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September 27, 2011

I Want My Share

Something came to my attention last week that stopped me in my tracks. As you may already know, there has been at least three occasions where large sections of the Quebec trail system have been in jeopardy of closure. This has happened due to disagreements between certain landowners (farmers) and the Quebec government over such things as taxation and bi-laws. The trail access was held hostage until concessions were met. In all cases at the eleventh hour leaving the FCMQ in an awkward position with trail permit sales and grooming operations caught in the decision.

I have no viewpoint regarding the actual political issues between property owner and government. I just think it is unfortunate that the trails became a bargaining chip in a game where they play no active role. The bottom line is the trail systems very existence is founded on the goodwill of the volunteers and property owners. If we lose one or the other the ‘trail closed’ signs get posted and the local communities suffer.

Well the mayor of Saguenay city decided to initiate his own defense to ensure  snowmobilers (and their wallets) have full trail access to the region which is highly dependent on winter tourism.

His solution, reach deep into the regions coffers and pay the local landowners who have trails cross their property. Pretty nice gesture at first glance. The numbers I saw said $900 / kilometer, then another source said 900 bucks per owner, doesn’t really matter. The part that concerns me is what about all the other property owners who are not in the region of the Saguenay? How about the farmer who lives right on the border of Saguenay, he’s not getting paid anything for the trail across his back 40 while his neighbor is getting nicely rewarded by the town…

I don’t know where this is headed but I for one am a bit concerned. There are a lot of riders who complain of a 200 dollar trail permit. A precedent like this could cause a demand for widespread compensation  that would knock the permit price into the stratosphere. The only solution would be found in accessing tax dollars from governments willing to protect winter tourism, which will be sketchy indeed.


To end on a positive note, here’s a pic from the Whistler web-cam submitted by one very excited western region sales manager.

 

cheers cr

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4 Responses to “I Want My Share”

  1. Darren Leblanc says:

    Chris,

    In the cost of fuel there is a big road tax… The goverment needs to step up and give that revenue back to the source, not Hwy.

    Second the OFSC is broken, it’s sad but it’s lost focus of it’s true roots.

    Hey Darren, as far as I know the idea of fuel taxes being turned back to the trails has been presented on numerous occasions with no success. The feds under Harper have been dumping millions into trail development, which is a good thing but unlike the USA we are bound to user pay / volunteer support. cr

  2. Yellowknife says:

    The ‘me too’ clause is very dangerous.

    Not good!

  3. Bob Hogg says:

    Trail related….land owners revolted in Muskoka with threats…..over another issue a few years back…scarry..

  4. Ian Edwards says:

    That sets a scarry precident.

    Why is it that people think they should be compensated for anything they do for someone else? I would hope that the property owners in northern quebec,and any anywhere else, would know that winter tourism pays alot of their neighbours wages. Without these seasonal workers many of these people would have to move or go on ei.

    That would be a shame.


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