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Vehicle Entry Permit Fees

Posted on: March 25, 2014  |   ,

For 2012 Manitoba Conservation is reinstating provincial park Vehicle Entry fees which have been suspended for the past 3 years.  Historically, each cottage property in the parks was allocated one Vehicle Entry Permit at no charge as the fee was considered to be included in the Service Fees that we pay. After the WCA initiated legal action due to the provincial government’s failure to comply wth Section 18 of the Provincial Parks Act, the government halted this practice.  Manitoba Conservation has yet to comply with the Act whereby annual budget consultation is required with respect to Park District Service Fees.  The Whiteshell Cottagers Association regards the additional charge to cottagers for Vehicle Entry Permits as a change to the cost of services and a breach of Section 18 and will continue to address this issue.

Letter from Past President Werner Toews to Manitoba Conservation:

The Honourable Stan Struthers
Minister, Manitoba Conservation
330-450 Broadway Ave.
Winnipeg, MB  R3C 0V8

January 15, 2009

Dear Mr. Struthers,

Re:  Motor Vehicle Permits for Whiteshell Park Cottagers

Thank you for your letter dated October 31, 2008.  However we still vehemently disagree with your decision to take away the “complementary” Motor Vehicle Park Pass that was afforded to cottagers for the last 30 years.  We are seeking a reversal of this decision and we will provide you with the reasons.

As stated in your letter, the motor vehicle permit revenues assist Manitoba Conservation in providing “ basic park services and to undertake enhancement and upgrading projects.”

Some of those basic park services are Road Maintenance and Garbage disposal.  In a 2002/2003 Park District Service Fee informational invoice it was estimated that the cost of road maintenance for a cottager in the West Hawk Lake area was approximately $153.15.  That same cottager was charged a total of  $142.54 for garbage collection and disposal services.

I will suggest that the garbage collection and disposal service and road maintenance afforded to day users is greatly subsidised by cottagers who pay much more than the $28.00 motor vehicle permit fee to “visit” the park.

For an example, I will draw your attention to a paragraph from the 1997 report, Whiteshell Provincial Park recycling Review,  prepared by Cochrane Environmental Consultants Inc. for the Department of Natural Resources.

2.3.5. Other Users Groups

“ Another park user group that contributes to the solid waste stream is the day user who visits the park in order to picnic, swim, hike, horseback ride or participates in other recreational activities.” 

“The approximate tonnage of waste materials from day users was estimated by Natural Resource staff familiar with the waste operations in their districts as follows:

30 tonnes for Falcon District: 34 tonnes for West Hawk District: 25 tonnes for Rennie District: and 41 tonnes for Seven Sisters District” 

I will further suggest that these figures reflect a significant amount of garbage generated by day users who only pay $28.00 per year for the use of the park services.

Another inequity that I would like to bring to your attention are cottagers at Ingolf Ontario who are exempt from having to purchase a motor vehicle permit.

The Cochrane report of 1997 further states:

“ Cottagers from the community of Ingolf, Ontario, may also contribute to the solid waste stream of the West Hawk District. There are approximately 120 cottages in Ingolf. The Ingolf population in both summer and winter was determined in the same manner as that for Whiteshell cottagers.  It was determined that there are about 32,000 person days of cottage use at Ingolf during the summer and 4,480 during the winter.” 

It is clear that these cottagers use the roads and garbage services in the Whiteshell Park free of any costs.

Another example of this inequitable system is the following statement found on the Falcon\West Hawk Chamber of Commerce website:

“ Park Entrance Passes are not required”

“ If you are just coming into the park for services such as; gas, shopping, meals or other services.  Just advise the park entrance staff that you are entering the park for highway services, and they will wave you through the gate.”

The WCA Inc. would like to know if this statement reflects the policy of Manitoba Conservation.

Given the fact the Manitoba Conservation has also decided to provide “free weekends”  to day users and overnight campers the WCA Inc. reiterates that this is not a “fair and equitable system.”

The current administration of Manitoba Conservation has taken away a benefit from cottagers that was linked to land rent and service fees, by previous governments, for the last 30 years.   We ask that you reinstate the policy of providing a motor vehicle permit, at no cost, to all cottagers in Manitoba Provincial Parks.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Werner Toews
President
Whiteshell Cottagers Association Inc.

The Parks Act

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Hello WCA, Here are the new items for today. It’s a short update for today.- TransCanada Trail at Penniac Bay has reopened with wet spots existing on trail.Whiteshell Provincial Park: May 28, 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.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) and Hunt Lake. TransCanada Trail at Penniac Bay has reopened with wet spots existing on trail. 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. 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