Filmmaker Rob Stewart’s Fight for Bala, Part 1
Strong supporter Brian Munro writes an excellent letter to the Bracebridge Examiner noting that other areas are very wise to build on the strength of their waterfalls. His letter is here, and the example brochure is here.
At our August 1, 2015 FUNdraiser, Marcia gives a great overview here.
An April 14, 2015 article by Muskoka411 is here.
A March 17, 2015 article in the Built Heritage News by article by Catherine Nasmith is about the battle to save the Bala falls.
The Spring 2015 issue of Community Heritage Ontario’s newsletter CHOnews has a front page article by Tom Millar about the battle to save the Bala falls.
Brenda Walton sent this letter to Premier Wynne on March 17, 2015:
Premier Kathleen Wynne,
Congratulations on being our first female in the office of Premier.
Please explain to me what is up the with Bala Falls.
Summer residents love it. Year round residents love it even more.
Ask someone from the prairies what they would give to have a waterfall flowing through their town. Bala Falls awakens your senses even if you are just driving by.
Imagine what the falls would mean to you if you lived there or holidayed there year after year. I live in Muskoka. I live on Lake Muskoka.
Hydro costs have increased sharply. I’m not sure how people on a fixed income absorb the increased costs. IF Swift River Energy is allowed to proceed with the hydro project in Bala will the increase in the flow of electricity mean cheaper hydro here in Muskoka?
This is truly the only logical explanation for residents having to sacrificing this Natural Wonder. Is my reasoning correct?
Many of my friends say that the power generated will be sold cheaply to the U.S. to help out America. Most of our summer population is from America.
Isn’t Bala Falls one of those destinations our highly valued tourists and cottage owners alike seek out?
Swift River Energy is in it for the money. Even I get that.
Premier Wynne I hear you are a fair person. I am in favour of green energy.
Please look again at the Provincial Policy green blanket that makes it okay to destroy a gem. What is the real present and future construction costs, costs to local business. Will energy savings come close to recouping these costs?
Not to mention the cost of diminishing a beautiful Ontario small town.
Please come to Bala Falls and listen to it. Walk around it. Just be there.
It is powerful. It clears your mind and calls on your imagination.
Please explain why so many people have to give this up?
Resident of Muskoka Lakes
Ted Farley sent this letter to Township of Muskoka Lakes and District Municipality of Muskoka Councillors, as well as to Premier Wynne and several Ministers. As a result of an apparently ill-informed response from Mayor Furniss, Ted then sent this letter, and a Bala resident sent this Letter to the Editor to the local media.
Long-time supporter Brian Munro has shared several passionate pieces:
- As previously circulated, this Valentine’s Day card to the Bala Falls and a great poster showing the message from PaddleShack, as photographed by John Wright.
- A summary of some disasters the proponent could create.
- Examples of how this proposed project would be bad for the area’s economy and bad for all of Ontario.
- The Bala proponent would be paid a very high and subsidized rate for electricity even when it is not needed. This article shows that in 2013, Ontario taxpayers paid over a billion dollars for this subsidy to private developers for unneeded electricity that had to be exported at a loss. This article and this article note that the Auditor General of Ontario’s 2011 annual report showed that from 2005 to 2011 Ontario lost 1.8 billion dollars through electricity exports. So Ontario’s justifying renewable energy projects such as the proposed Bala falls project through huge taxpayer-funded subsidies is clearly an on-going and growing problem.
- An April 8, 2015 summary.
Tom Adams is a knowledgable and deservedly well-respected energy critic, and is frequently quoted in the press and interviewed on television about Ontario’s energy pricing and provincial energy policies. He is a tireless researcher and recently co-authored with Ross McKitrick the report “What Goes Up … Ontario’s Soaring Electricty Prices and How to Get Them Down“, which was well-received and widely reported a few months ago (such as here, here, and here). Tom’s web site is here, and you can follow him on twitter here.
Tom clearly sees that the proposed hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls is wrong, and posted this article on his web site and was interviewed by MooseFM (item posted at the bottom of this article). Tom visited Bala to meet Peggy and others to better understand the situation, and he also presented to the Township of Muskoka Lakes Council on February 13, 2015.
Muskoka Lakes Association
The Muskoka Lakes Association was formed over 120 years ago and has over 2,400 member families, representing 15,000 people. The Association’s activities include protecting Muskoka’s water quality through the most comprehensive water monitoring of any lake association in Canada, advocating for fair taxation, promoting responsible land use, and taking action on issues that affect waterfront property owners.
After many years of monitoring, on February 5, 2015 the MLA Board of Directors approved a resolution which confirmed its position this the proposed hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls is not an appropriate use of the land and therefore the Muskoka Lakes Association opposes this proposed development.
The MLA has therefore posted this web site notice, (screen capture here.), sent this letter to the Township of Muskoka Lakes, and has sent similar letters to the District Municipality of Muskoka, Premier Wynne, and the Wahta Mohawks First Nation.