Kim Craitor to Introduce
Right of Passage Bill
down to the Lake Erie shore and walk as far as you want in either
direction - no fences, no obstructions, no challenge to your walking
rights! It’s perfectly legal and a basic right; except not
here on our shores. Instead go west to Lake Erie’s Michigan
shoreline and you can today walk freely. In fact you can stroll
any of Michigan’s 5,000 km. of shores on Lakes Erie, Huron,
Michigan and Superior and never be challenged.
it ironic that here in Fort Erie we are restricted to about 4%
of our shoreline while 96% is totally in private hands and off
limits? That just may change over the next year if MPP Kim Craitor’s
private member’s bill is passed in our legislature this
winter session. Shorewalk’s discussions with him over the
past year have resulted in his decision to take the initiative
in proposing legislation that would mirror the public rights now
enjoyed in Michigan and other American Great Lakes states.
Michigan their supreme court ruled in July of 2005 that the public
has free walking rights along all of their Great Lakes shoreline.
The panel of judges ruled that private property owners will maintain
their rights but that in the case of Great Lakes shoreline there
is a duality of rights that permits public passage along the lakefront
of shoreline property.
Craitor’s bill will propose to acknowledge public Right
of Passage along Ontario’s Great Lakes shoreline in a similar
manner. This is not a “pie in the sky” proposal. With
support from across Ontario it could pass and become law. One
of our Shorewalk members is Mr. Richard Chaloner, a retired Guelph
lawyer and former deputy minister for Ontario’s Attorney
General. He suggests that it is entirely reasonable to take the
legislative route in seeking to improve public rights and that
is what Kim Craitor is prepared to do.
We urge the public to support Mr. Craitor’s private member’s
bill and to help spread the word. Mayor elect Martin and the new
council have all agreed to endorse this initiative and to pass
their endorsement on to other municipalities. Ask our other local
MPP’s Tim Hudak and Peter Kormos to vote their support and
request that they in turn lobby their Queen’s Park colleagues
to also support it.
member bills traditionally have difficulty in becoming law but
this one should have a chance. What it needs for success is widespread
public support across the province. Shorewalk urges you to help
spread the word and make it happen.
about the on going encroachment of fences on waterfront road allowances?
The issue has passed on to the new council and we hope for a favourable
resolution from them in the weeks ahead.