“Can we go to our cottage yet?”

Since our last post almost 2 weeks ago, we have started to receive inquiries about changes to the Stay at Home restrictions. We have also had a number of cottage owners suggesting that, as with other jurisdictions, they should be able to go to their cottage for 24 hours with no outside contact or go and stay for 2 weeks isolating and then stay on after that. There has been quite a bit of talk in social media about this being OK for SFN cottagers to do. It’s not. There are also social media comments that Cancom is not enforcing the stay at home order. They are. We spoke directly to the Band Administration for clarity on these issues.

Response from the Band

Yesterday we checked with Band Administration about this. The Band informed us that there has been no change to the restrictions imposed on April 3rd .

Cottage owners are not allowed to go to their cottages for any reason, regardless of their circumstances.

The only cottagers that are allowed to be there are those that had previously paid for the extra month of April and were already staying full time at their cottage prior to April 3rd when Grey Bruce was a Green Zone.

The Band is allowing local contractors to continue their work on projects where building/septic permits had been issued prior to April 3rd.

Construction for permits issued after April 3rd are at the discretion of Kirk Roote, Lands Management Manager. Cottagers are not allowed to be at their cottage to supervise or consult on these projects.

In its response to our enquiry, the Band also said that Cancom Security continues to patrol and enforce the law.

Following a very recent inspection of the cottage areas, we were informed that the Band did not see anyone at their cottage who should not be there. The Band also expressed its gratitude by “thanking everyone for obeying the rules and stopping the spread of Covid despite their deep desire to be at the cottage”.

May 20 at the earliest

Simply put, the Stay at Home order issued April 3rd still applies and is being enforced. This is likely to continue until the Provincial stay at home order expires on May 20th. Any possibility for the May 24 long weekend will depend entirely on the province’s lifting their Stay at Home order and the Band’s decision.

“When will I get my lease and lease invoice?”

We have also been receiving questions about when the leases/permits and lease invoices will be coming out. Our understanding is that the lease invoices will be sent out very soon. Technically the deadline for payment is May 1st. However, you have 30 days after the due date to pay the invoice without penalty. The final deadline to pay your lease fee without penalty is Monday, May 31st.

We hope to have more information on leases very soon and will post that information as soon as we receive it.

Homeless Canadians

And on a final note. We have been asked if seasonal residents in one part of Canada can return to their cottages now. The Band has said that is not possible.  Unfortunately, last year’s experience with the small number of cottagers who were not homeless but still attending their cottage in spite of the Band order, when they did have a place to stay, has left a bad taste. As a result, a number of cottagers are scrambling for accommodation until the stay at home order is lifted. It is unfortunate, but it is the consequence of the the actions of a few.

Be Safe, Be Kind and thank you for following the rules. We will get through this.