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6/10/2018 8:32 am  #1

Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

In view of the recent reports of trashed campsites in the APP interior, it'll be interesting to see whether the new PC majority government holds to their campaign promises. These have been called "extremely naive" and "clueless":by the press and the former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Gord Miller but we'll see. 

Part of the reason for the negative criticism is that $500 million is a ridiculously small amount to apply to environmental issues generally, into which parks clean-up, waterways protection and conservation officers have been lumped (COs normally deal with resource issues,not environment, but that does show something about how the PCs see things). 

From the PC's campaign plan promises:

We will:

Keep Ontario beautiful by protecting and preserving our waterways and supporting and enforcing our air quality programs.

Improve enforcement, including hiring more conservation officers and increasing policing of major polluters.

Set up an emissions-reduction fund to invest in new technologies to reduce emissions right here in Ontario.

Clean up our communities: Commit resources to reduce garbage in our neighbourhoods and parks.

What this will cost:

Creating a Cleaner Ontario – Combined cost of all initiatives is $500 million over mandate.

Didn't want to post this before the election since it's political but this is how things evolve to create change. If the PCs don't act on their promises, on the ground, they should be held accountable.

PS sidenote.... Green party promises included a ban on logging In APP, in accordance with ECO Gord Miller's recommendations several years ago. Mike Schreiner's single seat (Guelph riding) in Queen's Park might result in some additional initiatives being taken to the public, but Doug Ford's majority government is certain to oppose it, unless there's strong public support to convince him otherwise.

Last edited by frozentripper (6/10/2018 8:38 am)


6/11/2018 7:15 am  #2

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Hey John, glad you wrote in again to get that topic off your chest.

"Promoting political parties or platforms "   ...... Is NOT welcome on this forum !!!!!

It's nothing of the kind... discussions on campsite littering and damage have been going on here for a long time, and how government deals with that is relevant (eg. past elimination of the park rangers with spending cuts). The problem might be getting worse and the promises that Doug Ford and the PCs have been making might indicate a change in policy for the better.. Or not, if you remember how quickly he flip-flopped on developing the established no-development Oak Ridges Moraine green belt between Barrie and Toronto. Once Ford realizes how little money has been promised for environmental matters, those promises could be forgotten, and readers here who have had complaints could be interested why.  

Ford's promised reductions in government spending are also relevant.... he's made it clear that everything will be examined and an already-stretched MNRF parks staff and services may be cut. Contracting out and privatization have also been a PC initiative.The feds under Trudeau will be watching and if there are cuts that could be harmful, there may be new taxes or reductions in transfers of some kind. All very uncertain since Doug Ford and PCs are pretty much clueless about government operations and how money's being spent on these issues and there's more news to come, I'm sure.

Anybody here that's offended by this information on government policy can complain, still, others might want to know if and why APP's being badly managed and what to do about it.

Gotta go, cheers.

     Thread Starter

6/12/2018 8:36 am  #3

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

I've been away from the forum for a couple of days. Pondering how a change in government might impact the state of the park certainly isn't 'promoting a political party'. Nor is soliciting a new government to make good on a promise. Please let's keep the park and our responsible use of it foremost in our minds.


6/12/2018 4:07 pm  #4

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Had to keep an afternoon appointment shortly after my earlier post in this thread. Now that I'm back, I'm having a more critical look at the thread as it relates to the related forum rules which are ...

16. not overtly promote specific political parties or platforms.
18. not initiate, invite or provoke discussion of controversial social or political issues not related to Algonquin Park.

The discussion of political "issues" related to Algonquin Park are not prohibited. It's the overt promotion of specific political parties or platforms that are prohibited.

With this framework in mind, we can definitely have a civilized discussion of social and political issues related to the park.

We're having a change in provincial government, and thereby probably its policies and services. Our related hopes, anticipations and reactions related to Algonquin Park are fair fodder for discussion. It's the overt promotion of parties or platforms that'll cause a problem.

Accordingly, I'll be pruning/editing some of the thread's posts.


6/13/2018 7:06 am  #5

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Barry, your clarification on this board's principles will be valuable for information-gathering purposes moving forward, I'm sure.

