Reprinted from Lakefield Herald (Friday, September 29, 2017):
BY TERRY GILLIS
In spite of an unusually thin agenda, all the seats in Selwyn’s council chambers were occupied Tuesday night.
Council was also somewhat thinned out as Councillor Herron was not in attendance and Mayor Smith left after about twenty minutes to attend another obligation.
The issue that approximately thirty people attended the meeting for was not on the agenda, but was included after the document was sent out: wild rice.
Angela Chittick, Manager of Community & Corporate Services/Clerk told Council and attendees that beginning Friday afternoon and continuing throughout the weekend, Selwyn staff received a number of letters from shoreline property owners on and around Pigeon Lake concerned about wild rice harvesting.
To accommodate the property owners, staff added the wild rice harvesting correspondences under ‘New Business’ and drafted a resolution for Council’s consideration. The resolution stated that a letter be sent to the federal government working with the First Nations Working Committee working on a management plan for wild rice harvesting requesting, on behalf of the people, to advance their concerns about the mechanical harvesting of wild rice and that it is disturbing their enjoyment of their property. Additionally, the resolution stated that MP Maryam Monsef be requested to advance this on behalf of residents and a copy be sent to neighbouring townships.
Councillor Ballantyne said that the issue of wild rice growth and commercial harvesting is not new to her. She has been dealing with it for about ten years.
Ballantyne said that, “as it stands right now, First Nations people seem to hold all the power and the shoreline property owners have a serious issue affecting property values and quality of life.”
“The federal government needs to see the repercussions associated with their legislation for all Canadians concerned, therefore, I whole-heartedly support this motion,” Ballantyne said.
Before taking the position of Chair, Deputy Mayor Senis told the group of property owners that she was “very sorry that we’re here again dealing with this issue after so many years of not being resolved.”
“Many residents feel that our township should have the ability to affect change. If it is an issue under our jurisdiction, we do act quickly to find a solution. However, as Donna has said and as our motion states, this issue, with regards to wild rice growth and commercial harvesting and seeding is under the umbrella of the federal government,” Senis said.
Deputy Mayor Senis said that, “both Parks Canada and our MP seemed to have dropped the ball quite badly because this has gone on for far too many years.”
“I support the motion today as well and I believe each individual in this room should send an email to your MP and to Trent Severn Waterway to let them know how you’re affected by this. We will send our motion and it’ll come from our township. But I believe, in order for them to understand the magnitude of what’s happening on Pigeon Lake, Chemong Lake and Buckhorn Lake will only be felt if they receive emails from you. I support this motion whole-heartedly,” Senis commented.
Councillor Locke said she echoed what Sherry and Donna said and that, “it’s a long-standing issue and it’s really impacting your enjoyment and value of your homes. I’m really hoping that our MP and Trent Severn Waterway and Parks Canada will seriously look at this issue because I’m sure that it’s not just here. I hope we can get to the bottom of this.”
Councillor Locke also said she supported the motion.
Mayor Smith said she thought that the point is a good one, “that your personal stories are important about how this affects you.” She told the property owners that she thought the appropriate level of government that has any authority is the federal government.
Councillor Ballantyne called for a recorded vote which resulted in a unanimous vote in support of sending a letter requesting that MP Monsef advance the property owners concerns regarding wild rice growth and mechanical harvesting on behalf of residents to the Working Committee and the federal government.
Mayor Smith opened the floor to questions and Pigeon Lake resident Gary White asked to have seeding added to the motion. He said “it is very important to get rid of it.”
Mayor Smith replied that the immediate meeting was to discuss mechanical harvesting and the noise issue.
Another Pigeon Lake property owner, identified only as Mr. Wood, told Council that he had received a number of emails from people complaining that they were unable to attend the meeting and unable to speak their minds so an email/petition was crafted that basically said, “we need your help to save Pigeon Lake from becoming a permanent commercial rice farm. The intentional seeding and commercial harvesting of rice in public waters is causing unbearable condition [sic] which is impeding the waterway, affecting our quality of life and the value of our homes “
Mr. Wood told Council that within twenty-four hours he received over eighty signatures. He provided the Clerk with a copy of the petition for the public record.
Mr. Wood also requested that “in order to show the seriousness of this issue that the township should go out beyond their scope and say enough is enough and just show, you as a township, are as concerned about this as we are. And I would like to propose that we consider the closing down of the boat ramp on September 1 part through the harvesting season and then open it again.”
Mr. Wood said that this would send “a big message that the township of Selwyn is not in favour of this kind of activity“
Deputy Mayor Senis, asked that a copy of the petition be included with their motion.
Councillor Ballantyne made the motion to support the recommended resolution and Deputy Mayor Senis seconded it.
Please follow the link below for the solar projects presentation.
[Message clipped] View entire message
Click here to Reply or Forward
Sailors from across North America will be arriving in Bobcaygeon on the weekend of August 18th for the North American M Scow Championship.
The ninth annual regatta takes place at the Pigeon Lake Yacht Club (121 Boyd St., Bobcaygeon), which last hosted the friendly competition in 2014.
Click for more information
Many people have been inquiring as to when the next step is in the Dewdney Mountain Quarry case and how they can support us. Well we just found out that the next step is here. Onward we go to Divisional Court Sept 26th @ 10:00 am 150 Bond St. East, Oshawa. If you can come in person to support us or support us financially that would be amazing! We are thankful for those who have supported us in the past.
Donations can be deposited as previously at the BMO in Bobcaygeon.
Stop The Quarry Account #0305-8994-689. It is hard to believe the ball started rolling with this case in 2012! We are pleased and grateful that the courts continue to listen.
Appellants for Dewdney Mountain Quarry
Kleins, Jorys, Eastmans, Johnsons, Pillsworths
[Message clipped] View entire message
Peterborough County wants your input for this project. Follow this link and complete the survey to become engaged.
Keep up to day on the status of their Official Plan Project by visiting their website or following them on Twitter (@PtboCounty) or Facebook (Ptbocounty)
Dark skies are an overlooked feature of the environment and are essential to keeping our wildlife and ourselves healthy! Dark skies help us sleep, increase our immunity and metabolism, and are this important for most mammals, birds, fishes and plants… Without night skies, we don’t reach REM sleep, and nor do hummingbirds or loons. Lighting at night distracts, confuses, and exhausts pollinators and migrating birds, and actually invites predators. Most modern forms of night lights can also blind us to the shadows. But, there are simple fixes!….an inexpensive orange filter can make a world of difference; it can keep your property safe, ensure you see a larger distance, and not harm the wildlife too. A sheath on the fixture can also help neighbor relations as well as migrating birds…. Read More