In response to Maureen Hanson’s letter to the editor on June 24, 1998 in the Fort Frances Times.
Yes, I happen to agree with Mrs. Hanson’s statement that it is important for all citizens to voice their opinion on the “Lands for Life” issue. Because as it is right now, I feel the tourism industry, as well as the Progressive Conservative government, are leaving most of the “citizens” of Northwestern Ontario in the dark.
We “citizens” of Northwestern Ontario are nothing but sacrificial lambs for what’s on the real agenda.
The real agenda is the Conservative government’s attempt to appease the majority of the voters in southern Ontario for their guilty conscience for voting the PC government into power--starting with promises made to environmentalists to make a majority of Northwestern Ontario a parkland.
These environmentalists don’t care about the people of Northwestern Ontario as long as they get their agenda filled.
So, what is the agenda of the tourist industry in Northwestern Ontario? It is to preserve nature? It is to preserve their already lined pocket books? What is it?
Everyone knows what the forest industry wants, that is to make more paper and wood products. But the funny thing is that the forest industry also puts back in what it takes out and guess what--it’s trees!
As far as the mining industry, let them dig their hole, take the valuable rock out of the hole, that also seems to add growth to the economy, fill the hole back in and plant more what? TREES! I am not saying to let the paper and mining industry run rampant but have a good look at what they are doing.
What about the Ontario Anglers and Hunters Federation? From what I hear about them, they, too, take from the forest. And they also put back. I hear that the OFAH has been denied access to closed-door sessions involving issues that are to shape our part of this province.
I wonder if we were to create a true citizen coalition that we would be denied access to these sessions, as well.
If people have read the “Lands for Life” questionnaire, under Tourism Stewardship Areas, they would see under permitted uses that there is a three-km buffer zone to protect remote or semi-remote tourist areas. That means that if you, a citizen, are in this buffer zone, the tourist camp owners or operators will and can legally ask you to leave.
Would you believe that if this buffer zone of three kilometres is put in, that there is not enough land to accommodate this proposal. That means zero access without the permission of tourist camp owners or operators.
Now let’s get back to the real issue--land access and lake access.
I, for one, am not going to back up someone’s agenda to protect lands and lakes for tourist operators. I will fight for my right, being a citizen of Northwestern Ontario, to have access to any lake or any forest. I will not live in fear of some tourist camp owner or outpost camp operator ordering me to leave that lake or area so that person can protect these wildlife resources for his own income.
Who is that tourist camp operator keeping these resources for? But for the only people who can afford it. Big spenders; that’s right, people with lots of money.
I am amused at Maureen Hanson’s vain attempts to gather sympathy for her cause. Believe it or not, you are not the only one around here who works hard to make a living and manage a family at the same time.
Tony Kadikoff, Jr.