IMPORTANT UPDATE - WRITE TODAY!
Write By October 31st to the Ontario Land Tribunal as they have extended the deadline for participant statements from concerned residents until November 1st, 2021 to be considered at the January 21, 2022 Second Case Conference. Now you can write directly to the OLT to have your views heard.
The tribunal member will consider your statement but you do not speak at the Case Conference.
1. CLICK and Download the Participation Statement HERE
2. Enter case number PL210241 and 2022/01/21 for Date of Case Management Conference/Hearing.
3. Fill in the participant statement on the form and write your statement.
4. Save, attach and you must email the document by October 31st to Azeem, the Case Coordinator and c.c. the parties below representing the Town of Bracebridge, The District of Muskoka, South Bracebridge Environmental Protection Group Inc, and the Applicant:
Send to: Azeem.email@example.com
Copy to: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
HERE ARE SOME TALKING POINTS BUT FEEL FREE TO VOICE YOUR OWN PERSONAL CONCERNS
_______________________ADDITIONAL INFO ___________________________
Points you may want to discuss in your participation statement or maybe you have other concerns:
- Without knowing the boundaries, structures and connections in Henry Marsh and the surrounding Beaumont wetland complex, how can the environment be protected?
- Without mapping and knowing the habitat and patterns of the endangered and threatened species, (like the Blanding's Turtle), how will they be protected?
- Without even thinking about the impact of thousands of students on this ecologically sensitive land, in addition to the buildings, roads, and parking lots of this oversized project, are our town leaders being good stewards of the land?
- Has the Town of Bracebridge and District of Muskoka councillors really honoured their own Environmental Protection Policy?: The Official Plan identifies the following, of which they are in Breach of all their own policies:
- A6.5.1, “the health and integrity of the natural environment, which is one of the Town’s most valuable resources, will be protected.”
- A220.127.116.11 “a goal of the Plan to protect and enhance significant natural environmental features and ecological functions, including the quality of water in the Town”
- A18.104.22.168, it is “an objective of the Plan to preserve wetlands and protect adjacent lands to maintain the ecological function of the wetland, where appropriate”
- Section A22.214.171.124, “it is an objective of the Plan to protect and maintain significant wildlife habitat, including habitat of threatened and endangered species”
- EA126.96.36.199: To “encourage the protection of the Town’s natural attributes, such as its rural character, water quality of its lakes and rivers as well as other natural environmental features in order to ensure that the recreational and tourism uses that rely upon these attributes continue to thrive.
- Despite claims of environmental protections, the road through the school (labeled Highway 118 bypass) goes right over the “protected” areas because it was approved many years ago - before our current environmental standards were in place. Don't approve this, improve this.
- Is this the start of another battle to stop the 118 Highway Bypass, after it was approved but then shelved over residents’ protests years ago?
- Are elected leaders being good stewards of the quality of life in Bracebridge when they don’t ask about the effects on public services?
- The school and summer camp have no water access and, as suggested by the Muskoka Royale College (MRC) website, 1800 students will be using local beaches that are already overcrowded.
- How will this increased population affect Emergency Services such as fire, police and ambulance? Who will pay for it?
- How will noise and light affect species and their habitat and the serenity of the lakefront that we all cherish, especially when considering the MRC’S intention to host sporting events with other schools during the year and a camp in the summer?
- How will traffic from the school and summer camp impact the town and local neighborhood rural and shoreline roads?
- Why hasn’t the town challenged the job creation claims of the developer? Experts have said that the claims aren’t realistic. Dewey Institute is failing and Nipissing University pulled out of Bracebridge. Georgian College is not a boarding school, and MRC tries to compare itself to this.
Study requests you may want to discuss:
- An Ontario Wetland Evaluation System Study (OWES) - to evaluate and determine the significance of wetlands based on science according to Ontario's Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), issued under the authority of the Planning Act.
- An Economic Impact Study - how this will affect our infrastructure and economy.
- A Viability Study - can this business survive as experts have said it can’t.
- A Character And Compatibility Study - do the structures suit the Muskoka Landscape and area.
- An Impact Study On Social Services - with the increase of 2,000 people to the community, how will this be financed and how will access to our services be affected.
Click here to be redirected to our
GoFundMe - Protect Muskoka Campaign today!
On February 20, 2021 as thousands of the public including a land planner, legal team, environmental consultants and even Ontario Nature opposed the application and requested more studies including an Ontario Wetlands Evaluation Study.
