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  Aerial and ground level photos taken August 16-19 (click here)
To see all EBCC photos (click here)
   
 
   new   POSTED January 11, 2012
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#Jan.11.2012
   
 
In 2007 the Council of the RM of St. Clements voted to almost double the salary of the Mayor and Councillors.  The justification given was that the positions had become substantially full-time rather than part-time as reported by an article in the November 24, 2011 edition of the Selkirk Record.  The EBCC strongly encourages you to read this article.  The Mayor of the RM, Steve Strang, also concurrently holds the position of Chair of the Selkirk and District Planning Board (SDPAB).  It is interesting to note that the newly revamped SDPAB website now omits this fact.
   
 
The EBCC learned late last summer, but was unable to confirm until recently, that since the summer of 2011 Steve Strang has also concurrently held a third position as a full-time “Project Inspector – Flood Mitigation Program” with Manitoba Water Stewardship (MWS). Beyond the apparent conflict of interest in holding two full-time paid positions whose duties would primarily occur during the same working hours, it also appears that Steve Strang, in addition to controlling the decisions of Council and the approval decisions of the SDAPB, now has input to the enforcement decisions of MWS – effectively placing himself in a godfather position for the entire southern basin of Lake Winnipeg.  Given the three separate yet intersecting job titles he now holds, the apparent possibility and probability for conflict of interest is extremely high.
   
 
Readers may judge for themselves whether Steve Strang holds any or all of the necessary skills, qualifications, and competencies to hold the MWS position by viewing the job competition poster.  A brief overview of the Flood Mitigation Program can be found here.
   
 
Given Steve Strang’s employment with MWS, it is interesting to note the following paragraph: “The Mayor of the RM stated during a noon hour interview with CBC Radio Winnipeg on Friday, March 26, 2010 that the canal was excavated so Rettie's boat would not be vandalized.  Common sense states that development of this vast scale and cost would not merit approval “just in case” Mr. Rettie’s currently non-existent boat may be vandalized at some unknown time in the future.  During the same interview the Mayor utilized the word “tinkering” in reference to seeking full approval from applicable legislative and regulatory authorities for the canal excavation.” (source)
   
 
Steve Strang was the Chair of the SDAPB regulatory authority at the time this statement was made.  He is now concurrently a paid employee of another legislative and regulatory authority – MWS.  Indeed, Steve Strang’s re-election biography brags of “Successfully fought for Flood relief, buyouts and mitigation for St. Clements Citizens”.  It is not surprising that any and all requests made by the EBCC over the past two years for a meeting with Christine Melnick, Minister of Water Stewardship, have yet to result in any response whatsoever.  One does wonder exactly whom Steve Strang would approach to do his “tinkering”.
   
 
MWS was the regulatory authority that issued a “stop work” order on March 12, 2010 in regards to the canal excavation through Beaconia Marsh.  The EBCC followed up repeatedly regarding the status of the order.  A very convoluted response was finally received on December 5, 2011 that essentially states that the jurisdiction of another authority – Manitoba Conservation – overrides that of MWS.  There is no official MWS correspondence that specifically states the stop work order has been removed.  It is very contentious that the authority with the jurisdiction to issue a stop work order passively defers to another authority for its removal.
   
 
MWS’s convoluted response is even more suspect given that when the Rettie’s “Environment Act Proposal” for the Beaconia Marsh canal excavation was reviewed by the Technical Advisory Committee, no mention was made by MWS about the existing stop work order (see letter of William Weaver, Environmental Review Officer, commencing at the fourth page of the document here).  One may never know the true answer as the Ombudsman of Manitoba recently scolded MWS for their deliberate failure to comply with Freedom of Information requests.
   
