Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Map crisis update

On Sunday I sent (by e-mail) the letter below to my local MP, Tony Clement, as well as similar ones to the MP for the Haliburton area riding, Barry Devolin, in which our Oxtongue Lake store is located and Gary Lunn, the Federal Minister of Natural Resources. On Tuesday morning I received the reply in quotes from Mr. Clement's assistant. While there is no specific information about the continuation of map publishing, it does indicate to me that the powers-that-be are aware of and taking a look at the issue. Keep those cards and letters flowing to the Minister and your local representative!

My letter to the Hon. Tony Clement, MP for Muskoka-Parry Sound, Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

From: Algonquin Outfitters [mailto:info@algonquinoutfitters.com]
Sent: October 2, 2006 2:10 PM
To: Clement, Tony - M.P.
Subject: maps

Dear Mr. Clement:

As a the manager of a major canoe trip outfitting and outdoor adventure operation, outdoor enthusiast and resident of Huntsville, I was shocked to learn that the printing of topographic maps will be discontinued and that the Canada Map Office will be closed.

Outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism are particularly important draws for the tourism economy in the Muskoka-Parry Sound area and having a good map is a key factor to having a safe, enjoyable outdoor experience. For many reasons, the digital alternative is not a satisfactory option for outdoor use. For a tourism operator trying to offer maps to visitors and clients, the digital option presents even more problems.

Please urge your colleagues to reconsider this decision.

More information on this issue can be found at:


Gordon Baker

The prompt reply:

Dear Mr. Baker,

I have been in touch with the office of the Minister of Natural Resources regarding your map issue. I am advised that the previous Liberal Government decided in 2001 to close down the Canada Map Office and that the Office has been working toward that Liberal goal ever since, with a final date of March 31, 2007.

Your new Conservative Government is looking seriously at this closure and all though it is still awaiting information on which to base a final decision, the Ministry does not think a March 31, 2007 closure is very likely at all. A more firm answer should be available to me in a few weeks but in the meantime, I would not be too concerned about the closure occurring any time soon.


David J. Lowe
Chief Parliamentary Assistant to Tony Clement, P.C., M.P.

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