SooToday.com received a copy of a letter sent to MPP David Orazietti, Minister of Natural Resources, from loyal reader Tom Brason in regards to what he sees as barriers preventing lawful public access to lands/waters due to MNR actions.
In recent local radio interviews you’ve acknowledged the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has admitted it allows employees to acquire public lands for non-private, commercial uses, that the MNR supports the practice with internal forms to be approved by the Deputy Minister for that purpose.
According to the Public Lands Act they can’t purchase any “right, title or interest” in any public lands in their own name or the name of another, one exception being that it be a fair process of a public draw or auction... limited to private, non commercial use only.
The MNRs excuse was an internal directive stating “right, title or interest” only applies to the purchase of estates and not land use permits that are used to acquire public lands for commercial uses.
We’ve not only debunked this aberration, we’ve also shared proof of our concerns with the Hon Minister that an entire Policy appears altered and reminded him about the Public Services of Ontario Act which in itself puts the kibosh on the entire fiasco once and for all.
You can’t avoid a public inquiry, you’re saying the Lieutenant Governor ‘possibly’ allowed this intolerable use of public lands but declined to speak for the L-G or his office when asked (by the reporter) whether permission was granted on a case-by-case basis – or was just issued in blanket form for whenever the Deputy Minister might see fit.’
Regardless how we cut it, being civil servants, MNR employees are still responsible under the Public Services of Ontario Act which is further binding, regardless of any such loop hole in the PLA.
Additionally, why have you not launched an inquiry into this equally suspicious MNR document “Management Guidelines for Forestry and Resource-Based Tourism” where the Ministry uses their expertise in the form of TIPs to prevent lawful public access to our Crown lands by the tearing out, at great public expense, publicly owned and funded roads and bridges, regardless if needed for future or firefighting.
One TIP even provides leases to outfitters for strategic points on public roads such as at bridges for an added measure of insurance but the icing on the cake which everyone with any sense of decency or morals should be very concerned with is the statement on page 18 recommending deceit with this actual quote...
“Education and communication efforts to explain that the purpose of the access control is to protect natural resources can assist with achieving public acceptance”.
Why does the Liberal Party appear to ignore and suppress very clear and credible evidence rather than act in a responsible manner to the people they represent?
Why did the Liberals in the fall of 2010 rush changes to legislation through parliament as a perceived cover-up over past complaints of abuse of power?
Why are public lands being treated like vast private game preserves for the affluent, 85% of whom are foreigners, charging Ontarians with trespassing on their own land?
Hon Minister, when are you going to call for an independent investigation into this extremely serious matter that’s grown out of control to the point of enveloping the Liberal Party under a cloud of complicity?