Provincial department controls water level decisions for Sylvan Lake

Re: Jurisdiction over lake levels. David Spencer, Aug. 29.

Sylvan enjoyed a sandy beach in 1988 when these pictures were taken. Some of the Mannix family enjoyed the area during that summer

Dear Editor,

Re: Jurisdiction over lake levels. David Spencer, Aug. 29.

In this letter Mr. Spencer admonishes us not to bother our council with lake levels. He writes there is nothing they can do. Fisheries and Oceans have the sole jurisdiction over all lakes.

He invited anyone with concerns to phone Hon. Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans at Sarnia, Ont.

On Sept. 5 I took his advice and phoned the number listed. After a lengthy discussion with a lady named Angela, she was able to determine that Fisheries and Oceans do not have any control over Sylvan Lake. Angela gave me a number (1-800-622-6232) to call that is for Environment Canada’s Water Surveys of Canada information.

Another long discussion with a man named Lezin and his research eventually found that Environment and Sustainable Resource Development of Alberta have jurisdiction for the waters of Sylvan Lake. He gave me the number to call (310-0000) for the department.

On calling this number I was assured that Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development has this jurisdiction.

However I would have to talk with the regional office in Red Deer (403-340-7052).

Now, after phoning all across Canada I find the people in control of water for Sylvan Lake are right in Red Deer.

In a discussion with a person in this office, I was very pleased to find that they are working to find a solution to remedy the high water problem as soon as possible.

In reality it seems that the old timer Al Hallgren is right about who controls the water resources in Alberta. Way to go Al, keep on writing.

Another point in David Spencer’s letter has me shaking my head. He writes that in 2003 when he moved here everyone was lamenting about how low the lake was at that time.

On discussing this with many longtime residents, no one can recall anyone ever complaining that the lake was too low. Why would they?

If we could turn back the clock to 1988, I have pictures that show the lake at a very desirable level.

I sincerely hope that this letter will clear up some misunderstandings about the control and management of our lake.

We, as residents, do have a say in what happens on our lake and our voice is through our council.

Do not be afraid to be heard and please vote!

Dale Mannix,

Sylvan Lake

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