Members of WLHCA and Wollaston Lake Community,
On August 10 we held a very successful Community BBQ, attended by 148 people, from the lake, the Hamlet of Coe Hill, and even a few from further afield in Wollaston Township and beyond. It was a pleasant opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet new people. A few photos of the event have been posted to the Facebook page.
Our Guest Speaker was Leora Berman from The Land Between charity. Leora spoke on the topic of the Blue Lakes Program, which is an eco-label awarded for stewardship excellence. Wollaston Lake has been chosen to participate in this initiative, which is a pilot program in partnership with Watersheds Canada.
In order to estimate and understand the need for the program, and also to shape its features and functions, we are seeking your input. We would be very grateful for your time in completing this short research survey. The survey takes 3 to 6 minutes. Completing the survey will provide insight to ensure this initiative is meaningful for our lakes and our community:
If you completed the paper version of the survey at the BBQ, thank you.
WLHCA Resolution to Oppose Mine in Limerick Township
The Wollaston Lake Home and Cottage Association (WLHCA), representing cottagers on Wollaston Lake, stands in opposition to the McBride Mining venture to explore, develop, and extract nickel, cobalt and copper in the area of land in Limerick Township, roughly bordered by Highway 62 on the East, Highway 620 on the North, Old Hastings Road on the West and Old Steenburg Lake Road on the south. Wollaston Township borders the property to be mined all along Old Hastings Road, shares many waterways, marshes and wetlands with the area, and could be an area into which the mine could expand. While the original plan with a previous investor was dropped, Dr. McBride appears to be actively seeking new investors, and the potential for a mine is still a reality. On July 27th, 2019, the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mining (MENDM) approved a new exploration plan valid for two years, to Dr. McBride’s Company, Hasting Highlands Resources LTD.
We oppose plans to mine this area, because of the potential environmental threat to water ways, marshes and wetlands covering the property in Limerick and the adjoining property in Wollaston Township. These marshes and wetlands are part of the critical supply of fresh water which feeds the headwaters of the Crowe Valley drainage basin. This area is habitat to a wide variety of plant and animal species including species at risk.
The threat of a large scale open pit mine in the area, and even the initial exploratory work associated with it, present environmental concerns. The exploration phase itself would disrupt the ecological balance of the watershed, marshes and wetlands in the area by the aggressive removal of surface soils on the site. Contamination of surface water from the acidic bearing toxic minerals of an operating mine and subsequent contamination of groundwater could alter the environment in ways that it would be difficult to recover. Long-term effects of run-off from a massive tailings pond and daily mining operations could eventually make its way to the streams and lakes over a very wide area. This is to say nothing of the impact of a possible massive failure of a containment dam.
We further oppose the planned mining as the impact of industrial operations, flow of equipment and ore from the area could place a large burden on the area’s roads and highways including those affecting Wollaston Township but would not provide much long-term economic benefit. A mining operation in this area is inconsistent and incompatible with the broader recreational use of properties in this and neighboring townships and the strong base of tourism that has become one of the strongest economic resources in the area. It is no longer a mining area and hasn’t been for many years. A mine in our area could drive down property values as potential buyers reconsider purchasing a property in a township that tries to co-exist with a nearby mine. We support Limerick Township’s resolution to oppose the mine and hope that Wollaston Township will oppose this mine as well.
Past President of WLHCA