The Mayor and Councilors of the Town of Bracebridge DID NOT LISTEN TO THE PUBLIC VOICE and still approved the rezoning of lands from Open Space to Institutional to allow for a massive private independent private school on environmentally sensitive wetlands, forests, rock barrens which are home to over:
- 204 species documented on the subject lands
- 20 of which are Species At Risk (SAR)
- 7 endangered species
- including: Blanding’s turtles, eastern hog-nosed snakes, barn swallows, bobolinks, eastern meadowlarks, least bitterns and bank swallows.
Instead of asking for more studies, listening to the public voice and doing their due diligence, the Town and District approved the Rezoning and Official Plan Amendment.
There are obviously more suitable sites...this is not the one!
PLEASE NOTE in the photo below Henry Marsh is the smaller wetland in far top left hand corner...the larger water body in the photo is another wetland closest to Stephen's Bay Road. Bracebridge Town Council, Mayor and District approved re-zoning for an elementary international school and boarding facility to be built in this area as well as the District approved the Highway 118 By Pass years ago to CUT RIGHT THROUGH THE WETLANDS!
Lori McDonald, Director of Corporate Services/Clerk –email@example.com
Graydon Smith, Mayor Town of Bracebridge - firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheryl Kelley, Director of Planning, Town of Bracebridge - email@example.com
Matt Holmes, Manager of Planning Services, Town of Bracebridge - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Maloney, Deputy Mayor, Councillor - email@example.com
Don Smith, Councillor - firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Clement, Councillor - email@example.com
Mark Quemby, Councillor, Monk/Muskoka Ward – firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Wilson, Councillor, Bracebridge Ward - email@example.com
Archie Buie, Councillor, Draper Ward - firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Struthers, Councillor, Macauley Ward & Muskoka Watershed - email@example.com
Barb McMurray, Councillor, Oakley Ward - firstname.lastname@example.org
DISTRICT OF MUSKOKA CONTACTS
Summer Valentine, Director of Planning, District of Muskoka –email@example.com
DISTRICT OF MUSKOKA Community and Planning Services Committee consists of:
John Klinck, District of Muskoka Chair - firstname.lastname@example.org
Graydon Smith, District Deputy Chair and Councillor - email@example.com
Nancy Alcock - Councillor and Committee Chair - firstname.lastname@example.org
Allen Edwards - Councillor and Committee Vice-Chair - email@example.com
Michael Peppard - firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Cooper - email@example.com
Paul Kelly - firstname.lastname@example.org
Don Smith - Councillor - email@example.com
Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) explicitly states that “development and site alteration” are not permitted in “significant wetlands” in the Ecoregion in which the town of Bracebridge lies.
In addition, the Town of Bracebridge Official Plan requires the Town to identify and confirm wetlands (see Town of Bracebridge Official Plan at B10.7).
No assessment under the Ontario Wetlands Evaluation System (OWES) has ever been undertaken to determine whether the wetlands on the property and adjacent are in fact “significant”. Given that, the Provincial framework specifically prohibits development on significant wetlands, therefore a determination of the status of the MRD wetlands must be established and made publicly available.
As per the Town of Bracebridge Environmental Protection Policy the site being considered for rezoning for this development requires a wetlands assessment to ensure ecological and natural heritage protection, as well as flood-prevention. According to the PPS, Natural Heritage is to be protected for the long term; 2.1.2 of the PPS states “The diversity and connectivity of natural features in an area, and the long-term ecological function and biodiversity of natural heritage systems, should be maintained, restored or, where possible, improved, recognizing linkages between and among natural heritage features and areas, surface water features and ground water features.
The Provincial Policy Statement states that Development and site alteration shall not be permitted on adjacent lands to the natural heritage features and areas...unless the ecological function of the adjacent lands has been evaluated and it has been demonstrated that there will be no negative impacts on the natural features or on their ecological functions.
Town of Bracebridge Environmental protection policy: Economic Development Policy Natural Attributes - A188.8.131.52: “To encourage the protection of the Town’s natural attributes, such as its rural character, water quality of its lakes and rivers as well as other natural environmental features in order to ensure that the recreational and tourism uses that rely upon these attributes continue to thrive.”
Thank you for taking action to protect the Bracebridge Wetlands!
HELP US IN OUR APPEAL AT LPAT:
We need your support for our legal defense fund to preserve these natural heritage lands.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE through OUR GoFundMe Muskoka Wetlands - Protect Our Species at Risk!
OR DONATE through e-transfer to
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT, WE APPRECIATE IT AS WE HELP TO SAVE OUR WETLANDS!
The South Bracebridge Environmental Protection Group (SBEPG) is a registered non-profit corporation.
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