ALGONQUIN LAND CLAIM
In December 2012, the governments of Canada and the province of Ontario released a draft of a proposed settlement of the Algonquin Land Claim. If finalized, the Agreement in Principle (AIP) would transfer 117,500 acres of crown land within the Ottawa and Mattawa river watersheds, plus $300 million to the Algonquin of Ontario (AOO) in settlement of a long standing land claim. When finalized, the transferred lands will become private land owned by the Algonquin for their use or development as they see fit, subject to existing laws and/or by-laws.
AIP land parcels within the Lake St. Peter area
There is a large Algonquin land parcel that abuts the east side of Lake St. Peter and extends south towards the village of Maynooth parallel to highway 127. This parcel includes 2 points of direct shore access to the lake, both of which lie between existing cottage properties.
There is a general consensus amongst LSPPOA members that a settlement of the Algonquin Land Claim is both necessary and desirable. For too many years this claim has been pushed to the "back burner" of both the Canadian and Ontario governments. We have, however, the following concerns related to the AIP and the lands proposed for transfer:
the lack of consultation with ALL stakeholders prior to the release of the AIP
confirmation that existing by-laws will apply to the lands at the time of transfer
earlier attempts by current owners to purchase the land parcels providing shore access have been denied on the basis that the lake is "over capacity" and cannot sustain further shoreline development. Why are these access points included in the AIP?
the crown lands being ceded to the Algonquin directly abut many cottagers' properties and have been used by the owners and others for 50 or more years for recreational purposes (hiking, snowmobiling, etc.) . Losing access to these lands will greatly diminish the overall enjoyment by all LSPPOA members of their properties.
the impact of the transferred lands on local municipal revenues and costs, and therefore future property taxes
Recommendations and Proposed Action
The ultimate goal of the LSPPOA is to ensure our residents remain informed throughout the continuing stages of negotiations which are expected to result in a final treaty ratified by the Algonquin, approved by the Parliament of Canada and the Ontario Legislature, and enshrined in the constitution. The process to achieve a final treaty is very rigid and is expected to take another 4 - 6 years. Throughout this process we intend to make our concerns and recommendations known by
embarking on a letter-writing campaign directed to various members of the Canadian parliament and the Ontario legislature
attending scheduled meetings of the negotiating team to stay abreast of developments
organizing ad hoc meetings with other individuals or groups as deemed necessary and/or desirable
joining forces with other cottager/community associations in the Hastings Highland/Madawaska regions (a inter-lake group, perhaps) to establish common concerns and to devise strategies and other action plans
working with umbrella organizations such as FOCA and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
Web sites providing information on the Algonquin Land Claim and the AIP