(Cathy Dwyer speaking at Temagami Candidate Night. To learn more about the candidate's stance on key election issues, read their interview for Keep Temagami Beautiful below.)
Interviewer: The Temagami Access Road (aka The Mine Road) provides a convenient and centralized access point (and parking) to the Hub area for cottagers, camps, contractors, deliveries, tourists, and guests. In addition, Temagami First Nation manages a sizeable footprint in the vicinity of the Mine and Manitou landings. The Mine Landing is the most convenient trash and recycling point for much of the Lake. However, the road’s location results in many users bypassing the services and access points offered in Town, resulting in lost revenues for businesses.
Q.1a: Do you feel that the Temagami Access Road (aka The Mine Road) has negatively impacted business in the Town of Temagami, and allowed/encouraged lake visitors and residents to shop elsewhere and perhaps not even go into town?
Key Candidate Quote - “I would say yes. I’ve been around long enough to remember when the sheds [for parking] were in Town and before the Mine Road was public… and everybody did come into Town… it was thriving, it was very busy. But it [the Access Road] is a fact of life, it is here, so we have to perhaps live with it or work with it in a way that businesses will have to or should be trying to draw people in… there’s a conundrum we’ve found out recently… nobody owns the road. It’s a Crown road, it’s a forest road; there’s no classification. The Municipality doesn’t have ownership or a land use permit or anything like that, but they’ve been maintaining it… And so we have to sit with the Crown and say, “Okay, how are we going to manage this? What are we going to do? So there’s that big issue. That’s a big issue… There is a bold idea floating around, that we re-route the highway end of the Lake Temagami Access Road and connect it perhaps to the Strathcona Road [the Temagami Marine Road] and create a way so that you have to go into Town to get on to the… Access Road… I would like to see an independent, impartial feasibility study done on user fees at the… Access Point. And I’m not pre-determining, pre-deciding anything. People have said taxpayers should pay, others are saying users should pay… Honestly, I would like to look at everything.” - Cathy Dwyer
Candidate Cathy Dwyer: I would say yes. I’ve been around long enough to remember when the sheds were in Town and before the Mine Road was public, and there were sheds on the waterfront and the cars were parked under cover in those sheds. And everybody did come into Town, and I think I worked at the grocery store, and I remember Senator Sullivan coming in, and it was a big deal when he came in. And so it was thriving, it was very busy. But it is a fact of life, it is here, so we have to perhaps live with it or work with it in a way that businesses will have to or should be trying to draw people in.
Interviewer: What is your vision for the Temagami Access Road and associated landings to balance access, convenience, and services for the users listed above (including TFN), with the Town of Temagami and its local businesses' economic needs?
Dwyer: So I’ve got something on the Mine Road here. I’ve kind of been developing a platform. So the Lake Temagami Access Road, or the Mine Road, we call it, there’s a conundrum we’ve found out recently because the Lake Temagami Access Point committee and the work they’ve been doing around the Access point, nobody owns the road. It’s a Crown road, it’s a forest road; there’s no classification. The Municipality doesn’t have ownership or a land use permit or anything like that, but they’ve been maintaining it for a number of years.
Interviewer: Sorry, what part of the road? The entire road?
Dwyer: The entire road.
Interviewer: Because it would have been the Temagami Mining Company that original built it, right, to get the copper in and out. Well, the Canadian Mining Company.
Dwyer: Yeah. So whether or not they even had some form of tenure for the road, who knows. We don’t know.
So for the Municipality to purchase the road, normally when you buy something from the Crown, it’s at market value. That doesn’t make sense. We can’t afford that. And the Temagami First Nation is talking about addition to reserve options, and I don’t understand that yet. Is that associated with Bear Island or perhaps the settlement community in Shining Wood Bay that they’re working towards. I’m not sure.
And we have to sit with the Crown and say, “Okay, how are we going to manage this? What are we going to do?”
So there’s that big issue. That’s a big issue.
Interviewer: Well, I wonder what market value would be. Yeah, off the charts.
