Graydon Smith, M.P.P. for Parry Sound-Muskoka and newly appointed Ontario Minister of Natural Resources has been charged with violating Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. The charges were laid not by law enforcement, but by a private citizen, Michael Opara.
Smith, the former Mayor of Bracebridge was charged along with the municipality and two Town employees with destroying turtle’s nests and endangering the habitat of Turtles. The charges remain unproven, and a court date has been set for September 21st.
The charges arise from road grading undertaken by the Town of Bracebridge in 2021 on a road within the municipality.
According to a story written by CBC News reporter Mike Crawley, Sarah Hahn, a lawyer with the firm Barriston, Law, acting for the Town of Bracebridge, said that she is confident the charges will be thrown out. “It is unfortunate that town resources must now be used to respond to these baseless accusations,” Hahn said.
The complainant, Michael Opara, is a Bracebridge activist, who has appeared before Council on numerous occasions, at times accusing Council and then-Mayor Smith of inappropriate actions. Sources tell Doppler there has been an acrimonious relationship between Mr. Opara and Bracebridge Council for a significant period of time.
Graydon Smith has advised Doppler that he cannot comment on this matter at the present time.
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