  To recap this tangled web, Steve Strang now:
 
   • 
Holds three separate positions. Coincidentally, two of them are full-time and are paid concurrently (Chair of the Selkirk and District Area Planning Board, Mayor of the RM of St. Clements, and Flood Mitigation Project Inspector with Manitoba Water Stewardship)
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Coincidentally, all three positions intersect and overlap as they all hold decision authority and influence for most aspects of community, property, and water rights and obligations in the south basin of Lake Winnipeg. Coincidentally, he has not resigned from any position despite the gross appearance of conflict of interest.
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Bragged that he was able to wield influence and “tinker” with an authority for which he is now coincidentally employed full-time (Manitoba Water Stewardship).
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Manitoba Water Stewardship has the sole authority with jurisdiction to issue a stop work order regarding the Beaconia Marsh canal excavation, but now state in a convoluted way they are released from any responsibility since that order was coincidentally, passively, and contentiously removed by another department. Steve Strang worked diligently to block any opposition to the canal excavation and went so far to declare on public radio that he would “tinker” with the approval process. Wearing which hat?
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The provincial Ombudsman recently scolded Manitoba Water Stewardship as it failed in its duty to assist an applicant by not responding openly, completely and without delay in regards to Freedom of Information requests.
  Got it?   Does this tangled web confuse and outrage you?  As a taxpayer in the province of Manitoba and/or the RM of St. Clements, you ought to be.  The hundreds of EBCC email subscribers and paid members certainly are.
 
 
 
      POSTED September 3, 2011
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#September.03.2011
   
   •  Manitoba Conservation has granted an Environmental Act Licence for the Rettie canal excavated through Beaconia Marsh (click for Letter to Participants and the Rettie Licence). Conservation lists a substantial number of areas of concern and has worded the licence to restrict the Rettie’s to what they stated in their Environment application. The EBCC strongly encourages you to read the terms and conditions of the Rettie Licence as there is widespread speculation that adhering to the terms of the License is not likely cost effective based on the scope of the projectCompilation of all documents regarding this application can be found here.  Appeals must be received by Conservation by September 7, 2011.  The EBCC has prepared an appeal template including the contact information for Conservation.  The EBCC strongly encourages you to submit an appeal.  
   
   •  The Rettie’s abandoned their first attempt to subdivide their property.  The EBCC became aware of a second attempt to subdivide via an article titled “Channel Digging Developer Mystifies Council in the August 4 issue of the Selkirk Record (website and PDF) as no notice was posted nor provided to adjacent landowners.  The article, which includes a large picture of Mr. Rettie, makes clear that the actions of the Rettie’s have become contentious at the RM Council.  An adjacent landowner questioned the RM why no notice was posted.  The RM response essentially states the RM didn’t have to post notice of the subdivision application because no roadway was involved.  The RM response contradicts the fact there was no roadway involved in the original abandoned subdivision application either, yet notice was posted and given to adjacent landowners.  This second subdivision application was successful per section 7.4.1 of the July 26 RM Minutes (website and PDF).  However, a further third application by the Rettie’s was defeated on August 23 (section 7.4.1 of website or PDF) A reasonable conclusion drawn from Rettie’s subdivision applications is an apparent plan to carve out a single lot for the Rettie’s while consolidating all the other land in preparation for development as recreation properties.
   
   •  It has been a very busy summer.  The Lake Winnipeg Foundation commenced their Sensitive Habitat Inventory and Mapping project (SHIM) that includes Beaconia Marsh.  Based on aquatic habitat indexing methods developed and applied successfully in British Columbia, the Lake Winnipeg SHIM will rank the sensitivity and suitability of shoreline segments for development, rehabilitation and protection proposals.  The results could prevent further environmental damage from occurring, such as that the Rettie’s have inflicted on Beaconia Marsh.
   
   •  The new Provincial Planning Regulations came into effect on June 20.  Portions of this legislation, such as sections 4 and 5, could also prevent further environmental damage from occurring, such as that the Rettie’s have inflicted on Beaconia Marsh
   
   •  The “Save Lake Winnipeg Act” was passed.  Cabinet may make regulations to designate Crown lands as provincially significant wetlands and may regulate uses and activities in designated wetlands.  This could also prevent further environmental damage from occurring, such as that the Rettie’s have inflicted on Beaconia Marsh.
   
   
 
      POSTED MAY 18, 2011
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#MAY.15.2011
   
 
UPDATE:  The hearing was cancelled by the applicant (the Rettie’s) with no notice.  The EBCC will advise you when / if the hearing is rescheduled.
   
