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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ontario Trails News - Trails News from all around Ontario's Trails

Development News
Equine Canada Hosts National Trails Meeting

Trail leaders from across Canada met for two days in Winnipeg. The national meeting of trail leadership has been in development for over 6 months with Audrey Lapointe the Equine Canada, Manager of Recreation, Trails and Tourism; with the support of Jack De Wit, EQ Board Member and OTC President, as well as Patrick Connor ED of OTC and EQ Recreation Council Member.
The premise was simple, there were looked for outcomes from the National Trails Symposium held in Banff in 2010, and the groups had not met since that time.  There were National Trails Coalition, and Canadian Trails Federation meetings but no real chance for national groups to come together to determine some national sense of direction related to trails and trails tourism.
This project aims to connect key stakeholders in the development of a national trail strategy that will reduce user conflicts, address conservation concerns, and generate positive contributions to the leisure (outdoor) and tourism sectors of the Canadian economy
The meeting gathered participants from across Canada who are involved or have an interest in tourism, and multiuse trail development, with the purpose of: 
• Sharing ideas for developing a common vision of Canada’s National Trail Network web tool 
• Presenting existing data concepts and innovations 
• Create community networks and to foster partnerships between trail organizations to advocate the needs of the industry 
The meeting was great. There was agreement to work on crafting a National Trails Network Web Portal. We appreciate the effort EQ put into the day, the efforts of Audrey and Jack and the input from the participants.

National Trail Coalition funding in Budget
From Dennis Burns, Executive Director CCSO. Here is some of the wording and content as I see it from yesterday's announcement in the Federal Budget as presented at 4 pm 
from Minister of Finance the Honourable Jim Flaherty.

The national media is quoting right out of the budget document and we spent about 45 minutes with the media yesterday in Ottawa as we were invited into the budget lock up - the media scrum was immediately following 4 pm as the speech started.

Quote from the budget and Minister Flaherty's speech - the title for the trail funding is the same as what was promised in the 2011 election platform - Improving and Expanding Canada's Snowmobile and Recreational Trails

Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to provide $10 million over two years to improve and expand snowmobile and recreational trails across the country.

"Canada has a vast network of recreational trails, which allow Canadians to experience the outdoors and appreciate this country's natural beauty. Through Budget 2009, the Government provided $25 million to the National Trails Coalition, a non-profit organization, to create, upgrade and sustain snowmobile and all-terrain-vehicle trails throughout the country. Additional funding was leveraged from the coalition and its partners and close to 500 projects were completed under this initiative. Federally supported investments include: over $56,000 for safety improvements to trails in Lakefield, Ontario; $244,000 for improvements to bridges and trails in Val d'Or, Quebec; and $550,000 for the development of the Confederation Trail in Prince Edward Island."

Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to provide an additional $10 million over two years, beginning in 2014-15, to the National Trails Coalition to improve and expand snowmobile and recreational trails across Canada.

CBC media link from the news last night

Look at the cover of the budget presentation and then the words as quoted by CBC. Cover photo - the newly completed trail between Banff and Canmore - world class showcase "recreational trail" on the cover of the budget document - the only photo used in the entire document!! I suggest to you that this shows incredible support for trails

Minister Flaherty's speech on page 8 quote  "It pleases me to announce that our Government will partner with the National Trails Coalition to make this
recreational experience even better, fulfilling another of our 2011 platform commitments.

For the full press release see:

Legal Input Sought
Is there a law in Ontario you think needs to be changed? The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) reviews existing provincial laws to see whether they can be improved or repealed or whether circumstances require new laws. We also review government policy and practices.

The LCO welcomes law reform proposals from individuals and organizations, including academics, jurists, lawyers, community and advocacy groups, labour organizations, businesses and members of the public. We are accepting proposals until March 21, 2014. This is the second and final call for proposals for projects to begin later this year and to take us into what we hope will be our third mandate beginning in January 2017.
Please be aware that the LCO does not provide funding for others to undertake projects, but undertakes Board-approved projects in-house.
For more information about making a proposal, and to find out how the LCO selects projects, see our website. See the range of projects we have completed and are undertaking now. You can learn about our funders and supporters and more about the LCO at
Contact us at

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