APP is within a day's drive of 40 million potential visitors, receives close to a million visitors each year, and since Ontario parks are by law "dedicated to the people", there's some overlap with Doug Ford's campaign promises that were made "for the people". Just how real and relevant those promises turn out to be for the people of Ontario remains to be seen so interesting to watch how all this works out in terms of reality on the ground.

PS... just another heads-up  while I'm at it and which you're no doubt already aware of... this year, 2018, is the year that a review of APP's management plan is due so there may well be some news surfacing on this issue. Public consultation and reference to the Environmental Bill of Rights that's available, should be made public and no doubt there'll be some developments on that front. Let the people be heard.

A formal environmental assessment in developing the new plan has been suggested and that's another thing to watch for as time goes on and new info comes in.

So, time goes on, evolution moves forward.... cheers.


Last edited by frozentripper (6/13/2018 7:31 am)

     Thread Starter

6/13/2018 5:03 pm  #6

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

John Connelly wrote:

" In 2015/2016, sales values of forest products by the Algonquin Forestry Authority were $20.6 million.  Contractors engaged from communities in the region were paid $19 million, and the AFA had a net income of $ 650,000.  The AFA is financially self-sufficient with no cost to the taxpayers."

HAHA! Can you imagine if Algonquin logging was taxpayer subsidized! My god what an embarrassment that we be- it's embarrassing enough as it is that this degree of logging is allowed. It never crossed my mind that something like that COULD be subsidized, how ridiculous. I'm a bit alarmed that AFA is so proud that they're self sufficient.


6/13/2018 7:42 pm  #7

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

I'll say this as essentially an outsider so take it how you will.

John Connelly wrote:

My issue  is with the ps. comment slipped in there at the end of Rick's first post.

I would think questioning how tripper's p.s. fits the rules would be more convincing if you didn't start trashing other political parties (and I appologize if it was just sarcasm between friends).  But either way, Barry runs the board (and from my occasional visits has done a solid job of it) so his interpretation is likely the one that matters most.

On the topic of the OP, I'm not too hopeful of seeing much in the way of change or funding from any political party in the near future.  I've seen the Ford city administration close up, I would expect him to cut rather than spend anything unless (hopefully) his Central Ontario MPPs somehow get his ear.

Last edited by keg (6/13/2018 7:44 pm)


6/14/2018 6:29 am  #8

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

John. I would love to be there for the meeting, unfortunately, things are very busy and that's going to be beating out any opportunity to be in the park. As an alternative, how about we all attend a Green Party rally in support of APP protection instead... jest kidding.

Seriously. it might be time well spent to attend the public consultations that are likely to be scheduled when the park plan is being reviewed and meet up at that time. Cheers, have fun.

Keg, cuts are likely since Ford promised a 4% cut in government spending on services... the big spending issues with health care, education, law enforcement, industrial development, housing, etc. are going to get most of the attention and the more minor ones may be delayed or forgotten. JMO but we'll see. Letters written to the minister can be effective, I've had to answer on behalf of past MNR ministers myself and they are taken seriously, if written properly. 

     Thread Starter

6/14/2018 9:01 am  #9

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Just a reminder to everyone that one of the key expectations of the forum is that ... 

3) This forum's public discussions are not a venue for "ongoing personal-chit-chat", for "chronicling daily activities" or for "extended and/or detailed planning of social events". The forum's 'Personal Messages" feature, emailing or social networking websites are the appropriate online venues in which to pursue those needs.

Should an Algonquin Park event be scheduled, it can be initially announced on the forum. However, planning such as individual invitations, responses and details should be pursued by either personal message or email.


6/14/2018 1:50 pm  #10

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

John Connelly wrote:

And it's not too late Keg , can I sign ya up fer the Logging Days festivities ? It's goin ta be a blast !

I think I'll be on the french that weekend but thanks for the offer.  Took students to the logging museum years ago and was as surprised as they were that the park was originally set up to preserve logging rights. Makes sense for the time though and 130 years later doesn't interfere with the stuff I do in the park.

As a side note, Kevin with the naturalists does a great job jumping into the role of old-timey logger.

But I do think that some of your political comments were rather opinion based.


