South Bruce Peninsula Council to appeal Court decision on land claim

In a media release today, April 19th (2023), South Bruce Peninsula Council announced it has made the decision to appeal the recent Ontario Superior Court ruling in favour of Saugeen First Nation’s claim to a portion of land on Sauble Beach north of Main Street.

“This is one of the most important issues that our community has ever faced. 

Town Council continues to review the decision and its implications with our legal counsel. No decisions will be made about an appeal until we fully understand the implications of the decision for our residents and businesses.

The decision raises unexpected and unresolved questions. One is whether the private landowners have a life interest in the portions of the beach over which they hold title. That issue will be resolved in the next several months with an additional ruling. A second important unresolved question is where the Reserve’s new east boundary lies. The Court found that the Reserve’s east boundary is not the boundary set by the Crown in 1855. The Court also ruled that the Reserve’s east boundary is not where the Saugeen First Nation and the Government of Canada said it was at trial. The Court did not establish where the Reserve’s new east boundary lies and whether it includes land that currently lies east of the beach, including Lakeshore Boulevard and other land. We are working with legal counsel to understand and resolve these matters so that appropriate decisions can be made in the best interest of the community. 

To be clear, the Town has not reached a position on an appeal at this time. Our immediate priority is to gain clarity on beach maintenance and governance issues until the final terms of the Court’s ruling are settled later this year. Town Council will be reaching out to the Saugeen First Nation to discuss these matters and will be working to find a mutually acceptable interim resolution to these issues.

“Town Council wishes to express our gratitude for your patience while we work through these challenging issues. We assure you that this is our highest priority, and we will formalize and communicate our position as soon as possible” says Garry Michi, Mayor.”