The November/December 2019 issue of The Minaki News is out, and is available by clicking here.
The September/October 2019 issue of The Minaki News is out, and is available by clicking here.
The annual Minaki cocktail party and fundraiser is coming up on Sunday, July 28, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at the Community Hall. At the request of the Minaki Foundation, the MCA is organizing it again this year.
Tickets are $30 each and will be available at the door, but it would be a help if you buy them in advance online by clicking here.
We need the usual load of volunteers. Please contact Jane Howe with questions or to sign up — email@example.com. Party chairs Wayne and Judy Bruce in particular could use help at the management level, with the opportunity to run the whole thing next year! This event is a great part of the Minaki social summer, but it doesn’t just happen — please think about teaming up with someone and stepping in line to chair it.
This year half of the net ticket revenue will go to benefit the Minaki Community Association and the new dome over the hockey rink next to the hall. The Community Association will use the contribution to help complete the electrical distribution work inside the structure, including LED bulbs.
We are very glad to support this wonderful community project. You will have a chance online to add a voluntary donation for the dome to your ticket purchase, or you may bring a donation to the door. (Tickets and donations are not tax deductible.)
There will be terrific food at the party as usual by Denise et Jean-Louis Catering, and also a chance to see familiar Minaki people and meet new ones in a great atmosphere. We hope to see you there.
The annual Minaki community cocktail party and fundraiser is set for this year on Sunday, July 22, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at the Community Hall.
Tickets are $30 each and will be available at the door, but it would be a help if you buy them in advance by clicking here.
This year half of the net ticket revenue will go to benefit the Ochiichagwe’babigo’Ining First Nation’s sturgeon recovery project. The sturgeon has been an important part of the First Nation’s history and culture at its homeland at the Dalles, but the fish has almost disappeared from the Winnipeg River. The First Nation, in cooperation with the Rainy River First Nation, MNR, and Ontario Power Generation, is undertaking a long-term sturgeon release program to restore a sustainable population. There’s an excellent video on the sturgeon release at the bottom of the page on the First Nation’s website — https://www.ochiichag.ca/.
You will have a chance online to add a voluntary donation to the sturgeon program to your ticket purchase, or you may also bring a donation to the door.
There will be wonderful food at the party as usual by Denise et Jean-Louis Catering, a chance to see familiar Minaki people and meet new ones in a great atmosphere, and undoubtedly lots of conversation about all that’s going on in this exciting summer. We hope to see you there.
We have been waiting since early November for the chair of the Ontario Municipal Board (now known as the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal) to rule on the developers’ appeal of the reversal of their approvals for 139 condominium units on the Minaki Lodge site. The chair’s ruling has at last appeared, and denies developers’ appeal. The ruling is available under “OMB Appeal Process” at the “Minaki Lodge” button.
The chair’s denial leaves in place the substance of the OMB decision, based on the two-week hearing in Kenora last July, that private communal sewage treatment is not allowed in unorganized territory under the Ontario Provincial Policy Statement. That result is important, as it effectively imposes some density control for condominium and other separately-owned development formats on the Lodge site and all over unorganized territory.
Developers had previously appealed the OMB decision to Divisional Court. That judicial appeal had been stayed pending the administrative appeal to the OMB chair, but it may now proceed.
The MCA and the Minaki residents have prevailed in their appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board, vacating the Provincial approval of the Minaki on the River project.
After 11 days of hearings and presentations on local context and character, sewage flows, Minaki’s tourism industry, permanent vs. seasonal residences, boating and recreational water use, First Nations’ concerns, and the cultural heritage landscape of the golf course, the OMB member based her ruling on one threshold issue — that without municipal backup, private communal sewage treatment is not allowed in unorganized territory under section 22.214.171.124 of the Provincial Policy Statement. Since the redevelopment proposal required that 138 condominium units and a restaurant, all separately owned, share the use of the Lodge treatment plant with no municipal support, the project could not proceed.
For orderly development in unorganized territory generally, and for the Lodge site specifically, that is the best possible basis for the reversal. With that ruling, residential subdivisions in unorganized territory need to arrange for sewage treatment for each lot through a private septic system within that lot. The result is a practical check on subdivision density.
Having disposed of the redevelopment on that critical point, the OMB member did not rule on any of the other issues to which most of the hearing was devoted.
The developers have asked for leave to appeal the OMB ruling to Divisional Court. The MCA and the residents believe that there is no basis for judicial review of the OMB administrative decision.
After years of work through the land use approval process in Ontario, and after months of specific preparation, the MCA made its case on the severe negative impacts of the proposed redevelopment of the Minaki Lodge site before the Ontario Municipal Board in Kenora in mid-July. The group of 54 residents of the town who also appealed the preliminary approval of the development plan by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing joined with the MCA in presenting a consolidated case.
David Bronskill of the Goodmans law firm in Toronto and Rick Handlon of the Pitblado law firm in Winnipeg represented the MCA and the residents. Anthony Usher, a registered land use planner in Toronto, assisted the MCA and the residents in hearing preparation and appeared as an expert witness. The MCA and the residents also called expert witnesses on sewage treatment and cultural heritage landscape, along with nine lay witnesses speaking for permanent and seasonal residents.
Representatives of the Wabaseemoong Independent Nation and of the Ochiichagwe’babigo’ining Independent Nation appeared and presented their concerns about the excessive scope of the development and the proposed use of the old Minaki Lodge sewage treatment plant. The Lake of the Woods District Property Owners Association also appeared at the hearing to raise general issues related to sewage treatment and density in unorganized territory.
The MCA and the residents are pleased with the case that they put in. The effort and fundraising required to participate in a planning issue all the way through an OMB hearing are extraordinary, but the breadth of the concern for Minaki and the force of the negative impacts were powerful motivations and generated the support needed to allow the case to go in in full.
The hearing ran for two weeks, ending on Juy 28. We understand that a decision should be issued by the Municipal Board within six months of that date.