|That Transport Canada has provided approval.
This is irrelevant, as this approval:
- Did not consider the downstream flows, as the Moon River is excluded from Transport Canada’s consideration under the Navigation Protection Act.
- Did not consider swimming, wading, or scuba diving, as this is not Transport Canada’s expertise or mandate (in fact, the proponent has not provided any assessment of in-water safety even though they have committed they would “not generally diminish the public’s enjoyment of the area for swimming, boating …”).
The above are more dangerous than the current situation as the treacherously turbulent flows would be hundreds of feet closer to the in-water recreational areas than the natural flows through the south channel. And the flows would be remotely- and automatically-started, silently and without warning.
|It would be the proponent’s responsibility to operate their proposed generating station safely.
The public must be informed how the proponent would accomplish this impossible task, as:
- It would be unprecedented to locate a hydro-electric generating station in the middle of an extremely popular in-water recreational area.
- The dangerous tailrace flow from the Wilson’s Falls generating station, which was less than one-tenth that from the proposed Bala station, caused the drowning of a 16-year-old boy a few years ago. This is a real and, tragically, proven life-threatening danger.
- It has been recommended by the Lifesaving Society of Canada that the proponent present their plans to the public before any further approvals are provided, to ensure these could actually be implemented.
|Wading below the Bala north dam could continue as it is higher in elevation than the Moon River.
This is as ridiculous as telling your child to play on the shoulder of a highway – sure it is “safe” there, but deadly just a few feet away.
|Because the Bracebridge Falls generating station is upstream of the municipal docks and swimming area there, the proposed Bala station could also be operated safely.
This is false, as the situation is entirely different, for example:
- In Bracebridge there is a 110′-long concrete breakwater directing the dangerous tailrace flows away from the municipal docks – there would be no such protection in Bala.
- In Bracebridge the simming area is safely 800′ downstream, but in Bala it would be just a few feet away.
- The proposed Bala station would start – unattended, automatically, and without warning – at about noon on summer days, and would have more than 3½ times the flow of the Bracebridge station.
- While nobody goes in the water in Bracebridge (they just look at the water while standing on a concrete platform, from behind a chain-link fence), in Bala there are many private and public docks both upstream and downstream, and most of the shoreline is private – so it would not be possible to keep people from the water.