterloo, ON
I will be crafting my own letter in regard to this issue. Thanks for the update and relevant email links.

I have paddled Philip Edward Island 12 - 15 times. It is by far the best of the Georgian Bay coastline. It would by a very sad day indeed if this area became inaccessible to the people of Ontario.

Thanks again for the info.

_________________

www.mikemonaghan.ca



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PostPosted: August 29th, 2015, 8:56 pm 
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I'm not convinced that the transfer of this crown land is "not fair". I, too, love paddling Philip Edward Island and the islands between Byng Inlet and Killarney, and I appreciate how unsettling the transfer would be to anyone with an interest in the region. I understand, however, that the land transfer involves a longstanding, unresolved land claim that must, in the interests of First Nations and all Canadians, be addressed. To be fair, thorough research of the claim should be undertaken before labeling the transfer "unfair" and opposing the settlement. Naturally, no present user wants to have future access to the region blocked. Does this agreement presuppose a closing of the area to recreational users such as kayakers and canoeists? Do our First Nations peoples have a history of aggressively blocking non-aboriginal canoeists and kayakers from their ancestral lands? More information and opinions from other interest groups, i.e. First Nations, would be helpful here.


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PostPosted: August 29th, 2015, 9:45 pm 
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I am torn about this sort of thing. Would I miss paddling Philip Edward? You bet!

Do I support Canada's First People, and their fight to gain back some of what was taken from them? Also yes....

Have to learn a lot more about the facts involved

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Dave

"The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness, and of a freedom almost forgotten." Sigurd Olson, 1956


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PostPosted: August 29th, 2015, 10:46 pm 
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From what I understood in talking to a few people who live there, the actual land claim was for other land which is owned by an American company who has no interest in selling it or disposing of it in any way as they have a manufacturing company there. So the government needed to find other land with which to settle the claim.

So the government has been negotiating since about 1997 & the tentative agreement has been made to give Philip Edward Island in place of the other land....this was only made public very recently (about a month ago) & any response or emails must be made before some time in October (can't remember the exact dates.).

I, too, do not know much more about this but felt that the status of Philip Edward Island was very important to the paddling community.


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PostPosted: August 30th, 2015, 5:36 am 
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We want to paddle there next year and will be following.. Hopefully there may be a way where paddlers could get FN permission to camp if the claim goes through.


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PostPosted: August 30th, 2015, 10:10 am 
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Hey folks, I think that more research / information is need before people start sending form letters like sheep on a pasture.
This land is unceded territory and has never been part of a treaty and has always been part of the Wikwemikong territory.

From: January 2012, http://www.manitoulin.ca/2012/01/25/wik ... ogressing/
“Duke Peltier, claims negotiator with Wikwemikong, pointed to the 1997 case that saw the First Nation seek legal action against the provincial and federal governments for failing to recognize the band’s legal interests in relation to unsold islands from Sault Ste. Marie to Parry Sound.
“We are seeking legal recognition of what we know is rightfully ours,” said former Chief Margaret Pitawanakwat in a 1997 press release. “We are not infringing on the rights of existing owners. The legal action will involve an accounting with the federal government and a legal recognition of Wikwemikong’s interest in what are presently described as Ontario Crown islands in this area.”
Mr. Peltier said that especially considering this case (which is still before the courts), he and the rest of the claims department were surprised to learn they were left out of talks, noting that the government has an obligation to inform all parties involved in land claims if there is an undertaking that might touch on the First Nation’s ongoing land claim process.
“The unresolved island issue raises serious questions of conflict of interest on the part of the federal and provincial government,” the 1997 release from Chief Pitawanakwat continues. “By the Bond Head Treaty of 1836, the Crown recognized the exclusive interest of the Ottawas and Chippewas (Ojibwas) by agreeing to withdraw its claim to these islands and to recognize the aboriginal title of the Ottawas and Chippewas. In return, the Ottawas and Chippewas agreed to allow other Indians to also use and occupy such islands.”
The chief also noted that in 1862, the Crown attempted to “secure a surrender of Manitoulin Island,” but no other islands were included in the negotiations. And, on October 6, 1862, the chiefs of the bands located west of Heywood Sound (Manitowaning Bay) and the Manitoulin Gulf (South Bay) signed the treaty, now known as the Manitoulin Treaty, while the chiefs of the bands located east of this area, Wikwemikong, did not sign or assent to the treaty.
The community notes that the Crown began surveying and selling islands in the claim area after 1862, an act that was protested by Wikwemikong soon after.”

Some more from simple google search:

http://www.manitoulin.ca/2014/07/02/sup ... nd-claims/

http://sisis.nativeweb.org/clark/nov21can.html


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PostPosted: August 30th, 2015, 10:12 am 
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More info on what the Wikwemikong FN people are up to:
http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Sh ... 674117580/

http://www.manitoulin.ca/2014/05/14/wik ... territory/

http://grondinepark.com/index.php/about-us


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PostPosted: August 30th, 2015, 12:49 pm 
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I'd bet the letter writer in the OP wold be just as upset if it was announced that the area was being turned into a P.P. and that they would have to get permits and pay fees to use. More "it's not fair" whining I would imagine.

