- Attend a special Township of Muskoka Lakes Council meeting this Friday July 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm, in the Council Chambers in Port Carling.
This is short notice, but events are happening quickly, please come out, this is important.
- Do come visit our FUNdraiser this Saturday July 4, 2015 any time from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, but DO NOT ENTER Margaret Burgess Park or wear your Save the Bala Falls T-shirts as you enter Don’s Bakery.
- Note that the proponent has not given permission for the Moon River Property Owners Association’s Canada Day party free cupcake, ice cream and fireworks event this Saturday July 4, so this event has been cancelled.
- Check out Rob Stewart’s article in the Huffington Post and video introducing his work to save the Bala falls and his Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to produce a more detailed documentary and to support SaveTheBalaFalls.com
Proponent reneges and says NO TRESPASSING to all of Margaret Burgess Park on Saturday
The Township of Muskoka Lakes passed a resolution on May 15, 2015 accepting the proponent’s offer that the proponent would not use or impact Margaret Burgess Park in return for using the Township’s Portage Landing (the land south of the proposed construction site) for the two years of their proposed construction.
That is, the proponent agreed they would not use or impact Margaret Burgess Park (which is the Crown land owned by the Ministry of Natural Resources, directly north of the Bala north falls).
However, earlier this week the proponent sent out two Notices of Trespass:
- This notice not allowing SaveTheBalaFalls.com “or its guests” to use Margaret Burgess Park (or Diver’s Point, or the land beside Purk’s Place).
- This notice not allowing the Moon River Property Owners Association to use Margaret Burgess Park for their 5th annual free Canada Day party, which includes cupcakes, ice cream, and fireworks, and to which they invited everyone.
Both notices stated:
- “you and your group are not, under any circumstances, permitted access to, nor permitted to use for any public gathering or event, any of the following list of provincially owned property in Bala”
- “If you do not comply with the above, the Ontario Provincial Police (‘OPP’) will be contacted and instructed to arrest you and to charge you with an offence.”
- “No further warnings will be given.”
As both SaveTheBalaFalls.com and MRPOA have run similar events in Margaret Burgess Park in the past, clearly the proponent has already reneged on their agreement to not impact Margaret Burgess Park, and this is even before they start their proposed construction. Further, the proponent refused:
- Provide evidence that they have the authority to issue these Notices of Trespass.
- To tell us to whom we need to request permission and how much in advance.
- To tell us for what events permission is now required to use Margaret Burgess Park (for example, it is also used for Church picnics, weddings, and bus-loads of tourists).
It appears the proponent thinks they are running the town and don’t have to answer to anyone.
We need to let the Township of Muskoka Lakes Council know that the proponent is not honouring their agreement. Please attend the Council meeting tomorrow, Friday July 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm in Port Carling (1 Bailey Street). We don’t often ask everyone to attend a Council meeting, but this one is important, and as this issue is not on the Agenda, we need to show there is very strong community interest for this completely inappropriate attempt by the proponent to exert control over this public property.
While Don’s Bakery has been a fantastic supporter, their landlord has told them they are not to allow any support of SaveTheBalaFalls.com on their property. So please don’t look like supporters when you go in to support Don’s Bakery.
Rob Stewart and Huffington Post
Award-winning documentary film maker Rob Stewart has just had an article published in the Huffington Post and has released a video about his work to save the Bala falls. The purpose of this article and video is to inform people – he has a world-wide audience – about this issue, and to raise funds (through this Indiegogo campaign) for both SaveTheBalaFalls.com and for a longer documentary with more detail about what is wrong with this proposed project.