So You Think You Own Land?  

“We believe that you should be aware that if the government does not honor our Crown patent, all legal title to properties in Canada could be worthless if caught up in a native claim…”

ERBLThisLandIsOurLand-HonourTheTreatiesForOnce800x800‘Restaurant Owner Says Canada Won’t Honour Crown Patent Title of Private Landowner’

   “I’ve had to deal with this for 23 years now. I eat, sleep and drink this thing,” Sauble Beach, Ontario, business owner Dave Dobson said Saturday in an interview. “It’s time to make people aware of what’s going on here.”

“Dobson is the owner of the ‘Crowd Inn’, a 67-year-old landmark take-out restaurant on the beach just north of the main Sauble sign.

“He owns the property, which he said was deeded through Crown patent in 1896 and is registered through the Ontario land registry system.

“But, because of its location, the property is part of the ongoing Saugeen ‘First Nation’ land claim to Sauble Beach north of Main St.

“Dobson, who took over the Crowd Inn from his dad and uncle in 1983, said he has spent more than $60,000 in legal and expert fees to defend his title to the land since being made aware of a land claim in 1992 and being named in the action in 1995.

“He said he fears the litigation could drag on for many more years, costing him much more money.

“Meanwhile, Dobson said he feels abandoned by the federal and provincial governments.

“He said Ottawa has shirked its responsibility to honour the Crown patent for the land.

“He has started an online petition…which calls on Canada to create a legally binding policy to protect the interests of third parties named in a ‘First Nations’ land claim…  

“Dobson said he has been told by the federal government for two decades to not publicly discuss the land claim. But he said it’s important for people to know what is happening.

   “We are not posting this to sensationalize. We believe that you should be aware that if the government does not honor our Crown patent, all legal title to properties in Canada could be worthless if caught up in a native claim; a sobering thought,” Dobson wrote on his petition page.

“He said he is also concerned that if he does lose ownership of his property, he will not be fairly compensated by the federal government.

   “During the 2006 mediation discussion, Canada’s idea of reasonable compensation was that we could run our business only without ownership of that business or the land on which it stands, nor would we have the ability to sell it. We didn’t like the sound of that retirement plan,” he wrote.

“Saugeen ‘First Nation’ says the land promised to it in 1854 as part of ‘Treaty No. 72’ includes the beach up to 6th St., about 2.4 kilometres north of where the reserve’s northern boundary ends now around Main St.

“A lawyer for the federal government told a public meeting in South Bruce Peninsula last summer that the original and final map of land surveyor Charles Rankin put the reserve’s boundary in the area of 6th St. {But this is contradicted by a surveyor’s report from 2006, called the ‘Ballantyne Report’ — see below}.

“The land in dispute includes a few privately owned properties, including Dobson’s, as well as beach owned by South Bruce Peninsula.

“Town officials announced this spring that a mediated settlement — hammered out over 18 months by representatives from the federal and provincial governments, Saugeen ‘First Nation’ and South Bruce Peninsula — regarding a claim for a portion of north Sauble Beach was off the table and the dispute is going to court.

“South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson told ‘The Sun Times’ last month that the provincial and federal governments want to take “two or three years” to put their cases together and the province has asked that the case not be heard until 2018…

–‘ The Crowd Inn owner starts online petition regarding native land claim’, Denis Langlois, Owen Sound Sun Times, May 18, 2015


{This Land Is Our Land, Canada 2015 – Michele Tittler on race based land claims:


David Dobson:

“Let me share a small portion of my story.

“As you may know, the ‘Crowd Inn’ (a family owned take-out restaurant, est. 1948) is named in the Sauble Beach Native Land Claim. I would like for you, the people of Canada and our valued friends and customers, to know our position.  We believe that we are the rightful owners of this property which extends to the water’s edge…

“What is not fair is:

— “Our property was purchased and is described by way of a Crown grant issued in 1896 and is registered through the Ontario Land Registry system. These are legal means for possession of property and we are in no way adversely possessing land which has not been legally obtained through the legal system of Canada and Ontario. Neither Canada nor Ontario accept responsibility for the initial sale of our land which is now in contention. Throughout the Land Claim negotiations, each has indicated, if blame is to be appointed, that the other should be responsible.  



