Archive for the ‘2. BREAKING NEWS!’ Category

Time to face some hard truths

Seeing the continuing horrible conditions of Arthur/Patricia beaches this year, the time has come for the residents of VB to face some harsh truths and realities.  The “foolhardy” protection of property seems to be resulting in some pretty clear consequences.

Here is a link to a very good article that is very informative about what is causing the loss of our beaches on Lake Winnipeg, including a reaction to shoreline protection:

Here is an important excerpt:

“Shoreline protection engineering is an extremely controversial topic, and it is not within our mandate to make recommendations or to conduct research into design. I can, however, offer a few thoughts.

Engineers tend to recommend engineering, whereas geologists tend to recommend that you back off and respect the forces of nature. There is no doubt, however, that a Professional Engineer can design a means to temporarily protect a high value installation that was, through error or necessity, built too close to a retreating shore.  

Geologists, on the other hand, are quick to point out the inadequacies of shoreline engineering.

While erosion may be halted at the water line, it is essential to recognize that erosion continues underwater to a depth of several metres. Consequently, the shore armour is exposed to progressively greater wave power.

Furthermore, sand must be mobile for shoreline systems to be in a state of dynamic equilibrium. According to a standard geomorphology textbook by Bloom, ʺExtensive reclamation and beach stabilization projects actually endanger barriers, because unless sand is free to move with changing wave conditions, erosion results.ʺ In SEPM Special Publication No. 48, Pilkey and Thieler state, ʺThe myriad sea walls, breakwaters, groins, and jetties that line developed shorelines divert offshore, slow down, trap, and otherwise reduce the regional beach sediment supply by longshore currents, and thereby increase erosion rates.ʺ This view is summed up on the cover of one edition of the book ʺThe Beaches are Movingʺ, by Kaufman and Pilkey, as follows, ʺthese facts provide a new ability to make informed, intelligent decisions for the coast.

This is the first book to explain why the shore must move, and how utterly foolhardy we are to armor our coast against the unbeatable force of nature.ʺ 


New Pictures of the Absolute Devastation of Patricia and Arthur Beach

After years of warnings and actions by many to halt or remove the revetment on Patricia and Arthur Beach, we are very sad to report “we told you so”.

As another season passes, the beach is further beginning to look exactly like what we were told it would.  The quiet truth of science once again trumps the loud volume of the nay-sayers.  Severe scouring of the rocks has revealed rocks and stones and the further continuing removal of all and any sand from this once pristine beach, shows it is doomed.  The amount of people that looked at it this weekend with both shock and awe, was telling.   The wordless sadness at what we are losing was profound.  People simply did not have the words.

Make no mistake.  A truly great gift of a beach has been taken from many of us.  Let the pictures do the talking:

19726_10206837186476342_4442998962761765587_n 10439402_10206837188116383_7434942985581342985_n 11180309_10206837185476317_2978089544471491357_n 11193369_10206837186876352_3615048277629787333_n 11208669_10206837187356364_4383601128235081699_n


If these pictures bother you, don’t simply mourn and walk on.  Do something.  Voicing your concern to council is a very good first step.  They all campaigned on making things better on the beaches at VB.   This is an epic fail.

Here are their emails:

Reeve Brian Hodgson
Councillor Linda McMillan
Councillor Kathy McKibbin
Councillor Penny McMorris
Councillor Gordon Ross

PELICAN POINT: A Sad View of the Future?

Do you remember decades back (or even just a few years back) of the wonderful untouched natural sand and marshes on Pelican Point? How there were amazing strips of beach and sand bars all around the point? A truly beautiful and unspoiled spot.

Have you taken a walk or a bike ride there lately?

If not you may be very surprised at what it looks like now.

Where is all the sand? Where has all the beach area gone to? Where are the sandbars? Where does the public go to sit or swim!? What has happened to all the wildlife and flora that used to be abundant there?

Here are some pictures of what we have negligently and carelessly allowed (as a community) Pelican Point to turn into.  A result by not taking a firm stance, by letting those in power give permission and not letting them know we do not want this to be happening to our precious shorelines. That these type of structures must be stopped from spreading elsewhere on our public beaches.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It is absolutely depressing to visit Pelican Point now. It is no longer a place for all of the public to enjoy and experience. Instead it has become a place for a privileged few to enjoy a quiet waterfront view.

