By way of this public letter, we wish to request town council withdraw from the courts its charges against the Lynwood Anderson family.
(a). The barriers placed around shrubs and trees on the Anderson property are there to protect their property against the damage from transient deer.
(b). Transient deer are causing damage to many homeowners’ property, not just the Andersons. Transient deer are a town-wide problem.
(c). Town-wide transient deer are the legal responsibility of the Town of Fort Frances to resolve. The Town of Fort Frances has abrogated its responsibility (to this deer problem) by doing nothing.
By council doing nothing, taxpayers may be on the hook if a lawsuit for property damage is launched as a result of their neglect to address the transient deer problem.
(d). It is unfair to enforce a bylaw—or unfair to catalyze the transient deer problem under a bylaw that has not been enforced for the last 20 years or so. The same bylaw, after not being enforced by the town, was suspended by the town to allow homeowners to erect a “fence” to protect themselves from the transient deer problem.
Say it’s all right, then say it’s not all right, then take you to court without solving the problem at hand is wrong.
(e). The barrier around the Anderson’s home is not a fence. It does not take an Einstein to see these barriers are only meant to protect their property from transient deer damage (please go look at this property and you will find this to be true).
(f). Court costs incurred by either party are expensive and unnecessary. If the town says it’s a fence and wins, the town is open for a lawsuit on damages. If the court says it’s a protective barrier to protect from transient deer damage, maybe you’ll see hundreds of these protective barriers going up around town.
This is not a win-win situation for all parties.
To further complicate matters (and we are not speaking for the Crown or courts), a case of this nature must be an embarrassment on the court. Maybe the Crown can put some common sense in place and have the matter resolved (by compromise) and the town accepting the fact they have a transient deer problem to address and resolve.
Like the town striking a professional committee to address the transient deer problem in town. Then, with a little public awareness campaign, enforces the fencing bylaw, which we do not feel applies in the Anderson case.
Why? Because a protective barrier around shrubbery and trees, used to protect them from transient deer damage, was never contemplated nor is a part of the fencing bylaw.
So council may wish to discuss this committee ways and means to handle the issue of protective barriers.
In closing, we repeat and urge council to withdraw all legal action against the Andersons and put a professional committee in place to address the transient deer problem. Enforce bylaws 24/7, 365 days a year, not just once in 20 years, and recognize the problem at hand and try not to complicate it.
The transient deer and property damage is the issue with the Andersons and others.
Please note the Andersons had no knowledge of this letter, nor did they take any part of drafting it.
Allan T. Bedard
and Bill Krukoski
Editor’s note: This letter also was signed by 37 other residents.