  The Rettie’s have proposed the subdivision of a portion of their land.  The new parcels would be located immediately to the west of the artesian well and adjacent to the causeway road.  Click here to view the official Notice of Hearing scheduled for 7:00 PM on Tuesday, May 24 2011, at the RM of St Clements Municipal Office in East Selkirk.  The Notice includes a rough map.
   
  The EBCC objects to the subdivision for a number of reasons, including:
 
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   •  The Rettie’s have stated on numerous occasions, including the Executive Summary on the first page of their Environmental Assessment Proposal, that the rationale for the excavation of the canal through Beaconia Marsh is it “...will allow access to the lake (at the north end of our property) from our cabin (located at the south end of the property)”  The Rettie "cabin" lies immediately adjacent to or within the 3.8 acre subdivision parcel.  The subdivision proposal places new properties directly between the Rettie "cabin" and the boat launch area of the canal – negating the stated rationale for the canal excavation.
   •  On March 6, 2010, Lloyd Talbot, Manager of Selkirk and District Planning Area Board (SDPAB) stated that “should Mr. Rettie decide to subdivide or re-zone then the title would change and he would lose the water rights as it stands now
   •  There is no mention of adhering to obligations and restrictions of section 3.8 of the RM Zoning Bylaws, including Development on Flood Prone or Hazard Prone land per section 3.8.1.4.
   •  It is unclear why the SDPAB indicate that RD 39E bisects the property as the road no longer exists there.  The larger parcel on the west and the smaller “triangular” parcel on the east are contiguous.
   •  Only grossly approximate parcel sizes are provided rather than exact dimensions required per Manitoba Land Titles subdivision guidelines.
   •  It is unclear where the second existing dwelling lies.  The artesian well and the third existing dwelling on the property lay in the smaller “triangular” parcel.
   •  The impartiality of the SDPAB is in question as Lloyd Talbot of SDPAB previously issued a mass email advocating on behalf of the Rettie’s stating “the property owner’s perspective needs to be heard as well.
   
 

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      POSTED APRIL 12, 2011
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#APRIL.12.2011
   
  Manitoba Conservation has updated their online Environmental Assessment Review on the Environment Act Proposal filed by the Rettie’s (see entry of November 3, 2010).  The proposal is in regards to the canal excavated through Beaconia Marsh by the Rettie’s prior to seeking approval.
   
  The updated online information of April 11, 2011 compiles all correspondence, including the comments of the Technical Advisory Committee. Click here for access to updated public registry 5486.00 – Rettie Boat Access (WARNING: the PDF files found at this link are very large)
   
  Of the 48 separate representations made either for or against the proposal, 46 are against (96%).  The EBCC is surprised that this level of public concern does not warrant a public hearing. The EBCC will strive to determine why objectors to the proposal were not provided the Minister’s written reasons for the decision to not recommend a public hearing.  A flowchart of the process clearly indicates this is required.
   
  Please note that no official licensing decision has yet been made.  The EBCC does not anticipate this to occur until at least after flood season has ebbed.
   
 

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      POSTED MARCH 20, 2011
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#March.20.2011
   
  The Selkirk Record published an article on March 17, 2011 titled
Beaconia Land Swap Deal Sinks”.
 
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   •  Screen cap version (single page PDF).  UPDATE:  One-page PDF screen cap of two letters to the editor published on March 24, 2011 is here.
   •  Selkirk Record version (extremely large PDF download)
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  The article focuses on Manitoba Conservation’s decision to maintain the caveats that prohibited non-park development at Beaconia Beach.  The removal of the non-development caveats were crucial to the Rural Municipality of St. Clements (RM) and Jeff Sopko, who were involved in a convoluted land swap/sale with the apparent aim of developing Beaconia Beach for non-public use.  See entry of February 24, 2011 for full explanation.
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  The mayor of the RM made many contentious statements, including:
 
   •  “…the province will be taking financial responsibility for any costs that may incur from this change of decision...which the minister himself has promised me to resolve.”(Click here to view the terms of the agreement which is solely between Sopko and the RM)
   •  "…Mr. Sopko is willing to cooperate with the province and the province with him to find a suitable piece of land."
   •  "…Minister Blaikie had concerns over future submissions for development on the Beaconia land."
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  The mayor summarized the Beaconia Beach land deal as "…something far more negative that it should have been".
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  Is the mayor inferring that the positive outcome of this deal should have been the loss of a public beach to private ownership with no public consultation or input? Is the mayor also inferring that the positive outcome of this deal should have been non-park development of a public beach adjacent to a diverse and ecologically sensitive wetland?
   
