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

Sep 282015
 

What we learned in the Wizard of Oz, from Glinda, the Good Witch of the South …

Dorothy: Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?
Glinda: You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Dorothy: I have?
Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?
Glinda: She wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

And we now know that the District Municipality of Muskoka and Township of Muskoka Lakes do have the power to stop construction of the proposed hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls. No need for ruby slippers or to “tap your heels together three times”, just follow these three no-cost steps:

  1. The Township of Muskoka Lakes cease their lease negotiations with the proponent.
    • The proponent has requested a multi-year lease for the; Township’s Portage Landing, south half of Don’s Bakery Parking Lot, and use of the north half of the Precambrian Shield parking lot (the relevant property locations are shown here).
    • This would ensure that the Heritage Attributes of Portage Landing continue to be protected by the Ontario Heritage Act and that the Township’s By-law 2013-52 would not be contravened.
    • Also, as required by the area’s businesses, the Township’s parking lots would continue to be available.
    • The Township should not be negotiating with a party that has legal action against them.
       
  2. The District Municipality of Muskoka not permit their riverbed under their bridge to be used by construction vehicles excavating for non-District purposes.
    • This will ensure the bridge is not damaged as the District’s Muskoka Road 169 bridge over the Bala north channel is 50 years old and due for rehabilitation in a few years. This bridge is crucial infrastrucure as the detour is 50 km, so any damage to the bridge would severely impact; emergency vehicle response, business deliveries, local commerce, and visitors.
       
  3. The District Municipality of Muskoka not permit the proponent to widen the shoulder of Muskoka Road 169.
    • This would keep pedestrians safe, as the proponent’s shoulder widening; would result in a 10′-high retaining wall, and for years would not permit pedestrians travel on the west side of Muskoka Road 169.
    • While the proponent has previously requested this widening, they have not met the District’s conditions, including; providing a Heritage Impact Assessment, providing a Letter of Credit and proof of insurance coverage, and providing detailed engineering drawings of the work planned.
       

Summary
The proponent’s proposed project would:

  • Be extremely dangerous to visitors and the municipality must do what it can to reduce its liability.
  • Threaten the District’s bridge.

The District and Township don’t even have to click their heels together three times and don’t need to spend any money, they can and only need to say no to the proponent’s requests.

  2 Responses to “The municipality can stop this proposed project – in just three steps”

  1. Amen!
    Great work!
    Please tell us if there is anything we can do to help!

  2. For years we have been told by TML that there is nothing they can do to stop this destruction in Bala. Seems there is and they should do what is right for the majority of Bala who Do Not want a dam. Stop It, they can.

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