Have you met Peggy Peterson? You should visit her. While you cannot see her in this picture, she is occupying much of the very contentious ground (gorgeous middle bottom of photo) that early explorer David Thompson portaged on many years ago.
There have been a few articles about Peggy’s effort in the local papers and THIS ONE from the TorStar / Metroland Group is decent. Gets the point across with some information about her, why she is protesting in Bala ( not her home ) and what she hopes to accomplish.
When i met Peggy, i was taken with her positive up-beat spirit, which after 50 some odd days camping out in various tents on “Turtle Island” is a testament to her strength and beliefs in our environment, culture and heritage.
There is often a small gang of supporters around the encampment. For many weeks now, and especially during Thanksgiving and Cranberry Festival, interest-seekers come by offering water, food, wood, coffee and verbal thank you’s to help get her through each day. I must confess, the amount of rain and cold weather (and wind storms) that Peggy has endured is incredible. Not sure that i would have the intestinal fortitude to do what she has done for the community of Bala and Muskoka in general. Humbled i am.
As a marketing / branding type of fellow, I am amazed that, what is called Burgess Island (for many good historical reasons) has suddenly become “Turtle Island”. Peggy got to know some ‘blanding’ turtles (an endangered species) as they crossed her path, and the rest is history. She is here to protect the trees, our Muskoka LORAX (check it out)
The bottom line here may be what the Wahta Mohawks, the Shawanaga First Nations and the Williams Treaties First Nations can do to be effective with our Ontario Premiere, Kathleen Wynne and Federal MP, Tony Clement. Need i mention our Hon. Prime Minster? Do they care about Bala? I think Tony does. Will there be a payout to the Proponent? “PAY THEM OUT” i say! By now, hopefully it’s obvious, a dreadful mistake was made 9 years ago.
As Mitchell Shnier points out, the Bala Falls in Muskoka are unique from 18 other nearby hydro-electric generating stations in Ontario. Our Falls are not off in some isolated river. These falls are a centre piece of Muskoka, a key part of tourism and it’s economic engine. An historical landscape to be protected.
Peggy Peterson knows these falls are unique. She knows that ‘Turtle Island’ is unique and that we don’t need or want a power plant in Bala. God bless you Peggy… for adding some additional life, zest and positive spirit to our cause. Thank you!