After years fighting red tape Lake Country group permitted to dredge Oyama Canal | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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After years fighting red tape Lake Country group permitted to dredge Oyama Canal

The Oyama Canal, June 11, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Tween Lakes Resort

For the past several years a grassroots movement has been trying to get permission from the government to dredge the canal between Kalamalka Lake and Wood Lake, now the project has been approved.

Andrew Spear has been leading the charge on this effort and he said he could not be more excited.

“We are very excited to announce that after four very difficult years and a lot of red tape and a lot of bullshit we were finally able to get the provincial approval to dredge the Oyama Canal,” Spear said.

Spear was officially granted permission from the provincial government on April 24.

Over time sediment has built up in the Oyama Canal making it difficult and dangerous for boats to pass from Kalamalka Lake to Wood Lake.

READ MORE: Lake Country society raising money to dredge the Oyama canal sooner rather than later

Spear said he remembers when the canal was easy to pass through and a fun summer excursion.

“It’s been monumental, we’re very very happy. It’s something I wanted to do for my community and for my kids. It’s something I appreciated growing up so it’s awesome that we get to restore it to the usage it should be, which is a navigable waterway that everybody should have the right to safe passage through,” he said.

There is currently an online fundraiser set up in order to get the money to dredge the canal.

READ MORE: Dredging this Lake Country channel could stir up more trouble than it's worth

“The federal and provincial government will not give us any funding towards this project. So it will 100 per cent come from the community,” he said.

So far they've raised $80,000 with another $120,000 needed to fully fund dredging the canal.

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