— “Up until the time that the claim was initiated by Canada, we have been given assurances time and again through government officials that our title is secure; most notably Jean Chretien in 1965, then a young Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

— “According to “The Specific Claims Policy and Process Guide”, published by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, on page seven, under the heading of ‘Compensation’, point number eight states:

   “In any settlement of specific native claims the government will take third party interests into account. As a general rule, the government will not accept any settlement which will lead to third parties being dispossessed.”

“This is Canada’s own policy and document.

— “Throughout the negotiations, we have understood that we would give up possession of our property and business should the land be awarded to the Saugeen Band; however, we also maintain that fair compensation be a required factor. Compensation would cover loss of land, loss of business, loss of income, legal fees and other expenses such as experts.

“During the 2006 mediation discussion, Canada’s idea of reasonable compensation was that we could run our business only — without ownership of that business or the land on which it stands, nor would we have the ability to sell it. We didn’t like the sound of that retirement plan.

— “We have been employing lawyers and experts for 20 YEARS to defend our title. Our expenses have been most significant since 2006. Since then, $5,000.00 a year is our annual average cost to support our cause. It has been speculated that this case will not be in the courts for three more years, and most likely another three until resolution. In all, this will take up a minimum of 29 years of our lives since we starting consulting with a lawyer in 1992.


“We are not posting this to sensationalize. We believe that you should be aware that if the government does not honor our Crown Patent, all legal title to properties in Canada could be worthless if caught up in a Native claim; a sobering thought.

“Native claims are widespread throughout Canada and you may not even know that you are part of the discussion.

“My reason for this petition is to bring awareness to the Government of Canada and Ontario that we need legal reform to how third parties with legal titles to their properties are handled when named in Native land claims.” 

David Dobson,                                                                                         Owner/Operator, Crowd Inn, Sauble Beach, Ont. {CAPS added}

–‘Sauble Beach Native Land Claim’,                                         Newstalk1010, May 26, 2015

WelcomeToSaubleBeach‘Sauble Beach claim heads to court’

“A mediated settlement to the Sauble Beach land claim has been taken off the table and the issue is going to court…

   “That mediated settlement is now off the table,” South Bruce Peninsula mayor Janice Jackson said. “if there was any other mediation to go through it would be a different deal, a much better deal and it would have to be a much better deal to even consider it.”

“The mediated settlement, revealed last summer, was hammered out over 18 months by the federal and Ontario governments, Saugeen ‘First Nation’ and South Bruce Peninsula. {At what cost?}

“Under the settlement, native ownership would extend north of the current boundary of Main St. to about 6th St. and be bound by the west side of Lakeshore Blvd. A joint board of the municipality and the ‘First Nation’ would manage the beach. The federal and the Ontario government would provide $5 million, subject to approval, to offset the town’s share of the cost to manage the beach.

“Compensation to the Saugeen ‘First Nation’ was not disclosed.

“But following the release of the proposed settlement, opposition among residents grew after documents came to light that many felt provided the town with a strong case against the claim… The documents showed the northern boundary of the reserve was around Main. St. 

Sauble_Beach_Land_Claim_Signs_1“In late February, a new lawyer was chosen to represent the municipality when dealing with the land claim. Jackson said the town’s legal team, led by Toronto lawyer Jonathan Lisus of ‘Lax O’Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP’, would be attending Friday’s conference representing the town.

“Saugeen ‘First Nation’ Chief Vernon Roote said Thursday that he would be attending Friday’s conference along with the rest of his council. While he expects little new information to come out, he said it is important to attend to observe the proceedings.

“Roote said everything that has been reached in the past was taken off the table when South Bruce Peninsula turned down the mediated settlement.

   “We basically said we can’t wait forever,” Roote said, adding that going back to an agreement similar to the one that was reached before would be difficult.

“Jackson said she feels the evidence the town has is strong.

   “I hope that the band will see all the evidence we have and they will just drop their case,” said Jackson. “That would be ideal for us.”

“Jackson said the proposed deal was “very open” and there were a number of areas the town did not agree with, specifically around ownership of the beach.

   “The town has never, ever conceded ownership and their deal demanded that we turn the ownership over to them. They wouldn’t even allow 50/50 ownership on a 50/50 management basis, so it was really kind of all or nothing.”

“Roote said the evidence is clear that the boundary of the reserve extends to 6th St.

   “With all the documents that have been put in place it should be simple enough,” said Roote. “That is up to the judge and the court to decide that.”