Dwyer: I don’t know. Yeah, I would think so. So what we do with the Mine Road is an issue.
With respect to has the road had an impact on the community, it has, but, like I said, it’s a two-way street and businesses need to work around it and provide services that perhaps they bring things out to people or they encourage customers to come in. You know, that’s something they have to decide, whether or not they can afford to do that.
There is a bold idea floating around, that we re-route the highway end of the Lake Temagami Access Road and connect it perhaps to the Strathcona Road and create a way so that you have to go into Town to get on to the Lake Temagami Access Road.
Interviewer: That’s interesting. Where is the Strathcona?
Dwyer: So it’s the Temagami Marine Road. And so between the Mine Road and, I call it the Temagami Marine Road, but it was originally the Strathcona Road, it’s not that far across country. I’ve looked at the map, there’s some hills and there’s some roots in there, but it would require a huge amount of support from everyone.
Interviewer: Big cost.
Dwyer: Locally, municipally, provincially, federally; it’s a big undertaking. Whether or not it’s even -.
Interviewer: Yeah. I was fascinated by your remembrance of the sheds, because probably that’s the main thing, which is where you park your vehicle. You know, the terminus point for unloading. And if that unloading point is proximate to the grocery store and the ice cream shop and all the other stuff, ...
Dwyer: The liquor store, the hardware, yeah.
Interviewer: So that if you’re just simply routing cars, they may just, like, speed on through there still. And yet, who knows?
Dwyer: I don’t know.
Interviewer: It’s hard to say.
Dwyer: I don’t know if there’s a question about the access point and launching and that kind of stuff.
Interviewer: No, this is your chance to talk about that in your vision about the Temagami Access Road and associated landings.
Dwyer: When it comes to the access point, I want to finish some of the good work that the Lake Temagami Access committee recommended. I think there are some great recommendations in there, and we need to finish those.
We have a land use permit that’s only been extended for one more year, and there’s still lots of things to do. So I believe we’re going to need an extension to the one year extension. And so we need to really engage Temagami First Nation to see what their requirements are. I mean, they have their own parking lot, but they are talking about other things.
I would like to see an independent, impartial feasibility study done on user fees at the Lake Temagami Access Point. And I’m not pre-determining, pre- deciding anything. People have said taxpayers should pay, others are saying users should pay; all those kinds of things. Honestly, I would like to look at everything. But it has to be done by an impartial body, and look at other examples in the province. I believe this is the only access point where there’s no charges in Ontario. So that, to me, is something that’s necessary.
And perhaps if you need to have a tag on your car if you’re a property owner out here, and whether you pay or not, I’m not pre-determining or pre-deciding that, but you have to get your tag in Town. You know? Maybe that’s ...
Interviewer: Brings them in once. One trip’s better than no trip.
Dwyer: Yes, than no trip, you know? And so I don’t know if that’s reasonable or what, but it’s something.
And then the other thing is that we need to deal with our parking out here. On a long weekend, on Monday or Tuesday morning, there’s still lots of people on the lake, and you come around the corner by Boatline Bay and they’re parked out there on both sides of the road. It’s really dangerous.
There’s lots of parking here, but lots of it’s full of derelict, abandoned trailers, vehicles, boats, campers; all that kind of stuff. So all of that needs to be cleaned up, and that’s a by-law issue.
Interviewer: Yes, absolutely. Great. If you think of something else later on, you can come back to it. We’re obviously capturing all of this.
Interviewer: Temagami’s pristine natural environment, which the Tenets endeavour to preserve, gives the region a priceless brand that could be sustainably exploited for the broader economic benefit of all stakeholders in the Temagami community. Further development of Crown Lands surrounding the Lake devalues that magical Temagami brand. We also live in a time when new technologies and work patterns might create new more sustainable and clean paths towards prosperity than past drivers of economic growth. With these thoughts in mind: Do you view the Tenets as a significant inhibitor of economic activity?
