Hello Minister Ballard, and congratulations on your appointment as Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.
Bala is delighted that you are a Minister that can relate to small town issues, as the proposed construction of a hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls (25 km north-west of Gravenhurst) is a unique and important situation. After 12 years of failing to show this could be done safely, the proponent still does not have the approvals needed, and there has been no construction to date.
The province can now choose to do the right thing (as your predecessor Glen Murray finally did for Grassy Narrows):
- Will the area’s economy be maintained for the people on the left (click for a larger view).
- Or would this all become too dangerous, as hydro-electric generating stations are deadly to those nearby. The proposed generating station at the Bala falls would have more than ten times the flow of the nearby Wilson’s Falls generating station, which caused the drowning of a 16-year-old boy in 2008.
The proponent has made so many changes after their 2013 environmental approval that their plans now risk; flooding Lake Muskoka, destroying the highway bridge, and dumping contaminated materials into the Moon River.
Much more information is available at SaveTheBalaFalls.com
Minister Ballard, we request:
- That the MOECC inform the proponent that while their 2013 environmental approval is still valid, their new plans do not have approval.
- To meet with you, so that we can present the safe way to proceed.
Please contact us at info@SaveTheBalaFalls.com, we would be happy to provide additional documents and explanation.
[The pdf version of this letter as sent is here.]