VIDEO: Wilson Stands Up for Snowmobile Clubs as Liberals Move to Cut Off Access to Hydro Corridors
(October 31, 2013) Today, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson questioned the government on their plan to charge snowmobile clubs for the use of trails in hydro corridors. Wilson is worried the newly enforced regulations will cut off access to trails and severely impact the industry.
“Minister, snowmobile clubs in my riding and across Ontario have come to us in distress. They’ve been told by Hydro One, on the orders of your ministry, effective January 1, 2014, they will no longer have access to the use of hydro corridors unless the local municipalities enter into agreements to not only fund 50% of the total cost of the taxes on the land, but also ensure that all trails are moved 15 meters away from any tower, that fencing and gates are installed and that the areas are monitored year round,” said Wilson.
“Snowmobile clubs can’t afford this, obviously, and municipalities can’t afford it. The use of hydro corridors is paramount, as you know, to the snowmobile trail system. These new requirements will impact snowmobile clubs across the province and may needlessly lead to the dissolution of an industry that is presently thriving.”
Wilson questioned the government on why local snowmobile clubs and municipalities are being asked to maintain and pay the taxes on lands that are provincially owned. He feels this request is nothing but another Liberal tax grab and went on to point out how these changes will negatively impact the trail system throughout Ontario.
“The cost estimate done in my riding by the township of Springwater found their share of the cost of the taxes on a mere three kilometres of trail to be $3,700 per year. Remember, there are thousands of kilometres of trail using hydro corridors, and this is only for three kilometres.” continued Wilson. “They will also be responsible for the fencing and maintenance.”
“This issue affects thousands of snowmobile clubs, thousands of dealers, thousands of restaurants, hotels, gas stations and thousands of jobs in rural Ontario. Is your government prepared to create complete disarray in a thriving industry like the snowmobile industry in Ontario, just like you did in the horse racing industry, or will you act now to ensure this doesn’t happen?”
Wilson is encouraging people across Ontario to contact the Premier directly to express their concern.