And, good luck in seeing any Pelicans. Not a one on our numerous visits.

Make no mistake; if we do not definitively demand a stop to revetment building from happening along our shorelines — IMMEDIATELY AND FOR ALWAYS — you can expect Clubhouse, Patricia/Arthur, Alex/King and Connaught to eventually be the same experience for the general public in but a short decade.

No beaches. Nothing for the public to access. A place for a select few to enjoy a view while the rest of us jump off the pier to cool off.

It really is important to take the time to see Pelican Point today. To see a defining example of the future of our precious shorelines if we do not act decisively to halt any more of this type of building on Victoria Beach shores. (This beautiful area was once very much like the beautiful beaches we enjoy in the restricted area today.)

It is time to stand up. To be heard. Let your council know your thoughts. Don’t let others do all the talking for you. Don’t assume the vocal few can stop this for you. Power is in numbers!

Be at the Council Meeting on August 21st at the Sports Club. If you can’t be there, send them an email with your concerns.

Here is a list of their email addresses:

Time is running out. We need to save these beaches. NOW!

Pelican Point is a deafening, defining and “right in your face” example of why.

Go take a look at the future of Victoria Beach. Let your eyes be your proof.  Go see Pelican Point at your earliest convenience.

The future vision of Victoria Beach shorelines has never been more clear.

And it is, in a word, alarming.



Have you seen or are you even aware of the now halted work on Connaught point in front of 411 Sunset from this spring? Here are some pictures:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It is very sad and frustrating to see that the learning curve towards how we need to treat our precious public sand shorelines and how we react to their human imposed destruction or misuse — particularly after the human lead assault on Arthur/Patricia last summer — seems to be progressing at a snails pace.

It seems that a summer with a lower water level, along with the glorious weather, has lulled our community back into a sense of complacency. (Playing right into the hands of those who have different designs on how to use, preserve and respect the public beaches and shorelines at Victoria Beach and the surrounding area. And, who are actively campaigning for it behind the scenes.)

A very dangerous thing indeed.

A very disturbing development over the spring is the now halted construction found on Connaught/King Edward point, from this spring.

A simple visual inspection seems to show how the section of the bank has been carved/removed, trees have been mechanically cut and there has been an insertion of holes and two concrete pads. (The work was ordered halted only once all of this destruction had already been initiated.)

The big question is how did this construction ever get this far before either council or the police realized it and it was halted? As well, how could this type of endeavour have even been contemplated by the people responsible after the reaction last year by the public to unauthorized work on a public beach?

Most importantly, what exactly is council and the RMVB doing about having it immediately removed and restored to its original state?

Have we not learned anything over the last year?

It seems the time has come for the RMVB to show some teeth and enforce its by-laws more effectively when unauthorized work or actions are done. Should this area not be returned swiftly to pre conditions if all necessary permits and paperwork were not completed or authorized or all necessary procedures were not followed to the letter of the law?

After talking with council, it is understood that according to by-law 1411 in order for the work to have been allowed to begin on King Edward/Connaught, a Shoreline Protection Permit would have been needed. Which includes the following:

1. Contractor or engineer drawings. (method, spacial extent, crest, elevation, tone detail, stone size etc)

2. Application sent to SETC. (Shoreline Erosion Technical Committee) (who evaluates the proposal and makes recommendations and changes)

3. The SETC sends its comments to the RMVB and proponents, the councillors evaluate the comments and rule based on the Shoreline Protection Plan.

4. Construction begins.

Council can confirm that all of these necessary materials and guidelines were not yet submitted nor followed prior to the work being started.

The big question is why then has the area not been restored to its original state? What is being done and what deadlines are being imposed for resolution? Why the wait?

Presumably, this cannot be allowed to drag along unresolved like the situation on Arthur that now seems destined to be buried in the slow court system for who knows how long.

Perhaps more questions that Council needs to be asked on August 21st?