 

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      POSTED MARCH 19, 2011
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#March.19.2011
   
  At the Lake Winnipeg Levels Conference on March 19, 2011, it was announced by Dr. Dean Gould, Chair of the Shoreline Erosion Technical Committee (SETC), that the SETC had proposed to the province that an Advisory Committee be set up with the province and municipalities to deal with current and future proposals, so there is only one body for the public to approach when looking at shoreline development and shoreline protection, and to streamline a complicated process as it now stands.
   
  Dr. Gould said there was nothing formal in place, and did not know how they would create the Advisory Committee, but it was in the works.  This is alluded to in the last paragraph of a press release issued on March 17, 2011 by Manitoba Conservation
   
  If you are concerned about development and environmental destruction on the Eastern Beaches and/or South Basin of Lake Winnipeg, the EBCC strongly suggests you visit the website of our friends at Preserving Victoria Beach.
   
  There you will find a letter template to show your support of the proposed Advisory Committee, which is easily modified to input your concerns regarding Beaconia Beach and Marsh.  You will also find multiple links to technical information regarding Lake Winnipeg, shoreline erosion, and the effects of unregulated or improper development.
   
 

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      POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2011
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#Feb.24.2011
 
The EBCC is pleased to announce that on February 16, 2011, Bill Blaikie, Minister of Conservation, notified the EBCC of the decision of Manitoba Conservation that the parcels of land that have the caveat against them "should not be considered for permanent development of any type and should remain as an undeveloped recreational public beach area”.  The province will NOT remove the non-development caveats despite extensive efforts by the Rural Municipality of St. Clements (RM). This means the Beaconia Beach land is now essentially worthless to any developer.
   
  The parcels of land compose the parking lot area at Beaconia Beach that is the only non-water access point to the beach itself.  The removal of the non-development caveats were crucial to the RM and Jeff Sopko, who were involved in a convoluted land swap/sale with the apparent aim of developing Beaconia Beach for non-public use (click here and here and see previous entry What is Going On at Beaconia Beach? Update of March 30, 2010 for further background).
   
  The RM was advised of Manitoba Conservation’s decision on December 7, 2010, yet did not include any documentation on this decision in their response to a Freedom of Information (FIPPA) request made by a private citizen.
   
  The RM response to the FIPPA request discloses only some financial aspects regarding the land swap/sale.  The EBCC leaves it to the reader to make their own judgements regarding the taxpayer costs of the six-figure “deal” - and the transparency of the RM actions.  However, large amounts of correspondence were not provided, such as all contacts and records of negotiations that led to the land swap/sale.
   
  Note that the RM response states the RM will not release a letter dated December 7, 2010 as it was reviewed by Council “in-camera”. December 7, 2010 is the date of the Manitoba Conservation letter advising the RM that the non-development caveats would not be removed. Coincidence?  The RM also refers to Section 25(1)(n) of FIPPA, which states that information can be withheld if it could be injurious to the conduct of existing or anticipated legal proceedings”.  Perhaps the RM anticipates legal action from Jeff Sopko, as the RM was unable, despite extensive overt and covert attempts, to have the non-development caveats removed?
   
  The RM appears to have abused the privilege of “in-camera” in many aspects surrounding the Beaconia Beach land swap/sale as well as the Beaconia Marsh canal excavation
   
  As such, the EBCC is not surprised to learn that the private citizen who requested information via FIPPA has subsequently filed a formal complaint with the Provincial Ombudsman.  The complaint includes, but is not limited to, the RM’s obligation to adhere to FIPPA legislation and the possible misuse of the privilege of “in-camera”.  The EBCC will notify you of the investigation results once they have been released.
 

