Wollaston Lake Home & Cottage Association is dedicated to the residents (both permanent and seasonal) who try to perpetuate the pristine environment and crystal waters in and around Wollaston Lake.  Any recommendations or ideas that will assist the WLHCA executive committee to protect the environment of Wollaston Lake should be sent to:    wlhca.news@gmail.com      

Update on Blue Lakes Project


Fred McConnell

303 Beach Lane

Coe Hill, Ontario

K0L 1P0

 

Members of Council

Wollaston Township

PO Box 99

Coe Hill, Ontario

K0L1P0

 

November 8, 2018

 

To the members of Wollaston Township Council

 

I am pleased to be writing this letter to you as the lake Steward of the Wollaston Lake Home and Cottage Association to inform you that The Land Between, in partnership with Watersheds Canada, have been awarded a Seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The grant is to support the development of the Blue Lakes eco-label and database/app.

 

In March of 2018 the WLHCA was selected from a large number of lake association applicants to participate in the pilot of the Blue Lakes project. Wollaston Lake was chosen as an ideal candidate for the pilot, as it is a sensitive cold water lake trout lake with 10 years of water quality data along with the capacity from a dedicated lake association in order to assess its ongoing health and therefore the efficacy of the project parameters.   I include, for your information, a copy of the letter received from The Land Between COO, Leora Berman at the time.

 

It is expected that all available Wollaston Lake water quality data will be loaded into the database and the analytics application available for testing in the April 2019 timeframe.

 

This honor is of value to the entire Wollaston Township area as generally, eco-labels are known to bolster stewardship and to positively affect ecological health of the area/feature where it is applied. Eco-labels can also support tourism, local economies and buttress property values. 

 

NEWS : Local - Wollaston Update: November 26th, 2018

Dylinna Brock, Manager of the Wollaston Township Waste Disposal Site was at work on Wednesday, November 19th last week when a passerby noticed her house was on fire. The Fire Department responded but unfortunately were unable to save the structure. At present, Dylinna is now living nearby with her son, as she has lost essentially everything in the fire.

Many have asked how she is and were concerned for her. She is back at work at the municipal offices, picking up the pieces of her disrupted life, but maintaining her usual cheerfulness.

Many also have asked how can they help. If you wish, there is a box at the municipal office   (only for financial donations at this time), or you can mail a cheque to Dylinna Brock, Care of Wollaston Township Offices, P.O . Box 99,   90 Wollaston Lake Road, Coe Hill, On, K0L 1P0.

Peggy Stewart, President WLHCA

Alert from FOCA

FOCA is alerting cottagers across Ontario of two concerns. One is a threat to the Lake Partner program of  water quality monitoring and a new concern which is the plan to eliminate the offices of Environment Minister of Environment., Both actions which would make it difficult to respond to any environmental threats.

Please read the information included from FOCA and help by letter writing and and signing the petition.

As President of your FOCA Board of Directors, I am writing with a new and important call-to-action for each of you, all across Ontario. This letter is being sent to each of the Presidents/Chairs of FOCA's 500+ member associations, and I hope you will share it with your members.

At the FOCA Fall Seminar on October 27, 2018, I had asked our members to write the Ontario Minister of the Environment, Conservation & Parks, in support of the ongoing efforts of the Lake Partner Program of water quality monitoring. Thank you to everyone who has already copied FOCA on your letters! If you have not yet answered that call, I encourage you to get more information, and a template letter, here: https://foca.on.ca/lake-partner-program-overview/.

However, today I write to you with a new concern:

On November 15, 2018, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 57, including sudden plans to eliminate the office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), and purporting to transfer some of the ECO's roles to the Auditor General and the Ministry of the Environment, Parks and Conservation.

This move would defeat the entire purpose of an independent, non-partisan officer in the important role of environmental oversight. The ECO is our environmental watchdog, appointed by the Ontario Legislature, not the government in power--specifically to attempt to shield the ECO from undue political interference. 

