Camper says MNR unfairly kicked group off Crown land
'We don't understand why we are banned for the rest of the summer,' Sudbury camper says
A Sudbury resident wants the province to reconsider its rules around Crown land camping after she was banned from Crown land for the summer.
Ontario residents can camp for 21 days on a piece of Crown land before they must move to a different location, at least 100 metres away.
But that doesn't make sense to Louise Jean, who said a Ministry of Natural Resources official told her she had outstayed her Crown land welcome after spending two, 21-day periods camping in different locations.
"We are fine with moving every 21 days to a different location, but what we don't understand is why we are banned for the rest of the summer," she said. "It's just not fair."
The site is located just north of Capreol, in an area Jean says was more accessible than a provincial park.
"We are seven or eight trailers that are all family members, in-laws and friends," she said. "For provincial parks, you can't actually find a spot where we can all fit together."
Preventing ‘monopolization of better sites’
MNR spokesperson Karen Passmore said there a few reasons people can be banned from Crown land.
"If a piece of Crown land is being over-used because of free use camping — and environmental impacts are obvious — the district also has the authority to close the site to camping," she said. "But normally a sign is posted."
Passmore said people can also be banned if a court order has convicted them of abusing public lands.
As for Jean, she said she thinks it's all a misunderstanding, and recommends the ministry sell camping permits on Crown land in the future.
Passmore said people can use any mobile-accommodation to camp on crown land, including tents, trailers and RVs.
She says the maximum fine for failing to move after the 21-day period is $10,000.
"The reason for the move is to help minimize the impact on the environment and also reduce what could be seen as the monopolization of better sites," Passmore said.