|Back to Home||Feature Article - August 9, 2012|
Algonquin Land Claim hits the world of sports radioby Jeff Green
The Algonquin Land Claim, which according to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs is headed towards the completion of an Agreement in Principle (AIP) by the end of this year, has attracted media attention in Toronto.
The claim, which encompasses 1/6 of the land mass in southern Ontario - home to 1.4 million permanent and seasonal residents - has been negotiated under the radar for 20 years.
As the negotiations have progressed over the last 2 or 3 years, there have been simmering concerns among some Algonquin individuals and groups, as has been noted in these pages. At the same time interest groups such as the Ontario Federation of Anglers, Ducks Unlimited, the Federation of Cottage Associations, and Land O’Lakes Tourist Association among a host of others, as well as representatives from affected municipalities, have all privately expressed their own concerns. Forums that have been set up to inform and consult with interest groups and municipalities in the territory have not mollified many of the concerns about the impact of the claim.
This view was expressed last week on Fish’n Canada, a weekly show on The Fan radio station in Toronto. Phil Morlock, from the Canadian Sports Fishing Industry Association, described the meetings as “classroom lectures rather than consultation.”
Kathleen Wynne, the Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, was interviewed earlier on in the program. She identified herself as a canoe camper with a long family history in Algonquin Park, and said she was “one of you guys”, identifying herself with the fishing and hunting enthusiasts that are the target market for the radio show.
Not only did Wynne reiterate that the Land Claim will not affect private land or Algonquin Park, she also said there will be ample opportunity for public consultation as the claim moves forward, and that she will be available for interviews as well.
Phil Morlock countered that his group sent a series of questions about the claim to the ministry over a year ago and has not received a response.
Morlock also said he is suspicious that the promise about excluding the park from the claim is less than it seems. He claimed that even though, in order to protect the trout fishery in the park, winter fishing is not permitted, there are Algonquins who take trout during the winter but officials with the government have never taken action.
Fish’n Canada will be following the land claim now, and will have an interview with Michael Gravelle, the Minister of Natural Resources, in an upcoming show.
Podcasts of the one-hour weekly shows are available at fishncanada.com.