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

Dec 162017

Why is the District catering to the proponent, who is working without a required permit

As we noted in our November 22, 2017 delegation to the District Municipality of Muskoka’s Engineering and Public Works Committee meeting (copy here), while the proponent has received some permits from the District, the proponent changed their work without submitting the required information to the District.

The proponent was therefore working without the required permits from the District.

Anybody building a house would be required to have a Building Permit for the work they’re actually doing, yet the District:

  • Did not require the proponent to have the required permits.
  • Has allowed the proponent to continue working without all required permits for over a month.

While the District is being very secretive about what the permit conditions are and which were or are still not being met, we do know that the proponent still does not have a permit for their suspended dewatering pipe (photograph here).

The proponent has shown they have no regard for the environment. For example, while they decided to not use their insecticide-treated shipping containers as settling tanks, they have now placed three of these shipping containers directly into the Moon River, apparently as their downstream cofferdam. They have done this without testing to confirm whether the insecticide (which is known to be harmful to fish) is at a safe level, and without confirming there would be no invasive species introduced to the Moon River or other environmental damage.

The proponent still does not know whether their planned excavation work would release PCBs directly to the Moon River, and whether these PCBs would be pumped through their dewatering pipe.

After allowing the proponent to continue working without a permit for this dewatering pipe for over a month, the District apparently intends to approve issuing the required License of Occupation for this dewatering pipe, as noted on page 3 of the Agenda for the next District Council meeting (copy here). While such an unusual permit requirement would normally be first discussed at a meeting of the District’s Engineering and Public Works Committee, the District apparently intends to bypass this opportunity for technical review and public comment, by allowing this issue to instead proceed directly to the next District Council meeting.

If you are concerned; that the District is allowing work to proceed without the required permit, and that the District is bypassing that the Engineering and Public Works Committee first review this unusual permit application, you can e-mail District Council asking that:

  1. The proponent be required to stop using this dewatering pipe until they have a permit to do so.
  2. This permit request first be reviewed at a meeting of the Engineering and Public Works Committee at which the public has an opportunity to;
    • Learn about the many risks of this request.
    • Provide comment, to be considered as part of the Committee developing a recommendation on whether this request should be approved.

As District Council will be considering this permit request at their meeting this Monday December 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm, you should send an e-mail expressing your concerns before that. You can e-mail individual Councillors using their e-mail adddresses in the link here, or e-mail them all using this link.

It would be very helpful if you could attend this District Council meeting, which will be at 7:00 pm, this Monday December 18, 2017, at 70 Pine Street, Bracebridge. You can watch the live webcast of the District Council meeting using the link here.

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