Monday, April 11, 2016

Ontario Trails News - Bill 100 moving ahead with landowners, only easements are easements, easements don't trump other access ways.


Ottawa Valley Business News Talks Trails

ottawa valley business news
ottawa valley business news

From the Manitoulin Expositor - April 5

ONTARIO—Patrick Connor, executive director of the Ontario Trails Council, is sick and tired of the fear mongering tactics of the Ontario Landowners’ Association (OLA) when it comes to Bill 100, the Supporting Ontario Trails Act, 2015 and the havoc it’s wreaking on trails of all kinds across the province.
Mr. Connor said that despite Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Coteau releasing statements to try and quell the fears of landowners on what this bill actually means (including to this newspaper) and even OLA founder Randy Hillier coming forward to state that Bill 100 is not what it’s being made out to be, “the OLA is not listening to what anyone in a position of authority is saying.”
“While there might be some concerns, people just don’t understand the legal wording,” he added. Mr. Connor pointed to last week’s article in The Expositor (‘Bill 100 interpretation sees closure of two main snowmobile trails ahead of next season,’ Page 1) as a case in point. In the story, it states that one Sandfield landowner has pulled his land from the Manitoulin Snowdusters snowmobile trial system due to wording in Bill 100 over ‘special trails.’ “They are not special trails, they are trails of distinction,” Mr. Connor explained. “They are special, but not in the fact that the minister is going to take someone’s property away from them.” He explained that trails of distinction are ones of some note, such as the Georgian Bay Coastal Trail.
Mr. Connor called the OLA’s tactics in spreading falsities with the bill “irresponsible.”
“Who does this benefit?” he asked of the shutting down of trails. “Small businesses will surely suffer. The closure of a snowmobile trail does a lot of damage to a local economy.”
“There is no reason to close a trail because of this Act,” the executive director continued.
Like the Manitoulin Snowdusters have said previously, the Ontario Trails Council also plans to work with landowners over the summer to try and reverse the damage that has been done by the OLA.
“Forty years of good relations or more is being lost because of fear mongering,” he added. “We have always worked hard to work with the landowners.”
“We hope that by the fall we might have some of this cleared up, Mr. Connor said. “What might be a ‘no’ today might not be a ‘no’ tomorrow.”

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ontario Trails News - updates on events, support our work, earn your certificate in trails and more!

Trails Talk


Join us every other Tuesday at 1pm EST for a lively half hour discussion on trail issues of importance to the trails community. We will be using our Google Hangout to facilitate our Trail Talks. So make sure you have a gmail account and the hangout app added to your gplus account.

How to Join a Hangout

Invited presenters include:
April 12th, 2016 - Trail Building - are you interested? What is trail building all about? Who does it and the skills you need, with stories from trail builder Zane Davies. Register on Eventbrite

New calendar in development!
Upcoming Event

ORCKA SPRING SEMINAR!



BRING YOUR ORCKA COURSES & TRIPS TO THE NEXT LEVEL !!!

Are you looking for new techniques, games, initiatives and memorable ways to close 
out your trip or course? Then this is the Seminar for you! 

Join Shawn Stetson from AdventureWorks Association Inc in the morning to explore 
 How to connect and reconnect your group and create a sense of community
 Learn new ways to teach leadership through dynamic activities while at the 
same time exploring Leadership behaviours
 Explore 2 new tools to assist you in planning effective programs
 Reflect on your facilitation techniques while exploring new approaches

Finally, no course or trip is complete without a closing activity.  Join ORCKA’s very 
own Linda Leckie after lunch to explore

 Meaningful and effective ways to bring closure to your group
 Use Experiential Education Theory to discover the reason behind reflection and 
transfer activities 

Date:  Saturday April 9th, 2016 
Time:   9:00 am-4:00 pm 
Location: Norval Outdoor Education Centre,
10444 Winston Churchill Blvd, Norval, ON, LOK IPO 

Cost:  $90.00 Members       EARLY BIRD RATE: $85.00 
$100.00 Non-Members 
Members register online atwww.orcka.ca in your secure member area, under “My Seminars” 

Non-Members contact Bonnie Fisher at the ORCKA - info@orcka.ca or 416-426-7016 

LUNCH AND SNACKS ARE INCLUDED 

Camping and/or Cabin (unheated) accommodations are available: $15.00 / night

Earn Your Trails Certificate from Algonquin College

algonquin college trail courses
Trail Planning
Course: OAD3001
This course is listed under the following fields of study:
Community Studies
Health Studies / Animal Care / Nursing
Hospitality & Tourism
Within the trail industry, there are trail standards and maintenance practices to follow. Students acquire base-level knowledge of organizing and planning trail systems and learn to recognize and utilize the necessary steps to plan and create a sustainable trail. This is accomplished through the usage of provincial legislation and the incorporation of interpretive and educational trail signage within a trail system.


