Minister of Transport Marc Garneau issued a new Interim Order including some Muskoka waterways in the areas where navigation by non-emergency vessels is strictly prohibited to protect the safety of people and vessels, and to help first responders do their jobs in flooding conditions, according to an announcement on April 30.
The public is urged to stay off all flooded waterways in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, including those not currently subject to restrictions, to ensure navigational safety and to prevent damage to environment, properties and infrastructure. Garneau has extended the areas covered by navigation restrictions due to the magnitude of the flooding and following consultations with local authorities and law enforcement. Certain waterways in Muskoka are now part of the Interim Order Respecting Flooded Areas, where navigation by non-emergency vessels is strictly prohibited. The new order builds on the one issued April 27 and includes Lake Muskoka, North Branch Muskoka River, South Branch Muskoka River and Moon River. Any violations of the order provisions are subject to fines.
“’In light of the deteriorating situation, part of Muskoka region has been added to the interim order to better protect residents as well as to prevent damage,” Garneau said. “My department continues to closely monitor the situation across all flooded regions, and I will not hesitate to take any additional actions as required.”
Individuals who can only access their property by boat are exempted from the Interim Order and other restrictions for the purpose of going to and from their property, according to the announcement. If residents must use a waterway to access a property, they are urged to navigate at as slow a speed as possible.