–‘ Sauble Beach claim heads to court’, Rob Gowan, Owen Sound Sun Times, April 16, 2015


COMMENT: “No more surprises and no more smoke and mirrors. Many of us felt cheated and deceived following the confusion and what seemed like deliberate deceit forced upon us at the response meetings that followed the ‘FSB Land Claim Public Forum’. I studied the archive documents as well as the Ballantyne Report and most of Rankin’s field notes and final opinions. I look forward to  seeing what else comes to the table. Keep Sauble Beach public and free for all.”


The Background — From September, 2014:

Once again, closed-door negotiations over a 160-year-old Treaty have resulted in the sell-out by government of the larger Canadian community. 

SaubleReserveBeachRatesThe beach that is the defining characteristic of Sauble Beach, Ontario, has been a popular spot for decades. Part of the beach is on an Indian reserve, and beachgoers are charged a daily fee by the Band for access to that section.

Details were recently released by the federal and Ontario governments about a ‘Treaty adjustment’ that would give 2.4 kilometres of the public beach to the Saugeen ‘First Nation’. These ‘negotiations’ resulted from  

“A lawsuit {that} was filed by the federal government on behalf of the ‘First Nation’ in 1990, with the intent of reclaiming land for the band. In 1995, Saugeen ‘First Nation’ filed its own suit.”

Because of the court cases, none of the details were public knowledge.

Supposedly, new information has surfaced that shows that the reserve boundaries, as originally drawn, were incorrect. However, as recently as 2006, a government report {the ‘Ballantyne Report’ — see below} debunked the Indian claims.

Now that the local communities have found out what’s going on,the residents aren’t taking it lying down:

As new information is brought to the public’s attention, calls for South Bruce Peninsula to fight the Saugeen ‘First Nation’s claim of a portion of Sauble Beach are growing louder.

“Since meetings on Aug. 6 detailing a mediated settlement over ownership of the beach…people have been gathering information they feel provides the town with a strong case against the claim.

“There is a good, vigorous possibility to fight this,” said Doug Jordan, president of the ‘Sauble Beach Residential Property Owners Association’, which held public meetings Friday to present new information gathered by residents.

“Kathy Strachan, chairwoman of the ‘Friends of Sauble Beach’, agrees with Jordan.

“With all this evidence, they definitely have a case to try and defend it for us,” said Strachan. “A lot of people here have been here since the 1930s and ’40s and we have a case as well…”

“More than 450 people attended the first of two meetings Friday at the Sauble Community Centre. They were presented with an information package including letters and maps… 

saublecrowd“During the Aug. 6 meetings, details of a settlement to the more than 20-year-old land claim hammered out by the federal and Ontario governments, Saugeen ‘First Nation’ and South Bruce Peninsula over the past 18 months were presented.

“The deal, which still requires approval by all the parties, would see Saugeen ‘First Nation’ take ownership of the beach…some 2.4 kilometres north of the present ‘First Nation’ boundary…

“At the Aug. 6 meetings, Justice Department lawyer Gary Penner showed what he said was the original and final map of land surveyor Charles Rankin…

“Jordan said Friday said the map presented by Penner appeared to be a draft.

“Superior Court Justice Frank Newbould, who has a cottage at Sauble Beach, has also written to the town saying it has a strong case against the claim, and contradicting the federal government’s information {He clearly indicates that a fraud is being perpetrated, with Aboriginal Affairs using a DRAFT of the surveyor’s 1856 report, rather than the actual version, to wrongly claim an extension of the reserve} :

Also from his letter:

“There were a number of surveyors commissioned over the years by the authorities in response to the Band complaining that the reserve should run further north, including Surveyors Archibald in 1929, White in 1931, Baker in 1948…Babbage in 1956, Hewett in 1973 and Bellach in 1975. All support the reserve as terminating at Main St., in accordance with the Rankin survey accepted by the Department of Indian Affairs in 1856.”

{Because of his opposition to the Indian claims, there is now an attempt to have Justice Newbould disciplined by judicial authorities, for participating in a political activity. Of course, had he sided with the Indians, nothing would have been said…}

“Also Friday, the public was told of a February 2006 report by Dr. Brian Ballantyne that places the northeast corner of the reserve at Lot 25, which is at about Main St. {where it has been all along}:

“Both Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MP Larry Miller and MPP Bill Walker urged the province to “come clean” on what happened to the Ballantyne report.

“South Bruce Peninsula Coun. Marilyn Bowman said she was aware of the information presented Friday and called it accurate, clear and concise.

