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Environment Minister McGarry Lacks What it Takes

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Minister McGarry,


How utterly arrogant to call Bala  a 'no-man's land'.  It is incredulous. This area is one of the most important watersheds in Muskoka. There is a thriving town here. It is so full of people enjoying Muskoka in the summer that one is in a slow queue to ride through the charming town. Luckily, until the hideous fencing was erected, about a week ago, by Swift River Energy Company, a shell co. owned by Kathleen Wynne donator Tony Zwig) they, tourists could enjoy beautiful views of the falls, on both sides of the island, and views down the Moon River. Before they stopped to have an ice cream cone at any one of the lovely shops on either side of the waterfalls, they could imagine being in a canoe, where they might come from Algonquin Park, and reach Georgian Bay through this very spot, for this is a historic canoe route, used by First Nation's People, and the first white settlers.

So it is entirely incorrect of your department to think of Bala as a 'no man's land'. It is one of the most popular spots within a two hours' drive from Toronto, and we know what a crush Torontonians cause on the 400 to get out of the city, just to see a naturally beautiful place, like Bala.

Furthermore, you seem very ignorant, for a minister of the environment. The environment being the places we, and other animal creatures live. For a minister who should be concerned with protecting the natural environment, you seem to not have a care or have a clue about it.

For instance, I was standing on the very special, sacred land,the island in Bala between the two waterfalls, enjoying the view and the sound of the rushing water, when I noticed a very large Blandings's turtle making its way up the slope. This was an old turtle and I happened to be there when it had decided it was time to get itself into the upper reaches, the lakes above the Bala Falls. I was flabbergasted to see this large and ancient turtle laboriously make its way up the gravelly hillside, move to the pool above the dam and slip under, just making it under the iron fence erected there. This turtle had probably done this many time in its life. This is his environment, the one you are supposed to be protecting.

I have swum many times here at the falls. This is the same falls that the famous, now deceased, environmental film producer, Rob Stewart, used to swim in as a boy. This is the same falls that Rob Stewart was making a documentary about when he died. He, like the rest of us in Bala and surrounding areas, want to save this special eco-system for many generations to come. Generations of swimmers, little boys, girls, and adults who are thrilled by the sight of turtles and fish in their natural habitat. It is a great shame that Rob Stewart isn't here to help us do this anymore. But we are inspired by his spirit, and we are not giving up. It is our fervent wish that this island, we will call it Turtle Island, will become a park, named after Rob Stewart in his honor.

Since the trees have been cut down this week by a company that cannot even produce a signed lease for the public to see, and since citizens of Bala have been threatened with arrest for protesting the molestation of their park, we have to question just What Qualifications do you have to be called a Minister of the Environment? You don't seem to know your job. You call Bala a no man's land. Is that because it isn't all gussied up like some of the posher places in Muskoka? Are you saying that people with slightly less fancy cottages don't deserve to live in the lovely environment that God has given them? I find this very disturbing, Ms. McGarry. You are pandering to the one per cent of society that perhaps doesn't appreciate a beautiful natural place if it bit it on the nose.

Please excuse me for sharing my thoughts about your qualifications to be Minister of the Environment widely. I'm sure there is another job you might be good at, say, maybe working in a coffee shop, or driving a bus. no disrespect to the people who do these things, it's just that you don't seem to have any special knowledge of what you are supposed to. Please vacate that office you hold now as soon as possible.


Thank you,


Mrs. Martha Kashap


BA Smith College

MM Yale university



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martha kashap (Martha Kashap)
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