Moose FM can now confirm a 2nd local arborist is refusing to do work removing trees at Bala Falls. In an email to longtime opponent of Swift River Energy Ltd’s plans to build a controversial power plant at Bala Falls, Tim McDonald, Muskoka Lakes arborist Brian McDonald of Muskoka Lakes Tree Service has announced his separation with the project. See Below:

Hello Mr. McDonald

Since you seem to have quite an impressive outreach to the concerned parties that support the “Save the Bala Falls” cause, I thought it would be appropriate to contact you instead of Peggy with news that everyone involved will be happy to know. I trust you will advise all concerned.

First of all I do appreciate your reccomendation for my company: Muskoka Lakes Tree Service, however I would respectfully like to correct you on this minor innaccuracy. We are not Muskoka Tree Service. That is a different company that operates out of the Bracebridge area and has no affiliation with my company. It may be confusing to most because our website is but the company name is Muskoka Lakes Tree Service. Once again though I do sincerely appreciate your reccomendation.

Secondly, it has been requested of my company to remove the trees at the Bala Falls for the Swift River project. We were issued a purchase order months ago prior to my in depth knowledge of all the issues of concern and potential disaster that lurks. I reluctantly accepted the work order without the knowledge I have made myself aware of over the last few months. Believe me, I have spent many restless nights trying to rationalize why I should carry out this work but good sense, conscience and loyalty to my customers and the community outweighs the short term financial gain, that during the winter months of virtually no work, is needed more that ever.

I conducted an interview with the Moose FM in Bracebridge a couple of months ago to announce my intention to withdraw my services from this project. They were very pleased to be getting an exclusive on this news. You are welcome to confirm that fact and inform them of this announcement. Thankfully I was advised at the time to consult legal advice to ensure that I could not face legal action as a result of my withdrawal. Since then I have been assured that there should not be any legal ramifications.

My recent involvement at the Falls has been in the interest of Public Safety. After completing this work for the MNRF I advised my contact there that I would not be doing anymore work relating to the Swift River Project. Late last week I contacted Swift River and advised my contact there that I would not be honoring their Purchase Order and was officially withdrawing my services and provided an explaination of my position.

I had my first good night sleep in months since having that conversation. In all admission my family and I will bear the consequence financially through tough winter months however I would prefer to stay firm to my beliefs and continue to serve the community with pride and a clear conscience.

I feel I have done my part in forcing Swift River to take a step backwards in this process and can only hope it contributes to their reconsidering the validity of moving forward.

I will now continue to do whatever I can to provide support to the “Save the Bala Falls” cause and proudly serve my customers and community as I have done in the past.

Should you wish to discuss this matter in greater detail please do not hesitate to contact me.


Brian McDonald
Muskoka Lakes Tree Service
705 641-9223