Cottagers and residents in the Bala Falls area are calling on Premier Doug Ford to keep a campaign promise and shut down a hydroelectric project in the Muskoka town before it’s too late.
Ford called the project, which is now under construction, a “big scam” during the Progressive Conservative leadership campaign. He blamed the Liberal government for it and pledged, “As premier I will clean up this mess. I will be back here in this same spot and we will stop this project.”
But his government hasn’t taken any action since the June 7 election — and a news release last week from Environment Minister Rod Phillips seemed to fall short of Ford’s promise.
The release said the government would “respond to concerns raised by the community about projects such as the North Bala Small Hydro Project, which is proceeding subject to a number of permits and approvals in place that require the facility to operate in the most environmentally responsible way.”
That sounds like a lot of “spin” from Ford’s publicity machine, Mitchell Shnier of the activist group SaveTheBalaFalls.com said Tuesday.
Shnier and other opponents of the hydroelectric project on the Muskoka town’s picturesque Moon River cascade are worried that if construction is allowed to continue at its current speedy rate, it will soon be too late to reverse.