Please read a second post for Part Two of:  IS ANYONE LEARNING ANYTHING?

A CRITICAL REPORT ON THE RMVB SHORELINE CONCLUDES: Revetments: Doomed to Fail and Doomed to Destroy the Beaches

Last night on July 23rd, Peter Zuzek of Baird Engineering gave a very strong, intelligent, sensitive, scientific and lay term comprehensible presentation regarding Shoreline Protection at a meeting at the Sports Centre for the RMVB community at large.

(Baird has been hired by the RMVB as in independent and unbiased source to analyze the possible causes for our erosion issues and to propose possible solutions for them. They have been actively working since October studying our particular shoreline dynamics, content and complexities.)

One of the first things Mr. Zuzek said to start the evening was that “We (Baird) are here to try and remove the emotion and focus on the science.”

After listening and contemplating his factual and science based reports, combined with the discussions following, two things became emphatically clear by evening end.

In his companies independent and unbiased opinion:

1. Revetments in front of sand beaches will ultimately destroy the beaches in front of them.

2. Revetments on the banks in the RMVB will eventually, over time, fail.  They will not be able to maintain their capacity to protect the shore over the longer term.

(Note: This information is coming from a company that builds revetments all over the world. They fully agree that these structures do serve their purpose when they are built and maintained properly in the proper environment for them to function and succeed. There is a proper place for them to be built and to effectively work. However, it is their opinion, the shorelines of the RMVB is not one of those places if our goal is to protect the beaches we currently have. “We can build them, but you don‘t want them in front of your public beach.”)

Mr. Zuzek made a critical point very clear (through a very effective slide presentation)that stabilizing the bank –through rip rap or revetments — does not, nor will not completely stop all the erosion taking place. Nor will it help the beach in front of it.

Erosion, by the way, that is a completely normal and natural occurrence.

He showed that the problem with a rip rap or revetment is that it denies the replenishment of the sand to the beach that occurs through natural erosion from the cliffs and banks. (This is how the greatest amount of sand comes to our beach in conjunction with a smaller amount from the currents.)

What many people are not aware of is that through the soil samples of the area they have been collecting it has become clear that approximately 100 to 150 meters out from the beach shoreline the sand stops and the bottom of the lake is then clay. Thus the actual “sand area” under water that the beach can draw from is relatively small. There is not nearly as plentiful and abundant an amount of sand in the lake bottom as many have assumed.

More importantly, once you get to the clay area, erosion actually takes place there too.

It was then pointed out to the surprise of many that very much the same erosion process happens at this point — where sand meets clay underwater — as it does on the banks where we can see it happening!

This underwater erosion is called downcutting.  (Again, all a natural occurrence.)

It turns out revetments are actually doomed to cause two disasters.

First, a revetment problematically stops the natural process of erosion of the banks from which beach sand replenishment actually comes. Leading to an eventual scouring and removal of the beach before them.

Secondly, all the while, the revetment then actually increases the irreversible downcutting under the water.

This unseen and now increased erosion continues underwater until the revetment itself, over time, becomes unstable and is also destroyed. Literally falling back into the water as the sand is completely lost under the water and the delicate clay underground erodes as well.

Eventually, without exception, the clay base becomes unstable, causing the failure of the entire revetment or rip rap structure.

In Mr. Zuzeks own words.

In the RMVB it is A FACT that a revetment will eventually fail and fall into the lake.”

“It is A FACT, that revetments will accelerate the downcutting.”

Thus, in no uncertain terms: If revetments go up, the beach sand will disappear.

Over time, so will the revetments.

A loss on all counts.

Mr. Zuzek commented during the evening “I can reaffirm that revetments will destroy the beaches. I can guarantee that will happen.”

So in the end it becomes very clear that the RMVB community and its Council needs to make clear, decisive and bold choices from now on regarding anything being built on our shorelines. Particularly when it comes to rock rip rap and revetments.

It is our civic and moral duty to protect these beaches not only for the present but for all the generations to come.

