(December 24, 2015 2pm BREAKING NEWS) Bracebridge Justice Tom Wood has ruled against a Save the Bala Falls application for an injunction that would have stopped a potential Township lease to developer Swift River Energy Limited from proceeding.
In his written decision released today, the justice found the Save the Bala Falls argument flawed and stated:
“In conclusion I find that the Township of Muskoka Lakes has the authority to enter into the proposed lease, that it has exercised that authority in an appropriate manner, and that on balance to do so would be in the interest of the municipality. The application is therefore dismissed.”
To read decision and reasons for the decision, click on the link: Decision_and_Reasons_Wood_J__-_Dec_24__2015
The next step is for the parties involved to submit what they want in costs or to arrange a date to argue costs. Lawyers for the parties could not be reached today for comment, and it’s not known whether Save the Bala Falls might appeal the judgment from the Superior Court of Justice. If the lease is approved by Township council, the developer has said it will leave Margaret Burgess Park on north side of Bala Falls open for public use during the construction period.
(December 22 Update) As of today, there is still no word from a Bracebridge judge on whether Save the Bala Falls will get its injunction to stop the Township from proceeding with a lease with hydro developer Swift River Energy Limited that would allow Margaret Burgess Park to remain open. There were few decisions made as a result of two cases being heard in relation to Township of Muskoka Lakes issues last Monday (December 14, 2015). Justice Tom Wood said he would deliver a decision regarding the injunction sought by Save the Bala Falls against lease of Township land but did not say when that ruling would be delivered. Read Bracebridge Examiner Brent Cooper’s report “Judge to Rule on Bala Falls lease” by clicking here.
As for Brent versus Nishikawa, the judge agreed a portion of Muskoka Lakes Councillor Ruth Nishikawa’s affidavit will be sealed as it could deal with closed session municipal information. The rest of this case will be heard at an undetermined time in Barrie. Related article: “Muskoka Lakes councillor to get portion of affidavit sealed” by the Bracebridge Examiner.
(December 14, 2015 7:45am BRACEBRIDGE) Township of Muskoka Lakes lawyers are doing double duty in Bracebridge court today. They are up against Save the Bala Falls (STBF), fighting a proposed injunction which could seal the fate of Margaret Burgess Park. If STBF is successful stopping township from issuing a lease for the developer to use township land and parking lots, Swift River Energy Limited (SREL) says it will close the park. Last week SREL began clearing trees on the Bala Falls hydro site.
In the other court action, lawyers for Councillor Ruth Nishikawa will seek adjournment and have her affidavit sealed in Ron Brent’s defamation case against her.
Photo shows all that’s left after tree cutting on hydro site at north Bala Falls last Wednesday. Photo by Norah Fountain