Please consider supporting our work

We wish to thank all those organizations who have renewed their membership. Please renew today, our work is more important than ever! Help us help groups keep their trails open!
Please consider making a donation or taking out a membership today! We rely on the generous support of the Canadian trail community to allow us to do our work.

Our Mission - to promote the preservation, management, use and development of trails.

Everyday, somewhere in Ontario we educate, support a group, lead or assist a community improving its quality of life through trails.

Ask us how we make a difference! Thanks

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ontario Trails News - easements are contracted documents, all other agreements aren't easements, and they are valid for trails, and only the landowner can decide of they want one.

Ontario Trails Council continues to engage on Bill 100 - send our letter to your MPP
  • The OTC remains committed to the passing of Bill 100
  • Our members are going to engage their members to work with landowners locally to correct the anxiety caused by misreporting of impacts
  • We gained greater insight into the working relationships some media have with the advocates against Bill 100
  • We have invited the Ontario Landowners Association to speak at Trailhead Ontario in Calabogie June 19-21, 2016
  • Ontario Federation of Agriculture has agreed to present at Trailhead Ontario June 19-21, 2016
  • The OTC Board passed a motion in support of trails safety, trespass deterrence, and in support of OFA. "The OTC supports the increase in trespass fines to a minimum penalty of 250.00." March 9, 2016.
  • The OTC had its Executive Director attend the House of Commons on March 24 to hear the debate on Bill 100
  • For a copy of the OTC letter go to: 
    23.3.16 OTC MPP Letter of Support Bill 100 - pdf
    For a copy of the letter you can use to send on your letterhead please go to: 
    23.3.16 MPP Generic Letter of Support Bill 100 - word
  • Next public meeting on lands April 9, 2016 - Orillia
  • OTC Meets Minister Coteau April 13, 2016
ontario trails and landowners poster

MTCS Talks Trails - Thanks!Ontario is home to some of the most historic and longest trails in Canada which provide affordable, accessible venues for many activities. Each year, millions of Ontarians and visitors from outside the province, expe-
rience Ontario’s urban, suburban, rural and remote land and water trails.

minister coteau newsletterIn May 2015 , Minister Coteau introduced the Supporting Ontario’s Trails Act in the legislature. If passed, this
legislation would help the trails community more effectively develop, operate and promote trails while en-
hancing the experience for all trail users.

The proposed act would strengthen Ontario’s trails system by enabling the government to:
 better manage trail activity and protect public land and property by modernizing stewardship, compliance and enforcement tools
 clarify land owner responsibilities for trails running  through their land
 strengthen the consequences of trespassing on private and agricultural land
 increase the amount that landowners could recover for damages caused by trespassers
 set out a mechanism for voluntary trail easements
 establish a voluntary trails classification system to provide trail users with the consistent information
they need to select the most appropriate trail
 recognize Ontario trails of distinction to increase trail awareness and local tourism.

On February 18, 2015, the act was tabled for second reading and will continue through the legislative process in the coming months.

Research
Trails encourage explorers of all ages and abilities to visit our unique communities and support local econo-
mies. Did you know that in 2014, hiking was a source of close to $1.4 billion in economic benefit to our prov-
ince, also add in $259 million in total provincial taxes? This was all because of significant spending by Ontario
hikers.

More>>>>>

Friday, April 1, 2016

Ontario Trails News - new trails for Kingston, Niagara Falls engages public and more trails developments with landowners!

Niagara Falls Discusses Millennium Trail - April 13, 2016
Millennium Recreational Trail - Future Section Development
INFORMATION SESSION AND PUBLIC MEETING
 
niagara falls canadaNiagara Falls, ON, March 29, 2016 – The City of Niagara Falls invites residents to an Information Session and Public Meeting on Wednesday, April 13th regarding the future development of the Millennium Recreational Trail. The evening will provide an opportunity for the community to see the proposed remaining sections of the recreational trail, ask questions, and to provide comments.  The Millennium Recreational Trail utilizes the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) hydro canal corridor which runs roughly North to South through the City. The first section of the trail was completed in 2001 with subsequent sections completed in 2011 and 2015. Two sections remain in order to connect the City from North (Whirlpool Road) to South (McLeod Road).
 
Residents who are unable to attend the information session and wish to provide feedback may complete the Millennium Recreational Trail Survey that is available on the City’s websitewww.niagarafalls.ca/trails.
 