We need to ask ourselves before anything is ever allowed to be built on the shorelines again, like that which has occurred on Arthur: What are the consequences of a structure built on our shorelines? How will it impact it? (We can no longer pretend Victoria Beach is somehow “special” and unlike anywhere else on earth. The Baird study makes it abundantly clear what type of irreparable damage revetments can and likely will cause. )

We must ask: Does a proposed structure maintain and conserve our public spaces for generations to come? (As per our RMVB Development Plan which clearly stipulates is a main priority, aim and goal of the community at large).

Most importantly we must ask: Does the structure — intentionally or not –go against those goals?

The RMVB has a lot of things to consider in the days, months and years ahead and one thing has become clearer and clearer, time and time again, over the past year: that science says revetments are not the solution for trying to protect property in front of public sand beaches.

It is that plain and that simple. Confirmed yet again, this time by an independent source hired to particularly look at our own situation in the RMVB.

It seems reasonable after the Baird presentation that it is finally time for the council of RMVB to unanimously accept the science. To heed to the will of the large majority that seems to accept that science.

As Mr. Zuzek stated: “The time has come that the RMVB takes active and permanent intervention as this is the only way to protect front row homes and local beaches.”

The Council must accept its duty to protect the unique character and beauty of our public area beaches and place it as the number one priority from this day forward.

That from this day forward, future time, resources and efforts would be better spent on investigating other ideas and solutions — and hopefully implementing them — to deal with erosion issues facing property owners.

But that revetments, in front of public sand beaches and public spaces, should be ultimately denied from this day forward.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Crucial Information Exposed at the July 17th Council Meeting

On July 17th at the VB council meeting at the Sports Centre, the attending audience was introduced to the latest publically released map and information package regarding the New Development Plan for the RMVB.     The public has until July 24th to offer their comments and suggestions.  It is critical to read the LATEST information and see the map and plans.  (They were different than previous ones.)  This is a significant evolution of the RMVB and the time to respond is limited. 

Contact your council members immediately to access this information and the map.  The August 21st Council meeting will be far too late for you to get informed and have your say.   204-774-4263 /Toll-free- 1-800-513-3839

It must be noted, that  the audience at the meeting was flabbergasted to see that the map offered earlier had since changed.  Designated areas such as the beaches, the banks, the boulevards and the crown roads all along the waterfront were now shown as “private land” rather than “public and protected”.

The error would have had catastrophic implications for the beaches and the shoreline at large had the audience members not spoken up and pointed out the error.

We do applaud the Council for immediately acknowledging the error and they said  that it would be fixed.    They stated it was only a drafting error.  (The council have been working hard to make sure the shorlelines are protected from now on, particularily after last years unsavory developments. )

However, what this points out is HOW IMPORTANT IT IS to be aware and be informed of what your elected council is doing with our community.  An honest (but major) “oversight” like this is a strong example of why our ears and eyes and minds as a community need to be on top of what is taking place. One cannot just assume that things are always being done properly and correctly and in favour of your beliefs or concerns.

You need to be active and present at this critical time in the evolution of the RMVB and not risk leaving it up to others to do all the work and diligence for you.

Please mark your calendars to attend the Shoreline meeting on July 23rd and the Council meeting Aug 21st.     Yes, it is summer and you want it stress free and full of fun.  But putting these few hours away are very important this summer to the future of our beloved community!

Please pass the word re the new Development plan documents and the two meetings to your friends and neighbours. (July 23 and August 21)


Peter Zuzek from Baird Engineering will be holding a public presentation Monday, July 23rd reviewing the Shoreline Study.

In addition Norm Brandson will be presenting the final RMVB Shoreline Advisory Report.

We encourage you to read the following reports so you can arm yourself with the facts.  As well, it will be your chance to ask any questions you may have.  Directly from the source.

Strong decisions are being made on how to care and protect our beaches for generations to come and this is your chance to be a part of the process.

The response to the meetings last year — and the many presentations — was simply amazing.

Be informed.  Stay informed.  Protect the future.


Draft Bylaw 1543 July 4

Baird Governance Review Report

Baird Field Observations and Recommendations

VB WhatYouTold Us 1

VB WhatYouTold Us 2


VBchapter 2





Tag Cloud