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

Oct 132017
 

Incorrect information from the proponent
As detailed in our article here, the proponent has long been providing misinformation to the public, and more recently they are also providing misinformation to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, as part of an application for approval.

But now the proponent is providing misinformation in fanciful renderings with which they are attempting to mislead the public. For this Bala Cranberry Festival weekend, the proponent has defaced Bala with graphics that are; wrong in what they show, and are wrong in what they neglect to show. Detail is provided in our article here(click on each image for a larger view).

And on this topic, we note that in the nine years that the SaveTheBalaFalls.com web site has been providing the community with information on the proposed project to build a hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls, and for the hundreds of articles posted on it (you can review articles older than those listed under “Recent Articles” using the “Articles by month” pull-down at the very bottom-right at SaveTheBalaFalls.com), the proponent has never contacted us to inform us of any errors on our web site, nor have they refuted any of the information on our web site.
 

No answers or responses from the proponent
In their written replies to us, the MOECC and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry often suggest we contact the proponent, or that we should refer to the proponent’s web site, for answers.

Over the past two years we have written 11 polite and respectful letters asking the proponent questions, but they do not respond.

We also check the proponent’s web site regularly, and there is no useful information on that either. The proponent does not post their recent approvals, their posted drawings are out-of-date, and their renderings are incorrect.

In summary, the proponent only provides misinformation to the public.
 

Current status
The proponent has received some approvals for the pre-construction work to build a proposed hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls – for example, their current mess and destruction is to build an upstream cofferdam between the highway bridge and Bala north dam.

But the proponent still needs approvals to begin the construction work. That is an odd decision they’ve made to start work before they have all the approvals they need to actually do the work.

Our main concern is that it would be unprecedented to build a hydro-electric generating station in the middle of a very popular in-water recreational area, yet the government and proponent refuse to disclose a safety plan to show how, or if, the proposed project could be operated safely.

Our assessment is that the proponent has made so many changes to their plans that received environmental approval in 2013, that they would be building a different – and too dangerous – project. We therefore continue to ask the government to inform the proponent that if they wish to proceed with their current plans, the proponent be required to submit an Addendum for their environmental assessment.

In several other places in Ontario, projects with much more work done than here have been cancelled, and if the proponent can’t show they could do this safely, then we’re asking that this proposed project be cancelled. And we’ll keep at it, as we have for the past 12 years.
 

Proponent’s Construction Meeting
On Thursday September 21, 2017 the proponent hosted a public meeting (only their fourth in the more than 12 years it has been pursuing this opportunity) at the Bala community centre.

An article concerning the incorrect and uninformed statements they made at the meeting is posted here.
 

Recent happenings
An article with video from the proponent’s Construction Meeting and other recent media and political updates is here.

In addition, well-known energy expert Tom Adams has posted a Guest Post from SaveTheBalaFalls.com. That post notes the correlation that highly controversial proposed energy projects are cancelled in ridings held by Liberals, but are approved by the MOECC in ridings held by the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. More detail is in the article here.

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