NOTICE OF INFORMATION SESSION AND PUBLIC MEETING
Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 6:30 to 9:00 pm (6:30 pm Open House, 7:00 pm Formal Presentation)
Gale Centre, Memorial Room 5152 Thorold Stone Road, Niagara Falls, ON, L2E 0A2

For more information, contact: Jeff Guarasci Community Development Coordinator, City of Niagara Falls, Recreation & Culture MacBain Community Centre 1-7150 Montrose Road Niagara Falls, ON  L2H 3N3
P: 905-356-7521 ext.3341 W: www.niagarafalls.ca


Kingston Announces Investments in Cycling Infrastructure
kingston announces cycling infrastructure

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ontario Trails News - Ontario trails continue to develop with support of communities, including landowners

Orillia secures funding for Trail Bridge

orillia photo from city of orilliaCyclists and pedestrians looking to cross Highway 11 from Old Barrie Road or Highway 12 can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that a new connecting trail is coming.
The City of Orillia was successful in its application to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) for a matching grant of $325,000 from the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program (OMCIP) for the construction of a new bicycle and pedestrian trail over Highway 11 connecting Highway 12 and Old Barrie Road. The $650,000 trail investment will provide a safe transportation corridor over Highway 11 for cyclists and pedestrians to and from Orillia’s west end. The new trail connection, identified as a key link in the City’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan, will provide greater access to Lakehead University, Rotary Place, Scout Valley, and commercial and retail services in West Orillia.
“Council is thrilled Minister Del Duca and the MTO deemed this key trail connection worthy of their full funding complement through the OMCIP,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “The City of Orillia has advocated for quite some time the merits of a new trail connection over Highway 11 to promote active transportation in Orillia, enhance the City’s trail system, and provide safe passage for cyclists and pedestrians to and from West Orillia.”

More >>>>

Continuous trail system in works for North Bay Callander

North Bay will bukate paceway lavase turl 016ild 1.9 km of mostly off-road or in-boulevard cycling facilities, which will help close the gap between the northern and southern sections of Kate Pace Way and establish continuous trail system.

Mar 18, 2016 12:32 PM by: BayToday.ca StaffOntario is providing $325,000 to North Bay and $71,741 to Callander over the next two years to help build new, or improve existing, cycling infrastructure through the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program.
North Bay will build 1.9 km of mostly off-road or in-boulevard cycling facilities, which will help close the gap between the northern and southern sections of Kate Pace Way and establish continuous trail system.

More>>>>

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ontario Trails News - landowners may have issues, but the fears being spread about Bill passage impacts unfounded

Bill 100

LANDOWNER CONCERNS IN RESPECT OF BILL 100

Recently there has been discussion in the media regarding the use of easements to secure trails. The Ontario Federation of ATV Clubs does not have any intention of utilizing easements we prefer rather to use the traditional Land Use Agreement process which has, and continues to serve landowners and clubs well. These Land Use Permission Agreements define land use parameters, including landowner cancellation authority and notice, and ensure that the OFATV’s General Liability Insurance protects the landowner. For more information regarding the Bill, we have provided several links bellow, including a link to Bill 100.
If you wish to read Bill 100, Supporting Ontario’s Trails Act, 2015 please follow this link: Bill 100
Press Release from Patrick Connor, Executive Director of the Ontario Trails Council:
To be clear, Bill 100 only affects landowners who want to negotiate an easement for trail access. It in no way makes trails on private or public land nor does it take negotiation rights away from landowners. What it does is make the process clearer. To read the full Press Release click on the following link:
Statements released by Minister Michael Coteau to clarify the misconception around Bill 100:
“The province introduced Bill 100, the Supporting Ontario’s Trails Act, 2015, to improve access to Ontario’s trails, building both a healthier, and more prosperous Ontario. Our ministry held consultations with over 250 organizations, including municipalities, Aboriginal groups, trail organizations and not-for-profit organizations. The feedback the ministry heard during these consultations was integral to shaping the proposed legislation. 
To be clear, an easement pursuant to Bill 100, if passed, would be a voluntary agreement between a landowner and an eligible body or bodies. No property owner would be compelled to provide an easement unless they agreed to do so. – Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport”

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Ontario Trails News - Bill 100 protects landowner rights, provides transparency and due process: fears spread unfounded.

Ontario Trails Council - writes letters for you to use With Your MPP
 

The Ontario Trails Council continues to attend Landowners meetings to reinforce our positions on the Bill and correct the misrepresentations that keep appearing in the media regarding the Bill. We continue to meet to discuss Bill 100, and to get our message out to the public to defense Bill 100 and reduce closure of trails.




