Photo by Linda HeronPhoto Credit

ORA Comments to Township of Muskoka Lakes – Bala Falls

August 31, 2011:


ORA has reviewed the responses sent by Swift River Energy Limited (SREL) to the 156 questions provided to them. Far too many of the important questions are simply not answered by SREL. For example,

1. Proposed Project Design – is vitally important, and these questions were either completely ignored, or incorrect. The final project design is incomplete and inconsistent, so how can any responsible and ethical decision be made in favor of SREL.
2. Economic Impact Study – The proponent again conveniently disregards questions regarding the Economic Impact Study, or answers, but does not address the intent of the question. The integrity and intent of this Study is left in serious question with the lack of timing, sampling and application, so it has no meaning or usefulness.
3. Aesthetics – Questions regarding noise levels, business and tourist impacts, final appearance and landscaping have not been answered. Also, the public asks the important question about how much scenic flow there would be over the north and south falls. SREL’s response refers to other letters they have written that do not answer this question. As scenic flow is important – and is a negotiated amount, and more scenic flow means less revenue for SREL – this needs to be agreed upon as part of the approval process while the public has a strong negotiating position. If SREL gets permission to proceed, they would have no motivation to provide any increased scenic flow from the inadequate amount already offered.
4. Fish Habitat – These questions were ignored. SREL expects stakeholders to have blind faith that they will carry out their operations in a responsible way, and with integrity, when they have not shown these vitally important qualities in their environmental assessment or in their dealings with Stakeholders? 


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