World Water Day!


March 22 is World Water Day – as good a time as any to reflect on the value of clean, abundant water and to consider life without it.

Hundreds of millions of people don’t have access to good water, including those who live in one of Canada’s 86 First Nations Communities currently under boil-water advisories, or Flint, Michigan, where bottled water is used for drinking, cooking and bathing.

Water is life. Water is food. Water is jobs, recreation, industry, and nature.

Where would we be without it?



Fraser Wetlands: Endangered Turtle Habitat?


The Blanding’s Turtle

Sometimes called the “smiling turtle” because of the way its mouth curves endearingly at the edges, the Blanding’s Turtle is a semi-aquatic species that lives in wetlands, ponds, marshes, freshwater shorelines, and – according to a number of reported sightings – the Fraser Wetlands! This won’t surprise anyone familiar with the property and its predominance of swamps, bogs and wetlands. This particular species thrives is such environments, preferring shallow water rich in plant material and nutrients.

The Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is named for the American naturalist, Dr. William Blanding (1773 – 1857), and found throughout the Great Lakes Region, including southern, central and Eastern Ontario, and in other isolated parts of Canada. Sadly, they are known to be in decline in Ontario where the at-risk species and its habitat are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

A few facts:

• The Blanding’s is a medium-sized turtle;

• its domed shell is dark brown to black, with speckling, and has been compared to an army helmet;

• its neck is long and its throat and belly are yellow, making it easy to identify;

Continue reading “Fraser Wetlands: Endangered Turtle Habitat?”


North Kawartha Council Decision in the Media!

The Fraser shoreline. Photo by Ruth Dyer
The Fraser shoreline. Photo by Ruth Dyer

News of North Kawartha Township Council’s decision to deny Burleigh Bay Corporation’s application to Amend the Zoning By-law has hit the press! The following story by Sarah Frank appeared yesterday in My Kawartha, the region’s online daily news site. Sarah interviewed FFW founder Jeremy Carver and North Kawartha Township Mayor Rick Woodcock for the piece:

Click here for My Kawartha article

If you’re free on Saturday afternoon, don’t forget to drop by the Emerald Summit (full details in post, below) at Viamede, from 1 – 5 pm. It’s going to be a great afternoon!


News About the Fraser Property!


We always knew it was a possibility, and now it’s happened.

Last week The Township of North Kawartha received documents from Ron Dick, principle of Burleigh Bay Development Corporation, giving notice that he has filed three appeals at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) against the Township and the County of Peterborough for failure to make a decision on his application to build 60 unit residential condos on the Fraser Property on Burleigh Bay, Part Of Lots 3, 4, 5 And 6 Concessions I and II.

Our lawyers advise that this is a well-known path for a developer to follow to move things along – applying pressure!

The FFW are deeply engaged with this process. Thank you for your support and interest over the last year. We look forward to your increased interest and your help as we move forward in our ongoing efforts to preserve the environmental and cultural integrity of the Fraser Estate on Stony Lake.

If you wish to, and we hope you do, go to the OMB link below, and follow the news here on our website and on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsoftheFraserWetlands


Participating in an OMB Hearing

The definitions below clarify choices for us all. Thanks to Roz Moore of the Environment Council for Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lakes for sending this along.

Here’s what you need to know about participating in an Ontario Municipal Board hearing:
If you want to be heard in an OMB matter, you may be able to become a party or participant at the hearing.

What is a party?
A party is a person or organization that is accepted as a party by the Board. For example, in the case of a zoning by-law passed by a municipality and appealed to the Board, the parties may be the municipality, the applicant (person or organization that applied for the rezoning) and the appellant (person or organization that filed an appeal against the zoning by-law).
For some matters, there are conditions to becoming a party. For instance, some matters under the Planning Act require a party to have made oral or written submissions to council before council made a decision. The Board may also add a party to a matter if there are good reasons for it. If you are unsure whether you may be considered a party, please look at the law related to your matter.

A party’s role in the hearing process can include: exchanging documents, presenting evidence, questioning witnesses and making submissions to the Board. A party may also request costs, adjournments or a review of the Board’s decision.

