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For me it is All About Being of Service & Living the Life of the Give-Away....

Being Mindful of those who are unable to speak for themselves; our Non-Two Legged Relations and the Future Generations.

It's about walking on the Canka Luta Waste Behind the Cannunpa and the ceremonies.

It's about Mindfulness and Respect. It's about Honesty and owning up to my foibles.

It's about: Mi Takuye Oyacin

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Moon River: Bala Falls: Grannie Laughing Eagle

The Moon River that runs through the small community of Bala, Ontario has long been one of the main routes between Georgian Bay and the Muskoka Lakes for the indigenous people who lived and traveled through the area including the Wendat, the Anishnabe, the Haudenosaunee and the Metis. Early explorers and settlers in this region also used this route, first by canoe, later by steamship, transferring at Bala. The are several portages along the route including the now spectacular one at Bala Falls (Originally Bala rapids).

For various reasons the local first nations and Metis communities have not been particularly obvious & forthcoming in their support for those honouring the water, protecting the land and the endangered species in the area. Folks including my good friend Peggy Peterson, the Save the Bala Falls team, the Friends of Muskoka among others who are working to prevent the destruction of this community and the beautiful Bala Falls through the construction of a new hydro dam at the falls by Swift River Energy Ltd (SREL) 

May 10th however this changed...the Right Honourable James Barlteman, former lieutenant governor of the Province of Ontario, and a member of the Rama Chippewa FN has come on board. He has formally requested a Part II individual EA order for the proposed Bala small hydro project. (and I quote from his email)

"....Bala falls may not be the rain forest. And the threatened Blanding’s turtle is not worth poaching for ivory. But it is the same thing on a smaller scale. It is exploitation of the environment and the local people for private profit at the bidding of a distant government (remember Oakville?).

Ontario has precious few uncluttered water falls left. This Muskoka gem is not yet lost. The proponent is not meeting their environmental commitments. The government needs to be roused to realize this.

-The Wynne government is still dogmatically determined to sacrifice the Bala falls, and Bala, to a redundant small hydro plant and higher hydro bills. The power will be subsidized. It is unneeded. The plant is therefore not cost effective.

-After a 10-year battle, the developer still does not have all the necessary approvals (until May 15 anyway, but still no mitigating permit for the Blanding’s turtle) to begin construction. .

Appropriately, Heritage Canada listed the Bala falls as an Endangered Natural Site in 2012, the same year that the province approved the damage that the contractor then intended to inflict on the falls.
-However, that approved planned damage has now escalated! My letter below lists the planned modifications and other changes. Because of these unapproved changes, I (and others) have requested a Part II Individual

Environmental Assessment to be required before these modifications receive authorization. As a socially and environmentally responsible voter and taxpayer, I am entreating you to forward this letter to register your objection to these changes. These significant modifications are intended despite climate change and the increased Muskoka flooding; unanswered disaffection expressed by neighbouring First Nations; and building in the habitat of the protected Blanding’s turtle.

Dear Minister Murray:
In view of circumstantial and unapproved significant modifications planned subsequent to approval of the 2012 Addendum, I hereby also request a Part II individual EA order for the proposed Bala small hydro project.

In accordance with stated government policy, please furnish me with a reply by mail or via my email below.

Yours Truly,
Jim Bartleman jkbartleman@gmail.com
Perth and
C/O Chippewas of Rama First Nation
5884 Rama Road, Suite 200
Rama, Ontario
L3V 6H6"

Thank you, your honour. Your support is very much appreciated.

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