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Bill clarifies occupiers’ liability questions on Ontario trails

In Ontario, residents and visitors alike enjoy the numerous trails located throughout the province. The trails provide visitors a way to enjoy the beautiful scenery the province has to offer as they participate in a variety of activities including riding ATVs and snowmobiles. While in many cases those participating in these activities do so without being hurt, there are occasions where accidents that lead to injuries do occur.

Currently when trail users are hurt, there may be a question as to what standard of care the owner of the property owes the users. The passage of the third reading of a bill in Ontario would clarify a variety of questions that might arise in situations of this nature pertaining to liability. Specifically, Bill 100 would make changes to the:

  • Ontario Trails Act
  • Occupiers’ Liability Act
  • Motorized Snow Vehicles Act
  • Off-Road Vehicles Act

For example, as a result of changes proposed t the Occupiers’ Liability Act, it is possible that more landowners would provide consent to trail organizations and managers to use the land, because the changes would make clear that those who use recreational trails that are free and marked, do so at their own risk, and at their owner discretion. This is true regardless of whether the property owner or occupier where the trail is located receives money from the government in the form of parking fees or levies.

Similar changes would be implemented to the other acts.

If you, a friend or a family member are victims of someone’s negligence and suffering from injuries and losses, contact us to speak to one of our lawyers to know your rights and what steps you should be taking in order to protect your rights for the future.

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