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I want to see as much Crown land access as possible : David O

Friday, February 28, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti, in his role as Ontario Minister of Natural Resources, hosted a meeting of Canada’s Parks Ministers in Toronto Friday.

The meeting was co-chaired by Canada’s Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq (also Minister responsible for Parks Canada) and Alberta Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation Dr. Richard Starke.

The Ministers representing the federal government, provinces and territories (with the exception of Quebec, which did not participate in the meeting) announced in a joint statement they will work together to encourage Canadians to get out and enjoy nature in Canada’s parks.

In wrapping up Friday’s meeting, Orazietti said: “It is incredibly important to ensure that we have more people in Canada enjoy the outdoors and appreciate nature and we need to start building that connection with our younger audiences and the children of this country…I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues across Canada to continue this discussion concerning effective ways in connecting Canadians to nature.”   

Speaking to, Orazietti said: “A parks conference like this has not taken place since 2007.”

“There is a renewed commitment to meet more frequently, and the ministers and their deputies will work more closely, sharing best practices (in regards to encouraging Canadians to enjoy visiting the nation’s parks).”

A report by the Canadian Parks Council, entitled Connecting Canadians with Nature: An investment in the well-being of our Citizens, has outlined the importance of Canadian parks to the economy (tourism jobs and tourist dollars) and the physical and mental health benefits to those who use Canada’s parks.

The report stated enjoyment of the outdoors can lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, assist in healthy physical and mental development of children, reduce time needed to recover from surgery, and reduce need for medications. 

The report states there is a definite need to get this message across, as 80 percent of all Canadians now live in cities, and spend 90 percent of their time indoors with a sedentary lifestyle, which leads to a host of chronic health problems.

The Canadian Parks Council encourages federal, provincial and territorial governments to use social media to get young people in particular attracted to parks, as well as promoting awareness of parks through schools, conservation authorities, cultural institutions and youth clubs.

The different levels of government are encouraged to use music, technology and art to attract visitors of all ages (including newcomers to Canada not familiar with our outdoors) to Canadian parks, along with “learn to camp” and “learn to fish” programs for young people.

Ontario has 330 provincial parks, more than 100 with visitor facilities, and many with barrier-free facilities.

Provincial government figures state that in 2012, Ontario provincial parks received more than 8.5 million visits, pulling in $69 million in revenue.

Orazietti told us that Ontario currently has a number of initiatives, such as the Ontario Children’s Outdoor Charter (operated with the help of seven not-for-profit partners) which promotes activities at Ontario parks, that the province operated over 1,000 nature programs last year for 37,000 children, and that Learn to Camp and Learn to Fish programs are in place to help educate city dwellers about life in the outdoors.

“We have sponsors from Canadian Tire and other companies that are putting resources behind trying to connect young people with nature…we talked about how we can bring industry and business to partner with government and work more closely with the education sector about the benefits of being outdoors and experiencing nature.”

In a news release Friday, Orazietti’s office specifically mentioned Batchawana Bay and Pancake Bay Provincial Park as ideal local spots for people to enjoy.

In 2012, Batchawana Bay was closed a month earlier than usual by the MNR (when Michael Gravelle served as Minister of Natural Resources) and was reopened after public and political pressure was put on the Liberal government of Ontario.

In addition, promoting appreciation of Canada’s parks by the Ontario government will no doubt be met with criticism by those who have insisted, for the past few years, that long-available access to certain Crown lands has now been deliberately restricted by the provincial government.

To that, Orazietti replied that the Ontario Ombudsman’s office, in 2008, found there were no outstanding conflict of interest or management issues involving Crown land.

Orazietti added: “If individuals have issues over road access, I’m happy to discuss that.”

“I want to see as much Crown land access as possible, it’s not something we should be limiting,” Orazietti said.


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
tommy_boi07 2/28/2014 10:38:31 PM Report

Funny how he's finally pretending to deal with these issues with all this talk of a spring election. Too late David, your government created these problems in the first place, we don't forget.
frnlak 2/28/2014 10:50:46 PM Report

Forget the parks David. What about the big park called "crown land" that all ontarians can use for taxes paid. If you encourage people to enjoy the outdoors, why block roads and tear out bridges to restrict access? explain that Dave.
Grandpa winger 2/28/2014 11:23:52 PM Report

Blowing smoke by reciting policies and procedures does not constitute discussing issues. Put away the record books and old investigations, quit relying on outside companies to do the governments job and have a real conversation with those who actually enjoy and want to use this great resource we should have access to.
Javaman 2/28/2014 11:28:10 PM Report

He is fighting for his political life. It may be a losng battle David.Your support of every move Dalton and Kathleen have made will cost you dearly.
Jossey 2/28/2014 11:30:53 PM Report

Allowing the Wind Farms to go ahead will only increase the amount of Crown Land that is no longer accessible to the public.

