Town council supports call for lower water levels

A portion of the Gore Bay marina is underwater due to the higher Lake Huron water levels this year.

GORE BAY – With high water levels that have put at least one portion of the town boardwalk by the marina underwater, the Town of Gore Bay agrees with another Ontario community that the government needs to do something to intervene and better manage and control water levels in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

“They (Tay Township in Victoria Harbour, Ontario) are asking for some sort of help from the government to better manage and control the water levels,” said Gore Bay councillor Ken Blodgett, at a council meeting last week. “Water levels have gone up about six feet since 2012, and the levels are impacting every marina in the province.”

Councillor Blodgett said it is estimated the water levels will increase “another foot by August, and if this is the case the water will be in our (Canadian Yacht Charters) store. It will be devastating if the water levels increase as high as are being predicted.” 

Council had received a letter from Ted Walker, mayor of Tay Township addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau June 5, 2020. “Please be advised the municipal council of the township of Tay at its meeting of May 27, 2020 supported Councillor North’s request that the municipality endorse a resolution seeking the government to intervene to better manage and control the water levels of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.”
Mayor Walker explained that after discussion Tay council passed a motion that states in part, “Whereas the Township of Tay borders the southeastern shores of Georgian Bay on the Great Lakes of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan Basin; and whereas the volume and height of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan Basin has set unprecedented lows and highs from 2012 to 2020 of over six feet; the high water is causing significant shoreline erosion, flooding area, extensive property damage to personal and municipal infrastructure and further impacting wetlands, ecosystems and fish habitats. Now therefore, the Township of Tay seeks the Ontario provincial government and the Government of Canada to intervene with the International Joint Commission (IJC) to better manage and control the lake levels as set out within the IJC Mission statement.” Further, the motion calls for the IJC to take immediate action to lower the level of the lakes to within a manageable average mean of each Great Lake and further, that this resolution be forwarded to the approximately 50 municipalities and 25 Indigenous communities that border Lake Huron and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario for support.”

“I think we should support their motion,” said Councillor Blodgett.

Council passed a motion in support of Tay Township and its government lobbying attempts.