Public Information Sessions

A heads up concerning your opportunity to give feedback to Federal and Provincial Governments
concerning the Algonquin Land Claims. Public Information Sessions will be conducted across Ontario
in early March which appears to be your only chance to question the Provincial and Federal
Governments before the wheels of action on the land claims actually begin to turn.

Detailed information on the Algonquin Lands Claim with maps are available to you by going to the
web site www.algonquinlandclaim.ca . Many of our GBCLA members are aware that the Crown Lands
off Mud Bay inclusive to Crow Lake as well as Badour Island are part of the 117,900 acres of public
lands that have been designated to be transferred to the Algonquins in Ontario.

Of the over 200 parcels of land in this 117,900 acres it should be noted how current ownership of
these land are broken down:
59% are private lands
4 % are Federal Lands
23% are Provincial Parks and
14% are Provincial Crown Lands

The Algonquin Lands Claim Process began over 20 years ago and has been flawed from the onset. It
has not been an open and transparent process. The process has operated under a cloak of secrecy
and has not addressed the issues that landowners, First Nations People and the citizens of Ontario
expected. The consultation process has been alarmingly absent and feedback only heard at closed
sessions this past fall.

The Public Information Sessions being held in March concerning the Algonquin Lands Claim (ALC)
need to ask such broad Questions as;
Have Residents of Ontario been made aware of what is happening concerning the ALC?
Do residents understand the process and timeframes for implementing the ALC?
Is there an opportunity to have meaningful consultation with the key stakeholders and be part of the
process?

After these questions are answered stakeholders (cottagers, hunters, fishermen, hikers etc) must then
begin to ask the more specific questions such as;
Has the ALC Process created injustices?
Have the Guidelines (established almost 20 years ago) been satisfied?
Does the ALC address public need?
Will Public Fish and Wildlife laws be honoured?
What provisions will be made for public access roads thru the lands identified by the ALC ?
How will public boat ramps on ALC land be managed?

A few of the many dates and locations of these Algonquin Land Claims Public Information Sessions
include (see above web site for other dates and locations):
March 6, 2013-  3:00 to 8:00 pm at Ottawa (Tudor Hall)
March 7, 2013-  3:00 to 8:00 pm at Perth (Lions Hall)
March 8, 2013-  3:00 to 8:00 pm at Kingston (Travel Lodge Motel (Lasalle)
March 16, 2013-  12:00 to 4:00 pm at Toronto (Radisson Toronto East)

I am not questioning the rights of the Algonquins to these lands. I am concerned about the process
and the transparency of the negotiations. I believe that we are still many years away from an actual
agreement. My belief is predicated on a the following pieces of information that I have learned over
the past month. First, The Ardoch First Nations are one of several First Nations that say they will take
the government to court. Second the Algonquins of Quebec claim that no border exists between
Ontario and Quebec concerning the Algonquin Land Claims and they want to be part of the
“agreement”. Finally organizations such as Ontario Federation of Anglers  & Hunters, FOCA and our
Conservation Authorities have many unanswered questions that have not been addressed.

Yet I encourage you to check out the web site, look at the maps, send your questions and concerns to
the appropriate politician and make an effort to attend one of the Public Information Sessions in
March  to have a voice in this process. This may be your only chance to have a say!

Larry Arpaia

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