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      POSTED JANUARY 21, 2011
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#Jan.21.2011
 
The 2011 Manitoba Planning Conference, being held March 9-11, 2011 (conference website and Province of MB announcement) includes a seminar on March 10 titled “Holding an Effective Public Hearing And Effective Enforcement of Planning By-laws” which Lloyd Talbot of the Selkirk and District Planning Area Board (SDPAB) is scheduled to facilitate.   The draft version of the conference (online version and snapshot version) per the January 11, 2011 Minutes of the RM of St. Clements (online version and snapshot version) states this seminar includes Steve Strang, Mayor of the RM, who coincidentally sits on the Board of the SDPAB.
   
  Will the disregard of provincial and municipal bylaws and regulations by the RM and SDPAB in regards to the canal excavation and beach land sale/swap at Beaconia be used as a real-life example?  Both the RM and the SDPAB appear to be very knowledgeable and proficient at sidestepping the spirit and intent of the bylaws and regulations governing the topic they are facilitating.   Scroll down to earlier EBCC entries for multiple examples of the apparent contempt the SDPAB and RM appear to hold for enforcing the bylaws and regulations applicable to the situation at Beaconia beach and marsh.  An overview can be found here
   
  The Winnipeg Free Press published an editorial on January 17, 2011 titled “Marshes Need Many Champions”  (online version and snapshot version)
   
  The editorial states in part “…the province prohibits digging channels through, or draining of, semi-permanent or permanent wetlands and is now assessing the construction by one private property owner of a boat channel at Beaconia Marsh into Lake Winnipeg…no application was made for provincial approval...Better public education and provincial monitoring are required to protect an important public interest… The channel construction was halted once the province was twigged to the construction...”
   
  Ironically, in regards to Beaconia beach and marsh, the SDPAB and RM appear to have had no qualms in ignoring the applicable regulatory and legislative obligations, including planning Bylaws, that they themselves are mandated to enforce.   One wonders what lessons the SDPAB and RM will teach at the 2011 Manitoba Planning Conference.
   
  Fox in the henhouse, anyone?  
 

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      POSTED JANUARY 14, 2011
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#Jan.14.2011
 
Today the Winnipeg Free Press published an article (online version with comments and snapshot version) about the open letter to the province, calling for a temporary moratorium on all new cottage subdivisions and other developments around Lake Winnipeg, submitted by Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Lake Winnipeg Foundation, and the Lake Winnipeg Watershed Initiative

  

The Free Press article states in part  "...The group said it recently became concerned about shorelines and watersheds after a private individual dug a boat channel at Beaconia Marsh on Lake Winnipeg, before the province stepped in to stop it.... the government official said the construction of a boat channel at the Beaconia marsh was "an illegal action under existing regulations and it was halted." The province has also hired new water resource officers to stop illegal wetland drainage..."

  

The open letter to the Government of Manitoba subtitled “Manitoba’s Lakes Need Our Help - Protecting Wetlands and Shorelines is Essential for Maintaining Healthy Lakes” can be viewed here.

  

The links below open to biographical information for each signatory.  The EBCC sincerely appreciates the support of these individuals and organizations

  

   •  Dr. Pascal Badiou - Ducks Unlimited Canada
   •  Dr. Gordon Goldsborough - Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba
   •  Vicki Burns - Community Foundations of Canada
   •  Bruce Smith - Lake Winnipeg Foundation

 

The Free Press published a related article on January 15, 2011 (online version with comments and snapshot version) where the illegal development in Beaconia was cited as an example of the need for a single planning authority:  
   
  “…Vicki Burns, co-ordinator of the Lake Winnipeg Watershed Initiative, said Friday's meeting should be the first step in the province taking the lead on a more uniform approach to shoreline protection on Lake Winnipeg…Burns said besides preserving beaches and shoreline, the province also needs to get a better handle on development around the lake… Last summer, the Manitoba government intervened when it was revealed a boat channel had been dug at Beaconia without proper approval…"These are the same issues that are constant across the landscape that we need consistent leadership on," she said…. The province signalled last year it was moving toward creating a single planning authority that would oversee the lake's drainage area and other common issues…”
 

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     POSTED NOVEMBER 3, 2010
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#Nov.3.2010
 
Bob and Margaret Rettie have filed an “Environmental Act Proposal”.  The EBCC strongly encourages you to read the proposal “Notice” and the full proposal prepared by the Rettie’s to justify the excavation of the canal through Beaconia Marsh

 

The EBCC encourage you to file individual submission to Manitoba Conservation to assist in halting any further destruction of Beaconia Marsh and restore it to its original condition.  The EBCC have prepared a submission template for your convenience.  You are welcome to modify – or make additions – as you see fit.