It would be nice to take my grand daughter to a park to enjoy the beach and a picnic, however a day trip like this is quite expensive when you take into account the cost of gas, park fees and that the stinking outhouse tanks are full to the top and there are no picnic benches or change rooms such as at Batchawana Park.

I don't want to take her to a park to learn about nature. I want her to come with me when I travel in the bush where she can see nature as it really is.
There are fewer opportunities to do this as roads are blocked.

I was going to take her to some of my old fishing holes near Wawa. I had not gone fishing for years so I picked up a book of fishing regulations. It seems there are different regulations for every hundred meters of each stream. The best spots were closed to fishing of course.
Beej 3/1/2014 12:55:45 AM Report

David, your nose is growing.
Boomer4771 3/1/2014 6:50:25 AM Report

More lies from David O...
Norm 3/1/2014 7:40:11 AM Report

High time for a change in our Provincial Ontario government.
Thim 3/1/2014 7:40:55 AM Report

The MNR is alleged to have violated several Ontario Statutes, they're suspected to have altered documents in the process and have needlessly charged the public for trespassing on public roads for no responsible reason, now those responsible must be brought to justice.

Members of the Liberal Party in positions of responsibility who have known of these transgressions and ignored and suppressed evidence must be held accountable.

This closing statement of a letter written in 2010 on the issue summed it up...

"With this letter, you and other officials of the MNR, including the Minister, have been officially notified and are cognisant of the above-mentioned possible breaches of legislation, human rights and Ontario statutes, with whatever legal responsibility that may impose upon you"
Uncle Possum 3/1/2014 7:57:39 AM Report

I have tried to discuss with David about the washouts on Whitman Dam road which provides access to over 100 camps and many non-camp users such as fishermen, campers, hunters. kayakers, etc. His staff , I assume, sent me the standard "Not our job" reply to my request for repairs on this important recreational access road. Do you mean now that you have changed your mind, David. Will you honour me a personal meeting to discuss a solution to this problem. I agree that crown land is the largest park in the province. It is not owned by the government, remember, it is owned by the people of Ontario. Let's start meaningful talks about a solution instead of dismissing the problem with canned responses.
KFM 3/1/2014 8:45:29 AM Report

The liberals didn't create the problems with cutting off access to the north it was the conservatives that started it. But the liberals have made every effort to continue the eclution if not increase it. A real bind, who to vote for? Dumb, dumber and dumberer?
trainman006 3/1/2014 9:21:07 AM Report

I wrote this guy three times to address the closure of the Parks in Northern Ontario. His office did not respond for over 1 month. they don't care about the park closure or public access for camping or leisure times with family and friends. Hey David put your mouth and your ministry post to good use and open the northern Ontario Parks for overnight camping with trailers. Parks like Obatanga and 3 others there are probably more. Put the honour system in place and trust "we the residence of Ontario who enjoy camping" will pay the fee for overnight camping. You talk a good talk well lets see what your made of. Election time is coming and I and others will not forget your betrayal of Ontario voters on this Park issue.
Oh and by the way Camping is not considered camping if your beside a major Highway and hear transports go by all night long, like Pancake.
girlfriend 3/1/2014 9:33:02 AM Report

He sold out our parks a long time ago! It is $58.00 dollars a night to stay at Pancake, as opposed to $20.00 a night in US. He closed many parks, put up useless windmills that are costing us big bucks on our electricity bills and made it impossible for 100's of people to even get to their camps! Now he thinks a simple meeting will help??? Liar, liar! Politicians need to be held accountable for their election promises. David better sharpen his teaching skills, because he will not be voted back in this town!
ti-guy 3/1/2014 9:45:28 AM Report

Instead of wanting to see as much Crown land access as possible, he should want to see as much abuse by ministry or ex minitry members owning and/or barring ordinary people from accessing this Crown land. He hasn't responded to the previous accusations that the person who says he has proof (with names no less) of these abuses, so to me it's just political talk.
Thim 3/1/2014 9:55:15 AM Report

KFM ...wrong.
This had been happening for a long time before Harris with the NDP during the Rae Days and Wildman directly involved setting up legislation enabling the present day situation.
The PCs did what the NDP did...rubber stamp everything the MNR put infront of them.
The Liberals have done exactly the same but in this case we've confronted them with evidence warranting an investigation of the entire Ministry.

