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Northern Ont. man fined $1,800 for camping too long on Crown land

Crown land camping is free in Ontario. (Photo courtesy: Bradley Bishop) Crown land camping is free in Ontario. (Photo courtesy: Bradley Bishop)
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A northern Ontario man was fined $1,800 after pleading guilty to breaking the 21-day rule for camping on Crown land.

Michael Cox of Atikokan overstayed his welcome after leaving his camper trailer in the same spot for at least six weeks at Williamson Lake in northwestern Ontario last year.

Conservation officers first noted the trailer at the lake's landing on May 14, 2023.

"The trailer was noted to be in the same location on multiple occasions until it was removed on June 25, 2023, after Cox had been contacted," the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said in a news release Feb. 16.

The guilty plea was entered Nov. 17 in a hearing held by Justice of the Peace Nancy Tulloch in Atikokan.

"Canadian residents can camp for free on Crown land for up to 21 days at one site in a calendar year, unless the site has been restricted for a specific reason," the ministry said in a June 13, 2019 bulletin.

"After 21 days, the person and camping equipment must move a minimum of 100 meters to another location."

Campers from outside of Canada are required to purchase a Crown land camping permit which costs $9.35 per person per day plus HST. 

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