Unfortunately, the troubles along the shoreline does not stop with one example.
If you are to take a leisurely walk down the beaches on any given day you will incredibly still see various watercraft sitting or stored along the banks. You will see various private landowners stairs or structures or chairs placed atop the banks to help them easily access or view the beach. (instead of using the public stairs built just for that purpose) Or just as disrespectful: particular lakefront cottagers continuing to climb down the rocks and cliffs to access the beach directly in view of signs saying keep off the banks! Seemingly in blatant defiance of the new by-law 1539 and our renewed community desire to better protect the rate of erosion on cliffs/banks.
One has to wonder: Is anyone doing anything to stop this? Is anyone meaningfully enforcing the by-laws in any way other than that of a “blurb” in The Herald on the Council news page? Perhaps a great question to have posed for the council meeting on August 21st? How many fines or warnings have been recorded and given out so far this summer? As these pictures show, there certainly seem to be a lot of offenders. (It also seems appropriate to note — and to question — how is it that the greatest number of offenders we found on our photo shoot seem to be on Connaught in direct daily view of one of our elected VB councillors??!)
There is no denying that our Council deserves credit for their evolution over the last year. They seem to have made great progress in their realization and understanding that the shorelines of our beautiful area are in trouble from human actions and that there must be immediate, proactive and concerted efforts to protect the public beaches at all costs. (The Baird report on our shorelines was outstanding and a defining presentation as to what and what not to do.) https://preservingvictoriabeach.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/a-critical-report-on-the-rmvb-shoreline-concludes-revetments-doomed-to-fail-and-doomed-to-destroy-the-beaches/
What seems to be missing at this moment of time is a serious follow through with swift, determined and decisive actions when cottagers do not follow the rules. Particularly disconcerting is having it happen ongoing in direct view of our own lakefront councillor.
So, it is time to ask: Has anyone learned anything over the last year?
Knowing the right thing to do is one thing. Doing it and enforcing it is another. It is time for all of our council, the Province and the RMVB authorities to stand taller and protect the public shorelines like never before.
It appears the time has come to let them know if you are happy with the enforcement and follow through so far.
Time is clearly of the essence if we are to continue the progress and momentum created last year to protect and preserve the public sand beaches on Lake Winnipeg.
We must not lose the ground we gained last year to protecting these one of a kind beaches and shorelines we are blessed and privileged to enjoy.
Be active. Be vocal. Make the effort.
Be heard! Tell your council what you think.
The battle has not yet been won.