Important Facts About What Happened at the
McDonald River & McCrae Lake Canoe Route

 

1. The Ministry of Natural Resources maintains a sign with information about the canoe route at the parking lot. They did not post any information there about the application to build a snowmobile road and bridge. In effect, anyone who would have opposed it was left in the dark. Most people didn't know anything about it until the road was already cut to the rapids.

2. Despite protests from the public, the MNR allowed the construction. Apparently, they do not believe in democracy and they do not respect you. They defied public will.

3. The MNR and the snowmobile club refused to make any compromise with the campers about the orientation of the road.

4. Prior to this incident, the government of Ontario ran an advertising campaign pledging to protect large areas of wilderness. McCrae Lake and McDonald River are popular wilderness camping places so there is no excuse for leaving any part of this area out of the protected zone. Whether the McDonald River was included in the conservation reserve is irrelevant to this situation. This is public land. The public did not want this development put here.

5. This isn't the first low blow the government dealt to people who camp at McCrae Lake. Because of highway construction, access to the larger parking lot at the top of the hill was severed. Now people receive tickets for parking too close to the road or have their cars towed away for obstructing other drivers.

6. The part of the rapids that the bridge covers is an especially scenic one. People sunbathe there, have picnics, wade in the river, fish, and portage their canoes through this particular spot.

7. The bridge is constructed from highly conductive steel beams, which attracts lightning. Electrical storms have been known to occur in the area suddenly with little or no warning. It is necessary to portage past this bridge to get into and out of the lake and it takes some time to do. If someone took shelter under the bridge during an unexpected storm that started when they reached the portage they would be in danger. Some people actually set up their tents in the area near to the bridge. Why put a structure that attracts lightning across a frequently used canoe portage?

 

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