A new committee’s been struck to help design a controversial power plant at Bala Falls, but critics say it’s far from public.

Swift River Energy Ltd. announced the committee recently – it’s said to include eight community members who’ll help shape the power plant’s look and feel.

Save the Bala Falls member Mitchell Shnier says the committee’s not public enough…

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Shnier says the Environmental Assessment (EA) approval from the Ministry of the Environment states Swift River has committed to forming a public advisory committee during the project’s detailed design phase. That’s to allow the public to provide input on the plant’s final appearance, including the landscaping and other aesthetic elements. Shnier says the committee should be comprised of people who are representative of the community and not just folks the company has selected. Swift River’s Bala Falls Project manager Karen McGhee has responded to Shnier’s comments:

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McGhee adds that the committee is not meant to debate whether the project goes forward or not. She says it’s simply about what the plant will look like. The committee has already met once and the ideas are flowing. Some of the committee’s ideas have gone to the project’s architect, who is expected to come back with renderings of how those suggestions may take form.