Record-low water levels on Georgian Bay are not only playing havoc with shoreline property owners and the boating and recreational industry, they are also having an unprecedented effect on the tourism industry, according to a news release.
Extremely low water levels on Manitoulin Island at the entrance to South Baymouth may prevent the Chi Cheemaun from completing her service to the island.
“Tourism is one of this area's main industries, and the Chi Cheemaun is a primary draw of people to the Bruce Peninsula,” said Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MP Larry Miller in a news release.
“The water in the channel is simply too low for the vessel to traverse and service may not be able to resume in April if dredging is not done immediately. To not have the ferry running would cause an extremely negative ripple effect on the whole area.”
In addition to requesting that this dredging be done expeditiously, Miller said he has also indicated to the Minister that the process that is currently necessary to get approvals for shoreline work is so convoluted, not even the departments involved are able to wade through the bureaucratic red tape causing unnecessary delays.
Miller met with the Minister and his staff to discuss the urgency of this situation and other shoreline and low water-level issues. He will be following up with the department to see what can be done to ensure that this important link for commuters to the north is not interrupted and how processes can be improved.