For over ten years, a proponent has been pursuing building a hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls (Bala is 25 km north-west of Gravenhurst). And for these ten years, a very strong community effort has been asking; would it be safe, would it be beautiful as the area is, and would there be enough water over the falls to continue to draw people to the area as tourism is very important to the economy.
But instead of answers …
- The proponent continues to avoid answering the public’s questions.
- The Ministry of Natural Resources delays responding to Freedom of Information requests.
- Transport Canada won’t respond to questions of public safety and land ownership resulting from their not checking the incorrect and incomplete information from the proponent. Transport Canada won’t even clarify whether their approval included assessing boating safety on the Moon River and Mill Stream, as the MNR assumes.
- The local provincial and federal politicians won’t help. We are very disappointed in Tony Clement’s refusal to advocate for his Muskoka constituents.
- The proponent’s plans include work for which they do not have environmental approval, but the Ministry of the Environment won’t respond to our questions about this.
- The environmental assessment process has been a farce. For example while the legislation has provision to require a proposed project provide further study or even be cancelled, neither of these have ever happened. That is, for all the staff at the Ministry of the Environment, they’ve never found a project they didn’t like.
- The proponent is reneging on important commitments they made in their orginal proposal, and the Ministry of Natural Resource is allowing this.