“She said she had no knowledge prior to the Aug. 6 meetings what was to be said at them and is relieved other information is now being made public.

“I asked for this information to come out,” she said. “The solicitors advice was that it shouldn’t, not during the negotiations.”

“An information sheet about the land claim presented by the municipality at the Aug. 6 meetings has been pulled from circulation and the municipality’s website.

“Coun. Janice Jackson has called the information on the sheet misleading and said it wasn’t vetted by council.

“Among the items on the sheet that has come under criticism are claims the cost to fight the claim could be $5 million to $7 million, a number Newbould calls “far-fetched” in his letter to council. He pegged the cost to the town at closer to $200,000.

“Bowman said Friday she feels mediation was a great first step, but one of the requirements from council was it not lead to the town giving up ownership of the land.

“The town “absolutely” has a case for ownership of the beach…” 

Wiarton Meeting
Wiarton Meeting

“Coun. Jackson, who was also at Friday’s meeting, said many people have changed their opinion as more information has been brought out.

“We have got so much to look at, to weigh each side of the coin,” she said. “At least now, we have the people’s side of the case, WHICH WE WEREN’T GIVEN AT ALL on Aug. 6.”

“A package provided at Friday’s meeting includes a petition asking the town to hire a lawyer with expertise in native land claims to provide assistance and an opinion to the town.

“The petition also asks the municipality to delay taking any action until it receives such information and discusses it with the public after the October election…

“Sauble Beach resident Dave Dosman said much of what he heard Friday was new to him.

“I was at the Aug. 6 meeting and it wasn’t put out the way it should have been,” he said. “A lot of facts weren’t brought out and they were brought out today.”

Opposition to land claim stiffens in South Bruce Peninsula: Many feel town has good case to ownership of Sauble Beach’, Rob Gowan, QMI Agency, Sept. 2, 2014 {CAPS added}


Saugeen Peninsula Treaty (1854) No. 72: 

Treaty72Proposed Sauble Beach Land Claim Deal Revealed’

A proposal is in place that would see a portion of Sauble Beach become part of Saugeen ‘First Nation’ territory.

“South Bruce Peninsula council has revealed the offer to resolve the 30-year old land claim involving the beach, in which ‘First Nations’ claim the northeastern boundary of an 1854 treaty is actually further north than the present day boundary, at Main St. in Sauble Beach.

“The Municipal solicitor for South Bruce Peninsula, Greg Stewart, says the offer would transfer a two-kilometre stretch of beach to Saugeen ‘First Nation’, from Main St. north to 6th St., running west-to-east from the water’s edge to Lakeshore Boulevard.  Stewart says the offer would also establish a joint management board to oversee the maintenance and operation of the beach, which would be comprised evenly of representatives from Saugeen ‘First Nation’ and South Bruce Peninsula.

“Even though SAUGEEN ‘FIRST NATION’ CURRENTLY CHARGES A FEE FOR BEACH-GOERS to access southern Sauble Beach, Stewart says the land involved in the settlement would remain open to public access and would not be subject to a fee unless both councils agree.

“Stewart says the federal and provincial governments would make a one-time payment of $5 million to South Bruce Peninsula to offset their portion of the beach costs, but cautions neither level of senior government has formally agreed to that yet.

“Stewart says the mediated settlement would provide some level of municipal input over the beach, pointing out a long court battle would result in an all-or-nothing verdict, meaning South Bruce Peninsula would retain ownership, or Saugeen ‘First Nation’ would be awarded ownership and full control of the beach…” 

Proposed Sauble Beach Land Claim Deal Revealed’, Jordan MacKinnon , Blackburn News, August 6, 2014 {CAPS added}

COMMENT:If it goes to court, who will pay the natives legal cost? Also, can the natives be trusted to live with this agreement or will they come back for more later? I live where I have to pay $3.00 just to walk on the beach — they said they were not going to charge this year. So much for promises; i do not trust them.”


It seems very hypocritical that the aboriginals, who supposedly live by the values driven by the concept of not owning, but being caretakers of, the land for the creator are proving that ownership will be garnered at all cost. There is definitely a secondary agenda in play that will become transparent in the near future. Until the government displays some backbone in dealing with these land issues, there will never be a resolution in favor of the current land owners. Watch for a fence along the lakeshore drive roadway with dedicated access points that will be revenue generators for years to come. Fasten your seatbelts, folks. The ride is just getting started.” 

