Your Cottage Ownership Questioned In Landmark Case.
As you read the following comments the landmark lawsuit instigated by Ontario's Attorney General and the Ministry of Natural Resources against the Rowntree Beach Association is at the courtroom door. Plainly put, the Ontario government is attempting to take over private waterfront property officially registered for decades with the Ontario government as privately owned. The frightening implication of this case, should the Government win, is that some 2,000 other shoreline property owners along the 16 miles of waterfront from Concession 3, in the south, to Georgian Highlands, in the north, would become "State owned", Ontario Government Lands. With this plum in its bag, what's to stop the Government from going after other shoreline beach property using similar tactics?
If you are a back lot owner, don't feel smug. It doesn't take much imagination to see the effect mass public visitation, back area parking lots and developer's exploitation will do to your relaxing haven once your beach is opened up.
Sadly, it appears that instead of combining energies to address this Government's attack on private owners of property, a very small but vocal group of residents under the name of "Tiny's Inland Residents Working Together" is advising the Tiny Council to support the Government's assault. Who are these people who want to destroy the beach community? As their name indicates, they have nothing at risk, but they want to see that you lose your property. Would they be prepared to have their property confiscated, property that they have invested in, paid taxes on, improved and carefully nurtured - property associated with deeply rooted family and community ties?
For a council elected to represent the best interest of all its ratepayers, it shouldn't have demonstrated any support for this land grab attempt. Yet 4 of the 5 members of this Tiny Township Council voted to support the Attorney General. It should have supported people with registered deeds, including the Township's own deeds to its shoreline property.
Did you know: at the present time, Tiny Township holds registered deeds to some 3 miles of beachfront property? The Township is the biggest potential loser in the lawsuit.
In July 1967, the Globe & Mail ran an editorial about the "takeover" of private beach property. An owner of beach property which had been taken by the government for future public use wrote to the government and said: "The government is in effect saying to the private property owner: 'Well we have made a mistake, and despite all your foresight and efforts to create and maintain a place of beauty, a place to escape the oppressing crowd, a place to contemplate and concentrate on those values and relationships which elevate and accentuate the pleasure of being human... we want some land for the people who were unable to, incapable of, or uninterested in planning for themselves. Consequently, we are going to make you, the private landowner, pay in anguish and cash, for our mistakes. What do we care if we destroy summer communities of many years standing which draw people together from all parts of the province.'"
Whatever transpires over the next several weeks in the Toronto court, all Tiny cottagers should pay close attention to the proceedings or they may lose what they have.
For information, call Paul Masterson of Thunder Beach, at (416) 431-0447.