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

Oct 192015

The Mayor and some Councillors justify their support for the proposed hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls by saying they cannot stop it, claiming only the province could. The fact is, the municipality can stop this proposed project, as explained here. One of the reasons is the recently-learned news that the District Municipality of Muskoka owns the riverbed under their Muskoka Road 169 bridge over the Bala north channel.

As we noted in our October 19, 2015 presentation to the Township’s Planning Committee of the Whole, on October 21, 2014 (a full year ago) the Ministry of Natural Resources informed the proponent that the MNR does not own the land below the District’s bridge, and that the municipality does, and that the proponent therefore is to so notify the District. The proponent did not do this. In fact, over the following months, the proponent requested and after some negotiation was granted both Driveway Entrance permits and approval to widen the shoulder of Muskoka Road 169 – both of which the proponent desperately needs for their proposed construction. As the proponent did not inform either Township or District Councillors of this unexpected riverbed ownership even though the MNR had requested they do so, the proponent was negotiating in bad faith.

A few days before this meeting, we provided our October 16, 2015 presentation to the Council of the Township of Muskoka Lakes, requesting they vote to enact the resolution passed at the earlier Committee of the Whole meeting. This requested that the District not permit blasting or excavation below the District’s bridge, as this could damage the bridge, which would result in a 50 km detour and huge inconvenience to the area businesses and public. Many thanks to Councillors Linda Barrick-Spearn, Sandy Currie, Allen Edwards, Phil Harding, Donelda Kruckel, and Ruth-Ellen Nishikawa for passing this resolution.

  One Response to “Proponent received crucial municipal permits while negotiating in bad faith”

  1. We are encouraging everyone whether they live here or just love Bala to write respectful letters to all of the District Councillors to ask them to respect the Resolution from Muskoka lakes Township to protect the District owed river bed and refuse access of any kind to Proponent. There could three Townships with a pro project agenda at the District table. the Town of Huntsville and Bracebridge actually are major shareholders in Lakeland Holdings who will financially benefit from the project going ahead. I did a Deputation before District Council in February which indicated that these towns cannot in good faith vote to destroy another town in Muskoka for financial gain. This is the definition of Conflict of Interest.
    It does make it a challenge to get the District to support this Resolution so the more people they hear from the better our chances it will pass when it comes up to District Council.
    Please tell people about this news and encourage them to help save Bala.
    Peggy Peterson

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