ECO Dianne Saxe (centre) at the FOCA office in 2016

The ECO's role supports public participation through the Environmental Registry, as well as government accountability for decisions that affect our environment, now and into the future. The ECO's office reviews and reports on government progress on daunting environmental issues such as invasive species, water protection, pesticide management, and climate change.

For 25 years, these rights--and the ECO's powers, duties and functions--have been enshrined in the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). When the EBR was up for review in 2016, FOCA encouraged you to participate in the consultations and provide your input during the comment period. Altogether, more than 18,000 Ontarians participated in that discussion.

After the government's announcement on November 15, 2018, FOCA joined our colleagues representing the country's most established environmental organizations, in signing a joint letter to Premier Ford, denouncing the plan to eliminate the office of the ECO.  Click here to read the joint letter. (download PDF, 4 pages)

Today, on behalf of our membership across Ontario, FOCA has sent our own letter to the Premier and party leaders, strongly opposing the elimination of the office of the ECO. Click here to read FOCA's letter. (download PDF, 2 pgs) 

Now, we need you to add your voice, in this fight to save the office of the ECO. Help us show the government how much Ontarians care about the environment. Here are 3 ways you can help:

  1. Add your name to the online petition: http://www.greenprosperity.ca/eco/
  2. Tell your MPP you oppose the elimination of the office of the ECO. Find links to your MPP, here: https://represent.opennorth.ca/demo/, and echo the wording in FOCA's letter to the Premier. Remember to copy me on your letters! 
  3. Share this information widely with others in your lake association, with colleagues, family, and friends.  

Thank you,

Marlin Horst

President, FOCA Board of Directors

president@foca.on.ca


WLHCA Update  November 6, 2018

By Peggy Stewart, President WLHCA

My update this time is overdue, but I have been reluctant to share the latest and somewhat sad change to our executive.  Celina Clark, Communication Director, for WLHCA and her husband Rick Clark have moved to a community close to Belleville. While it is hard not to share their excitement in their new home, their contribution to WLHCA will be greatly missed. Both have been tireless workers for WLHCA, strong advocates for the environment, always doing more than asked and providing strong leadership in the issues affecting the environment.

Rick was Director of the Environment, then President for many years. He organized and ran the Wollaston Young Stewards’ Environmental Camp providing many opportunities for children in Coe Hill or with parents or grandparents on Wollaston Lake to learn valuable lessons about the Environment.

Celina has made valuable contributions to WLHCA for over ten years. She began as secretary but soon became invaluable as the Communication Director publishing the newsletter, Northern Reflection, and operating the website and Facebook page. While her contributions were sometimes behind the scenes, they made a big difference to the work of WLHCA. She played a very active role in the Young Steward’s Environmental Camp and was always there to assist Rick and really enjoyed interacting with the campers. Always an environmentalist, she helped set up the OWL registry so wildlife sightings on Wollaston Lake could be recorded. Many of the pictures of wildlife in the Northern Reflections were contributed by Celina. One of her terrific contributions was playing a strong role in designing and publishing the Welcome Kit, a Blue Box with a booklet containing a collection of a valuable  contact information often needed when you are a new cottager on Wollaston Lake. We will formally thank her for her contributions to WLHCA at the next Annual Meeting. She and Rick will be missed by their many friends and colleagues.

WLHCA will not only miss Celina’s upbeat, get things done approach, we will miss those amazing skills that she demonstrated managing the website and the publishing of  newsletter. We have been fortunate  in that she volunteered to put out the fall newsletter for us and  operated the website and Facebook page under the executive direction even through the upheaval of moving. She has agreed to continue to manage the website for us for the present. We have begun a search of our members to find a new Communication Director and hope that everyone will help. The role could be possibly be split into two roles, one, the Newsletter and the other the Website and Facebook Page. Please contact me if you know of anyone who would be willing to become the Director of Communication or step into either or both of the roles or be willing to learn about publishing or website management. We would welcome anyone who would like to try their hand at this to contact me at wlhca.news@gmail.com.

