To the Expositor:
The letter submitted by Mr. Rick Crouch of Collingwood in the October 2 issue caught my attention (‘Ferry service needs radical course change in business strategies,’ page 5). My thought was that perhaps the motive behind the letter might be suspect.
As he states, he is a 40-year cottage owner on the Island. I wondered why might he take issue with the Owen Sound Transportation Company now? Perhaps he sees the Island as the next frontier!
Mr. Crouch attests that in the southern Georgian Bay area the local real estate market and the economy is being driven by those from southern Ontario looking for properties. He says he resides and runs a real estate business in this area. Mr. Crouch says their arrival has had a profound impact on the local landscape both visually and economically. He says the economic benefits are many with no mention of the visual impact. I wonder if his vision of Manitoulin is to have it developed like Collingwood? To this end he seems concerned about development being hindered by accessibility issues.
The focus of his argument is the Owen Sound Transportation Company and its operation of the Chi-Cheemaun ferry service and the single lane swing bridge at Little Current.
Manitoulin is a unique island environment very accessible for those who wish to come. The Island’s assets are many, for example the one lane swing bridge at Little Current, the M.S. Chi-Cheemaun, eco resorts with dark sky reserves and villages like Kagawong, to mention a few.
I suggest that with good planning, thoughtful management, foresight and recognition of its assets, an economy of scale should be nurtured to evolve in harmony with the Island’s culture and unique environment.Michael Gorman Newmarket