Amendments to Ontario Regulation 161/17 under the Public Lands Act (initially proposed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on February 24, 2023) – which clarified the types of accommodation units that could be used to camp on water over public land, and the conditions that must be met when doing so – were welcomed.
Such changes would help to decrease negative environmental impacts, reduce obstacles to navigation, and ensure that the rights of property owners and other recreational users (e.g., canoeists, boaters) to enjoy these waterways are taken into consideration.
Information on this initiative was shared in a TLA blog posting on March 13, 2023.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, however, made some concerning modifications to the original proposal on March 16, 2023. These changes would remove several conditions/restrictions that would be beneficial to waterways and many user groups.
Please consider adding your comments to the Environmental Registry of Ontario website (ERO # 019-6590) to request that some of these conditions be reinstated when updates to the Regulation are finalized. Specifically, it is important to indicate that the following conditions should be included among the amendments:
1. reducing the number of days that a person can camp on water over public land (per location, per calendar year), from 21 days to 7 days;
2. increasing the distance that a person camping on water must move their camping unit to a different location, from 100 metres to 1 kilometre; and,
3. prohibiting camping on water within 300 metres of a developed shoreline, including any waterfront structure, dock, boathouse, erosion-control structure, altered shoreline, boat launch, and/or fill.
Feel free to use this message as a reference for the wording of your submission. Comments must be submitted by April 11, 2023.
Note: Before making a submission on the ERO website, you must first create an account. It’s a simple process, requiring only a user name, your e-mail address, and a password.