 

The quantity of submissions is important.  Highly polished or technical comments on the proposal are not necessary.  Submissions can identify any issues as long as it is in writing.  For instance, do you have local knowledge that is missing from or contradicts what’s in the proposal?  Do you have suggestions on mitigation measures or actions that could be taken to improve the situation? Your comments can be as simple as a few points in bullet form, and it does not matter in the process whether questions or concerns come from individuals or organizations – a concern is valid no matter who raises it.  The EBCC Executive will soon file a separate, detailed response to the proposal.

 

** DEADLINE FOR ALL SUBMISSIONS IS NOVEMBER 22, 2010 **

 

Please show your support of this important issue by sending your submission to Manitoba Conservation via mail, fax, or email:

Mail:  Environmental Assessment & Licensing Branch Manitoba Conservation
          123 Main Street, Suite 160
          Winnipeg MB  R3C 1A5
 Fax:   (204) 945-5229
Email:  Bruce.Webb@gov.mb.ca   


          Subject Line: File 5486.00 - Rettie Boat Access
 

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     POSTED SEPTEMBER 12, 2010
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#Sept.12.2010
   
  Resolution 2010-379, located at section 12.5 of the August 24, 2010 RM of St. Clements Council Minutes (click here) now mysteriously terms the land swap of the Beaconia Beach parking lots a "sale". Council has also authorized an extension of the "sale" to the Sopko family from October 1, 2010 to August 31, 2011. The original Resolution 497-08 found at Section 18.1 of the Oct 14, 2008 Council Minutes (click here) calls the land swap an "arrangement" and make no mention of any "sale" nor any details regarding timeframe or price. The RM of St. Clements previously deemed the arrangement a "land swap" in many other communications, including an email the RM publicly released on April 9, 2010 (click here)
   
  The Selkirk Journal published a letter to the editor on September 8, 2010 composed by several Beaconia-area residents entitled "Who’s Grandstanding Now?" (click here). This letter was in response to an article published by the Selkirk Journal in which Mayor Strang deemed any concerns regarding the canal excavation, Beaconia Beach, and artesian well access to be "grandstanding" (click here) The EBCC feels this letter accurately reflects its own stance on the issues raised and thanks the authors for their unsolicited submission.
   
  An email sent on May 28, 2010 to the Cottage Presidents of the RM of St. Clements by Lloyd Talbot, Manger of the Selkirk and District Planning Area Board (SDPAB), begins by stating:
   
 

“This letter is being forwarded to you at the request of the RM of St. Clements.  It was prepared by Beaconia Beach property owner Bob Rettie in response to a letter sent to various individuals and organizations by the East Beaches Conservation Coalition.  The municipality feels that the property owner’s perspective needs to be heard as well.  Should you have any questions in this regard, please feel free to contact me, Mr. Rettie, or the municipality”

   
  This is but one of many communications obtained by the EBCC indicating what strongly appears to be lobbying by the RM of St. Clements and the SDAPB on behalf of Mr. Rettie. The entire letter, including Mr. Rettie’s contact information that he himself publicly disclosed, is available here.
 

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     POSTED AUGUST 25, 2010
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#Aug.25.2010
   
  The EBCC has obtained Mr. Rettie’s canal excavation “Request for Project Review (Proposed Works In Or Around Water That May Affect Fish Habitat)” submitted to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on January 16, 2008 (click here).  This document was obtained via an Access to Information request.  The resulting "Letter of Advice" issued by the DFO on April 23, 2008 documenting the mitigation measures that must be implemented (click here).  The “Stop Work order issued by Manitoba Water Stewardship on March 12, 2010 (click here).   An overview of the Fisheries Act administered by the DFO (click here).   Ms. Ashley Presenger, Fish Habitat Biologist, can be reached at Ashley.Presenger@dfo-mpo.gc.ca or (204) 984-0405. 
 

