Barlow opposes dam expansion in Almonte

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has signed the petition against a proposed dam expansion in Almonte, about 50 kilometres south-east of Ottawa. The petition states, "The proposed Enerdu hydroelectric project in downtown Almonte poses unacceptable environmental, heritage and economic risks to this community and should not be approved."

CBC reports, "Almonte residents are protesting the proposed expansion of a hydroelectric dam on the Mississippi River over concerns it will harm tourism and damage the ecosystem. Enerdu plans to begin expanding the dam this fall if it gets approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources. Some residents have opposed the plan since it was first proposed two years ago."

Two years ago, CBC reported, "A group of residents in Almonte, Ont., are worried a plan to expand an electrical power dam in the village west of Ottawa would continue to cause harm to a sensitive wetland on the Mississippi River. The newly formed Mississippi Mills Riverkeepers Association says close to 3,000 acres of red maple in the Appleton Wetland have been dying because several years ago the previous owners of a local energy plant increased the height of the dam in Almonte, flooding the wetlands."

CBC also reported at that time, "Enerdu Power Systems has been generating power from the river for two years, but hasn't yet turned a profit. Ron Campbell, Enerdu's project manager, said stabilizing the water flow by building a weir could change that. A weir is a kind of dam that allows water to flow over the top. Constructing the weir would involve digging out 1,500 square feet of river bed with a jackhammer."

A protest is planned for noon today in Almonte.