Key Candidate Quote - “No, I don’t [view the Tenets as an inhibitor of economic development]. I support the Tenets for Lake Temagami… I think they are vital for environmental, economic reasons. They’re part of what makes Temagami unique… at that time we had amalgamation, we [also] had a land claim going on, you know, [and were] just coming off some environmental issues [logging protests]; so feelings were very strong. And so the TLA did a good job of developing their Principles and Tenets, and they drew people in and they got agreement on them, and that’s what came forward… I think the TLA should be looking at them [the Tenets] again. It’s not to say that they’re wrong or they’ve got to be thrown out, given today’s climate, today’s [political] environment, today’s world, are they still right? Do they need to be stronger? Or this didn’t work; I think the TLA needs to review their Tenets.” - Cathy Dwyer
Dwyer: No, I don’t. I support the Tenets for Lake Temagami and Cross Lake. I think they are vital for environmental, economic reasons. They’re part of what makes Temagami unique.
I don’t support mainland development on Lake Temagami and Cross Lake. I think what you’re getting at about past drivers of economic growth, meaning mining and logging and that type of stuff, the Tenets and the ecological buffer and all that of two kilometres or more, you need to look at that on a map where it overlaps other uses and that type of stuff. I’m not suggesting that it should be reduced in any way.
There’s still harvesting that goes on in Temagami. It’s generally in the shoulder and off seasons. There’s still mining exploration and that that goes on, and I think it’s been working well. Everyone’s respecting the Tenets and what they’re in place for, so I don’t have an issue with them.
Interviewer: It just seems that the decisions that have made politically over the latter part of the last term, you know, addressed in the official plan basically saying we’re going to start again, and not accepting the TLA’s submission on a technicality or around the frames of reference for doing that. It seemed like a hostility towards the Tenets, which is why the question is on here.
If the Tenets are viewed as being all great and an important part of what differentiates Temagami, then why are the steps being taken, in your opinion?
Dwyer: Because the Official Plan is not just about Lake Temagami, it’s about our whole community. And there’s a requirement that every ten years you do a comprehensive review of your official plan, and we’ve done five minor reviews, but they’ve never been comprehensive, and Municipal Affairs requires a comprehensive review. So it’s not as if we’re throwing out the plan and starting new; the plan is the plan, it’s the basis, and we will work from there.
So I am on the planning committee. We’ve gone through the official plan line by line. We’ve made an issues list, and there’s lots of things that are going to stay, they are no issue, no problem, they will be there, and the Tenets are part of them.
Interviewer: Although, if you read through those notes, it does identify the Tenets as an issue, and the five neighbourhoods as well.
Dwyer: It does, yeah, because there are some things that got translated that are for Lake Temagami and they’ve been translated to the whole municipality.
Interviewer: Well, I guess, although if you go through the present official plan, the five neighbourhoods clearly, you know, demarks what each neighbourhood will do in terms of, say, development and a variety of other things.
Dwyer: Sure, but there are things that cover all the neighbourhoods that don’t work out here; so it’s things like garages. You know? The Tenets are for Lake Temagami, so they’re for Lake Temagami.
Interviewer: It’s never been suggested they were applicable to the other four neighbourhoods.
Dwyer: Yeah, and there’s things like site plan control. You know, that’s something that we need to look at.
Interviewer: Yeah. I mean, for me, it was just that those things came up as issues, those two really significant points of the Tenets and five neighbourhood community. And that raised a flag for me, it was like, “Okay, why would those come up as issues?”
Dwyer: In their draft, I want to make sure that everyone knows their draft, and that I don’t think we should be stuck on those draft terms of reference. Our next meeting, hopefully the issues list will be written, that, to me, is the big one. That’s the big thing.
And so getting back to the Tenets, the Tenets were written in ‘83, ‘84.
Interviewer: Yeah, I don’t know the date actually, but I think the TLA developed them within their own constitution or something along those lines, and then they were brought into the amalgamation agreement as a condition of amalgamation.
