"Please reopen the trails" plead snowmobilers

Snowmobilers in Prescott-Russell want to get back on the Larose Forest trails before winter is over.

“I’m asking you, in the name of all the businesses and snowmobilers, to reopen the trails as soon as possible,” said Mario Meloche, a snowmobiler and owner/operator of Rockland Marine, during the January 29 session of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell council (UCPR).

Meloche spoke for a delegation of half a dozen snowmobilers, who met with council concerning the recent closure of the snowmobile trails that the UCPR maintain in the Larose Forest area. Snowmobilers are also barred from the Prescott-Russell Recreational Trail, which the UCPR also maintains.

Meloche said the closure of the trails means a serious financial loss for the region’s winter tourism economy. He noted that snowmobile tourism amounts to about $10 million each year for Prescott-Russell businesses providing food, beverage, gasoline, parts replacement, and repairs.

The trail closures are a result of a dispute between the UCPR and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) over insurance liability coverage for snowmobilers on public access trails, which the UCPR maintains. Similar disputes are going on throughout Ontario between the OFSC and municipal governments, which maintain public access trails for snowmobiling.

UCPR officials state that the OFSC wanted a change in the liability coverage details for the Certificate of Insurance, required each year to allow OFSC members to use the public trails in the region during the period from December to April. The alleged change the OFSC wanted would increase the UCPR’s liability in case of an accident.

“We will not change our position,” said Stéphane Parisien, UCPR chief administrative officer, following a closed-doors discussion session for UCPR council on the trail closure issue. “This (proposed) agreement would mean the counties are being exposed to (greater) liability.”

UCPR council is willing to reopen the trails if the OFSC will accept the original wording for the Certificate of Insurance dealing with liability coverage. The OFSC, on its website, has stated that it never proposed any changes dealing with insurance coverage in its dealings with local governments.

Parisien, UCPR Planning and Forestry Director Louis Prévost, and East Hawkesbury Mayor Robert Kirby met with the delegation, outside of council chambers, for an informal talk during a break in the regular meeting. Parisien and Prévost explained again about the UCPR’s concern over the risk of increased liability, because of the change the OFSC wanted for the Certificate of Insurance.

“That’s not what we were told at our club meeting,” said one delegation member.

The delegation asked if it could have a copy of the proposed insurance coverage document the UCPR received from the OFSC, for comparison with previous Certificates of Insurance that the UCPR issued in past years. Prévost stated that it would be possible.

Débat en français du PCC

Il est souvent difficile de déterminer qui a gagné lors des débats entre candidats d’un parti ou aux élections. Dans le cas du débat en français des candidats à la direction du Parti conservateur du Canada (PCC) qui a eu lieu le soir du 17 juin, le gagnant n’était surement pas le français.
Golf

Un golfeur de Lively, Marc Benoît, a conçu et fabriqué un appareil permettant de jouer au golf sans devoir toucher le fanion – un élément qui facilitera le retour à ce sport en temps de distanciation physique. Cette invention, qu’il a nommée le Hole Out, est maintenant installée sur plusieurs terrains de golf à Sudbury, Timmins et Smooth Rock Falls et génère beaucoup d’intérêt, même du côté des États-Unis

Le mystère entourant l’organisation secrète de l’Ordre de Jacques Cartier sera-t-il enfin dévoilé grâce à la websérie du jeune média franco-ontarien Le Réveil? C’est ce que nous saurons dans les semaines à venir alors que six épisodes seront mis en ligne au profit notamment des jeunes de la 4e à la 8e année. Cette série est inspirée de la bande dessinée éponyme produite en 2018 par le Réseau du patrimoine franco-ontarien (RPFO).
COVID-19

Les églises et d'autres entreprises de Prescott-Russell et régions de l'est de l'Ontario pourront rouvrir leurs portes dans le cadre de la phase 2 du plan de relance économique de l'Ontario en cas de pandémie.  
Produits comestibles au cannabis

Toute personne qui conserve des produits comestibles au cannabis à la maison doit s'assurer qu'elles sont conservées à un endroit où les enfants ne peuvent pas les trouver.
COVID-19

Les services religieux «au volant» pourraient s’avérer une solution de rechange pour les églises locales pendant la pandémie à l'approche du temps chaud de l'été.