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President’s Report

Posted on: February 18, 2015  |  

I want to begin this report with a tribute to a friend and cottager who tragically died of cancer a few short weeks ago. Warren Froese was a fine orthopedic surgeon, a humanitarian and family man of great character. He loved the Whiteshell Park, and in his last days amazingly found time and energy to defend the fragile nature around him from the ill-advised wastewater treatment project at Brereton Lake. His report in the Echo of August 2014, two short months before his death, with its call to arms to all Whiteshell Cottagers, is a fitting tribute to this fine man. We extend our deepest sympathy to Warren’s family and commit to carrying his banner of good works forward. Warren urged us all to follow his lead and be involved with the Cottager’s Association to protect the Whiteshell.

Join the WCA

Despite all of the excitement over the Ministry’s high handed and arbitrary management in the Park, we have been underwhelmed by cottagers’ willingness to join the organization and support our campaign. While we are encouraged to hear supporting comments from many cottagers and friends … ”keep up the good work, we really appreciate what your association is doing for us,” “thanks for stating the case for cottagers,” etc., etc. But the hard metric of paid up memberships reveal more of a story of apathy. Is this a sign of the boiled frog syndro

me that I described in the last Echo? I hope not.

 

 

 

Preparations Underway

The WCA has been working hard to prepare a counterattack against the government’s false labelling of our membership which they then used as background to imposing unfair levels of fees and taxes on us. All of our preparation requires your support, both to build a strong, well-supported organization and to carry our messages to the public and the government. Evidence of these activities is found in our newly revitalized web site, our Whiteshell-wide petition (now with over 4,000 signatures!), our preparation of a legal response to the government’s strategy, and the preparation of both public and government relations projects to make certain that our story will be heard when and where it counts. Will our efforts be successful? Only time can tell, but we certainly are going to try our best.

Membership Drive

Although we are a volunteer organization, we are encountering significant and growing expenses to defend our common interests. In this issue, and in a recent email blast, we are announcing our annual membership drive. Though we are raising our annual fee to $35 per cottage, we are offering a one time $10 discount to all renewals and to new members who sign up by January 1, 2015. Our aim is transparent; we need more members and we want to encourage all cottagers to join. Our usual roster is about 2,000 members out of the, approximately, 3,000 cottages in the North and South Whiteshell. Our goal is to achieve at least a 90 per cent membership level. The more members we have, the more vigorous an association we can be. The stronger we are as an association, the more likely we are to bring some reason to the plans of Manitoba Conservation to jack up our fees and lease rates. I urge you to take a moment to review the last invoice you received from parks. Focus on the rates government is expecting you to pay in a few short years’ time and imagine the bite this will take out of your personal budget. If you are unconcerned, so be it. But if you object to what the government is planning, reflect on how you can help your association in the months and years ahead. At a minimum, keep your own membership active. Make an effort to ensure that your neighbours at the lake know about the Cottagers Association and encourage them to join us. And even better, contact your Lake Director (see their contact information on page seven in this is¬sue of the Echo) to find out how you can work with us in the future. We are not just a one-trick pony. In addition to working on the issues of fair fees and lease rates, the Association has ongoing projects designed to communicate effectively with our members and cottager

s throughout the province, and to better manage the Whiteshell for the benefit of stakeholders. We have been advised that the current political turmoil in government provides us an opportunity to present our case to politicians of all stripes who will be listening more attentively than usual to the concerns of their constituents. We are planning to make sure that the voices of cottagers will be clearly heard in meetings with members of the legislative assembly. We would welcome your joining us in these meetings. Finally, as we approach our next Annual General Meeting (yes, spring is just around the corner!) we urge you to think about members who will be willing to work as lake directors in the future. We have welcomed the following new directors this year: Alan Roberts, Neil McMillan, Kerry Davies, Jacques Nault, Brenda Trach and Deborah Seguin. We also say farewell to directors who have served us faithfully in the past and who are stepping down, including Joan Murash (Nutimik), John Collo (Betula) and Gloria Debaets (Otter Falls). We are very grateful for the many services these volunteer directors have provided

2 responses to “President’s Report”

  1. RORY O"CONNOR says:

    I skipped a year or 2 for my membership and felt bad about it. this year I’m even going to the annual meeting, it’s marked on my calender. my biggest cause is the lease rates and how for most cottagers they don’t add up. the land is a risk because you can’t own it. it’s like a camp site with extra privlages. the laws have been laxed so you can build a home on the site but you still can’t own it. the next logical step would be to sell these prak lands. ‘I DON’T THINK SO’. SO IF ALL THE COTTAGE LOTS HAD TO BE TURNED BACK INTO PARKLANDS TOMORROW, WHO WOULD BE AT LOSS.
    I don’t agree with taxing a lease with a property value.
    please advise how many members of the legislative assembly have cottages in this park?