SaugeenBandIdleNoMore“MP Larry Miller and MPP Bill Walker are both urging the province to “come clean” on what happened to a report commissioned by the Ontario government in 2006 that concluded the northern boundary of Saugeen ‘First Nation’ is at about Main St. in Sauble Beach.

“The two Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound politicians, in a joint letter to the editor printed on Page A5 of today’s ‘The Sun Times’, said there is conflicting information about whether or not the Ballantyne Report was ruled inadmissible by a judge in 2006 or 2007.

“What we’re fearing is that the Town of South Bruce Peninsula hasn’t been given all the information,” Miller said in an interview, after the letter was sent to local media.

“For example, this ‘Ballantyne Report’. If it has been ruled inadmissible for whatever reason, then that’s fine. That basically means that there’s only one legal opinion out there…that the town doesn’t have a chance if they go to court.

“However, if that Ballantyne Report hasn’t been ruled inadmissible then that means all it  is, is a different opinion. And if the town had that information, which I’m pretty sure they don’t, then it might change their view on whether they go to court or not.

“We’re not making any judgment on whether they should go to court or not. But we’re just basically saying they should have all the information.”

“Lawyers for the federal Justice Department told the public meetings that researchers found land surveyor Charles Rankin’s original map and notes of the area set the northern boundary of the beach belonging to the Saugeen band about 2.4 kilometres north of where it is now — at about 6th St. Other evidence presented seemed to back that up.

“That’s also the ‘First Nations’ view of where the north-east boundary should be. The federal government agrees with that position, federal lawyer Gary Penner said at the meetings.

“However, a report by Dr. Brian Ballantyne of ‘Challenger Geomatics Ltd.’, released in February 2006, has a different conclusion.

“It says the north-east corner of the reserve is located in Lot 25, which is at about Main. St.

“In a nutshell, Dr. Ballantyne’s assessment of the claim is contrary to what was presented at the two information meetings,” Miller and Walker wrote in their letter…

“Walker said in an interview he is disappointed that the Ballantyne report and its status were not discussed by the province’s representative at the public meetings.

“He said he will continue to investigate what happened to it, as

“there’s too much at stake to just let this go by.

“We just want to make sure all the facts are on the table” before a decision on the proposed offer is made, he said in the interview.

“South Bruce Peninsula Mayor John Close said Friday that he supports Miller and Walker’s efforts to get the information on the Ballantyne report from Queen’s Park.

“I would like the province to answer these questions. I certainly don’t want to let them off the hook on this. I think (Miller and Walker) have asked some very important questions about where is it and what happens and everything else,” he said.

“A flame should be held to (the province’s) feet to come forward with some answers.” …

“Miller and Walker said they believe South Bruce Peninsula saw working out a settlement, rather than going straight to court, “as the best option to pursue”, based on the information they have been given to date.

“This is why it continues to come back to the province. Simply tell us the truth about the Ballantyne Report, and any other pertinent information that needs to be shared,” they wrote.”

–‘Miller, Walker seek answers on Ballantyne report’, Denis Langlois, Owen Sound Sun Times, August 22, 2014 {CAPS added}

COMMENT: “And the plot thickens…”

“The province likely wiped that hard drive, too.” 

sauble-beachWindsurfers are the only ones enjoying Sauble beach on Wednesday, but on sunnier afternoons, thousands flock to this spectacular stretch of sand along the Bruce Peninsula.

“Although it’s a stretch of shoreline that may soon belong to the Saugeen ‘First Nation’.

“The ownership of the beach is something that we’ve always perused. That’s the bottom line. The ownership of the beach is ours,” says Vernon Roote, Chief of the Saugeen ‘First Nation’.

“The Saugeen ‘First Nation’ says a treaty dating back to the 1800’s puts them as the rightful owners of almost all of Sauble Beach’s shoreline… 


 “Simple answer, it hasn’t been discussed. I could guess but it wouldn’t do any good. IT’S SOMETHING IS IN THE HANDS OF BAND COUNCIL TO DECIDE,” says Roote.

“It would also feature a board with both band and municipal members managing the beach, but the band would hold ownership…

 “People didn’t understand that we were two weeks or a month away from signing the beach away until August the 6th, and that’s mind boggling,” says Sauble Beach councillor Janice Jackson

“Residents like Craig Gammie contend the municipality would have a good case in court if the proposed deal is turned down. 

“I feel very confident we would win but we don’t need to go there right now. All I want is to slow this process down, get all the information on the table and I think we and the native band can make a good decision from there,” says Gammie.”  