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     REPOSTED AUGUST 20, 2010
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#Aug.20.2010
   
  Letter released by the EBCC to governmental, regulatory, and related stakeholders entitled "Beaconia Beach Swapped To Private Owner by Council, Canal Excavation in Marsh, and Potable Water Issues" (click here) Originally released April 19, 2010
 

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     POSTED JULY 15, 2010
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#July.15.2010
   
  Bruce Owen of the Winnipeg Free Press wrote on July 15, 2010 about Beaconia Beach and Marsh (click here).  Please take a moment to read the comments including an important one by Bruce.
  This article is online at the Free Press (direct link) where you can post your comments and view any new comments.
   
    BEACONIA CAUSEWAY ROAD UPDATE:  The RM commenced grading on May 6.  The road is now in much better shape and drivers are no longer in danger of losing their oil pan.  However the infill used is of very poor quality and will likely wash out again when the road is underwater at high water.  One sinkhole has already started to reappear.  Click on the Flickr link at top of page for photos. (Click here) for a letter from the RM.  Feel free to contact the RM at 1-888-797-8725 or info@rmofstclements.com with your feedback and/or comments.
   
    BEACONIA BEACH CAVEAT UPDATE:  (Click here) for a letter from Harley Jonasson of Manitoba Conservation.   Feel free to contact Mr. Jonasson at 945-8288 or harley.jonasson@gov.mb.ca with your feedback and/or comments.
   
    "Letter released by the EBCC to governmental, regulatory, and related stakeholders entitled "Beaconia Beach Swapped To Private Owner by Council, Canal Excavation in Marsh, and Potable Water Issues" (click here)
 

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     POSTED APRIL 25, 2010
   
    Link to this article http://www.ebconservation.ca/#April.25.2010
   
  If a project or development requires a federal permit or other approval - DFO is federal and issued the Letter of Advice (click here) at Beaconia Marsh - there is a good chance it will be subject to an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).  If the responsible government department or authority fails to put the project on the correct assessment track or if it errs in setting the scope of the assessment, the resulting approval or permit is at risk of being set aside.  See recently published article by two prominent Manitoba lawyers (link to DFO assessment PDF) and the impact of the recent Supreme Court decision on Federal Environmental Assessments (click here)
   
    ARTESIAN WELL.  Suddenly, after decades of unrestricted public access including the past 5 years that Mr. Rettie has owned the property, access to the artesian well has become an ironic semantic legal argument for both Mr. Rettie (click here) and the RM of St. Clements (click here)
   
    BEACH LAND SWAP. Council of RM of St. Clements comments on the land swap and beach access.  EBCC response highlights Council’s contradiction of fact (click here)
   
    EBCC March 27 Open meeting (click here).
   
    Mortgage on the Rettie farm obtained from Land Titles (click here) Of particular interest are the Covenanters in Section 1, the name of the mortgage issuer in Section 3, the declarations in Section 7, and the type of property declared in Section 8.
   
    Road 98n / Causeway Road: Letter from the RM of St. Clements dated Dec 17 ,2009 (click here) stating concerns were discussed at the RM Council Meeting of Dec 15 ,2009. There is no mention of such discussion in the official Committee Meeting Minutes nor Regular Meeting Minutes Council Minutes of December 15, 2009.
 

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    Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Communications:
   
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   • Original "Letter of Advice" of April 23, 2008 (click here) obtained via an "Access to Information" request by the EBCC. Note the "mitigation measures" that are required to be implemented.
   • Stop - Work order issued by Manitoba Water Stewardship on March 12, 2010 (click here).
   • Overview of the Fisheries Act administered by the DFO (click here) Section 35(1) is the most relevant.
   
    What is Going On at Beaconia Beach? Update of March 30, 2010
   
  Short answer: the entrance areas of the beach (parking lots and immediately adjacent fields) were swapped by the RM of St. Clements in 2008 to the Sopko family of Grand Marais. Full explanation here.
 
