I reached out to the Ministry for general perspective on the need to extend the Rondeau Park assessment process and while I didn't learn anything new, it was encouraging to hear that the file is being worked on toward a constructive outcome.
That said, this extension serves to exacerbate the uncertainty of the current situation for all leaseholders, especially for the many families who have known Rondeau Park as their summer home for five generations going back almost one hundred years.
Its interesting that when Gros Morne became a National Park in 2005, they had a problem to solve because there were several communities with many generations of people living in the geography the Park took in. The early reaction at the federal level was that National Parks were for preservation of wildlife and indigenous species.....and so the humans would have to vacate. But after further investigation and consideration it was determined that people living there were actually a part of the established eco-systems and therefore, they were indigenous too. Forcing everyone to leave would negatively impact nature's balance. And so the progressive decision was brought down, that they should stay.
I will acknowledge that Rondeau Park is a very different situation. It is a smaller geography and likely a more fragile natural environment.
That said, on many levels, the cottagers have become the custodians of Rondeau because they have the most to lose if it is compromised in any way. If people are a bad thing for "Parks" why are there virtually as many campsites as there are cottages in the Park?
Please consider the upside that accompanies a seasonal community with a vested stake in the preservation of Rondeau Park on every level! Positioned properly, the Park Superintendent could deputize every cottage owner with a duty to respect and protect Rondeau and to report anything that might bring harm to it.
Submitted November 20, 2019 2:51 PM