Keep Rondeau Park Public!
Keep Rondeau Park Public!
We want Rondeau Provincial Park to Remain Public!
(Reference materials in updates)
You can send a strong message to the Ontario Conservative government and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent that WE WILL NOT TOLERATE the transfer of public lands into private hands!
The Municipality of Chatham-Kent has proposed to privatize a portion of Ontario's Rondeau Provincial Park, by offering to purchase 279 extended leased lots for $29.2 million.
Chatham Kent has further proposed that those public lots would be sold EXCLUSIVELY to Cottagers presently using them on a twice-extended leases.
This is wrong in so many ways!
First of all, this is not OUR problem!
Both the cottagers and individuals working within the municipality of Chatham-Kent have colluded to present this as a problem of Chatham-Kent!
Rondeau Provincial Park is NOT within the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, nor within Chatham Kent's jurisdiction. Except for a narrow fence line at the park entrance the entirety of the Rondeau sandspit is surrounded by Federal waters.
The Cottagers DO NOT PAY PROPERTY TAXES. Rather they pay a fee to the province for some services provided by our municipality, services which they receive for costs, under what it costs the average Chatham Kent citizen!
In May 2021 Don Shropshire the municipal CAO has tried to make the case that annexing Public Parkland would bring more revenue into the Municipal coffers.
What the CAO failed to mention was that the Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health is also the President of the Rondeau Cottages Association.
One is left to wonder what other connections CAO has with the Rondeau Cottages Association!
It's also true that 30% of the Rondeau cottagers are not Canadian citizens.
So how is it that Chatham-Kent council is being manipulated into representing non Chatham-Kent residents?
A freedom of information request asking this very question has been delayed by the municipality.
This proposal to bail out well-off cottagers who don't want to honor the conditions of their Provincial leases, using our municipality is a new low!
The leases have been extended twice. The last time, privileged cottagers were offered a means of renewing their leases based on attrition. That means individual leaseholders could live in the park for the rest of their life, after which the individual lease properties would be returned to the People of Ontario.
That generous offer was rejected!
Is it any wonder with today's real estate market that the cottagers' lawyers want to get waterfront Crown Land for pennies on the dollar!
If THEY can buy waterfront Crown Land then anybody should be able to right?
In 2013 the ministry of Natural resources released an impact study of the Rondeau Cottages on the sensitive Park Ecology.
Among the findings were the introduction of INVASIVE SPECIES, the regular KILLING OF ENDANGERED SPECIES on the service roads, regular DISTURBANCE of the sensitive Dune Habitat and Eastern White Pine Forests outlined in "table 10" of this report:
Additionally the Cottages provide refuge from predators for white-footed mice. These mice are the PRIMARY VECTORS of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria spread by black leg ticks that causes Lyme disease!
These reasons and many more are exactly why Ontario's dwindling Natural places need to remain Natural!
Rondeau Park was created as a public space and you can help keep it that way.
SIGN THE PETITION!