New Liberal govt. considering severing Rondeau Provincial Park for cottagers.
Read Full News Story Here:
At the request of the City of Chatham, the new Kathleen Wynne Liberal govt. is seriously considering severing Rondeau Provincial Park along the area where private cottages sit. Cottages sit in a cluster along the entrance of the park and along the public beach.
Cottage leases expire in 2017.
This happened at Presqu’ile Provincial Park in the 1960’s along Bayshore Road. Rather than phase out privately leased cottages in a provincial park, the govt. of the day simply severed Presqui’le and privatized the cottages outright into a subdivision for the City of Brighton. The City of Brighton benefitted from the taxes collected.
Today, Kathleen Wynne is seriously considering the same to resolve a long standing dispute between cottagers and the Ontario govt. regarding lease extensions.
Rondeau and Algonquin Provincial Parks are the only parks in Ontario that allow private cottages.
The issue of private cottages in provincial parks has always been contentious because cottage owners tend to be wealthy and have privileged and subsidized access to an otherwise public resource. Cottages can also be rented generating income for the leaseholder.
In Rondeau Park cottagers have transformed the fragile sand dune beach habitat into a massive subdivision with stately cottages, manicured front lawns and four door garages. The presence of cottages require street lights, electrical service, service roads, septic tanks and inappropriate landscaping has contributed to the introduction of invasive species.
But more importantly, cottages have displaced the sensitive sand dune habitat now considered threatened from shoreline development.
Also at the centre of the debate is the issue of public ownership. Most of the land in southern Ontario is privately owned. There is very little public land and even less public shoreline.
Severing Rondeau is a real slap in the face when considering public access to public beaches is already so restricted, and the urgency of protecting threatened habitat.
Learn More: http://www.peacefulparks.org/Action%20alerts/Rondeau3.pdf
A cottage in Rondeau Park.