We’ve heard many justifications for the proposed hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls, but that is like someone ranting on and on about how beautiful their wedding is going to be – the chair covers, the napkin rings, the venue, the food, and on and on and on. Sure it’s easy to make a beautiful wedding, all you need is money – and the proponent has shown he’s inherited plenty of that.
But the thing about a wedding is there needs to be someone to marry. You can ignore the problem for a while, but inevitably, it is a show-stopper of a problem doomed to be a complete waste of time and money.
So the justifications and excuses we hear for the proposed Bala project are just meaningless and irrelevant babble. And it is despicable that those spouting such babble are not insisting that the proponent’s safety plan be disclosed. If one is going to create an extreme new danger, then part of that responsibility is to show exactly how the public would be adequately warned and informed.
The fundamental problem for the proposed Bala project is unsuspecting tourists would be drowned, as the information available so far is that the proponent couldn’t and wouldn’t adequately warn of the dangers.
And the dangers are real:
- In 2009, 19-year-old Victoria Cunningham was drowned at the intake of the Île Maligne hydro-electric generating station near Alma, Québec.
- In 2008, 16-year-old Sabby Perez was drowned by the tailrace flow of the Wilson’s Falls hydro-electric generating station, which is about 40 km from Bala.
- The proposed Bala project would have more than ten times the flow of the proven-deadly Wilson’s Falls generating station, and as detailed here, people would be drowned just 45 seconds after tipping out of a canoe in Bala.
So that Bala doesn’t become the drowning capital of Muskoka, infamous for Tony’s death machine, the proposed Bala project should not be allowed to operate until the public has been shown that it could and would be operated safely. It is simply criminally small-minded to rant on about the perceived benefits or inevitability of this disaster while ignoring how deadly it would be.