The Great Lakes Shoreline Passage Act has passed second reading in the Ontario Legislature.
Some of you are for it, some against. There is an Ontario wide association being
setup to challenge/sue the Ontario government on this Act if it is passed.
This is an Act to create a right of passage along the shoreline of the Great Lakes
and it has now passed second reading. Below are some of the highlights. The link
to Bill 118 above will take you right to it, where you can read all the provisions
of this Act.
1.(1) in this Act, "high water mark" means the mark on the shore of a lake where
the presence and action of water is so continuous as to leave a distinct mark either
by erosion, destruction of terrestrial vegetation or other easily recognizable characteristic.
(2) In this Act and the regulations, a reference to the Great Lakes includes the
St. Lawrence River and the connecting channels of the Great Lakes
2.(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, any person may exercise a right
of passage along the shoreline of any Great Lake between the water’s edge and the
high water mark.
(2) The right of passage along the shoreline is limited to a right of passage on
foot or by other non-motorized means and does not include a right of passage by
means of a vehicle or other motorized form of transportation;
(3) The right of passage does not include, (a) a right to use the shoreline for
any purpose other than passage on foot or by other non-motorized means; or (b) a
right of access to the shoreline.
This Bill is Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates' private member's bill to create
a right of passage along the shoreline of the Great Lakes between the water's edge
and the high-water mark. This Act would forbid the creation of fences or signs from
prohibiting the right of passage, and it also prohibits people from stopping on
private property or setting up tents and staying for a while.
The major problems foreseen are:
- the added policing costs and resources needed due to the mistaken impression by
many that the shoreline could be used for more than simple passage by everyone.
- Potential expropriation costs of land for this purpose, likely forced on the municipalities,
as some lawyers suggest.
- And the lower assessment value of properties due to this Act, if it is passed.