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MPPCOA Report from the AGM

Posted on: April 17, 2019  |  

Mr. Chairman, Honoured Guests, and fellow WCA members,
Report from the Manitoba Provincial Park Cabin Owners Association MPPCOA

Our current MPPCOA President, Dean Amundson, from the historic Hecla Association of Cottagers, is currently sailing up the east coast on his way home from the warm waters of the Caribbean. He asked me to stand in for him.

Let me start with a “bitter” reminder of what at best can be described as a stalemate between Parks and Provincial Parks Cottagers over fees and lease rates that has lasted most of the last 40 years.

Over all these years, and until recently, in the famous words from Cool Hand Luke:

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate,”

Apart from an occasional spasm of increased fees, there has been stagnation, with no winners and only losers. As a result, the government is always playing “catch up” for the resources they need to properly operate the park, and we the cottagers are left with hard feelings over the lack of a fair process for determining fees and lease rates over time and an inevitable sense of fending off the big pocket picker.

The year 2013 marked a crisis in this dysfunctional relationship; when the previous government arbitrarily and without so much as a “how-do-you-do”, announced an extraordinary increase in lease and service fees for all provincial park cottagers. Some cottagers accustomed to paying in the range of $1000 per year for rent and service found themselves liable to paying up to $7000 per year. Anyone remember that?

“Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” ― Samuel Johnson,

So this remarkable overreach did manage to focus our minds on three objectives for the future:

1) Build a better relationship between Parks and Cottagers

Whatever else happened, a better relationship, built on trust and open communication needed to be established between Parks Branch and provincial cottagers. The current “Guiding Principle” for our ongoing consultation, developed jointly with Parks, is the positive outcome of that objective. Communication is a two way street, and I am happy to report that Parks Branch has so far met us at least half way in the process of relationship building. I particularly credit Parks Director Rob Nedotiafko with spearheading this dramatic change in approach.

2) Build a coalition unifying all Provincial Park Cottagers

The voices of provincial park cottagers needed to be unified, both so that Parks could consult with a single unified group of cottagers and so that Cottagers would not be victimized by any government’s traditional adoption of the “divide and conquer” principle.

MPPCOA is now a vibrant umbrella association representing about 5000 of the approximately 6000 cottages ( and growing) of all Manitoba provincial park cottagers. The participating nine Cottage Associations are:
Booster Lake,
Duck Mountain,
Grindstone,
Hecla North,
Hecla Historic Village,
Long Lake,
Moose Lake,
Wallace Lake and WCA.
The remaining few cottage associations are actively considering membership, with the persistent encouragement of Ron Smith.

Given that these 5000 (or more) members of MPPCOA are all “family cottages” in the Manitoba tradition, we estimate that our membership represents at least 20,000 individuals, most of them living in the city of Winnipeg and of voting age.

3) Focus on development of a fair and open fee management process

A method of calculating total fees needs to be based upon an open and regulated process…so that cottagers can support needed expenditures in the parks (what we call paying our fair share), yet not be subject to arbitrary and/or unfair increases in fees and rents.

This objective is still a work in progress, but in the last couple of years there has been significant progress.

The numerous monthly meetings over the past years with Parks Staff, the Executive of MPPCOA and a group of “experts” representing the interests of cottagers has been
a true consultation
an open minded, systematic review of models.
The work has been based on actual data provided by Parks.

The result is a jointly developed proposal that lays the groundwork for this final objective; a fair and open ongoing process to determine and communicate cottagers contribution to Parks in the form of rent and services.

This model is now in the hand of the Minister and Senior Management of Parks, where we hope it is receiving a positive reading and forming the basis of a permanent solution to this longstanding problem.

I take considerable comfort from the words of Minister Squires: (read from April Echo…”Our ongoing discussions with the Manitoba Provincial Parks Cabin Owners Association (MPPCOA) on future concepts and models for cottager lease and service fees remain to be positive, focussed and productive and are a priority for our government. We will continue to engage to arrive at a fair approach going forward..”)

