| Feb 15, 2007


Feature Article - February 15, 2007

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Feature Article - February 15, 2007

Pine Lake Politicsby Jeff Green

Last July, AAFNA removed trees and brush at the Pine Lake boat launch, which is located mostly on Crown land and partially on municipal land.

All lands within the Mississippi Valley watershed, which encompasses Pine Lake , are considered by AAFNA as un-ceded Algonquin territory. This position has been accepted in principle by both the federal and provincial governments, who are now negotiating a land claim with Algonquin communities.

For a variety of reasons, AAFNA has rejected the current land claims process. They have decided to take matters into their own hands and are asserting their aboriginal claim at Pine Lake .

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Over the summer and fall, AAFNA has continued to develop the grounds at the boat launch, and are planning to build a band office at the site across from the Pow Wow grounds. Later in the fall, land was cleared across the road for a proposed parking lot, with a community centre being envisioned for the future.

Three-way negotiations have been ongoing for months between AAFNA, staff officials from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and North Frontenac Township (as represented by Mayor Maguire).

According to Ron Maguire, a memorandum of understanding between the three had been in the works in December, before the township’s chief building officer issued a cease work order to the Ministry of Natural Resources, (who are the registered owners of the land) because building permits have not been taken out.

As Maguire pointed out to the Frontenac News, he has no authority over the building officer’s decision, because the building officer works under the authority of the building code and not the township on these matters.

Subsequently, the MNR has informed the township that they (the MNR) are not subject to municipal regulation, and Maguire is again optimistic that a memorandum of understanding can be reached.

The details and language of the memorandum are being worked out, but it would entail that the MNR and the township agree not to interfere with AAFNA’s plans on either side of the Ardoch Road . AAFNA would agree to comply with environmental and building code standards of the province and the township, which they will enforce upon themselves.

In the heat of the council debate last week, Maguire said Councillor Cole’s motion would put an end to these negotiations. He later told the News that this is not the case. Council made him the contact person on this matter in July and set out a four point plan which he is following. The new council confirmed him in that role in December, so he says he will carry on in trying to bring a memorandum of understanding forward for council’s consideration.

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