There has been a precedent set in Ontario regarding the trails. We have received a copy of a "lease agreement," between a private property owner and a local snowmobile club. Congratulations to this group and the property owner for reaching such an agreement, so that the property owner is protected and the trail group can use his land/property for their trail.
In this lease is the dollar amount of the lease, the legal description of the property – Lot, Concession, Township and R#; start and end dates of the lease; proof of $15 Million insurance, etc. Personally I would like to include all of it in this letter, but that is not for me to do. There are things included that are really good and if someone were interested in entering into a lease agreement with a trail group they should seek legal advice.
If it were me, and a trail group approached me, I would speak with my lawyer and put into this lease: a start and end date; a map of the area needed for the trail; that the trail group would mark the trail, showing the boundaries of said trail; that the trail group is responsible for monitoring the trail, to ensure that those using it did not go off the trail, and respected the use of the land/property; that the trail group would be responsible for anyone going off of the trail, and/or any injury that happened if someone did go off of the trail, etc.; that the trail group would be responsible for the maintenance of the trail, including grooming, cleaning and ensuring that all trash/debris be cleaned up during the use and at/ by the end date of the lease; and the criteria for using the trail, including in fully licensed vehicle operators and proof of their own insurance, etc.
This is the start of a beautiful co-operation but it didn't have to come to this.
Had the provincial government merely withdrawn Bill 100 and had never passed the Ontario Trails Bill, this group and the property owner would not have had to create this document in the first place. Shame on the province for this land grab and any MPP who voted in favour of this Bill.
Again I would like to personally express a very large thank you to this snowmobile group that respected this property owner by entering into this lease agreement. Now all trail groups and municipalities, and government agencies, can do the same, for any of the other trails, for hiking, equestrian, ATVs, etc. It all begins with one showing respect to get the trails open – too bad government didn't have that kind of respect.
Elizabeth F. Marshall
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