Congratulations to the those elected to the next term as Wollaston Council. Also Our Appreciation goes to all Candidates who ran for office and committed so much time and energy to thee civic process.

Official Results Municipal Election Wollaston Township 2018

 

Reeve                   Shaw               657  

                                Blair                583

                                Fuerth             220

  D/Reeve                Kruger           782

                                Ordanis          562

   Councillors (3)      Conlin            779

                                Morrison        762

                                Colton            660

                                Alexander       442

                                Summers        434

                                Mortimer         415

                                Legault            349

                                Logan             167


An Update  on Mining Proposals and Preliminary Work in Limerick Township

BY Peggy Stewart - President Wollaston Home and Cottage Association

October 22, 2018

I have been sent information updating the developments regarding the McBride Mining Project centred largely on Limerick Township but affecting all Townships to the south and west. Background information has been previously included in the first posting about this development on the WLHCA website. There may be an impact on the waterways and environment in Wollaston Township. I encourage you to consider signing the petition mentioned below by going on the Limerick Area Conservation Coalition LACC Facebook page.

            I have received an email from Pat Stallaert, President of Steenburg Lake Community Association, outlining a report on the Sept. 9th information meeting on the mine that was held at Limerick Community Centre.  I tried to attend but the cars were parked at least a half a Kilometer along the road outside the Limerick Community Centre and there was very little hope of getting in. Instead, my husband and I drove around the perimeter of the area that would be affected by the mining and it was immense.  Attendance by members of the Wollaston Lake community was recognized in the report for swelling the numbers to over 300. The report indicated it was rather tense early on as it became evident the representatives of Pancon Resources had no intention of sharing any real specifics about the project, but offered only platitudes to try and appease the many residents and property owners they had disrespected. There were however excellent presentations made by Mining Watch Canada and the Chief of the Alderville First Nation that left little doubt that this was the wrong project, in the wrong place, lead by the wrong players. Members are encouraged to review all the information that has been amassed on the McBride Mining Project, including the full hour video of the meeting and a detailed report issued by Mining Watch Canada, as well at all media reports from local newspapers and CHEX TV, Peterborough.

These are available through the website www.minestoppers.com.  There you will find links to the Limerick Area Conservation Coalition (LACC) Facebook page as well as an online petition with approximately 2000 signatures already!  We encourage everyone to sign and share the petition through social media.

In recent weeks since the September 9th meeting, the LACC has been working to formalize it's structure, and attend to some organizational tasks that they had no time to deal with in the days leading up to the public information meeting.

The key members of the LACC have chosen to remain a smaller grass roots type of group and as such, the lake associations will not be joining LACC, but will work with them where appropriate and helpful in opposing mining in the area. The head of LACC and Pat Stallaert said that they would stay in touch and provide new information as it becomes available.

Many of neighbouring lake associations have agreed to work together in this common cause, and have each appointed representatives to a special joint committee to combat this threat.  WLHCA has not appointed a representative yet. I have been acting as the liaison at present but this could require ongoing and focused attention and would benefit from the attention of one person. Please consider volunteering for this. I would very much like to hear from you.

The associations included are: Shawano Ratepayers Inc (Dickey, Pearch, Lost and Lake of Islands Lakes), Thanet Lake, Limerick Waterways Ratepayers Association (Limerick, Mephisto and St. Ola Lakes), Tri-Lakes (Robinson, Spring and Brinklow Lakes), Crowe Lake Waterways Association, and of course Steenburg Lake Community Association.  We are hoping to set up a conference call before the end of the month, and we would love to have someone from WLHCA join us.

Pat also added, one fact that became very clear in all of this is that not only do several creeks from this potential mining area flow towards Wollaston Lake, ⅔ of the massive mineral reserve area as designated on the County's Official Plan, extends into Wollaston Township towards Wollaston Lake.  If a mine were ever established in the Limerick area, it isn't much of stretch of the imagination to see similar projects extend further west towards Wollaston Lake.

