An update for all SCOI members
We have had a number of cottage owners asking about the Band’s intentions this year with regard to banning cars from the Main Beach. SCOI was invited to meet with the Chief and Council on Monday May 13 to discuss a number of issues of common interest. The meeting with Chief and Council had to be cancelled because a Superior Court hearing related to the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Bruce County public lands land claim was set for 4 days last week including the 13th. The Chief then kindly agreed to meet with the SCOI Board this past Sunday morning (19th). Sadly, Herman Roote passed away late Saturday and the Chief was unable to attend our Board meeting. Given everyone’s busy schedules we are now trying to reschedule the meeting for the week of June 3rd.
Many of you will know Herman Roote and his wife Pat from your dealings with the Leasing Office. Herman was a highly regarded elder, Band Council member, former Band administrator and long time manager of the Band’s Land Management and Leasing Department. Herman was always firm but fair, respectful and attentive to cottagers’ needs. He was funny and always had a twinkle in his eye. He was our dear friend. He will be sorely missed.
SCOI has a number of issues it wishes to discuss with the Chief and foremost among those are the things relating to the Band’s plan to ban cars from the beach beginning this year. We wish to better understand what the plan is for parking for visitors wishing to spend a day at the beach. Where can they park legally? How will people be transported to the beach? Will they be ticketed/towed if they park in no parking zones? Will there be sufficient no parking signage as well as by-law officers to patrol and enforce the parking by-laws? We are also interested in security and enforcement of other rules on the beach want to ensure adequate garbage containers, toilet facilities and EMS access.
Although it was the Band’s plan to ban cars from the beach over time, the high water levels this year mean that this is not something that can be phased in over a couple of summers. But we suspect that to smoothly make the transition in one year is also not very realistic and suspect that there may be times when things seem to have come off the rails. Our hope is that we are able to get as much helpful information for you before the busy season gets underway, so you have an informed idea of what the Band is hoping to accomplish this year. We want you to know who to call if there are problems like cars illegally parked or poor behaviour on the Beach or any other misdemeanor. Many have said, this is an excellent move… an outcome they have been wanting for some time.
Your understanding, tolerance and support will be extremely important in helping the band achieve its goal of creating a sustainable and enjoyable experience for everyone who loves this place.
If we are successful in arranging a meeting with the Chief in early June, we will report back to you with what we have learned as soon as we can via a post on the SCOI website. Stay tuned.