The Town of Hay River is working on organizing a meeting of various government agencies to discuss high water in Great Slave Lake and its impact on berms and shoreline properties.
Mayor Kandis Jameson told the Sept. 22 online meeting of council that the town is working with the NWT Association of Communities to set up a meeting with all players at the table, including the federal government and the GNWT, including representatives of the Department of Lands and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
It is hoped that the meeting will include people who can make decisions, she said. “Instead of everybody saying, ‘It’s not my problem.'”
Jameson said the goal is to look for a long-term solution, which might include repairing or rebuilding berms that were recently damaged, including by erosion in West Channel.
“Absolutely we are working on it and, once you have everybody at the table, we should have some clearer answers maybe,” she said. “Because it is Commissioner’s land and we don’t have any authority over the water, as well, we’ve opted to push it this way.”
Jameson noted the town has also been in contact with Hay River North MLA and territorial cabinet minister R.J. Simpson about the issue.
“So hopefully we’ll get some kind of meeting here in the near future and find a way forward for these residents,” said the mayor.
The issue was raised at council by Deputy Mayor Robert Bouchard.
“I know there’s a lot of people concerned down there,” he said. “I’m just wondering if it’s something we should be doing politically, unless we’re getting some sort of good results from the GNWT on the responsibility there.”
Glenn Smith, the town’s senior administrative officer, told council that administration has been monitoring the situation and collecting information from residents, along with discussing options and responsibilities with the GNWT.
“Luckily, we’ve had favourable weather for those people on the shoreline with southerly winds,” he said. “So no reports of recent issues.”
On Aug. 29, northern winds off Great Slave Lake combined with high water to cause damage along the shoreline, particularly at 2 Seasons Adventures which suffered extensive damage.
A low berm protecting houses on Lakeshore Drive was also breached on Aug. 29, and the nearest house barely escaped damage.
Jameson noted that a temporary fix has been made to the berm to help protect the house that was in immediate danger of flooding.