Ontario Independent

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Flooding has severely damaged fishing resorts in Northwestern Ontario

Fishing resorts in Northwestern Ontario are severely impacted by flooding

Key Takeaways:

  • Vacation resort owners around Minaki, Ontario, are drowning in debt due to flooding that has forced them to operate at a reduced capacity or shut down entirely. 

Owners of vacation resorts close to Minaki, Ontario, are financially drowning due to flooding that has forced them to operate at a reduced capacity or close completely. They feel helpless to do anything about it.

The executive director of Reid’s Birch Island Resort, Phil Reid, lamented that his establishment was completely disregarded due to its location. We resort owners are generally self-sufficient and dislike receiving handouts, but we urgently require assistance.

Reid’s lodge, located on Gunn Lake, approximately three hours from Winnipeg, is still partially underwater due to the severe spring floods that forced the evacuation of Kenora, Ontario, in May. The Lake of Woods and also Winnipeg River systems ran at nearly record-high levels due to heavy rains and a larger-than-usual snow thaw.

Since last year, the water has risen by eight to nine feet, according to Reid. Additionally, we have no resort insurance, so all of the damage is a loss.

Also read: The Jays are dealing with two losses to the Rays, personal issues

On Lake of the Woods, Eric Brown owns three fishing lodges. Unlike Reid, he is currently welcoming visitors, but he is only running at roughly 75% of his capacity.

He claims the financial blow was still considerable, particularly in light of the pandemic.

He remarked that it is very difficult to absorb this now after the last two years. Our entire dock system has floated away; the damage is severe.

According to Brown, there is a federal financial aid program, but it is difficult to apply, and the deadline for this season has already gone.

Fishing resorts in Northwestern Ontario are severely impacted by flooding
Fishing resorts in Northwestern Ontario are severely impacted by flooding. Image from CBC News

It’s simply so complicated, he remarked. I just don’t have the time, and there are so many details.

The resorts are situated in Northwestern Ontario‘s Unorganized Kenora District, devoid of any local government, an MP, or an MLA.

Brown claims he contacted the representative for Kenora’s office but was informed there was nothing they could do.

CTV News Winnipeg has also contacted the Kenora MP for comment, but no response has been received.

Reid’s only option in the meanwhile is to wait for the water to recede and pray that it won’t rain.

He stated, “We want to open by August.” The author said that not being able to do anything is the irritating part.

Source: CTV news

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