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Daily Parks update for Friday May 20,2022 (Note from WCA - long report with lots of new items suggest you read in full)Hello WCA, Here are the highlights of today’s information: - We have projections for the Winnipeg River for the next 10-15 days and an estimated crest of early June. - Crescent Beach seawall at West Hawk is barricaded and closed. Please pay attention to signage and do not cross barricades or flagging tape. The travel lane has been moved away from the wall and is narrow in spots, please travel slowly and pay attention to onsite signage. Cottages in the Crescent Beach, High Rock, McKenzie Beach, and Hunt Lake subdivisions should be aware of the potential for a re-route in this area in the event that damage to the boardwalk and seawall continues. - PR307 near the Rennie River/ Heart Lake Boat Launch is now closed to all traffic. Wind and wave action have cause the water in this area to continue rising today. The roadway underneath the water is rough in spots. Manitoba Parks is not advising travel to cottages and trails in the Betula Lake area. - Work was done today on the 8 Foot Falls Black Road today to raise the level of the road and help to maintain access.- Two more boat launches are closed: 8 Foot Falls and West Hawk. - Creekside loop of Old Nutimik Seasonal campground is now closed and campers have been asked to remove their units. Whiteshell Provincial Park: May 20, 2022Water continue to along the lakes that make up the Winnipeg River system. Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret, Eleanor, and Sylvia Lakes as well as the river near the Pointe du Bois subdivision continue to rise as water moves from Lake of the Woods through the Winnipeg River system. Water levels rise quickly in these areas due to natural restrictions of water along the river. Manitoba Hydro has provided an estimate today (May 20) that we can expect the following increases above current level of the Winnipeg River over the next 10-15 days: 8 Foot Falls - 1.2 Feet, Nutimik Lake - 2.1 Feet, Dorothy Lake – 1.9 Feet, 2.2 – Margaret/ Eleanor Lake, and 2.3 Feet – Sylvia Lake. The Winnipeg River is expected to crest in early June. Water levels remain high throughout Whiteshell Provincial Park. Caddy, Falcon, West Hawk, Star, and Brereton are reporting a slight decrease in levels today compared to yesterday. Jessica, White, and Betula Lakes all reported a small increase today from yesterday. Crescent Beach seawall at West Hawk is barricaded and closed. Please pay attention to signage and do not cross barricades or flagging tape. The travel lane has been moved away from the wall and is narrow in spots, please travel slowly and pay attention to onsite signage. Cottages in the Crescent Beach, High Rock, McKenzie Beach, and Hunt Lake subdivisions should be aware of the potential for a re-route in this area in the event that damage to the boardwalk and seawall continues. 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. A large sandbagging machine is in operation making prefilled sandbags for distribution at the Otter Falls Ball Diamond. Please be careful when attending this location, expect a staff person to be directing traffic, and that you may have to wait for large equipment to clear. Sandbag production will be ongoing from 9am to 7pm daily weather permitting. Pre-filled sandbags are being moved to sand and sandbag filling stations below as supply allows. In the past three days we have made approximately 30,000 sandbags for distribution. Sandbags for filling and sand are available for cottage owners at: the 8 Foot Falls Road in Pointe du Bois, the Otter Falls Ball Diamond, across from Nutimik Maintenance Yard, the Betula Ball Diamond, 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 is also a limited amount of pre-filled sandbags available at the 8-Foot Falls location. PR307 near the Rennie River/ Heart Lake Boat Launch is now closed to all traffic. Wind and wave action have cause the water in this area to continue rising today. The roadway underneath the water is rough in spots. Manitoba Parks is not advising travel to cottages and trails in the Betula Lake area. PR 307 between Betula Lake and White Lake, and PR 312 near Caddy Lake is closed. Water is present on the highway at: PTH 44 near McGillvray Falls, PR 309 near Meditation Lake, PR 307 near Jessica Lake and PR 313 to Pointe du Bois. PR309 is very rough from the junction of PR 307 to Big Whiteshell, please use caution when travelling in this area. We encourage everyone to check manitoba511.ca before travelling (you can also call 511 anywhere in Manitoba to get updates by phone). Water is present on several block roads throughout the park. The following block roads should not be crossed in a smaller vehicle until the water recedes: High Rock Road at West Hawk (12” deep), Jessica Lake Block 5-6-7-8 (19” deep), White Lake Block 4 (16” deep), and Otter Falls Block 4 (6-14” deep). Several other block roads in the Otter Falls area and throughout the park have water on the roadways. Caution should be used when travelling through flooded areas. Work was done today on the 8 Foot Falls Black Road today to raise the level of the road and help to maintain access. The following boat launches are closed: 8 Foot Falls, West Hawk, Big Creek, Otter Falls, White Lake, Jessica Lake, Rennie River/ Heart Lake, Nutimik Lake Block 1, Nutimik Campground, Opapiskaw, South Shore Big Whiteshell, Toniata, Brereton Lake North Shore (Inverness Falls), and Falcon Beach Campground. All boat traffic should be cautious of debris and items submerged below the surface. Manitoba Park staff continue to actively monitor the floating bog at Caddy Lake, and address the bog as required on a proactive basis. The bog is not impacting the outflow of Caddy Lake. 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 and Eleanor Lakes 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: Pine Point Rapids, Forester’s Footsteps, Bannock Point, Alfred Hole, the Marsh Trail (between Falcon Lake Marina and Beach Campground), TransCanada Trail at Penniac Bay, and Hunt Lake. The Mantario Hiking Trail, Mantario Canoe Route and Caddy Lake Tunnels are closed. Extreme caution should be used with travelling the upstream portion of the Winnipeg River (Pointe du Bois to Lamprey Falls). Backcountry Campsites above Lamprey Falls are closed due to flooding. 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. Otter Falls, Betula, and White Lake Campgrounds are closed. Individual site closures are in place at Nutimik Lake and Opapiskaw Campgrounds. Creekside loop of Old Nutimik Seasonal campground is now closed and campers have been asked to remove their units. If cottagers have any questions, concerns or urgent matters regarding the high water please contact Manitoba Parks at 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. Inquires regarding camping or normal operations should can be directed to the regular inquiry line at 1-800-214-6497. ... See MoreSee Less
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Lake levels report for Friday May 20th SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THOSE ON WINNIPEG RIVER - includes Forecast from Manitoba Hydro• No readings for Brereton• Only sporadic readings for Betula & Big Whiteshell• Rest as of May 19thSome reports this morning from cottagers that some lakes (Jessica, White area) starting to rise a bit again after stabilizing a bit ... See MoreSee Less
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