Further developments needed for Lake Manitou: Island planning board

MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin Planning Board is not in favour of development being curtailed on Lake Manitou.

The Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB) says it is not in support of stopping development on Lake Manitou because the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has deemed Lake Manitou at capacity for development.

“The MNR has stated that Lake Manitou is at capacity,” said Elva Carter, secretary-treasurer of the planning board, in an interview with the Recorder last week. “The only decision left to be made in the mind of the MNR is the province wants us to name the lake as at capacity for development, but the board has made it known it doesn’t want to name this lake for this designation. If measures are taken and the lake can again be ready for development, it would then require an Official Plan amendment (if it was named as a lake at capacity for development).”

On behalf of the planning board, “I’ve expressed in a letter to the MNR the board’s concern that the lake would be cut off to development. I’ve sent this letter to the MNR and those municipalities that would be affected,” said Ms. Carter.

In the letter to Scott Dingwall of the MNR, dated September 12, 2013, Ms. Carter wrote, “this letter is in response to your letter dated July 26, 2013 and the one window comments regarding the draft Official Plan for the Manitoulin planning area which stated that Lake Manitou is considered to be at capacity for development.”

“This letter was reviewed by the planning board members and, while understanding the importance of this lake, feel it is negligent to just let the lake further deteriorate and want to be informed of what actions are being taken to rectify the water quality,” wrote Ms. Carter. “The following motion was moved, duly seconded and carried that ‘the ministries of Natural Resources and the Environment be requested to follow up on their findings and take appropriate measures to protect this lake other than just terminating development’.”

“The planning board looks forward to your earliest response to this request and would invite you to attend a regular scheduled board meeting to discuss measures proposed to protect and restore this lake,” Ms. Carter wrote.

At the last planning board meeting, Ms. Carter told the board, “the MNR wants Lake Manitou named in the Official Plan as being at capacity for development.”

“They need to find out what the status of the lake is, and what can be done to rectify the concerns,” said Gary Brown. “To make the statement the lake is not available for future development is not the right way to go.”

“I don’t think they have the statistics and evidence to prove it is at capacity,” said Ken Noland.

“Why is it Lake Manitou that is always being picked on?” asked Keith Legge, prior to the planning board passing a motion to have its concerns relayed to the MNR.

Tom Sasvari