Crown land disposition must be front an center of an investigation with an emphasis on some of influential people.
steelworker 3/1/2014 10:19:05 AM Report

C'mon people;the MNR is only doing what they are told. No politician who is "entitled to his entitlements" wants a bunch of dirty commoners hanging around his/her favourite fishing lodge.
roxxyroller 3/1/2014 10:38:00 AM Report

Maybe after you deal with the crown land access issue you can address bring back our outdoors card processing center back to Ontario!
frnlak 3/1/2014 10:51:31 AM Report

If anyone out there gets a ticket from the MNR for any reason, DON'T PAY IT ! Go to court. The officer will not show up as they expect you to pay it. They don't have the money to pay overtime.
frnlak 3/1/2014 11:00:03 AM Report

Your outdoors card is processed in Tennesee USA. all of the information about you is subject to third party scrutiny (Dept. of Homeland Security). The Ontatio Government has willfully made your information available to the Americans. As if they dont know enough already.
Dictionary 3/1/2014 11:12:44 AM Report

Accessible crown land has shrunk, and continues to shrink under this (and previous) governments. I don't care what spin David O attempts to put on it. I've written him emails on the subject and received the same canned response.

There are so many of us affected by this PERSONALLY that it will come to haunt him next election.
jowo60 3/1/2014 11:53:31 AM Report

Davey O must be feeling some heat. The recent activity from ONTora and Mr. Brason must be working. Now will Mr. Orazietti bring some swift action or will we have to wait until after an Election.
Promote Equal and lawful recreational opportunities on Public Lands for Present & Future Generations.
travelingman 3/1/2014 12:58:28 PM Report

Talk about speaking out of both sides of your mouth! I find the minister's comments to be not only incredible but also an extremely twisted version of the truth. I wrote to David Orazietti regarding public access being closed to the closest provincial park to Sault Ste. Marie and he wrote me back saying that his ministry has NO interest whatsoever in allowing public access into the Headwaters provincial park located just outside of Searchmont on the Whitman dam rd. He said that the primary purpose of the provincial park is to allow loggers easier access to cut the trees down and that as long as no loggers want to go into or through the park to cut the forest down, then his ministry has no money or interest in repairing the one and only access road into the park for Ontario residents to enjoy! I was and am absolutely floored by the position of our local Minister of Natural Resources and member of parliament Mr. David Orazietti. He has taken the position (and put it in writing to me) that this local park is primarily for logging and not at all for you and I to enjoy unless we follow the loggers in some day when they finally have an interest in cutting the trees in the Headwaters Provincial Park!
bocca1 3/1/2014 1:40:18 PM Report

How ridiculous! He refers to a 2008 report. It's what has happened since 2008, especially the last 2 years that is of interest. And that would be all the roads he's quietly closed and bridges that have been removed so there is no access to the land that had been accessible for generations. Mr. Photo-op is a career politician who no longer cares about the people who put him in office. He has his pension and perks so he's happy but the next election, hopefully, will put the breaks on future aspirations. Perhaps he'll try to prolong our agony and at some time run for mayor.
Thim 3/1/2014 4:59:06 PM Report

Lets see, either the Libs treat the evidence seriously or we've got a case of aiding & abetting, it's called complicity which would definately involve them.
Sooo how about an itty bitty delegation of northerners perform a citizens arrest at Queens Park?

gr84u 3/2/2014 10:18:42 PM Report

I now carry bolt cutters in my truck when heading for the bush. Any crown land blocked by gates, chains and locks are no longer a deterant. Crown land = my land (tax payer). Maybe we should also all start withholding our taxes long enough to contract a few front end loaders and have these burms cleared out and bridges rebuilt. I also agree, anyone fined/ticketed, don't pay. It's time to dig in and take back what is ours!
S.Claus 3/2/2014 10:20:25 PM Report

Interesting that ONTORA does not post the news article where they do not support their own president??
S.Claus 3/2/2014 10:32:16 PM Report

regarding GR84U comments - it shows what only a "Grade 8 For You" education and that will do. You must certainly have a substandard education and it makes you believe that you can therefore break the law - - - you must be one heck of a poacher. I and the rest of law abiding citizens hope that the authorities catch and charge you. Law breakers like you need and deserve jail time.
habsfan 3/3/2014 9:21:57 AM Report

Want a quick response to this issue. Do as the natives do. This summer block the roads these ministers use for their camping trips. It will make the news and the truth will be told.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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