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The 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group passes through Bobcaygeon, Buckhorn and Peterborough en route to Ottawa

The nine motorized dinghies carrying 50 members of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at Lock 31 in Buckhorn on September 9, 2022, during the fourth day of their 13-day journey from Parry Sound to Ottawa. Composed primarily of Aboriginal people, the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group supports both Canadian Armed Forces national security and public safety operations in Northern Ontario. (Photo: 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group / Facebook)

If you noticed nine large motorized canoes filled with 50 men and women in red outfits rolling down the Trent-Severn Waterway from Bobcaygeon to Peterborough on Friday (September 9), you were seeing the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group on a historic voyage from Parry Sound to Ottawa.

Many people in southern Ontario are unfamiliar with the Canadian Rangers, a sub-component of the Canadian Army Reserve which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.

Established in 1947, the Canadian Rangers — primarily First Nations people living and serving in their communities — work in remote, isolated and coastal regions of Canada. There are five Canadian Ranger Patrol Groups in Canada, with the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group covering the remote coastal and interior regions of Northern Ontario.

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The 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group consists of 27 individual patrols covering an area of ​​Northern Ontario nearly as large as the size of France and Germany combined. The region is home to over 50,000 people living in 49 First Nations communities, many of whom do not have year-round road access.

“A lot of the places we operate in northern Ontario are only accessible by water, so that makes perfect sense,” says Major Charles Ohlke, referring to the trip to Ottawa, which is also a training exercise in which the Rangers will be trained. safe boating and first aid.

The motto of the Canadian Rangers is “Vigilans”, which means “The Watchers”, reflecting their role in supporting Canadian Armed Forces national security and public safety operations. The 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group is Canada’s military presence in Northern Ontario.

Two of nine motorized canoes from the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group head for the Trent Canal in Peterborough on September 9, 2022, during day four of a 13-day voyage from Parry Sound to Ottawa.  (Photo: Mireille Delisle Oldham)
Two of nine motorized canoes from the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group head for the Trent Canal in Peterborough on September 9, 2022, during day four of a 13-day trip from Parry Sound to Ottawa. (Photo: Mireille Delisle Oldham)

So far in 2022, members of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group have participated in 10 ground search and rescue missions and rescued 13 people, including two truck drivers stuck on an ice road, an injured snowmobiler from the Attawapiskat First Nation and two young hunters who were stranded about 100 kilometers from their communities after their all-terrain vehicles broke down.

The 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group expedition left Parry Sound on 5 September, crossing Georgian Bay to enter the Trent-Severn Waterway at Port Severn.

They passed through Buckhorn, Peterborough and Rice Lake on Friday, which was the fourth day of their trip.

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On Saturday, they will travel from Rice Lake to Healey Falls, then to Campbellford and Frankford on Sunday. After arriving in Trenton on day seven, they will cross Lake Ontario to Kingston, then head north through the Rideau Canal to Ottawa, ending their 13-day journey in Ottawa on September 17.

“This exercise is not just an event to recognize our 75 years of service to Canada,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Shane McArthur, Commander of 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group.

“It’s also an opportunity for Canadians to interact with the Canadian Rangers and learn about what we do in Ontario and the Canadian Armed Forces.

The route of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group's journey from Parry Sound to Ottawa.  (Map: 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group)
The route of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group’s journey from Parry Sound to Ottawa. (Map: 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group)
Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.