If an unincorporated group wishes to become a party, the group must appoint one person to speak for it. The person appointed must accept the responsibilities of a party. A party does not need legal representation though the party may have an agent speak on his/her behalf. A representative, who can be either a lawyer or non-lawyer, must be authorized under the Law Society Act. There is an exemption that allows for persons who are not in the business of providing legal services to occasionally provide assistance to a friend or relative for no fee. For information on licensing and exemptions, please refer to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s website http://www.lsuc.ca.

How do I ask to be a party?
1. Send your request, in writing, to the Board. Also send a copy of your request to the current parties.
2. Be at the first day of hearings, at the start time. If you are not there, you may be denied party status.
3. At the beginning of the hearing, the Board Member asks if anyone wishes to become a party to the matter. You may stand up and ask to be a party.
4. Give the Board Member your name and address for the record.
5. Explain why you wish to be a party. After explaining your position, the Member will ask if any of
the current parties object to you being added as a party.
6. The current parties may agree or disagree to adding you as a party.
7. The Board Member decides if you will be added as a party.
OMB Information Sheet 12 Page 1 of 3
What are parties’ responsibilities at a hearing?
Generally, parties at the hearing should: describe their point of view on the matter,
submit all necessary documentation as exhibits at the hearing (this includes any maps, case
law, document books, etc.), present their case using exhibits, witnesses and other evidence
cross-examine the other parties, witnesses and evidence at the end of the hearing, give final arguments or a summary of all their evidence follow the procedures set out in a procedural order from a prehearing (these procedures may set out when to appear at a hearing, when to exchange documents with the other parties and other important instructions that are required to be followed before the hearing).

What is a participant?
A participant is a person or organization that participates at a hearing by making a statement to the Board on some or all of the issues on the matter being heard. A participant may attend all or part of the proceedings. There is no requirement for a participant to have made submissions to council before becoming involved in an OMB matter.
When making a statement to the Board, participants must swear (or affirm) to tell the truth. They may be questioned by the Board and parties. Participants generally do not question witnesses and cannot ask for costs, adjournments or request a review of the decision.
A participant may submit a written statement without attending the hearing. However, the Board may not give the written statement the same weight as a statement made in person since participants cannot be questioned about their statement if not present at the hearing.

How do I ask to become a Participant?
1. Be at the first day of the hearing, at the start time. If you are not there, you may be denied participant status.
2. At the beginning of the hearing, the Board Member asks if anyone wishes to become a party or a participant. At that time, you may stand up and ask to be a participant.
3. Give the Board Member your name and address for the record.
4. The Member will set aside time during the hearing for participant statements. Usually
statements are scheduled at the end of a hearing. During a longer hearing, the Board may set a different time for participant statements so participants do not have to sit through the entire hearing.

What are participants’ responsibilities at a hearing?
Generally, participants at the hearing should:
Show up on the first day of the hearing at the start time.
Provide their name and address to the Board.
Give their statement to the Board. If the hearing has been scheduled for multiple days, the
member may set a date when participants provide their statements.
OMB Information Sheet 12 Page 2 of 3

Follow the procedures set out in a procedural order from a prehearing. These procedures may set out when to appear at a hearing and when to provide participant statements to the parties.
How else can I participate (if I do not want to become a party or participant)?
OMB hearings are open to the public. Anyone may sit in and watch a hearing to see how the OMB process works or to be informed of what is happening with an OMB matter. In some rare cases, a hearing may be closed to the public, if the Board determines that the matter should be heard in private. Mediation meetings are not open hearings and are only held for the parties involved.
Where can I get more information?
For further details on parties and participants, refer to the OMB’s Rules of Practice and Procedure. The Rules are available at http://www.omb.gov.on.ca, or by calling (416) 212-6349 or toll free 1-866-448- 2248.
Please Note
The information contained in this information sheet is not intended as a substitute for legal or other advice, and in providing this information, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions in this information sheet, and shall not be liable for any reliance placed on the information in this information sheet. Additional information, including the OMB’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, is available at http://www.omb.gov.on.ca, or by calling (416) 212-6349 or toll free 1-866-448-2248.
ISBN 978-1-4435-8478-4 © Queen’s printer for Ontario, 2012
Disponible en français: Ce qu’il faut savoir sur la participation aux audiences de la Commission des affaires municipales de l’Ontario.

The Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario (ELTO) includes the Assessment Review Board, Board of Negotiation, Conservation Review Board, Environmental Review Tribunal, Ontario Municipal Board, Niagara Escarpment Hearing Office and the Office of Consolidated Hearings. The Tribunals operate under specific legislative requirements and share resources and best practices. The Ontario Municipal Board hears appeals and applications on a wide range of municipal and land-related matters including official plans, zoning by-laws, subdivision plans, consents and minor variances, land compensation, development charges, ward boundaries, and aggregate resources. For more information contact us at:
Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario
655 Bay Street, Suite 1500, Toronto, ON M5G 1E5 Telephone: (416) 212-6349 or toll free: 1-866-448-2248



We start the new year with HOPE!

On September 25, 2014, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne wrote the following to the Honourable Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, in her mandate letter:

I ask that you work collaboratively with other ministers and a wide variety of stakeholders to develop and deliver sustainable science-based approaches to programs and policies.

As part of a list of seven priorities, the Premier said in the section ‘Protecting Wetlands’ that the ministry’s mandate includes:

Working with other ministers, municipalities and partners to conduct a review of Ontario’s broader wetland strategy. Your goal is to strengthen wetland policies and stop the net loss of wetlands.

The Premier doesn’t spell out how to do this.

We have some ideas. Stay tuned!


It’s a go!

It looks like we’re in for a beautiful day! See you at the paddle – 1:30 p.m. today, Crouse dock, Horseshoe Island.  See below for all parking, boating, paddling details.



Celebrate the beauty of this ancient terrestrial landscape and show your support for the preservation of the Fraser wetlands!

Rendezvous Point      Clark’s Bay between Horseshoe Island and the Fraser Property. Look for the green tent and the FFW sign on the Crouse dock, Lot # 2023, SW tip of Horseshoe Island

Rendezvous: 20140929_081122

Getting there      There will be car parking available at Dunford’s Landing, a short paddle from Clark’s Bay, and docks for parking motorboats and launching canoes and kayaks on the south Burleigh shore at the McWilliams, David and Anderson cottages (please see map, below, for all locations).

Paddle Route       From Clark’s Bay we’ll paddle westward along the north shoreline past the Fraser Boathouse and on to the Beaver Dam near the western end of the Fraser property

Please RSVP to Jennifer David at davidengell@sympatico.ca by Thursday, October 9th, and indicate the number of canoes and/or kayaks you’ll be bringing, and whether you’ll be coming by car.

This is a weather-permitting event. In the event of inclement weather, we will cancel the paddle. Please check our website or Facebook the morning of October 12 for an update. www.facebook.com/friendsofthefraserwetlands; www.friendsoffraserwetlands.com

DISCLAIMER: This is an unsupervised, voluntary event in a natural environment. Those participating do so entirely at their own risk and FFW takes no responsibility for death, injury, loss or damage to participants or their property. The paddle route and rendezvous point are suggestions only and actual routes followed are the participants’ choice. By indicating an intention to participate you are accepting this disclaimer.



How can I help?

As a supporter of the Friends of the Fraser Wetlands, you know how hard the community has been working to protect the provincially significant wetlands that comprise much of the Fraser property and its shoreline.

This is an issue that affects us all, and will for generations to come. Healthy wetlands mean healthy watersheds.

Please help us preserve the Fraser Wetlands by donating today. 

Friends of the Fraser Wetlands Q & A

What is Friends of the Fraser Wetlands?

Friends of the Fraser Wetlands (FFW) was established in the spring by a group of concerned cottagers and full-time residents to try to preserve the environmental and cultural integrity of the 700-acre Fraser Estate and its large complexes of provincially significant wetlands, which have a profound effect on the water quality, aquatic life, and wildlife of Stony Lake.

Why do we need this initiative?

