Friday, March 18, 2016

Ontario Trails News - Ontario Trails meets with landowners to discuss real facts about Bill 100

Ontario Trails Council attends Lanark Landowners meeting meets again to try and discuss next steps for trails and Bill 100
 

The Ontario Trails Council attended the Lanark and Navan 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.
  • 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.
Public meetings OTC encourages you to attend - 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.

Mar 12 – OLA Community Meeting Almonte http://goo.gl/jykJbm
Apr 9th Simcoe County Meeting - http://goo.gl/Mgprkb

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


Farmers Forum Reports:

Trails bill won’t take your land, agriculture lawyer says

on: March 07, 2016In: Featured NewsNews
By Brandy Harrison
OTTAWA — Despite fears over new proposed legislation, landowners will still have the right to decide if snowmobilers or hikers can cut across their property on recreational trails, an Ottawa-based agriculture lawyer says.
Last month, an Ontario Landowners Association (OLA) commentary warned private property owners that they could lose their right to control their land if Bill 100 — Supporting Ontario’s Trails Act — is passed. The OLA suggested the bill misleads landowners and if they allow access to a snowmobile or hiking group through an easement, they effectively hand over their rights to that group. The bill is in second reading at Queen’s Park.
While the bill has problems, it doesn’t force landowners into easement agreements, says Kurtis Andrews, who operates an agricultural legal firm in Ottawa that serves all of Ontario. Basically, just don’t enter into an easement that mentions Bill 100 and you’re safe.
“It in no way is anything but voluntary. If landowners have trails and don’t want to subscribe to an easement, they don’t have to. A trail can stay on their property without having a legally-binding easement imposed,” he says, adding farmers can enter into a simple easement agreement without the new bill.
Under Bill 100, landowners can negotiate a time limit and restrictions, and when it comes to land, it has to be in writing — an easement can’t be registered without a property owner’s knowledge. But in rare cases in common law, an easement could be automatically established after 20 years.
But Andrews advises farmers to steer clear of agreeing to an easement filed at a land registry office that references Bill 100. “I see no value for landowners, period.”
Easements under Bill 100 can be transferred or granted via regulations, which can be created at a minister’s discretion and could lead to scenarios the landowner hasn’t thought of. “It’s a fill-in-the-blank. It’s dangerous,” Andrews says.
But the amendments to the Trespass to Property Act are one bright spot, he says.
While the Ontario Federation of Agriculture still wants minimum fines for trespassing and broader enforcement, public prosecution is no longer capped at $1,000 and the civil penalty would be raised from $2,000 to $10,000, Andrews says.
“It provides greater protection to a person allowing people on his land.”


Ontario Trails Council Responds - 
March 14, 2016

Letter to the Editor

Thanks to Farmers Forum for publishing your March 7th article “Trails bill won’t take your land, agricultural lawyer says.”, which actually says that your land won’t be taken by Bill 100.

Where was this comment Feb 6, or before?

Inflammatory rhetoric has scared landowners to close trail, because earlier news reports made, as it turns out, opinion as fact, and created false linkages between Bill 100 and land impacts, which as it turns out, didn’t exist as they said in the first place, according to the lawyer quoted in your article.

40 years of good work has been undone and we can’t figure out who benefits.

Bill 100 wasn't ever going to take your land, common law statute isn’t.

I think folks should watch out for special interests that come out with lawyers and advocates who display opinion as fact.

In order to educate the public the Ontario Trails Council holds an annual conference, this June 19-22 we are at Calabogie Peaks Resort and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture is presenting on trails and landowner relations.

For more information on Bill 100 go to Ontariotrails.ca and search media.

Patrick Connor
Executive Director, Ontario Trails Council. (A Registered Charity)