MPP JOURNAL for the week of January 28 , 2002


Ontario government supports the OFSC Trail Safety and Sustainability Program

Just recently the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation Tim Hudak presented a $3 million cheque to the Ontario federation of Snowmobile Clubs' (OFSC) for the Trail Safety and Sustainability Program. This is a great initiative by the government to promote winter recreational activity that has an influence on our local economy. This funding from our government is the first installment of Ontario's five-year, $15 million investment to strengthen snowmobile safety and trail sustainability.

With each passing decade snowmobiling is becoming a popular winter activity. Organized recreational Snowmobiling is now estimated to add $1 billion to the provincial economy each year. Last year new legislation took place to promote Snowmobile trail sustainability and enhance safety and enforcement of new regulations.

The new legislation has incorporated many of the requests from the snowmobile community. It allows police to stop snowmobiles in the course of their duties; creates an offence and penalty for driving a snowmobile while a driver's license is suspened; places fines to an appropriate level for lack of insurance; and it creates an offence for failing to produce a permit or registration.

Regulatory changes where also made to enhance snowmobile safety. Helmets must be worn both on and off trails and highways and meet motorcycle standards; Snowmobiles must have a minimum of one working headlight and lights must be used on and off highways; and reflective material must be used on all trailers or other devices towed by a snowmobile.

In addition, the legislation reinforces the current user-pay system for snowmobile trails, which means that all snowmobilers who ride Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs trails will need a permit. The OFSC grants from the Ontario government will help ensure that all 49,000 kilometers of recreational snowmobile trails will continue to grow and be safe. The network of marked and well-groomed trails have become an important part of Ontario's tourism infrastructure. These trails are among the world's finest with many of them running through Dufferin-Peel-Wellington Grey.

The Orangeville and District Snowmobile Association and the Hillsburgh Snow Roamers are both members of the OFSC. Trail permits are obtained from the OFSC and/or clubs for both resident and non-resident snowmobiliers.

The Ontario government, through the new legislation is committed to ensuring that snowmobiling in Ontario offers a consistently high-quality and safe experience that meets the needs of both tourist and recreational users alike.

For more information contact my local office at 1-800-265-1603 or access the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Recreation website at or the Ontario Federation of Snowmobiles Clubs' at





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Community Office
244 Broadway, Orangeville, ON L9W 1K5
Phone: (519) 941-7751   Toll Free: 1-800-265-1603   Fax: (519) 941-3246