Dwyer: Formalized, yes, and at that time we had amalgamation, we had a land claim going own, you know, just coming off some environmental issues; so feelings were very strong. And so the Temagami Lakes Association did a good job of developing their Principles and Tenets, and they drew people in and they got agreement on them, and that’s what came forward.
I think the TLA should be looking at them again. It’s not to say that they’re wrong or they’ve got to be thrown out, given today’s climate, today’s environment, today’s world, are they still right? Do they need to be stronger? Or this didn’t work; I think the TLA needs to review their Tenets.
Interviewer: Because they’re restrictive to development?
Dwyer: No. It’s a document, just like the official plan has to be reviewed every number of years, it can’t be a document that never changes. It has to reflect what our society needs. That’s all I’m saying about the Tenets. Do they still work? Because if you read the Tenets, the details and all that kind of stuff, there is talk about development, there’s talk about lots being created.
Interviewer: Well, and then you have the issue of the cold water Lake Trout, and that’s out of anybody’s hands. That’s the Ontario Government.
Dwyer: At the time of amalgamation when we were doing the Tenets and all those kinds of things, there was still the thought that Crown land would be released, and so everything was put in place to look at that and see how it can be done smartly, reasonably, sensitively, and all those kind of things. But then that never happened. We have a Lake Trout policy that doesn’t ...
Interviewer: Legislation, I guess, yeah.
Dwyer: Yeah, it’s legislation in place. It’s a new government.
Interviewer: Well, it’s been there for a little while now; quite a while.
Dwyer: But it’s a Conservative government, and things could change.
Interviewer: I don’t know if they would touch that, I don’t know.
Dwyer: I don’t know. I mean, you look at what they’re doing with education.
Interviewer: Yeah, but that’s a pretty big one. I guess the interesting thing, and I didn’t write this question, but what I find interesting in it is its suggestive of other ways of extracting real economic benefit for all stakeholders from what we’ve got here, which is extraordinary and unique. And that’s that brand, that’s the Temagami Brand.
And so you talked about extractive industries, which I think there’s a growing awareness that they probably aren’t coming back or ...
Dwyer: No, they’re never going to be much.
Interviewer: There will never be a mill here, what they were. If they suddenly find gold in those hills over there, that’s quite possible.
But you’re talking about the world we live in now, do the quality of life and ecological and environmental sensibility, Temagami’s got that, and affordability. And now you’ve got the networks, the big network pipes, people can work remotely, companies can set up and remove from, you know, wherever: Toronto or Kitchener- Waterloo. There’s some really interesting possibilities that present, but they’re only really valuable if you hang on to what is particularly special and unique about the area. I may be misreading this, but I think it’s a really creative way of thinking.
And, by the way, I think developing more lots on the lake fits into that sort of bold vision of economic development. Great to develop a whole community of lots, in the townsite, make Temagami a fantastic, thriving place, where young families want to come and live because they can’t afford Toronto, for one thing.
But to then go and just, you know, take a couple of lots off the lake, there’s not longterm economic benefit there, and you put at risk what is unique and special about the area.
Dwyer: And I would not support that happening on the mainland. That is not something I would support. Never. No.
But in the Tenets it talks about promote development of patented land before Crown land, so is that still something?
Interviewer: It doesn’t say specifically that, actually.
Dwyer: It does, in the official plan it does, when you look at the Tenets. And also no land use permits will be converted to patents.
Interviewer: What is patented land?
Dwyer: Feasible land, like what you ...
Interviewer: It was a mining claim, basically, that got the rights to surface as well, pretty much. If it’s on Lake Temagami, that’s what it was.
Dwyer: But it may have been addressing that at the time, it may have been addressing Temagami Barge at the time, it may have been addressing the Access Point at the time; I don’t know that because those are all land use permits. So that’s all I’m saying.
Interviewer: Yes. So, again, even if you did that, that’s probably not going to equal economic prosperity for the Temagami area for the future. And so it’s a risk/reward thing.
