Please forgive the length of this blog but I felt it important and compelling reading about what transpired at South Falls, near Sundridge, written as a somewhat personal and somewhat educational note to inform us about what could transpire in Bala. While i have not identified the writer, this was the email written. In addition, if you’d like to read more, there is a page on the SaveTheBalaFalls Web site pertaining to this at: http://savethebalafalls.com/?p=5086
“Sorry I could not get back sooner to you. This unsightly dam is located in South River Ont. Not too far of a drive from Bala. Just straight up hwy 11 to Sundridge, South River turn off. South River approx. 8km N of Sundridge. Turn right down Ottawa St at the lights and go to Isabella St. Here you turn Left and follow around. It will bring you to former gorgeous Falls sight but now you will see not the beautiful cascades of water but the immense cement building and pipes .
There are 2 bridges and the water on both bridges wouldrush down from the South to the North but now is basically dried up and exposed rock faces and horrid cement blockades. It really would be worth your while to see what these Provincial aided contracts can do to old historic sites. It is to my mind a travesty and they have the nerve to call it “green renewable energy” after they have destroyed all the beauty.
There is a book ‘Waterfalls of Ontario’ showing all our treasures of our small communities (including South River) as it WAS! And Bala Falls. It is written by Mark Harris and I am thinking if all these beautiful historic landmarks keep being devastated by the Grants and encouragement of our provincial government, he will have a full book he can rewrite of before and after shots. The beauty and uniqueness of our small towns gone forever. The devastation of our Falls was for a measly 880 KW , makes no sense what so ever . A company from Quebec did our damage, either Montreal or Sherbrooke, not sure on that and its name is ‘HYDROSYS’. A local realtor got in on the offering from government with these small projects and it was passed before anyone knew about it.
Your outfit of course is Swift River Energy Ltd. they are associated with The Horizon Legacy Group and lobbyist Marc Desmarais and all seem to have the same address at 2300 Yonge St. Unit801 Toronto, M4P 1E4. If you can believe, the company of Swift River was thought up by two buddies who played squash together and could see the McGuinty Govt. Was offering sweet deals for these smaller dams in our communities. The Bala dam will only produce 4.5 MW (and I doubt even that!) in energy, and is so sad to think of the upheaval and destruction on the gorgeous Falls for so little. It is a blight on our small communities for the Provincial Govt. to entice and make it easy for these power corporations to come in and destroy what defines us. It is our Heritage and it should not be up for sale.
They have also said that there would be “No Compensation for Lost Business”. Our Provincial Liberal Government is the biggest Bully out there helping the other Bully’s do their dirty little deals. They have offered 184 contracts and giving premium prices to the developers and waiving tariffs in order to streamline the approvals. We are then faced with spending money to protect our Heritage sights against these upshot power companies. Swift River is also now looking at a dam to build in Manitoulin as well as the Bala dam. It is such a farce that you have Oakville Mayor Rob Burton putting the pressure on so he doesn’t get a coal fire generation plant in his backyard, but allegedly is wanting to help finance South River Energy to go ahead and destroy another communities backyard. I wish you all the luck in the World as you will need it and I hope so much that you are successful in keeping Bala the way it was meant to be and not a mess of cement and pipes and Lost Falls as what happened in South River, Ont.
Warmest Regards and Wishes”
So sad – let’s not allow this here in Bala