Washagamis Bay First Nation – Urgent Community Notice – COVID-19 Lockdown Lifted

Washgamis Bay First Nation

IMPORTANT: This notice only applies to full-time residents, and there will be no additional road access requests until the week of June 22.

June 9, 2020

Urgent Community Notice – COVID-19 Lockdown Lifted

Please be advised that upon further review by Chief and Council of the current COVID 19 cases and the overall risk to community members, the Lockdown that began on June 8th has been lifted effective immediately.

What does this mean?

  • Washagamis Bay First Nation will return to the restrictions in place prior to the June 8th Lockdown. This means community members and permanent cottagers will be allowed to leave the territory once per day.
  • In order to further protect the community, absolutely no Non-Residents will be allowed into the community until further notice unless they are deemed essential workers.
  • As well, there will be no additional access granted to the road for seasonal cottagers until at further notice.

All restrictions will be reviewed by Chief and Council the week of June 22nd.

The Chief & Council and the Emergency Preparedness Team will continue to monitor the situation and will may implement additional measures and restrictions if there is an increased risk to community members. Again, community and band members are asked to do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.


Chief & Council of Washagamis Bay First Nation

Download notice as PDF.

Washagmis Bay First Nation – Community Update COVID – 19

Washagamis Bay First Nation

April 19th, 2020

Click here to download WBFN Covid-19 Update as PDF

Upon further clarification of the current non-essential business and closures, we would like to provide the following information to all cottager owners and contractors.

Effective April 20th, 2020 at 11pm the community will enforce the following:

  • As per the direction of the Ontario government, all construction and renovations on recreational properties must stop immediately. This includes seasonal cottages. All current contractor passes are revoked after this date.
  • Renovations on residential homes can only continue if they started on or before April 4th, 2020. The First Nation requires written confirmation that the projects are allowed under the current guidelines by Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 or contractors and suppliers will not be permitted to access the road.
  • Emergency repairs to a property are permitted with advance notice sent to It is expected that the repairs will only entail fixing immediate issues and not extensive renovations
  • Any construction or maintenance required to close any current construction and renovation sites that are paused due to the COVID 19 emergency will be permitted for a limited period.
  • No new contractor and supplier access will be permitted unless the repair, construction or renovation is permitted by current Ontario non-essential service provider guidelines. Property owners are required to get written permission for these projects to move forward so any access can be granted.
  • At anytime, the Ontario Provincial Police, Treaty 3 Police Services and/or the Ministry of Labour may visit each property that have renovation and construction projects to determine if they are compliant with the current Ontario non-essential service provider guidelines

Please be aware that Washagmis Bay First Nation is followed restrictions and directives from the Ontario provincial government. The First Nation is required to follow these restrictions and directives and no exceptions will be made.

Chief and Council

Emergency Numbers:

  • Treaty Three Police: 1-807-548-5474
  • Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000
  • OPP: 1-800-310-1122
  • AAFS: 1-807-468-6224
  • Kenora Ambulance:1-807-468-3311



The following is a list of the permitted essential service providers who will be able to access cottage or community properties. The list includes services that the First Nation anticipates would need to access cottage or community properties. This list is effective April 4th and may change without notice:


20. Maintenance, repair and property management services strictly necessary to manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings.


27. Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.

28. Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.

29. Critical industrial construction activities required for,

i. the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
ii. significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced,
iii. industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance, and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

30. Residential construction projects where,

i. a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
ii. an above grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums, mixed use and other buildings, or
iii. the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before April 4, 2020.

31. Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing public safety.


1. Every person who provides short term rentals in rental accommodations shall ensure that any rentals booked after April 4, 2020 are only provided to individuals who are in need of housing during the emergency period.

2. Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of hotels, motels and student residences.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Washagamis Bay First Nations

Covid-19 Update

To all SERA members,

Washagamis Bay First Nations Covid-19 UPDATE – April 11, 2020

Under direction of Chief Marilyn Sinclair and Council please be advised.

Effective Saturday April 11, 2020 and until further notice The Washagamis Bay First Nation is enforcing an overnight curfew at the checkpoint for road traffic between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am.

  • All cottager pass requests received to date have been completed.
  • All requested passes are completed and there will be no one time guest passes until further notice.
  • Emergency vehicles will be allowed. The checkpoint is staffed 24/7. If an emergency vehicle needs access, then the barrier will be moved by the checkpoint staff.

Thank you for respecting the health and safety of all neighbours, and Kenora during this “stay at home order” across Canada. Failure to comply with regulations set out by Ontario Provincial Health or Health Canada will be handled by the Treaty Three Police.

If you have any questions regarding automobile passes contact: Mr. Andy Graham at

If you have a choice – stay home

Stay home during Covid-19


During the COVID-19 situation, the First Nation has developed a procedure of dashboard passes to limit access on the reserve road to our members. But they are concerned about their safety and that of their community due to a sudden influx of cottagers. The First Nation, as well as public health officials, are requesting that anyone who has a choice stays at home and does not visit their lake property.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada made this appeal recently:

“Urban dwellers/Cottagers should RESIST THE URGE to head to the cottage and rural properties as these communities have less capacity to manage COVID19.”

FOCA (Federation of Ontario Cottager’s Associations) has explained on their website:

Our rural communities have reduced capacity to accommodate sudden changes in supply demands. Many of us wouldn’t ordinarily open the cottage until nearer to the May long weekend. As we already know from our local grocery experiences, parts of the supply chain are under strain. Additionally, rural hospitals have limited capacity and resources, and you should consider where your health needs can best be met, in an emergency situation.

Furthermore, Dr. Sean Moore, chief of emergency services at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital advises:

“It’s not essential to go into a camp if you have another home in Winnipeg. Please, I would plead with people to try and respect the fact that we’re all trying to do our best to muck through this time of COVID.”

The local hospital only has 4 ICU beds, and presently five of the hospital’s physicians are in quarantine with flu-like symptoms.

“Stay where your doctor is, because we can’t provide that care that’s going to be necessary,” he said. “If, for some reason, you need to get to the emergency department, it’s going to be a mess.”

FOCA also has issued the following guidelines for those already self – isolating at the cottage:

  • Provision yourself (with food, drink, gas, hardware supplies, prescriptions) before leaving your off-season community, so that you will not need to make stops along the way. This is not the time for our usual credo to “buy local” in cottage country.
  • Continue to follow all the principles of social distancing at the cottage! Although cottage country is usually the place for relaxed rules, that cannot be the case anywhere for the foreseeable future. Cottages are often the gathering places for multiple households in an extended family; for now, and possibly for some time to come, that could put everyone at risk.
  • Develop an exit plan with immediate family, in case you develop any indications of illness while at your waterfront property.
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