–‘Sauble Beach showdown between municipality and Saugeen ‘First Nation’, CTV London, August 13, 2014 {CAPS added} 

COMMENT: “The assertion that the treaty of 1854 makes the SO’FN’ the “rightful owner of almost all of Sauble Beach’s shoreline” is unsupportable. The 1854 treaty, the official 1855 survey documents, and the official 1855 maps all put the Northern limit of the reserve at main street in Sauble Beach, exactly where it has been for observed the past 160 years. This means that over two miles of the most beautiful beach around is owned not by the SO’FN’ but rather, by the Town of South Bruce Peninsula.” 

SaugeenOjibway“A request to allow the ‘Friends of Sauble Beach’ to appear as a delegation at South Bruce Peninsula council on Wednesday was defeated almost unanimously.

“Only Sauble area Coun. Janice Jackson voted in favour of receiving the delegation.

“The ‘Friends of Sauble’ have come forward with a lot of information, LIKE THE ORIGINAL TREATY and land claim for Sauble Beach. Personally, I think given the times and the situation we’re in right now, that it would be a fantastic idea. More information is better than less information,” she said…

“The town’s lawyers recommended council not receive the delegation.

“A lawsuit was filed by the federal government on behalf of the ‘First Nation’ in 1990, with the intent of reclaiming land for the band. In 1995, Saugeen ‘First Nation’ filed its own suit.

“After little action for about seven years, the case heated up again in 2012. That September Doug Carr, Ontario’s assistant deputy minister for aboriginal affairs, briefed South Bruce Peninsula council in a closed-door session about the claim, which at one time was reported to encompass as far north as Seventh St.

“Whether that’s the area still under consideration is unclear. The town noted in its news release all parties involved have signed confidentiality agreements.

“Such confidentiality agreements are typically signed whenever parties to litigation enter into settlement discussions in order to facilitate a frank and open airing of the issues. However, all parties understand that no final settlement of the issues will occur without a consultation and approval process appropriate to the various parties involved,” the release said.

“The May 2013, Saugeen’ First Nation’ council newsletter states:

“almost all of the land along what is now called ‘Sauble Beach’ was promised to us in 1854 as part of Treaty No. 72. This land was reserved for us, including the portion of beach just south of the mouth of the Sauble River . . . [Charles Rankin] drew a map of the township that records this information. The Treaty, the survey, and the map, all clearly marked the extent of our territory.”

The newsletter goes on to say

“it is time to get this claim resolved once and for all. This is a deeply important issue for our people, restoring our reserve to what was promised in 1854 when we signed ‘Treaty No. 72’. For too long have we waited for Ontario and Canada to recognize our rightful claim and correct this historical wrong. We can wait no longer.”

–‘First Nations’ land claim over North Sauble in mediation’, Nelson Phillips, Wiarton Echo, July 3, 2014 {CAPS added} 

SaugeenOjibwayNationTraditionalTerritoryCOMMENT: “In the article, John Close is reported as saying that the information brought forward from the ‘Friends of Sauble Beach’ is simply “misinformation”.

“Mr. Close is wrong. The information brought forward by Friends of Sauble Beach is the result of many hours of research and analysis. I note that Mr. Close did not specify which particular statements were “misinformation”. He should not be making such serious allegations without backing them up.

“The article quotes Mr. Close as saying “My gut feeling tells me this is nothing more than an election ploy….” No, Mr. Close, it’s not. Residents are concerned that you are bent on giving the beach away. What did you expect residents to do? Just sit and watch you give it away?

“The article quotes Mr. Close as saying: “If it is a stunt, I find it truly disrespectful not only to the ‘First Nations’, but to our citizens as well.”

“The remark is completely gratuitous. Friends of Sauble Beach have been in contact with ‘First Nations’. There has been absolutely no disrespect shown to the Saugeen Ojibway ‘First Nation’. Our beef is with Mr. Close and part of council, not with the ‘First Nations’. Our concern is that Mr. Close is giving away our beach and shutting us out of the decision process.

“The article quotes Close as saying:

“To think that our municipality has lowered our standards to this makes me upset.”

“Give us a break, Mr. Close. Residents asking to participate in the decision process is not “lowering standards”. It’s raising them. It’s telling council that we have a democratic right to participate in a meaningful way and to be heard. It’s telling council that we intend to exercise that democratic right.”


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