Mark Clairmont |

BRACEBRIDGE — Despite protests outside, council here last night approved a mega quarry for the east side of town, which would see trucking 24/7.

Demonstrators opposed to the Fowlers construction project on Bonnie Lake Road gathered at 6 p.m., waving signs under watch of police, at the Bracebridge municipal office as they called on councillors to defer their decision to the next council.

Laura Pratt, whose family owns the Bracebridge Golf Course at the intersection with Hwy. 117 where she says 500 trucks a day could possibly be turning, cited a number of concerns including environmental and safety.

The site is beside the north branch of the Muskoka River and Sage Creek. Sage Lake is in Lake of Bays Township and the creek flows 10 kms east to west, collecting water from more than two thousand hectares of wetlands and small lakes along the way, the protest group says on its website.

“Muskoka residents haven’t been adequately consulted on this rezoning proposal. How could residents attend a statutory public meeting Dec. 2, 2020 about the rezoning application during the COVID-19 lockdown? We should all be concerned.”

Residents last night also noted inconvenience to neighbouring property owners.

But after Bracebridge’s planning committee approved the project last week, council’s approval of those minutes were a formality that took less than 15 minutes to rubber stamp, complained opponents on Facebook.

The battle could still be appealed to the Ministry of Natural Resources, whose minister is former mayor of Bracebridge Graydon Smith the head of council until this spring.

Demonstration spokesperson Laura Pratt talks about their concerns.

Neighbouring residents and those with environmental concerns gathered outside the Bracebridge municipal office Wednesday night to demonstrate against the proposal.
The quarry approved by Bracebridge council last night would be east off Hwy. 117 on Bonnie Lake Road.
Michael Appleby was among those asking for a deferment of the decision to a new council. He said it is similar to a court battle currently underway with council on the other side of town on Lake Muskoka regarding a mega school plan there.
Police were on hand after demonstration organizer Laura Pratt said the town told them no election campaigning could be held on public property.


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