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OTC DEFENDS Prescott-Russell Trail!
Ontario Proclaims the “Ontario Trail Act”
With over 2,500 trails, supporting 19 recreational activities, in 430 communities = 80,000 km in length, Ontario has one of the largest trails systems in North America.
Today the Ontario Trails Council was pleased to be informed by the Government of Ontario that the Ontario Trails Act has been proclaimed.
The Ontario Trails Act, changes other Acts of Legislation to reduce liability exposure for land owners, increase fines for trespass, as well as introduce other changes that will make it easier for groups to hold events, while providing better guidance on issues of risk exposure and liability.
“We attended a number of sessions to secure and promote better understanding of the Act as it moved through parliament, “says OTC President Jack De Wit. “we worked with all stakeholders; the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, we sat with the Ontario Federation of Snowmobiles, the Bruce Trail, Hike Ontario, Conservation Ontario, Ontario Federation of Trail Riders as well as landowners and others to make an act to improve recreational trail in Ontario. We thank all for their input and both Minister McMahon and Minister Coteau's offices for their support.”
The Ontario Trails Council has over 240 members representing various trail stakeholders that are directly affected by this legislation. Economic Development, non-profit, community clubs, sport groups, tourism offices, health units, provincial and municipal parks, conservation authorities have all worked with the Ontario Trails Council to bring focus to government on trail issues.
“Ontario Trails Council regularly communicates about, negotiates, develops and implements trails throughout Ontario,” said Patrick Connor Ontario Trails Executive Director. “The Ontario Trails Act is a positive response to the member surveys, round table discussions and numerous phone calls and concerns people have expressed through OTC to make positive change for trails in Ontario. The “Ontario Trails Act” gives trails a place of importance.”
Going forward, Ontario Trails Council and its members will work with all groups to affect more positive change. We have written a Landowners Bill of Rights, we are working on Accessible Trails and a Provincial Trails Count for 2017.
For more information on Ontario’s trails visit the our website at www.ontariotrails.on.ca