For a copy of the OTC letter go to:
23.3.16 OTC MPP Letter of Support Bill 100 - pdf

For a copy of the letter you can use to send on your letterhead please go to:
23.3.16 MPP Generic Letter of Support Bill 100 - word


Ontario Trails Council continues to engage on the Bill
  • The OTC remains committed to the passing of Bill 100
  • Our members are going to engage their members to work with landowners locally to correct the anxiety caused by misreporting of impacts
  • We gained greater insight into the working relationships some media have with the advocates against Bill 100
  • A Public Bill 100 education plan is being developed.
  • We have invited the Ontario Landowners Association and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture to speak at Trailhead Ontario in Calabogie June 19-21, 2016
  • the Ontario Federation of Agriculture has agreed to present at Trailhead Ontario in Calabogie June 19-21, 2016
  • The OTC Board passed a motion in support of trails safety, trespass deterrence, and in support of OFA. "The OTC supports the increase in trespass fines to a minimum penalty of 250.00." March 9, 2016.
  • The OTC had its Executive Director attend the House of Commons on March 24 to hear the debate on Bill 100

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ontario Trails News - True Facts about Bill 100, OTC goes to House, Bill 100 good for trails, OTC MPP Letter

Ontario Trails Council - writes letters for you to use With Your MPP
 

The Ontario Trails Council continues to attend Landowners meetings to reinforce our positions on the Bill and correct the misrepresentations that keep appearing in the media regarding the Bill. We continue to meet to discuss Bill 100, and to get our message out to the public to defense Bill 100 and reduce closure of trails.




For a copy of the OTC letter go to:
23.3.16 OTC MPP Letter of Support Bill 100 - pdf

For a copy of the letter you can use to send on your letterhead please go to:
23.3.16 MPP Generic Letter of Support Bill 100 - word

Ontario Trails Council continues to engage on the Bill
  • The OTC remains committed to the passing of Bill 100
  • Our members are going to engage their members to work with landowners locally to correct the anxiety caused by misreporting of impacts
  • We gained greater insight into the working relationships some media have with the advocates against Bill 100
  • A Public Bill 100 education plan is being developed.
  • We have invited the Ontario Landowners Association and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture to speak at Trailhead Ontario in Calabogie June 19-21, 2016
  • the Ontario Federation of Agriculture has agreed to present at Trailhead Ontario in Calabogie June 19-21, 2016
  • The OTC Board passed a motion in support of trails safety, trespass deterrence, and in support of OFA. "The OTC supports the increase in trespass fines to a minimum penalty of 250.00." March 9, 2016.
  • The OTC had its Executive Director attend the House of Commons on March 24 to hear the debate on Bill 100

 

Update from the House Debate March 24, 2016
MPP Clark, Leeds and Grenville acknowledged the Parts of the Act are not so bad and that the government would be well served to take it to committee so that changes could be made.

MPP Clark referred to the OFSC letter from MIke Clewer (OTC Treasurer) requesting that the Ministry improve and clarify the Bill. The MPP also went on to extoll all the great trails in Leeds and Grenville, noting the Waterfront, St. Lawrence Parks, Limerick Forest, Frontenac Arch Biosphere, Brockville, Charleston Lake PP and North Grenville.

All of these but one are OTC members. All have received funding through OTC involvement in the Canadian Trails Federation and the National Trails Coalition.

MPP Clark spoke to the funds and improvements, and praised the increased activity on local trails as "notable" due to the funding. He did not understand that the OTC had a hand in this process. I called his office, at the suggestion of Wayne Terryberry, OTC VP; to encourage his movement towards Act improvements instead of withdrawal.

MPP Clark spoke to the House, using language similar to OTC, that we are concerned about the continued loss of trails, landowners relations and getting the trails back for next season. He also expressed his hope that the government would consult in the community and called for committee action. He expressed as I have since 2003 to all governments - "that trails can make for great government community relations;" (should government choose to work with and through the OTC in trail communities - PSC)

As we move forward members must tell their MPP's of our role, their awareness of our work will make getting trails back easier with landowners. They will understand us as a friend of all, making investments in as many communities as we can.

OTC encourages you to attend upcoming Public Meetings - the only way we can get the media to focus on the positive impacts of Bill 100 reduce the negative press is if we attend these meetings and express the benefits of the Act.

Apr 9th Simcoe County Meeting http://goo.gl/Mgprkb

Please use our handouts and press releases to enable your information kit.


