Below is the letter ALMS submitted
Association of Lake Manitoba Stakeholders
To: The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
The Association of Lake Manitoba Stakeholders (ALMS) represents resident associations, farmers and ranchers in communities bordering Lake Manitoba affected by the flood of 2011.
We believe that The Manitoba Clean Environment Commission should complete an independent review as mandated. Numerous public consultations have been sponsored by both the former and present government of Manitoba. Evidence of the effectiveness of the process and that the voice of communities was heard by government are the modifications of the proposed channel and access that were made. Given that these consultant reports are available the assessment should be expedited.
We cannot stress enough the importance of the Lake Manitoba Outlet Channel to the sustainability of our communities. This vital project must be completed to mitigate against future floods. The flood of 2011, again in 2014 and the near flood of 2017 indicates vulnerability. The enhancement of the Portage Diversion increases the capacity for inflow into the lake by approximately 6000 cubic feet per second above the 2011 rate. Lake Winnipegosis has seen historically high levels resulting in higher inflows into Lake Manitoba taxing the only existing egress at the Fairford Water Control System. Our concerns are well-founded.
We urge you to support the work done by two Provincial governments and encourage an expedited review by the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission in order that this vital project be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021, as announced.
President, Association of Lake Manitoba Stakeholders
St. Laurent, Manitoba
Many of you knew Fred Pisclevich from Twin Lakes Beach from his work in the community and with politicians on behalf of those affected by flooding on Lake Manitoba. Fred succumbed to his traumatic brain injury sustained last February.
The Pisclevich family lost their home to the flood. Through his determination, he and the family rebuilt their home. He worked with politicians and media ensuring that the destruction caused by the flood was known. He was instrumental in a class action lawsuit with the government that is before the courts.
Fred will be remembered as a good friend and neighbor – always ready with a helping hand or advice. He leaves his wife, Judy, three daughters and their families. His five grandchildren were a source of joy throughout his life.
Our heartfelt condolences to the Pisclevich family. He will be missed.
“The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” (William H. Borah).
The ALMS executive understands the frustration that we are seeing baby steps toward a solution. We understand the anger with the previous government refusing to acknowledge the role their policy decisions played in the flood of 2011. We can be proud of the resiliency demonstrated in rebuilding communities affected by the floods of 2011 and 2014. We can also acknowledge that your executive continues to advocate on behalf of its members for a Northern channel. A process is unfolding that will give us a means of managing lake levels and protection from high water events. Between then and now we will endeavour to keep members informed through Dr. Scott Forbes’ weekly updates and sharing information from contacts with the various levels of government.
Recently the executive had a productive meeting with Ron Schuler, Minister of Infrastructure. The government was well-represented with Derek Johnson, MLA for Interlake and Deputy Minister, Bramwell Strain. As well Ryan Wierbicki and Nancy Cooke executive assistants to Ralph Eichler and Ron Schuler respectively participated.
There were two major issues that we wanted to discuss: progress of the Lake Manitoba channel and a decision on running water through Fairford over the winter.
- We heard that the Fairford Water Control System will remain open over the winter. There is good understanding that this is the most significant way to bring the lake down to a target level of 811.5 before the melt.
- The new Lake Manitoba channel talks are progressing well. The route has been determined, as described in an earlier post. Funds have been allocated by the province and Federal Government. Once Ottawa’s contribution flows to the Province tendering for contracts will proceed.
- As it stands the Province has begun the required environmental impact review. It is expected that the study and consultations will last a year. A decision on the Federal government’s involvement in the review is expected soon which may set back the current completion date of the fourth quarter of 2021.
The meeting ended with Minister Schuler acknowledging that other issues will have to be addressed beyond the norther egress such as shore line erosion and clean up that exceeds the ability of individual property owners. He made it clear that ALMS will be involved in these decisions.
From time to time members ask what they can do to help. Here is something you can do. A comprehensive Provincial Climate and Green Plan report seeks input from Manitobans. The full report can be found at Click here to read report and complete survey with a link to a survey. It is an important document worth reading. The strategic framework covers a wide range of topics that include wetlands management, water quality, shoreline protection, mitigation strategies and flood emergency preparedness planning. This is an opportunity to express your opinion. Please take a moment to do so.
We remain focused on working with government where possible to further our goal of a managed Lake Manitoba. This Provincial government is committed to the Lake Manitoba channel and demonstrates a willingness to discuss related issues with ALMS.
Keep the faith and raise that glass that is ‘half full’ and toast the new year.
The Executive of ALMS
We’ve been asked to advise the membership:
Transport Canada is hosting a Prairies Engagement Session on the Strategy to Address Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels, which will take place in Winnipeg on Wednesday, January 10, from 1 to 5 p.m. Please contact Myrna 204 984-7604 if you would like more information or attend. Thank you.
Environment Canada has issued a severe wind warning for much of Westman, and has issued a Gale warning for Lake Manitoba.
Wind light becoming south 20 kph early this morning then increasing to southwest 40 kph early this evening. Wind increasing to southwest 55 kph overnight and to west 65 kph Wednesday morning. Wind diminishing to west 55 kph Wednesday afternoon.
Click here to read
Manitoba Infrastructure’s Hydrologic Forecasting Centre reports that forecast high winds developing over the next 24 hours to 48 hours have resulted in a high wind warning effect for the South Basin of Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg.
Strong northwest winds are forecast starting tomorrow afternoon. Wind speed and wave action could raise levels by as much as five feet or more. Lake Manitoba is currently at 812.80 ft.
Property owners are advised to take precautions.
Click here to read province issued warning
Click here to read CBC article
Today the Premier met with the Press to provide an update on the channel.
You can see the story by clicking Here