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Thank you Mr Chairman, and I turn the lectern back to you.

Daniel Klass (Advisory Committee Chair, MPPCOA)

All News Categories

Hello WCA, Here are the new items for today. - Manitoba Hydro released information this afternoon regarding the expected continued high water flows on the Winnipeg River (we have provided the link below and some of the key lake points). The Winnipeg River is expected to crest between June 5-10. Please see www.hydro.mb.ca/corporate/facilities/water_levels/ to view the forecast.- The shoreline adjacent to the Pointe du Bois subdivision has been included in the 100 metre from shore prohibition on recreational motor boat use. Whiteshell Provincial Park: May 27, 2022 A local state of emergency has been declared for Whiteshell Provincial Park on May 20, 2022 due to rising water levels within the park. Developed areas at Betula Lake were closed on May 21, 2022. This closure area was expanded (May 24) to include Sylvia Lake, Otter Falls, Dorothy Lake, Barrier Bay and Nutimik Lake areas. No person should reside or enter into the closed area. Please visit the Manitoba Parks Website www.gov.mb.ca/sd/parks/ to see a map of the closure. This applies to all cottage subdivisions, commercial areas, campgrounds, group use, day use, recreational and picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, and beaches with within the order area. During the closure no person should reside or enter into the closure area of the park. Manitoba Hydro released information this afternoon regarding the expected continued high water flows on the Winnipeg River. Water continues to rise significantly along the lakes that make up the Winnipeg River system (Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret, Eleanor, and Sylvia Lakes as well as Pointe du Bois) as water moves downstream from Lake of the Woods. Water levels rise quickly in these areas due to natural restrictions along the river. Please see www.hydro.mb.ca/corporate/facilities/water_levels/ to view the forecast. Manitoba Hydro is predicating an increase of water levels from the current high water over the next 10 to 14 days, as follows: • 6 inches upstream of Eight Foot Falls. • 10 inches in Nutimik Lake. • 9 inches in Dorothy Lake. • 11 inches in Margaret/Eleanor Lake. • 1 foot in Sylvia Lake. • 8 inches upstream of Silver Falls. The Winnipeg River is expected to crest between June 5-10. Rising water levels and rapidly evolving conditions pose a significant risk to public safety. Manitoba Parks continue to monitor safety and water levels inside the closure area, additional safety measures may be applied if required. Manitoba Parks has been contacting all permanent residents in the closure area. If you have not been contacted by Manitoba Parks staff to register, please call the parks line at 204-340-6769 and leave a message with your name, lot, block, subdivision, and ask to be added to the permanent residents list. You will then be called back to register. Water levels improvement are being seen in all areas south of the Winnipeg River. Falcon, West Hawk, Star, Caddy, Brereton, White, and Jessica Lakes are reporting a decrease today. One log was also inserted into the West Hawk Dam on May 26 to slow the downstream flow, this change will take a few days to positively impact Jessica and White Lake. Manitoba Parks staff are working in conjunction with staff from the department of Manitoba, Transportation and Infrastructure to monitor lake levels and adjust control structures where possible. This includes monitoring structures for blockages. Crescent Beach seawall at West Hawk is barricaded and closed. Pay attention to signage, and barricades. The travel lane has been moved away from the wall and is narrow in spots, please travel slowly. Cottages in the Crescent Beach, High Rock, McKenzie Beach, and Hunt Lake subdivisions should be aware of the potential for a re-route in the event of further damage to the seawall. Sandbags for filling and sand are available for cottage owners at: the 8 Foot Falls Road in Pointe du Bois, Jessica Lake at the garbage collection site, the parking lot across from Brereton Lake Resort, the West Hawk maintenance yard, and the causeway at Falcon Lake. There are a limited number of pre-filled bags at the Jessica Lake and Pointe du Bois depots. PR 307 from the west park entrance to the PR307/309 junction, and PR 312 near Caddy Lake is closed to all traffic. PR 309 near Meditation Lake is restricted