The risk is that you further devalue what is so unique and special here, and that brand, and maybe there’s other things.
Dwyer: Right. No, I just want to say that I have based all my businesses that I’ve been involved in servicing Lake Temagami. That’s where I’ve earned my living. And not that I’m wealthy or anything. And it’s been done with the Tenets in place and no development and that, so I don’t see that changing in the future. I’m not promoting that, it’s just people have to - some people are not adaptive when it comes to earning a living and taking advantage of servicing the population out here that want to stay here as long as possible. So home occupation business are a part of that.
So when I say just have a look at the Tenets, are they still the right type of principles or do they need to be strengthened, weakened, changed. That’s all. I think the TLA should be reviewing them.
Interviewer: Therefore, since they’re in the official plan, they would be raised as an issue because the council and the PAC will then have to address that issue: do they need to be changed or do they need to be strengthened. It can’t just be the TLA any more, it’s going to have to be also the Town Council that addresses that issue because it’s written into their official plan.
Dwyer: Yeah, it’s part of the principles of the official plan, and so it was done with LaTemPRA and other groups. What about the First Nation? I mean, at the time they were struggling around their land claim that eventually will get settled, and they are talking about mainland settlement on Shining Wood Bay. I think they have been given the Junior Ranger Camp, Briggs.
Interviewer: Oh, is that where Project Canoe used to be?
Dwyer: Yes. So I don’t know what their plans are for that.
Interviewer: That’s more a Federal issue, right?
Dwyer: It’s not, though. It’s not. We need to work together.
Interviewer: Oh, you have to work together, it’s only that the Federal Government will make that decision, in conjunction with them, and then the municipality will work with those decisions.
Dwyer: But I think if you’ve got a strong relationship, you’ve got an agreement that you’ve worked through on the table together, on the Tenets, and they’ve bought into it, the Town, the LaTemPRA, TLA, that’s an agreement that can’t be broken, in my opinion. It’s working together is what I’m trying to promote.
I mean, I was, at one stage of my career, I worked for a Native Affairs secretariat. I was Ontario’s assistant negotiator on the Temagami land claim. Our negotiating team reached an agreement that went to the community for voting, and it lost by a few, few votes. But it was very, very creative, and it wasn’t centred around reserve land, it was centred around shared stewardship, working together. And we were going to have a board set up that worked together on issues around Lake Temagami and mining, and it worked really well. It was going to work really well. We had four townships that we did a test pilot on, and some of that work was done very cooperatively and it worked really well. So that’s where I come from.
Interviewer: It still amazes me, the complexity of this microcosm here, the number of different stakeholders makes your head spin. And some day someone will do a remarkable case study of how that all happens, because I’m not sure there are many other places where you have so many different stakeholders all having to come together there.
Dwyer: Yeah, and we need to decide our destiny and not let others decide it. That’s us, the collaborative group, working together.
Interviewer: Well, it doesn’t sound very collaborative.
Dwyer: Honestly, no. It’s not. I’m on the committee and it’s all about, okay, let’s look at some things, some things aren’t working.
Interviewer: Can I ask you just quickly, because we have to keep moving here. Are there other factors that are deterring investment and household formation in the area — for example, do high business and property taxes discourage both "clean" industry and remote workers from relocating to Temagami?
Dwyer: Our infrastructure is in sad shape, I would say, in our municipality.
Interviewer: And that’s the third question there, which is does the townsite and Municipality of Temagami have the infrastructure to support sustainable development?
Key Candidate Quote - “Our infrastructure is in sad shape, I would say, in our municipality… I would say internet and skilled labour are huge factors [limiting sustainable development]. Labour period, skilled and semi-skilled, yeah. There are a lot of things. I see lots of opportunities our here on Lake Temagami to service the needs of seasonal property owners. I can’t get enough people to work for me. It’s hard to get people to work. So I think, I’m not talking about changing anything, it’s just continuing to service the population out here.” - Cathy Dwyer
Dwyer: So I think the two are linked in that we need young families coming to Town, we need kids going to our school. It makes it a community when you have young kids in a Town.
