Spring floods not the result of Parks Canada mismanagement, says report
PETERBOROUGH - Parks Canada staff have been absolved of any blame for spring flooding in the Haliburton area watershed and flood plains.
A third-party review released today of Parks Canada’s actions in the 2013 Gull River Flooding concludes that Parks Canada staff “performed their job to the best of their abilities and their actions” helped to avoid further flooding in downstream communities, says a news release from the federal agency accused of mismanagement.
Announced by Member of Parliament Barry Devolin in August, the 2013 Gull River Flood Review was commissioned to help identify the impacts of decisions made before, during, and after the spring flooding of the Gull River sub-watershed, which includes the Township of Minden Hills and the Haliburton lakes. The fact-based look at the flooding between April 18th and May 15th was also intended to support effective communications and decision-making between emergency authorities and other partners in the region.
The report indicates that Parks Canada’s decisions leading up to April 18th did not contribute to the flooding near Minden Hills and further, and that “other alternative water management decisions would not have led to reduced overall flooding.”
Parks Canada takes its role as water manager seriously. The report indicated that Parks Canada officials did an exemplary job. That being said, there were several recommendations on how Parks Canada could further improve. The agency will review these and consider carefully in an effort to mitigate the effects of future weather events.
Parks Canada manages water reserves for the Trent-Severn Waterway on a system-wide basis to meet a broad range of stakeholder needs, including municipal water supplies, flood mitigation, commercial activity, fisheries, hydro generation, and recreation. While the Trent-Severn Waterway is open for navigation from May to October, monitoring and managing its watershed is a year-round responsibility.
For more information on the Trent-Severn Waterway, please visit www.pc.gc.ca. For a copy of the report, please visit www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/trentsevern/plan/plan12.aspx
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