to local traffic only. We encourage everyone to check manitoba511.ca before travelling. You can call 511 anywhere in Manitoba to get updates by phone. Water is present on several block roads throughout the park. White Lake Block 4 is closed to vehicle use. The following block roads should not be crossed in a smaller vehicle until the water recedes: High Rock Road at West Hawk, and Jessica Lake Block 5-6-7-8. Caution should be used when travelling through flooded areas. The following boat launches are closed in addition to those in the park closure area: 8 Foot Falls, Big Creek, White Lake, Jessica Lake, South Shore Big Whiteshell, and Toniata. West Hawk and Falcon Beach Campground Boat launches have been re-opened. Public can expect open launches to be without docks, high water is preventing repair and placement of docks throughout the park. Please use caution and courtesy when boating. All boat traffic should be cautious of debris and items submerged below the surface. Please be advised that you cannot visit the closed area of the park by boat. Access is not allowed to your cottage or recreational areas via the Winnipeg River. No landing in the closed area is allowed. Extreme caution should be used with travelling the upstream portion of the Winnipeg River (Pointe du Bois to Lamprey Falls). To minimize potential erosion caused by boat wakes, recreational motor boat restrictions are in place. Recreational motor boat traffic is prohibited from operating within 100 metres of the shoreline on: West Hawk, Falcon, Caddy, Star, Brereton, Jessica, White, Big Whiteshell, Betula, Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret, Eleanor Lakes, and the shoreline adjacent to the Pointe du Bois subdivision in Whiteshell Provincial Park. When exiting or approaching the shoreline, boats should move directly out from land and avoid creating a wake. The following hiking trails are closed in addition to those in the park closure area: the Marsh Trail (between Falcon Lake Marina and Beach Campground), TransCanada Trail at Penniac Bay, and Hunt Lake. All backcountry campsites in Whiteshell Provincial park are closed due to flooding, high water conditions and frequently changing portage conditions. Campers should check the Manitoba Parks homepage for the status of campgrounds prior to coming to the park. Several campgrounds have full or partial closures. All campground in the closure area will remain closed until this portion of the park reopens (Dorothy Lake, Opapiskaw, Nutimik Lake, and Otter Falls). In addition, White Lake Campground is closed (seasonal and nightly) and nightly camping is closed in Big Whiteshell Campground. Phone Numbers/ Websites:• Parks info line for water, flood and closures: 204-340-6769 between 8am and 6pm daily. • To report an emergency please contact the RCMP via 911 if located in the South Whiteshell, 204-348-7177 in the North Whiteshell, and 204-345-8685 in Pointe du Bois. • Camping Information 1-888-482-2267 for the Parks Reservation Service. • Environment, Climate and Parks General inquiry line 1-800-214-6497. • Highway conditions: Manitoba511.ca • Manitoba Parks: manitobapark.com for a list of other closures.• Manitoba Hydro Water Flow New Release: www.hydro.mb.ca/articles/2022/05/manitoba_hydro_advises_extreme_caution_on_waterways/• DFA Information: www.gov.mb.ca/emo/dfa/residence.html, dfa@gov.mb.ca or by phone at 204-945-3050. ... See MoreSee Less
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Regular weekly Hydro report for Winnipeg River LakesNOTE: this is a 7 day forecast, the earlier one was 10-14 day - so the numbers are different ... See MoreSee Less
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Winnipeg River hydro report(Our regular Friday report expected in about an hour) ... See MoreSee Less
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Posted on Caddy lake page (Dennis Dyck) – “ Found floating on Caddy Lake; blue plastic barrel. Still has both bung caps installed, so likely used as a float support rather than a weight. A marathon canoe with a # 32 painted on it. A 5 gallon jerrycan If these items belong to you please pick them up at block 9, lot 25. Thanks ... See MoreSee Less
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Sheila Dancho – “I have lost two sections of stairs that look like these. Please post to your page. Thanks for your help. Contact info 2042663066 Sheila Dancho from The Nutimik Island” ... See MoreSee Less
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