Pat was gratified to see all the lake associations come together to fight this common threat, and certainly hopes that Wollaston Lake Home and Cottage Association will join them.

.Monica Nicopoulos - The Limerick Area Conservation Coalition (LACC)

Additional information has been sent to me by Monica Nicopoulos. She reports that Pancon's stock reached up to a high of 0.14 in 2017 and fell 57% to it's current 0.06. It's also fallen over 30% from 2018's high of 0.09.

On their website Pancon also makes no mention that the McBride Project is suspended pending First Nation's Species At Risk Assessment.

 

She reports that  Pancon's original plan, had it not been for First Nation's intervention, was for mechanized stripping this fall and to mobilize heavy equipment this winter while the waters were frozen for pitting/trenching and more core samples. Pancon's "Men Working" signs on Old Hastings Road may have been taken down recently to accommodate the seasonal hunters this fall, as the mining company  stated that the mining activities would not impact hunting this year.

 

LACC is still looking for donations to assist with upcoming legal expenses against the battle to preserve our water and keep our environment undamaged and peaceful.  Please forward this to family and friends. Every little bit helps!! https://www.gofundme.com/limerickarea-conservation-coalition LACC is also looking for volunteers to help out with fundraising ideas, events, and promoting/monitoring our GoFundMe and Facebook pages  https://www.facebook.com/groups/LACCMineStoppers.

 

Monica  emphasizes that while the immediate threat of blasting and heavy trucks, poisoned lakes and well water are not right around the corner, we still need to inform MNDM (Ministry Northern Development Mines) that environmentally and socially this mine is not acceptable. MNDM will either renew or cancel Mr. McBride's explorations Plan May 6, 2019. If they cancel any Plans/Permits due to pressure from this community, the mine issue will be dead.

Below I have included the website of Pancon Resources Mining Company where there is further information about the company, and the President and CEO, Layton Croft, that is worthwhile viewing. Plans for the Limerick area are outlined under McBride under the title Projects. www.panconresources.com


McBride Mining Project


We have been advised that a mining exploration company, Hasting Highlands Resources, has recently partnered with Pancontinental Resources Inc of North Carolina (traded on the TSX as PUC), and are actively exploring a large, 880 h tract of land just south of highway 620 and just east of Old Hastings Road.  The target of their exploration is nickel, cobalt and copper, metals that have become in high demand because of current and projected needs  to satisfy the growing global electric vehicle market. These metals are used in the production of rechargeable batteries in everything from cell phones and laptops to power tools and automobiles. 

This is not the first time that Dr. Derek McBride P. Geo, has been in the area trying to actively promote this mine site.  His efforts date back to at least 2004 but the market conditions at that time were not favourable to support the project.  Now there is a very real risk that huge areas of sensitive wetlands and habitat may be destroyed if only by the initial exploration work which would include stripping and trenching long swaths of land.  In addition to the damage done to natural wildlife and vegetation which may include several species at risk, these marches and slow moving streams form a critical water recharge for the headwaters of the Crowe Valley basin. 

If a mine is permitted to proceed, the impact to ground water, surface water, land and soil could be enormous and far reaching.  The sound from blasting and open pit mining operations would carry for miles around, and the constant traffic of heavy trucks and mining equipment on the area roads and highways would take a serious toll on the areas limited infrastructure.  Property values in the neighboring freshwater lakes would be significantly impacted.  The environmental impacts of metal mining, and nickel mining in particular, are well documented. 

We urge all members of the affected communities to attend an information session being hosted by Pancontinental Resources Inc, at the Limerick Community Centre on Sunday, September 9th at 4 pm.  Come out and learn more about the project, ask your questions and voice your concerns. Contact your local municipal leaders and candidates and share your concerns with them, in this an election year.  Take a stand! 