   • Land Title Documents of the Beach and Sopko properties (click here) Note that parcel "B" in Grand Marais was assigned a new Title Number 2345384 once the RM of St. Clements obtained legal transfer. Also note Active Title Charge 3881245 for what appears to be a telecommunications company primarily known for cell phones. Further note the disparity of Sworn Values of property traded by Sopko for the beach property.
   • Beach Caveat essentially prohibiting non-park development (click here) Note the right of the province to nullify the original transfer of the beach property to the RM of St. Clements in sections 2(a) through 2(c) as well as the funds paid to the RM for development and maintenance of the land as a public park in section 3.
   • RM of St. Clements requests removal of caveat (click here) almost a year *after* Council passed motion 497-08 found at section 18.1 of (click here). It is unknown if the RM of St. Clements disclosed this fact to the Province of Manitoba at the time the withdrawal request was made.
 

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     POSTED MARCH 29, 2010
 
  Stop Developement of Grand Marais Creek/Marsh Area!
   
     POSTED MARCH 26, 2010
 
  EBCC Letter and Zoning Meeting #2 Notice
   
     POSTED MARCH 21, 2010
 
 
Open Public Meeting Saturday March 27 at 10 AM (Click 4 Map)
Latest email sent to current EBCC readers (click here).
Help us save Beaconia Beach, Marsh and the Artesian Well.
Post the notice wherever you think people might see it.
PDF Poster 32KB
   
     POSTED MARCH 16, 2010
 
  EBCC Success and Membership Drive! (click here).
DFO Investigation Order Mar 5 2010 (click here).
   
  To address some problems people had with the previous emailing of the March 6 minutes of the EBCC, we have placed all the referenced documents in one page, (click here).
   
  High-resolution aerial map of the north section of Beaconia Beach
(Click here 4 PDF 922KB) (Dial-Up Click 4 image 89KB)(Posted March 11)
General email explaining the map.(click here)
 

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     POSTED MARCH 10, 2010
 
  Rebuttal to Strang's letter of March 5 (click here)
   
  Here is the letter that Strang sent out (click here)
   
  Email to Supporters and Readers of EBCC
   
  MINUTES OF EBCC MEETING HELD MARCH 6, 2010 AT LIBAU
   
  Meeting Blurp Referrence B
   
  MEETING-MINUTES MARCH 2, 10:00 PM AT SELKIRK AND DISTRICT PLANNING BOARD
   
  Beaconia Marsh Supporters Update
   
  (Beaconia Beach Meeting)
March 6th at 2 PM at the Libau Community Centre (MAP)
 

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     POSTED MARCH 6, 2010
   
  Dave Crabb email to the Boulder Bay Readers and Beaconia Incident Coalition Readers.
   
  Council's response - March 5th, 2010 meeting
Here is a copy of the letter that the Mayor sent out.
 
 
   
  VARIOUS POSTS BELOW:
   
  REMINDER: Beaconia Incident Meeting Saturday 2 PM
   
  Email from Dave Crabb
   
  Letter to Cottage Presidents Feb 22, 2010
   
Letter from Dave Crabb on Agenda for Feb 23 Council Meeting
 
  Copy of email sent to Mr. Crabb today, February 23rd, 2010
   
  Minister of Conservation letter to His Worship Steve Strang
 
Letter sent on December 3, 2009 to Manitoba Conservation
 
Details on Hadfield property

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Any comments to the road being closed are untrue?
The Road closed sign has been up since last summer. (Click for photo)
Last seen on March 24,10

To make inquiries and/or demand that the caveat preventing non-park development be immediately reinstated please contact one or all of the following Authorities:

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    Honourable Bill Blaikie, current Minister of Conservation
http://www.gov.mb.ca/minister/mincon.html
can be contacted at mincon@leg.gov.mb.ca or 945-3730


   
    Christine Melnick, Honourable Minister of Water Stewardship
http://www.gov.mb.ca/minister/minwat.html
can be contacted at minwsd@leg.gov.mb.ca or 945-1133
     
    The RM of St Clements www.rmofstclements.com
can be reached at info@rmofstclements.com or 1-888-797-8725


   

How to contact EBCC
To contact Eastern Beaches Conservation Coalition ebcc@live.ca

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