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

Apr 122016

Updates on the proposed plan to build a hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls.

The MNR and their Water Management Plan are Out of Control

Photo Credit: Susan O’Connor of Lake Joseph

This past winter, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNR) could have and should have lowered the Lake Muskoka water level by 16″ more than they did, so they contributed to the resulting flooding and damage, such as shown in this photograph. More detail is here.

This same group within the MNR is ignoring our concerns that the proponent’s plans to construct a proposed hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls would have too high a probability of flooding Lake Muskoka. The MNR is also not accepting their responsibility for public safety, and are making ridiculous statements – which can’t be ignored as the result would be drowning unsuspecting tourists.

Our booth at the Cottage Life Show

Some of our many volunteers at the 2016 Spring Cottage Life Show

We had a great three days at the Cottage Life Show – which was so busy they had to briefly close the entire International Centre’s parking lot even on the Friday. We had the opportunity to introduce and explain the situation to a huge number of people, our hand-out brochure is here. We are still entering the many new e-Newsletter subscriptions and Memberships received at the show, and will be sending out introductory information to our many new supporters soon.

At the show, we also learned that some people who think the proposed Bala generating station should proceed don’t understand that the proposed Bala generating station would:

  • Create over ten times the flow of the Wilson’s Falls generating station, whose operator confirms the 2008 drowning of a 16 year-old-boy there in 2008 was caused by their station.
  • Be started, automatically and remotely, with no warning or operator present, at about noon on summer days, just when people would be in the water a few feet away.

And that due to the public and private docks nearby, swimming and wading could not be prohibited in the area.

We’re asking the provincial government to not provide any further approvals until the proponent has presented a plan showing how they could safely operate their proposed generating station.

MPP Norm Miller

As a result of a great meeting with our MPP Norm Miller:

  • He was able to read our Petition to the Ontario legislature, on April 4, 2016. You can view the video here, the Hansard record is here, and our Petition is here.
  • He presented two written Order Paper questions to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (see questions 654 and 657, near the bottom here).

Ontario Rivers Alliance
The Ontario Rivers Alliance advocates for healthy river ecosystems in Ontario. They have included an article about’s work in their April 2016 Newsletter here.

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