FFW is concerned that a proposed 60-lot condominium development will threaten the ecological integrity of the Fraser Estate and impact Stoney Lake. The Fraser Estate is home to the Provincially Significant Fraser Wetlands Complex , many sensitive environmental features, and 11 First Nation archaeological sites. The shoreline of the Fraser Estate spans kilometres of wilderness along Stony Lake and is some of the most prolific musky spawning grounds known anywhere in the Kawarthas.

What is FFW doing?

In order to challenge the proposed development, FFW is educating the public and raising funds to retain water quality, hydrogeology and biology experts, and a legal team. FFW is also working to inform the politicians at a municipal and county level and to raise their awareness to growing opposition to this development. FFW has also generated media interest in both the development proposal and the negative public opinion it has attracted.

What stage is this development at now?

The developer is seeking a zoning amendment, official plan amendment and a condominium plan approval to be able to move ahead with this development as it’s designed. The statutory public meeting occurred on August 23, 2014 with 250 people in attendance. The meeting lasted 4 hours with a strong majority in opposition of the development. The mayor of North Kawartha Council has stated that the decision will not take place prior to the October 27, 2014 municipal election.

Why now?

The development is now at the draft plan approvals stage and is getting close to being granted approvals with little consideration for any of the concerns and unanswered questions of Stony Lakers being addressed.

What are the possible outcomes?

The development gets dismissed at a municipal or county level (our best outcome)
The development goes to an Ontario Municipal Board for a decision either by request of the developer or FFW
The developer decides it’s not worth pursuing and Kawartha Land Trust – a local conservation organization – works to acquire the property at fair market value and preserve it in perpetuity.
The development gets approved as it is designed now or in a reduced design.

What is the cost estimate for the initial opposition?

To date, we have spent $25, 000 on legal opinions and consultations necessary for our arguments to North Kawartha Council. We need to raise a total of $200, 000. These funds will pay for expert opinions on hydrogeology, planning, and an environmental assessment, as well as further legal fees necessary to illustrate the enormous negative impact this development will have on Stony Lake.

Who has been approached for help?

At this point there has been a general request through email and letters handed out at the pubic meeting for donations. Neither the Heritage Foundation nor Kawartha Land Trust can be directly involved in funding due to their charitable status.

If all the money isn’t used, what happens to it?

The money will be redirected to the Kawartha Land Trust to enable it to to acquire and maintain property on Stony Lake in its natural state in keeping with the intended use of the donation.

Is the work of the Friends supported by other lake organizations?

Yes! Several established lake organizations have been working in collaboration with FFW, including The Association of Stoney Lake Cottagers (ASLC), The Kawartha Park Cottagers Association (KPCA), the Juniper Point Cottage Owners Association (JPOAC), and The Birchcliff Property Owners Association (BPOA), among others.

Will I receive a taxable receipt for my donation?

At this time it is not possible to issue a taxable receipt.

How Can I Help?

Inform yourself by reading the information on the website, watching the youtube videos (see the video link on our website) and by spreading the word to other lakers.

Write a letter of opposition (email) to your municipal and county politicians; addresses can be found on the website as is a guide for letter writing. Every letter has to be recorded and every letter helps. The municipal election is coming so this is an important step. It’s not too late to let the North Kawartha Council, and your own council if you live in Selwyn or Douro-Dummer, know how you feel about the proposed development.

Register to vote on October 27th. Election information can be found on the FFW website. If you own property on the lake, you are entitled to vote!

Please donate to support FFW as we work to save the Fraser Estate. We cannot fight this development without financial support from the community. We need your donations now! We are incurring on-going legal and professional fees as we carry on this fight.

Where can I find information to inform myself?

You can email us at friendsofthefraser@gmail.com

Who do I contact to donate?

2. Heather and Jeremy at 705-654-4488,
3. Catherine Kirk at 705-761-1282, or mail a cheque to Friends of the Fraser Wetlands, General Delivery, Woodview, K0L3E0
4.Email donations can be made to ffwetland@gmail.com

Thanks for your consideration,

The Friends of the Fraser Wetlands
Board Members: Ben Samann, Catherine Kirk, Heather Brooks-Hill, Jen Lewis, Jennifer David, Jeremy Carver, and Scott Wootton.