Bill 118 2015
An Act to create a right of passage along the shoreline of the Great Lakes
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. (1) In this Act,
“high water mark” means the mark on the shore of a lake where the presence and action of water is so continuous as to leave a distinct mark either by erosion, destruction of terrestrial vegetation or other easily recognizable characteristic.
(2) In this Act and the regulations, a reference to the Great Lakes includes the St. Lawrence River and the connecting channels of the Great Lakes.
Right of passage
2. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, any person may exercise a right of passage along the shoreline of any Great Lake between the water’s edge and the high water mark.
(2) The right of passage along the shoreline is limited to a right of passage on foot or by other non-motorized means and does not include a right of passage by means of a vehicle or other motorized form of transportation.
(3) The right of passage does not include,
(a) a right to use the shoreline for any purpose other than passage on foot or by other non-motorized means; or
(b) a right of access to the shoreline.
Assumption of risks
3. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a person who is exercising his or her right of passage along the shoreline of a Great Lake assumes any risks associated with that passage.
Duty of care
(2) A person who has an interest in the shoreline of any Great Lake owes a duty to a person who is exercising his or her right of passage along the shoreline,
(a) to not create a danger with the intention of doing harm or damage to the person or his or her personal property; and
(b) to not act with reckless disregard for the presence of the person or his or her personal property.
4. A person who is exercising his or her right of passage along the shoreline of a Great Lake shall do so in compliance with any rules of conduct that may be prescribed by regulation.
Existing property rights
5. Except to the extent that this Act creates a right of passage, nothing in this Act interferes with property rights along the shoreline of the Great Lakes.
No expropriation or injurious affection
6. Nothing in this Act or the regulations and nothing done in accordance with this Act or the regulations constitutes an expropriation or injurious affection for the purposes of the Expropriations Act.
7. (1) No person shall interfere with the right of passage along the shoreline of the Great Lakes.
(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $2,000.
8. The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,
(a) exempting any property or structure or class of property or structure from the application of this Act;
(b) prescribing rules of conduct for persons exercising the right of passage provided for by this Act;
(c) respecting any matter that is necessary or advisable for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
9. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
10. The short title of this Act is the Great Lakes Shoreline Right of Passage Act, 2015.
The Bill creates a right of passage along the shoreline of the Great Lakes between the water’s edge and the high water mark. The right is limited as specified in the Bill.