The proposed project would make all this too dangerous to continue …

Jul 212014

As detailed in our article here, we have many specific, often technical, concerns, and the province’s responses have not actually answered the questions.

For example:

  • The local volunteer fire department has not been contacted to know what budget, training, or equipment they may need to handle emergencies. The province simply says call 911, as if magically skilled people will respond. Of course, in Toronto, such resources are available, but not in Muskoka.
  • The province states that the proposed generating station would occupy a similar footprint as the Bala #2 generating station that used to be on the site, when in fact the proposed generating station would have a footprint 25 times that of the Bala #2 generating station.
  • The province states that marine navigation would not be affected. But Transport Canada has not evaluated the downstream conditions and have not provided their final assessment.

We detailed this concerns in this Open Letter to Premier Wynne.

As shown below, the province’s reply is that “It is regrettable that you found previous correspondence unsatisfactory”. They simply don’t have an answer to the solid concerns we have stated.

June 20, 2014
Mr. Mitchell Shnier
Dear Mr. Shnier:
Premier Kathleen Wynne shared with the Honourable David Orazietti, Minister of Natural Resources, your letter regarding the proposed hydro-electric project in Bala.
It is regrettable that you found previous correspondence unsatisfactory.  The Minister of the Environment has confirmed that Swift River Energy Ltd., the proponent of the waterpower project, completed the Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project and could proceed with the project, subject to other permits and approvals.
The Ministry of Natural Resources has issued an approval under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA) for the location of the facility on a 0.07 hectare Crown land site. Regional and district staff will review the plans and specifications for the project that have been submitted by Swift River Energy Ltd.
I am confident that this review will result in ensuring that the proposed plans and specifications meet the requirements of the LRIA and that the project’s Class Environmental Assessment’s conditions of approval and commitments made by the proponent through the Class Environmental Assessment process will be met.
Original signed by Carrie Hayward
Carrie Hayward
Assistant Deputy Minister
Regional Operations Division
c:      Premier Kathleen Wynne
        Her Worship Alice Murphy, Mayor of the Township of Muskoka Lakes

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