Interviewer: So are there factors that are preventing the formation of businesses and new households in Temagami? Are there policies? One that comes is high taxes, that’s just one. There may be others. And as you’ve pointed out, the infrastructure ain’t there. Right.
So just the network connectivity, for example. So if you’re a professional or you’re a coder, you know, you can’t really do that in the townsite.
Dwyer: Yeah. I live on Lowell Lake. I’m not on Ontera, I can’t get it. I have satellite internet. It’s okay; it’s not great. And so there’s those issues.
High taxes, I have two acres on a lake, waterfront, but there’s no business tax. I don’t have to pay a tax to conduct my business.
Interviewer: I guess that’s because you don’t have a retail store front.
Dwyer: Yeah. I did. I did when I had a garden centre, and, again, I didn’t have to pay a business ...
Interviewer: But there are commercial taxes in the urban area.
Dwyer: Yes. I was renting from the Cooperative, that land, so the rent I guess went towards that.
Interviewer: I’m not an expert, but I’ve just heard it said that they’re not the friendliest; sort of business friendly, tax policies and other policies, red tape or whatever you want to call it, are not super geared towards attracting net new business formation.
Dwyer: There’s no atmosphere of “we’re open for business, we’re here to help you, we want to help you, what can we do.” That atmosphere is lacking. But we also need to finish things, like our community improvement plan. I was on that committee for the municipality, and it’s a plan that you put in place so that you can give tax incentives to businesses to do things. And so there’s, you know, a number of things of that plan can be put in place. And we were working towards that, and this council wouldn’t give us a budget so that we could say to a business, “Okay, if you need $5,000, we can match that; or we can give you 25% towards something like that to help you out with your business.”
And it was like, well, you’ve asked a bunch of volunteers to develop this plan, and we’re more than happy to do it, and we’ll do it for you, but you have to really want to do it. And it didn’t happen. And so that is priority for me, to finish our community improvement plan, and it has to be put in place.
Interviewer: I was going to ask you, in terms of issues, if you are elected as a councillor, where would you place this fight?
Dwyer: Oh, that’s top priority.
Interviewer: Okay. That wasn’t part of the questions, I was just curious. I guess we’ll move on to question 3, then, which kind of falls out of question 2. What are the main factors deterring investment and new-comers to the area? Select the top two from the list below: Tenets; business obstacles; property taxes; non-property taxes; internet services; skilled labour; or, other things we might not have listed.
Dwyer: I would say internet and skilled labour are huge factors. Labour period, skilled and [semi]-skilled, yeah. There are a lot of things. I see lots of opportunities out here on Lake Temagami to service the needs of seasonal property owners. I can’t get enough people to work for me. It’s hard to get people to work. So I think, I’m not talking about changing anything, it’s just continuing to service the population out here.
And so, no, the Tenets are the bottom of the list. They are not impeding business out here.
And property taxes, I pay property taxes, I live on a lake, and so my taxes are higher than in town. It’s a privilege.
Interviewer: Unless you’re on the lake, of course. The property taxes in town on the lake are pretty high.
Dwyer: I live on Lowell Lake, and so I have waterfront, and so I pay similar - yeah. And I expect to pay more, honestly.
Interviewer: You know, I was thinking on the labour side, a town like Banff doesn’t struggle to attract labour, and Banff is a gateway to all these incredible natural areas. But Temagami, could it not also be like a gateway and attract young people because of the natural beauty and opportunity?
Dwyer: Absolutely. I think the Outfitting business, you know, my time with it was - oh, there’s real potential here. There’s real potential here.
Interviewer: I know that Dean’s daughter tried to run it afterwards and just got totally frustrated. I don’t know anything more than that.
Dwyer: Sure. I’ve always said, if you can run a successful business in Temagami, you can run a business anywhere. So there are some barriers. There’s no network locally to work together with other business people, and marketing’s huge, and all of those types of things.