----------------------

 I hope that you can post this message quickly, and help get the word out.  Shawano RI (Dickey Lake), LWRA (Limerick Lake), Tri-Lakes (Robinson, Spring and Brinklow Lakes) have already taken action and are working with your friends in the SLCA (Steenburg Lake) and other concerned citizens and land owners in the area.  I hope to see you and your members at the meeting.  We also recommend that those who have identifiable garments like hats and T-shirts from their respective lake associations, wear them proudly to the meeting.  Let’s give the meeting organizers a clear message that we are many, we are strong, and we are resolute in defending our beautiful communities!

Sincerely,

Pat Stallaert President – Steenburg lake Community Association president@steenburglake.com

Battle brewing over mine south of Bancroft

Timothy Meeks  More from Timothy Meeks Published on: August 29, 2018 | Last Updated: August 29, 2018 1:25 PM EDT Submitted photo

A public meeting and information meeting regarding a proposed nickel, cobalt and copper mining operation south of Bancroft will take place Sunday, Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. at the Limerick Township Community Center. 

LIMERICK TOWNSHIP – There’s a battle brewing in this tiny cottage community south of Bancroft over a proposed nickel, cobalt and copper mine. Monica Nikopoulos of the Limerick Area Conservation Coalition (LACC) claims there has been no written notification of the activities being undertaken by Dr. Derek McBride, P.Eng, an international mineral deposit specialist with Derek McBride Geological & Management Services, who owns the mineral rights to the area south of Hwy 620, west of Old Hastings Road near Ormsby and stretching east to Hwy 62.

A public meeting and information session is being hosted by Pancontinental Resources Corporation (Pancon) Sunday, Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. at the Limerick Community Centre. “We are diligently trying to bring awareness about this mine, the destruction it’ll cause in this prime cottage country area, with endangered species habitats, significant ground water recharge areas that flow into resident’s wells and rivers/lakes, endangered fish, and this is also the “Land Between” area, hunting and deer wintering habitat,” said Nikopolous. “According to Hastings County’s official plan it’s a significant endangered species area.” According to Pancon’s website, Pancon entered into an option agreement effective April 25, 2018 with Hastings Highlands Resources Limited (Hastings) to earn up to 76 per cent of the McBride Nickel-Cobalt-Copper Project located in Limerick Township, 25 km south of Bancroft. If Hastings, a private company, chooses not to fund its share of the joint venture after 76 per cent is earned, Pancon can fully fund the joint venture and increase its ownership to 90 per cent. The McBride Project covers 880 hectares and contains historical resources of an estimated 5.1 million tons of near-surface nickel-cobalt-copper mineralization. The Project is proximal to the Canadian National Railway network, providing the opportunity to cost effectively transport future concentrate to the nearest nickel smelting facility, in Sudbury. Nikopoulos said she first learned of the project while inspecting her property. “I was checking our north driveway where there are signs that say ‘Please Don’t Trespass’ and found ATV tracks. He (McBride) and his four summer students were line cutting on my property. I was to be notified in writing as were other cottagers and we weren’t,” Nikopoulos said.

Follow this link for the complete article


WLHCA MESSAGE BOARD

The June 12, 2018 Wollaston Township Meeting includes a delegate from Landmark Associates Limited to speak to Wollaston Council re: Bear Ridge Campground Application to Amend Zoning By-Law and Site Plan.  The letter from Landmark Associates to Reeve Blair & Members of Council can be found by following this link.  

The 2017 report on the water quality of Wollaston Lake is now available.  Along with this report, 3 documents on Lake Capacity have been provided.   We feel these reports contain important information for our members to understand the current state of Wollaston Lake.  Please click on the report titles to open the corresponding report.

1- Wollaston Lake Water Quality 2017 Report

2- MOECC Lakeshore Capacity Executive Summary

3- White Lake State of the Lake 2016

4 - Lake Capacity and references from North Hastings County Planner (submitted by Traci Morrison)

The 2017 Invasive Species Watch Report from the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters has been posted on the Invasive Species page in the Environment section of our website.  You can follow this link to the report.  

Click here  for What's Happening in Wollaston