GBA met with representatives of the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs March 9, 2016. Our objective was to further familiarize the AG and MAA with the GBA and in particular its interests and concerns with both the Central Claim (above) and the Wiky’s larger claim to Crown islands from Sault St. Marie to Penetang. In the context of Ontario’s Statement of Defence to the Wiky claims, AG representatives emphasized that it is the government’s preference to negotiate settlements, rather than deal with the matter through the courts, as court decisions are uncertain and potentially unpalatable.
MAA has advised that they are still processing the significant input received from the public as part of the Environmental Assessment process. Indications are that negotiations and arriving at a settlement will be a lengthy process.
GBA’s efforts will remain focussed on supporting the NGBA in their dealings with the Wiky FN in regard to the proposed Central Lands Claim to the best of its ability.While it is our wish that whatever settlement is reached is full and final, we will however remain equally attentive to the interests and concerns of our other member associations and to the larger claim, should that larger claim gain traction. Overall, our goal is to assist in the development of a settlement that is fair and equitable to all stakeholders who have an interest in, and value, the Bay, including the First Nations.
Georgian Bay Forever has some capacity and funding to help community groups address Phragmites. If you would like their assistance either contact them directly at ExecutiveDirector@georgianbayforever.org or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with them. Be prepared to provide your name, email address and location on the Bay as well as a general description of the size, age and location of the stand of Phragmites that you wish to eradicate. Also providing a picture of the stand of Phrag that you are wanting to deal with will help us to better understand the nature of your challenge.