Interviewer: In your opinion what constitutes sustainable development?
Dwyer: I’ve thought about that and, you know, there’s lots of definitions, Bruntland and all of those kinds of things, you know?
Interviewer: Yes, Bruntland definition of sustainable development: development is something that doesn’t compromise the future.
Dwyer: So what we have in our official plan, and I’m going to use that, is development that meets the material and social needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Renewable resources must be used within its limits of regeneration and natural growth.
I don’t see issue with that definition, but is there a better definition that fits Temagami better? We should talk to people about that. Is this still appropriate?
Interviewer: Yeah, it’s very broad.
Dwyer: Yeah, it is.
Interviewer: Well, I mean, it’s about the environment, really. And that becomes an issue for the globe, really. Does it compromise the future of generations? That’s really the big issue. And so that’s probably one that you might sustain anyways, does it compromise the future?
Yeah. The thing that I know about Lake Temagami, and I’ve talked to lots of people that have properties out here, their worlds back home are busy and crazy and they’re changing all the time; changing, changing. And you come here to Lake Temagami and it hasn’t changed. You can sit on your dock and you can look across the lake and it’s still the same. And that is probably the only thing in their lives that hasn’t changed, and that’s worth something.
Interviewer: Will further Crown Land lot development on or near Lake Temagami generate lasting /re-occurring economic activity on a meaningful basis? And I guess when this talks about Crown land lot development on or near, that means both the shoreline and the Crown islands that have not been developed. So you’ve been pretty definitive on that, saying no.
Key Candidate Quote - “Crown land lot development, to me, isn’t on the radar, because the province does not release Crown land for development. That’s number one policy. Number two, we have a Lake Trout policy. Number three, if this was to be drive access, it’s crazy. That would be [cost] prohibitive. So, to me, it’s not even on the radar. It’s not something that’s feasible or reasonable. I wouldn’t go there… I just want to say that I have based all my businesses that I’ve been involved in servicing Lake Temagami. That’s where I’ve earned my living… and it’s been done with the Tenets in place and no development and that, so I don’t see that changing in the future. I’m not promoting that, it’s just people have to — some people are not adaptive when it comes to earning a living and taking advantage of servicing the population out here…. So when I say just have a look at the Tenets, are they still the right type of principles or do they need to be strengthened, weakened, changed. That’s all. I think the TLA should be reviewing them… I would not support that [lot development] happening on the mainland. That is not something I would support. Never. No. But in the Tenets it talks about promote development of patented land before Crown land, so is that still something?... and also no land use permits will be converted to patents… it may have been addressing that [mining claims] at the time, it may have been addressing Temagami Barge at the time, it may have been addressing the Access Point at the time; I don’t know that because those are all land use permits. So that’s all I’m saying.” - Cathy Dwyer
Dwyer: Crown land lot development, to me, isn’t on the radar, because the province does not release Crown land for development. That’s number one policy. Number two, we have a Lake Trout policy. Number three, if this was to be drive access, it’s crazy. That would be prohibitive. So, to me, it’s not even on the radar. It’s not something that’s feasible or reasonable. I wouldn’t go there.
Interviewer: Keep Temagami Beautiful respects the rights of patent property owners. Likewise, we are opposed to any additional development of the Lake Temagami mainland as detailed in the tenets.
With this in mind would you support development of the Ferguson Point and Ferguson Mountain properties if development included the purchase of the adjacent waterfront Crown Land strip from the province.
Dwyer: No, I would not.
Interviewer: Conflicts of interest arise in many different ways, some overt and others less obvious. The clear avoidance of conflict of interest, or even the appearance of a conflict, on the part of public officials is essential to building trust among your constituents, to providing good governance and to attracting and enabling sustainable economic development.
Bearing that in mind, keeping in mind your [current] professional occupation and/or your ownership in any business or other entities that are active in the municipality, do you have, either directly or indirectly, any conflicts of interest and, if elected, how will you manage these conflicts?
