The articles about Cabot Head Lighthouse in the two recent issues of this paper did a great job in highlighting its history and the current controversy about its future.
There is a point that needs clarification. In the second article (Issue #13/20, August 11, 2020), it states the proposed boundaries for the National Park to include Cabot Head would please all parties…including the Crawford family. No, this was not true. As discussions regarding the park were developing, my family exchanged letters and phone calls with officials expressing our opposition to the plan. This was not motivated by fear of expropriation, as stated by Ron Wheeler, Friends of Cabot Head. From the very start of the planning process, government officials, up to the Honourable John Roberts, Minister of the Environment at the time, stated clearly that private land would not be acquired by expropriation. Rather it would be on a willing-seller, willing-buyer basis. We were not willing (nor were the co-owners of our property). The original plan included not just the area surrounding the lighthouse but a large swath of land south including Gillies Lake shoreline. A large public campground on the east shoreline was in the original planning documents. We saw the park as forever changing the area.
The establishment of the National Park included some strong opposition. In 1985, the voters of Lindsay Township voted down a referendum on allowing the park to be set up within its boundaries. The officials of Lindsay Twp. followed the direction of the voters and declined accepting the park into the township. St. Edmunds Twp. voters did not have the same opportunity.
Even though we are not year-round residents, not even Canadians, we cherish this land. We’ve said it often and we’ll say it again, the beauty of the shoreline road from Dyers Bay to Cabot Head and a large portion of the Cabot Head Nature Reserve is the way it is because we fought to keep it that way.
Ned and Mary Crawford
Gillies Lake, Ontario
Bark River, Michigan