I'd much rather see it go to Wikwemikong FN under which access by paddlers would almost certainly continue unchanged than turn it into a park with a giant list of rules, regulations and user fees.

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PostPosted: August 30th, 2015, 3:02 pm 
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No way would I sign the letter that was originally posted. It's full of hubris and assumptions


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PostPosted: August 30th, 2015, 5:29 pm 
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http://grondinepark.com/index.php/reservations I tried to look at the water trail map and could not quite make it out. It says the trail starts at "Hartley's Bay and ends at Collins Inlet". Is there a better view of it somewhere that someone has found?

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PostPosted: September 10th, 2015, 11:04 am 
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Just heard about this yesterday. There is a public info session TONIGHT in Toronto. Whatever you are doing...change your plans! Go to this meeting!

3 to 8 pm Sept 10th

Then tell us what you learn.

Courtyard by Marriot
College Room
475 Yonge St.
Toronto


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PostPosted: September 10th, 2015, 1:30 pm 
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If you are planning on going or writing letters,
try not to be negative.
Lobbying for some sort of continued access should be our goals.
You truly want to avoid what has happened to the North end of Killarney access points. ( $$$)
The attitude that it must be free has really hurt our access in KHP, and this bad attitude is really hurting us in the QEW area.

You may not like the above statement but it is a fact.

As theses areas closer to the GTA get more use we need to work with who ever to maintain some reasonable access.

Jeff

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Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho


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PostPosted: September 10th, 2015, 3:14 pm 
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I'm gobsmacked to hear about this threat. I did some letter writing to object to the Philip Edward Island area land transfer and wrote the below letter and sent it to my MPP. For those time starved members, here is the text of my letter and some email addresses, you can modify the text to fit your views ... you will need to get in touch with the MPP of your own area. Mantha is the MPP for the Killarney area and another poster had the idea of contacting a US entity so I included that too, since so many US folks enjoy this fantastic area.

SOME EMAIL ADDRESSES:
Richard.Aniol@ontario.ca
claude.gravelle@parl.gc.ca
mmantha@ndp.on.ca
northerngeorgianbayassociation@gmail.com
ottawaACS@state.gov (& your MPP).

Letter Start:

My family and many of our friends are recreational users of the lands being considered in the proposal to transfer large areas of Crown land in the area of Philip Edward Island to the Wiikwemkoong as part of a land claim.

I am very concerned about continued recreational access.

If this settlement is approved, too much Crown land in this area would be gone. Islands that I, my friends and family and so many people belonging to outdoors clubs have used for recreation over the years would become Wiikwemkoong property and no longer available to us.

It would be an unbelievable loss. This area is a crown jewel of the kayaking/canoeing world.

The land transfer would close off the ability to voyage up the coast line (there'd be no where to camp). One of the great appeals of the areas in question is that one can stop pretty well where one wants to lunch, camp and know that the area is ours, as Canadians. Continued status as crown land is important to me as freedom to visit and enjoy these lands is part of my own canadian identify and I know I am not alone in this.

We frequently kayak to the islands out from Philip Edward Island, and down the coast east/south of there. We use Chic as our access to the big water but I know I’ve researched other access and looked at another small river that could serve as more convenient access but is forbidden as it goes through existing reservation land. This “Private Property” approach to access and usage with respect to reservation land concerns me. I believe we need to consider the land transfer carefully as we could face the same situation I’ve faced in other areas of natural beauty that are inaccessible. There are beautiful places to stop out from various rivers (Key, French) that one cannot stop at or camp on as they are native lands.

Further, there will be an impact to businesses … So many of us plan week long and extended trips, bringing economic activity to the area as we stop, shop and rent boats and stay in motels/b&b’s or lodges as we start and end our trips.

I believe more outreach needs to be done to inform people and clubs -- I just found out about this - many of us have busy lives and unable to keep informed on threats such as this.

But the outrage is building if my “inbox” is anything to go by and I see the news is spreading online.

I am unable to attend any of the sessions but I will do my best to let people know and will appreciate being included on any distribution lists so I may spread the news.

Thanks for considering my views,

(Your name & contact information)

Thanks for raising awareness on this.


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PostPosted: September 10th, 2015, 3:36 pm 
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I'd rather neither PP or FN ... but at least as a PP you'd have access to the land. FN is off limits. You can PADDLE by it, but you can't camp (and depending on the band, can't step on) native land. They dictate access and they have not been friendly to paddlers, if the "no access" signage on the river to Collins inlet is any indication. More convenient than Chic.

And you haven't considered that so many of us do multi-day trips. This land transfer would cut off access from south up to Killarney. Only day trippers who want to eat lunch in their boat or pay PP fees would not be impacted.

Its more than "not fair" - its stealing a piece of our Canada from its recreational users.

recped wrote:
I'd bet the letter writer in the OP wold be just as upset if it was announced that the area was being turned into a P.P. and that they would have to get permits and pay fees to use. More "it's not fair" whining I would imagine.

I'd much rather see it go to Wikwemikong FN under which access by paddlers would almost certainly continue unchanged than turn it into a park with a giant list of rules, regulations and user fees.


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