May 2014 – The Draft Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) has been subject to a number of revisions after consultations with landowners and other interests over the last year or more.
Any changes that were made to the draft list of land parcels would have prompted the circulation of updated maps and other information to adjacent landowners (only).
Our understanding is that Ontario has approved the AIP for release to the Algonquins-of-Ontario (AOO), but the Federal Government is continuing to review it and has not provided that approval.
While FOCA has not been specifically informed, we assume that there is on-going background work by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) in anticipation of future steps, and that this work should include such things as fish and wildlife inventories, endangered species mapping, lake capacity reviews, land use planning, forest management plan reviews, jurisdictional clarification, ground-truthing the maps etc.
Again, while we have not been informed, our experience in these types of land exchanges would lead us to surmise that databases are being developed that would include detailed information for each land parcel, including its current legal description, land use, zoning, encumbrances, legal designations, etc. Also at this point we would assume that there is more information on the intended use of the parcel once under AOO control (e.g. “recreational property development” “tourism”; “residential development” etc.).
As information is collected our hope is that the residents of the involved lakes will be consulted before conclusions are reached and decisions are made. Our association members have many years of experience on their lakes and can assist the governments in understanding the specifics of all land parcels. Involvement before decisions are made can help avoid problems that are usually associated with simply being informed of a decision after the fact.
Upon the (eventual) agreement of the specific land transfers, the Crown Land disposition of any Crown Lands will be subject to Environmental Assessment (EA), and a special declaration order, requiring the requisite review, consultation etc.
Our association is familiar with government EA processes and we will ensure we are engaged, and that lake associations receive timely information and the opportunity to be both involved and heard.
Anyone with ongoing concerns or questions is encouraged to contact the information centre directly:
Ontario Information Centre
Algonquin Land Claim
31 Riverside Drive
Pembroke, ON K8A 8R6
Phone: (613) 732-8081
Toll Free: 1-855-690-7070