6/18/2018 2:47 pm  #11

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

For what its worth I agree with you Barry ... I think this is less about politics and more about improving the state of the park and if we as members of this forum can put our weight behind a movement that makes the park better for our needs then why not.  From what I can see natives and loggers have been very successful in getting use of the park ... maybe we can learn from them.  I sometimes wonder if our voice ... the .. the folks who post here and at other outdoor tripping sites is really being heard in any organized manner.  Is there a groups that represents camper on a regular basis to lobby the government?    

If this discussion helps us keep abreast of issues and hold politicians accountable so we campers can influence what goes on in AP then why not ... if there one thing that all political parties understand is that votes matter ...      


6/18/2018 4:51 pm  #12

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Dead_Weight (DW) wrote:

 I sometimes wonder if our voice ... the .. the folks who post here and at other outdoor tripping sites is really being heard in any organized manner.  Is there a groups that represents camper on a regular basis to lobby the government?     

Hmmm....You mean something like the Algonquin Backcountry Recreationalists?


6/18/2018 8:33 pm  #13

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

"In 2015/2016, sales values of forest products by the Algonquin Forestry Authority were $20.6 million.  Contractors engaged from communities in the region were paid $19 million, and the AFA had a net income of $ 650,000.  The AFA is financially self-sufficient with no cost to the taxpayers.

Based on a 2015/2016 harvest level of 423,641 m3, the Algonquin Park Forest contributed $356 million to the Ontario economy in terms of value added. "

Why is it that protected areas so often have to be based in large part on their economic value? It's a rare park these days in Canada or elsewhere in the world that a park is supported principally on its ecological values.


6/19/2018 7:05 am  #14

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Here we go again... today's news release on Ford's promised cuts to government spending and services. In the past MNRF has had to take significant cuts, since services are viewed as non-essential by some in Queen's Park relative to bigger concerns with health care, law enforcement, education, industrial development, housing and all critical services. In the past, both the Environmental Commissioner and the Auditor-General of Ontario have stated that MNRF is badly underfunded, understaffed and needs the $$$ necessary to operate properly.

My guess is contract staff in APP have already been hired so the freeze may not apply there, unless contract hires haven't actually started working or haven't been been formally signed on. Long-term spending cuts will probably not be announced for several months until auditors have examined the books to define what's considered fat and what isn't. Allocated $$$ planned for contracts can also be held back and returned to Queen's Park by the minister as normal OP, without the need for audit and review.

No statement yet that I could find from the NGOs interested in protecting APP, such as CPAWS, Wildlands League, Earthroots, Ontario Nature, Ecojustice and the rest but may be in the news once the cuts are in place.


Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives have put the public service on a hiring freeze and are halting all discretionary government spending until after the party takes office and can audit the province’s books.

Ministries across Canada’s largest provincial government were told to immediately limit spending, including curtailing public events and stopping unnecessary travel, less than two weeks before premier-designate Doug Ford and his cabinet take office.

Most of the spending limits, including a freeze on hiring by the public service, will remain in place until after Mr. Ford delivers on a campaign promise to complete an exhaustive, line-by-line audit of the Ontario government, according to a Tory spokesman.


Along with the hiring limits, a number of new restrictions have been placed on spending. Ministries have been told to immediately halt all expenditures that are not necessary for public safety – which includes requests for proposals on future projects, outside consulting services and contractors, travel, events and communications with the public. Work already under way should be slowed or put on a temporary hold if possible, the directive says.


     Thread Starter

6/19/2018 10:11 am  #15

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Summer students sign their contracts the day they start work. For most of the interior student rangers in Algonquin that will be July 2nd. The job offers have already been made and accepted, so hopefully there won't be any changes to the scheduled start dates, but given the wording of the announcement on the hiring freeze there is a chance the summer positions could be at risk. 


6/19/2018 12:36 pm  #16

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Hi Methye ... I think the ABR was dissolved in 2015 ... 

I don't think there's any association that speaks for the campers ... 


6/19/2018 12:56 pm  #17

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Since it was mentioned in the original post there is one thing we should clarity ... just because we don't see logging in the park doesn't mean its not doing any damage or affecting us in any way.  It definitely is.  I grew up cutting pulp wood, sawlogs, veneer and firewood and have witnessed the effect of logging over several decades.  However assuming that they are practising modern logging practises (e.g. balloon tires on treefarmers, no clear cutting) the effect is dramatically reduced.  For that reason I think logging has a  place in the park ... assuming of course that companies are using modern techniques.  



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