Key Candidate Quote - “I’ve bumped into conflict of interest with the committee of adjustment… there are times where I’ve represented clients for construction or other things, and I’ve excused myself from the committee and not participated… So I understand conflict of interest, and I’ve respected it in the past.” - Cathy Dwyer
Dwyer: I’ve bumped into conflict of interest with the committee of adjustment. I’m on the committee of adjustment, and there are times where I’ve represented clients for construction or other things, and I’ve excused myself from the committee and not participated. There’s been other times on committees where I am currently working on something that is being discussed, and a decision needs to be made, and I’ve made people I’m working with or the committee aware that I have a conflict. So I understand conflict of interest, and I’ve respected it in the past.
Interviewer: Would you vote to maintain all the Tenets in any developed O.P. for the Municipality of Temagami?
Key Candidate Quote - “It [the Tenets] is a TLA document, and so if the TLA goes through and says, “They are fine the way they are,” perfect, fine. You know, all I’m suggesting is that the Board of Directors or the TLA, however you want to do it, just look at your Tenets, are they still valid today? Are they going to carry us through a Conservative government? Are they going to carry us through the next 10 years or for the next comprehensive review? Just ask yourselves those questions. And if the way they are written today will do that, then they don’t need to be changed. That’s all I’m suggesting.” - Cathy Dwyer
[Please note: The candidate voted to adopt the Terms of Reference for the New Official Plan for Temagami, which recommended a reexamination of the Tenets, vegetative buffer zones and local neighbourhood policies in the new OP. Here’s a link to a letter from TLA to Council (which Council voted not to recognize) outlining TLA’s concerns. Fortunately this motion has been withdrawn, for now.]
Interviewer: Absolutely, without any question?
Dwyer: Yes, and I think we need to encourage other associations, like CALA, which is over on Cassels Lake, to develop similar Tenets or principles. Because that lake is changing because of White Bear, the estates out there, and what’s building, going on out there, so I think it’s time that something was developed there.
Interviewer: I just want to reconcile your answer to that with something you said earlier about needing to look at the Tenets of Temagami.
Dwyer: It’s a TLA document, and so if the TLA goes through and says, “They are fine the way they are,” perfect, fine. You know, all I’m suggesting is that the Board of Directors or the TLA , however you want to do it, just look at your Tenets, are they still valid today? Are they going to carry us through a Conservative government? Are they going to carry us through the next 10 years or for the next comprehensive review? Just ask yourselves those questions.
And if the way they are written today will do that, then they don’t need to be changed. That’s all I’m suggesting.
Interviewer: So would you like a formal answer from the TLA that they’ve reviewed them and that they still support them in their present form; and if you didn’t receive that, would you go ahead and review them within, say, the planning advisory committee?
Dwyer: They’re not up for review. They are not up for review.
Interviewer: So you would encourage the TLA to do that, but you would take them in their present form if the TLA did not respond into the official plan.
Dwyer: That’s right. Absolutely, yeah.
Interviewer: As a cornerstone or a basis within that philosophical framework presented before the official plan, you would support that?
Dwyer: Yes, 100%.
Interviewer: And what do you think the changed provincial political situation, how will that impact?
Dwyer: I don’t know how it’s going to play. I’m not a Conservative, and I just see our politics in North America changing, and it has changed, and it hasn’t been good.
Interviewer: Well, you can’t actually lump the federal in with the provincial at the moment, or the neighbours next door [USA].
Dwyer: Well, I feel the neighbours next door, and I hear them, and then the Rob Ford government was elected in Ontario. So I feel that there’s change, and it’s not great, it’s not good. So things are getting thrown out, and so that worries me.
Interviewer: I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but you’re saying that the TLA should, as it were, try to future proof the Tenets in the context of a broader changed political climate.
Dwyer: Well, you know, I mean, I know people are even thinking that way now. If they’re not, they should be.
Interviewer: You’re suggesting just they review them and determine whether they’re appropriate to move forward.
Dwyer: Yeah, that’s all.