At the All Candidates meeting at the Bala Community Centre on September 22, 2014, Don Furniss said:
Did you know that Swift has now obtained all the permitting necessary required to start construction of cofferdams above and below the north dam. This project is moving forward.
Listen for yourself, by clicking on the triangle at the left end of the player below.
Don, your statement is simply not true.
For the proponent to begin construction, they require the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to provide Plans and Specifications approval under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act. The MNRF can then issue a Work Permit, and then before any construction could begin the proponent requires a signed Lease to Construct, also from the MNRF.
However, in an e-mail dated October 15, 2014 Tracey Mill, the Deputy Minister of the MNRF stated:
MNRF regional engineering and district staff are currently reviewing the plans, specifications and supporting documentation that SREL submitted for LRIA approval. LRIA approval will not be granted until MNRF is satisfied that LRIA requirements are met.
As part of LRIA approvals, the proponent has submitted supporting information with respect to their planned public safety measures associated with the waterpower facility and operations. This information is currently being reviewed by MNRF regional engineering and district staff.
That is, the proponent does not yet have Plans and Specifications approval from the MNRF, so they also don’t have the required Lease to Construct. To build these cofferdams the proponent needs to access the Crown land. So Don, the proponent does not have “all the permitting necessary”.
Furthermore, to build the cofferdams the proponent would also require from the Township of Muskoka Lakes a Driveway Entrance permit from Bala Falls road to the Crown land beside Purk’s Place. The proponent does not have this approval either.
So Don, this is what you get for meeting directly with the proponent – misinformation and misunderstanding. You’re a stooge for the proponent, blindly repeating everything they tell you. As a result, you’re spreading their false information. You are acting for a developer. This is entirely inappropriate for a sitting Councillor and even more worrisome that you are a candidate for Mayor. This is a disservice to the public, and you should apologize.