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

Sep 162014

The proponent is providing incorrect and misleading information to the public. They are making up answers to things they don’t know. This is a terrible way to run a business, makes a mockery of what should be a transparent process for works on public property, and is an insult to the taxpayers of Ontario.

Some examples are in the table below.

Did you know …
But …
Did you know that the Bracebridge Falls hydro-electric generating station, and the two stations upstream of it all have barbed-wire fencing. When we ask the proponent if the proposed Bala hydro-electric generating station would have barbed-wire fencing they say they have no plans for it.
The proponent has been asked if Margaret Burgess Park would be fenced-off during operation to prevent people from entering the water. The proponent responds they don’t plan on it.
The above two responses are completely insulting and meaningless. The proponent has had nine years to figure this out. The only real answer is for the proponent to ask their lawyer and insurance company what study or report is needed to determine whether and where and what type of fencing would be required, and the proponent should get answers from a qualified, impartial, and authoritative organization.Before that, they should not be misleading the public by making up fake answers about things they don’t know.
The proponent claims there are safer portage routes as alternatives to the Bala Portage. It is clear the proponent, and even their “portaging expert” have never actually portaged any of these routes, as they didn’t realize the problem of trying to paddle upstream on Burgess Creek under Muskoka Road 169, nor of walking in a lane of traffic on River Street or Portage Street, nor of crossing Muskoka Road 169 south of the curve so approaching cars can’t be seen in advance. And they didn’t consider that the suggested portage route along Portage Street requires trespassing on private property.
The proponent and MNR claim there would be no impact on marine navigation downstream of their proposed generating station. Transport Canada has not yet determined this. In any case, the proponent has not considered the route boats need to use when docking, nor the safe water speeds for the different types of boats. Wishful conjecture is not a replacement for getting the facts.
The proponent claims their current proposal would have a “positive impact to portage”. The proponent’s current proposal would actually obstruct and eliminate the Bala Portage. The proponent has provided incorrect information to the public.
The proponent claims that after their proposed generating station is built, the summer flow over the Bala falls would remain the same – 1 m³/s over each of the falls. As shown in the video in this article, the existing flow over the Bala north falls – even in August – is much more than a trickle of 1 m³/s. The proponent is trying to use this lie to justify allowing only 1 m³/s of flow over both Bala falls throughout the year (except times during the spring freshet when their proposed generating station couldn’t handle the remainder of the flow).
The proponent claims the Bala #2 generating station that used to be on the Crown land site south of the Bala north falls would have obstructed Bala Portage. The red lines on the figure in this article, are from an official survey from 1924, and this shows that there was a 16′-width on the Crown land for the Bala Portage to continue past the Bala #2 generating station. Furthermore, the old photograph in that same article shows a well-worn path along this route beside the Bala #2 generating station, showing indeed people did walk and portage past the Bala #2 generating station. Also the first and last old photographs in this article, show canoes pulled-up on the shore beside the Bala north falls, further showing that this was the where people canoed and portaged.


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