Petition available to help St. Ambroise community 0
Portage la Prairie MLA Ian Wishart shows the petition available at his office to ask the Province for support concerning the St. Ambroise beach and campground cleanup. (Angela Brown, Portage Daily Graphic)
The St. Ambroise community is still trying to gather support to help it deal with its precarious situation since the 2011 flood.
The community is worried that since the provincial campground and beach area is closed, St. Ambroise will lose its economy derived from visitors who would normally be filling up the campground at this time of the year and spending money in town. A petition is circulating to gather support.
John Lavallee, one of the St. Ambroise residents who is part of the group “Concerned residents of St. Ambroise,” helped organize a public meeting recently to get the word out about St. Ambroise's concerns. There are now petitions available to gain more support.
About 30 people attended the meeting in St. Ambroise -- mainly community residents.
"I gave them an update as to the previous first meeting we had," he said. "I (said) what are plans are. We talked about the petition; we have the petition going."
"We have already 150 names on the petition," Lavallee added. "We are going to be circulating petitions in nearby communities -- Portage, Carman, Oakville, Elie and Stonewall. A lot of people come to the lake from these smaller communities. They are concerned as well about the beach. People are asking questions, 'What is happening at the beach?' It is still up in the air. We still don't have any definite answers."
"People come to the lake but they just go as far as the gate and park their cars," said Lavallee.
"They want to go swimming and to the beach, but they can't camp," he said."That's what makes it bad. Of course the businesses in town are hurting, because the tourism business is down. Some of the hunting lodges will not open this fall because of the damage that was sustained from the flood."
Lavallee added the St Ambroise convenience store is "just holding on by a thread."
"They are going to stay open as long as they can, but it doesn't look good," he said.
At the recent meeting in St. Ambroise, Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie Coun. Garth Asham and MLA Ian Wishart made presentations about the situation.
Asham said the RM has sent a letter to The Province asking for help for the St. Ambroise clean up.
He said there is a definite concern for the St Ambroise community.
"I know the provincial government has a lot on its plate and they have hired engineers or consultants there to do a bit of a study of the place," he said. "Hopefully, we can get it back to what was. Sooner rather than later."
The petition is available at MLA Ian Wishart’s office, the RM of Portage municipal office, both in Portage, and at the St Ambroise convenience store.
Wishart hopes to meet with the Province to discuss the issue.