Ontario Trails Council Responds to The Pembroke Observer March 13, 2016

March 23, 2016


Letter to the Editor - Pembroke Observer

The Ontario Trails Council has asked the Ontario Landowners Association to cease or retract misinformation regarding Bill 100, that they continue to circulate through public meeting and the media, as recently as you reported on March 13, 2016

We also would ask the media to cease and desist as the information they are provided is being misunderstood. We called and e-mailed the Observer and were informed the Observer has in fact reported on both sides of the issue.

While we wish to maintain a cordial relationship with the media, a search of your site shows only 4 articles all reporting the misinterpretations and confused statements that continue to scare landowners unnecessarily.

Several respected groups, the Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport, community organizations involving farmers to hikers, and even MPP Randy Hillier (founder of the Ontario Landowners Association) and our organization, wants the closure of trails to stop. We respect landowners and we want to preserve 50 years of friendly relations amongst us.

Bill 100 only needs some tweaks and clarifications and this can be done by the OLA, and other groups, working through or with the OTC.

The OTC is looking to get additional support for other landowner agreements, recognized in the Bill.

At Ontario Trails Council we are working with Ministry Staff, and through committee, to bring to the Bill changes that will work for trails and landowners. At OTC we are moving forward through communication with the government to secure a positive outcome for all.

Despite published clarifications on the part of the Ontario Trails Council and the government, some people and their media partners continue to do damage to trails. Please review our input and work with us to change the Act for the better.

OTC Press Release

https://www.scribd.com/doc/299473575/Hillier-pans-landowner-views-on-provincial-trails-bill#download

If you have any questions about Bill 100 please contact the Ontario Trails Council, 613-396-3226 or email us at: execdir@ontariotrails.ca

We are here to help everybody have a better understanding of trails, trail use and management practice.

Please read our paper on Bill 100 – it's available here -http://goo.gl/yzlO0X
 


Ontario Trails Council Educational Posters



Ontario Trails Council contacts Media, distributes content to members and third parties
 

At Ontario Trails Council we've done more on Bill 100 this week. We've been on the phone with trail groups, landowners, the media and government officials. We've worked to clarify the issue, we were contacted on the weekend before the story broke big and we think we helped reduce the loss of trail through our effort. Please support this by:


  • Contact your MP and ask them to support Bill 100
  • Contact your Regional Trails Committee and ask them to support Bill 100
  • Send the OTC Press Release to area trail and landowners to clarify the issue
  • Most importantly - understand what the landowners concerns are and listen to them. If we respond as good neighbours they will understand trail folks are good folks
  • Talk to other trail users and tell them - don't trespass, respect private property - that saves trails!
  • We will supply a letter you can send to your MPP - circulated
  • Answer our Petition on Support of Bill 100 - next week

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ontario Trails News - more information on Bill 100 - the truth about the impacts of the at for landowners

Ontario Trails Council Educational Posters



Ontario Trails Council contacts Media, distributes content to members and third parties
 

At Ontario Trails Council we've done more on Bill 100 this week. We've been on the phone with trail groups, landowners, the media and government officials. We've worked to clarify the issue, we were contacted on the weekend before the story broke big and we think we helped reduce the loss of trail through our effort. Please support this by:
  • Contact your MP and ask them to support Bill 100
  • Contact your Regional Trails Committee and ask them to support Bill 100
  • Send the OTC Press Release to area trail and landowners to clarify the issue
  • Most importantly - understand what the landowners concerns are and listen to them. If we respond as good neighbours they will understand trail folks are good folks
  • Talk to other trail users and tell them - don't trespass, respect private property - that saves trails!
  • We will supply a letter you can send to your MPP - next week
  • Answer our Petition on Support of Bill 100 - next week


Ontario Trails Council asks media  - please stop circulating incorrect coverage https://goo.gl/1YITa8
 
“Something that bothers me as a rural property owner is forced easement. If I have an agreement with my neighbour or snowmobile club that is exactly what it is, an agreement,” said Karen Mahon, a West Perth landowner. “An easement on the other hand is registered and runs with the land. You cannot get out of it. That is mentioned in Bill 100 and is easement law.”

Not forced. To continue to publish this is just wrong.

"But according to Elizabeth Marshall, the director of research for the Ontario Landowners Association, Bill 100 would lead private property owners into thinking they can allow trails across their property while retaining the right to shut those trails down. Shutting trails down that have been registered as easements under Bill 100 would not be as easy as it is through direct agreements, Marshall claimed."

There is no leading, this is a position the landowner can pursue of their own volition.

We request that media outlets stop publishing comments that are opinion and that are scaring landowners. The OTC has done interviews with these publishers clarifying our position, the Act and our go forward strategy, as well as getting our Press Release to them.

Know your easement and we are working with landowners to make sure the types of agreements are better understood and enacted by them.