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Two New Proposals to Restrict Access to Ontario Shipwreck Sites

Discussion in 'Underwater Treasures' started by Scott McWilliam, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. Scott McWilliam

    Scott McWilliam Nassau Grouper

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  2. Scott McWilliam

    Scott McWilliam Nassau Grouper

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    If you do not agree with Scarlets thinking it is the kind of thing you need to keep an eye on. Her plan was to speak to the Minister about this and have the changes she seeks made possibly through the regulations. This is not the kind of thing that is necessarily voted on. A small group of people with an agenda could have a profound effect on diving in Ontario.
     
  3. Scott McWilliam

    Scott McWilliam Nassau Grouper

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    Here is something to think about. If they went ahead and made legislative changes, to stop diving on wrecks that"might" have human remains on them, what would happen on sites like the Gunilda? The ship went to the bottom with no loss of life, but tragically two divers have been lost on the site. Reg Baret was the last and as per his own wishes and at the request of the family his ashes were deposited on the wreck site. It is his grave but I do not think anyone who loved diving as much as Reg did would rest easy knowing his place of final repose restricted others from diving the wreck.
     
  4. Jared0425

    Jared0425 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Detroit, Michigan
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    What wrecks is she referring too?
     
  5. abnfrog

    abnfrog Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: great white north
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    seems like anything suspected of having bodies on it
     
  6. Scott McWilliam

    Scott McWilliam Nassau Grouper

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    If I understand correctly this legislation change would apply all shipwreck sites in Ontario that have unaccounted for fatalities associated with the wreck event. The little wreck in Georgian Bay with the dead horse and fatalities I have not mentioned the name of. It is not particularly difficult to figure out her name or for that matter where she is. Again, if I understand correctly, the location of the site has not been released to the public and "opened to the diving public." I do not know how you close a site, aside from a court order or possibly a police order like a coroners corridor or specific legislation and I am not sure the wave of an archaeologists magic trowel is legally binding. But, on the other hand, I would not want to provoke the issue.

    Personally, I still only get one vote and as it is still a democracy and I think the public is more than capable of deciding what is best. It is troubling to me that the proposed mechanism to effect this change was "we may have to speak to the Minister about that." It is not the type of thing that is going to appear as an election issue. A small group of people with an agenda and a pejorative making political moves that may affect a great many based only on their perceived moral superiority, intellect and ego.
     
  7. Jared0425

    Jared0425 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Detroit, Michigan
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    I did a little speech with Scarlett's group after we located the Jane Miller.

    Long story short, I know that my ideas on how to proceed with the wreck site was unwelcomed, our locating lost wrecks in Canadian waters was also unreceptive (Mainly the Jones and the Asia as they had not been found yet) and representives of the Ministry was there also. They said they had an idea where these wrecks were and a few decided that because of the loss of life they would not try and located them to protect them from divers back in the 70s and 80s (bull$h!t, they had no clue where they were at except the Manasoo)

    First: The ministry has ultimate say in what happens, they did not necessarily agree with the group's idea on how to deal with these wreck. However they are open to "input".

    Second: I heard multiple jurisdictions are fighting over the one wreck saying one does not have power over the other (still not resolved)

    Third: My permit to search for the James Carruthers was first amendmended to due to the loss of life issue and then the ministry did not return any of my correspondence after the fact and then I decided I was done with dealing with the Canadian bureaucracy to locate these wrecks on my own dime and time and they get all my work for free. Go find your own damn wrecks then.

    *Sorry for the explicitives mods, I take offense to the process
     
  8. Scott McWilliam

    Scott McWilliam Nassau Grouper

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    While I am sorry you had such a negative experience in Ontario I am not surprised. Progress is slow but change does come. I have grown old and cynical trying to work with what is essentially a gang of strokes. Simply put, they are impudent and only have whatever degree of power and control you, and other members of the public give to them. If you have difficulty working with them why bother? 90% of the people involved in underwater archaeology in the Province just want to do their own research and have little or no interest in this type of thing sorting out the good guys from the bad guys is a bit of a problem.

    It has always kind of mystified me but in Ontario, it is easy to kick them right clean out of the pool or whatever Great Lake you are in. The courts have ruled that anyone who is getting paid to work underwater is a professional and comes under the Ministry of Labour regulations. As far as I know, I am the only archaeologist with an on the shelf surface supply capability Interesting, Scarlet is checked out on surface supply but I do not think she owns the gear.

    The Government of Ontario has no field capability. During the Atlantic Shipwreck trial, they had to hire a commercial diver to make observations and give evidence. In a way it is not just a Dog in the manger situation, it is a dog unlawfully in the manger. If you or anyone else has personal or firsthand knowledge and hopefully evidentiary materials of an archaeologist who is not in compliance with Ministry of labour diving regulations as the responsible citizen that you are you should do the right thing and report the matter to the Ministry of Labour.

    If they made a project out of it, sport divers can shut down every underwater archaeology project it the Province. It is their job to work with you and you are only complied to work with them as a courtesy. They have no money, no funding for anyone and they invent ludicrous totally unpragmatic legal remedies that have to date failed, or at least failed in part in court. In fact, the Court has admonished Ministry staff for not working with the public in a timely and professional manner.

    They seek to control the site by controlling access by not releasing the site location. The risk is getting entrapped test litigation that usually costs a fortune even if you win. Instead of them intrapping you it may be time for you and others, to entrap them. I usually publish site locations like this it effectively neuters the bull. If Ministry archaeologists want to go to court, for the time being, you should accommodate them and lay charges. You will be surprised how accommodating they can be when it becomes apparent that the next time they see the inside of a dive mask they will be on vacation in Florida.
     

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