Cottagers kicked out of Birch Island due to pandemic – The Post Millennial

Residents who are non-band members of Whitefish River First Nation (WRFN), who lease cottages and homes along the shoreline property, have been given notice to vacate their homes within the next 24 hours. The entrance to the area from Old Village Road has been blockaded with large concrete blocks to prevent the return of summer residents, according to the Manitoulin Expositor.

The chief and council have updated the band’s trespassing bylaw to address concerns about summer residents returning from places such as Florida and Toronto, both hotspots that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Ogimaa Shining Turtle denied that the orders to vacate were evictions because the leases of occupancy of those particular properties are not intended for year-round occupancy. “Over the years, people pushed the limits and started to stay longer,” said Ogimaa Shining Turtle. “This is a process that is governed by our pandemic response and is in place to protect everyone.”

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