Centre Lake Crown land proposal criticized

·1 min read

Citizens came forward to express their concerns with a proposed disposition of Crown land on the shoreline of Centre Lake at a Highlands East council public meeting April 27. More than 60 people viewed the live-streamed meeting, of which seven delegations presented. The municipality hosted the meeting to gather feedback as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) considers selling a 200- foot Crown reserve. The move comes at the request of two developers at the east and west sides of the lake. One of the planned developments is a 60-suite resort and wellness spa called Granite Shores on the east side, which also garnered attention. Many of the delegates expressed concerns about the possible impact of large-scale projects. “Crown land is the people’s land,” Dale Watson, who leases an island on Centre Lake, said. “Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Centre Lake is a beautiful, untouched lake that offers itself to the local public.” The meeting was distinct from the MNRF’s public consultation, which it will do later regarding a Crown land use policy amendment. Municipal planner Chris Jones noted no decisions would be made on applications to purchase Crown land until a policy amendment is completed to make it possible. He also said the area would exclude a 66-ft municipal shore road allowance. Several organizations came forward to discuss the situation, including the Paudash Lake Conservation Association and the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust. Hiawatha First Nations representative Tom Cowie said the lake is within the territory of the Williams Treaties.

Joseph Quigley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Highlander