Oakville Homes

August 30, 2010

History can repeat itself – even from 1889.


I just finished my first audio book titled: “The Johnstown Flood” by David McCullough.  It was about a devastating flood in the Johnstown, Pennsylvania area back in 1889 where over 2000 people were killed and several towns were wiped from the face of the earth by the flood, mainly caused by the failure of a dam owned by the South Fork Fishing and Hunting club.  The South Ford Fishing and Hunting club was an exclusive summer resort for the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and Andrew Mellon.  They and the other club members were all wealthy millionaires/billionaires.  For the whole story, go to this link.

Now, you ask, what has this got to do with Mattamy.  Well, if you read my last blog you will note that I mentioned that Mattamy has plans to develop Boyd Island in Pigeon Lake (on the Trent Canal in the Kawartha Lakes district north of Peterborough, Ontario).

The Johnstown flood devastation, as I mentioned, was the direct result of the dam, owned by the SFF&H club, failing during a violent storm.  What really bothered the people was that the club was told years in advance that the dam was not up to par and that repairs needed to be made.  As well, early modifications that were designed to give better access for the club members and prevent fish migration from the lake above the dam were made that eventually weakened the dam.  In the aftermath, the legal beagles were able to protect Carnegie, et al from any financial responsibility and, in the end, the people affected by this failing dam received no compensation, except for that raised in charity.  The arrogance of the rich club members came through and their power prevented any justice.

I just found it interesting in relation to what Mattamy is now doing on Boyd Island.  I have put a list at the end of this blog showing the potential ramifications of allowing Mattamy to build this development on Boyd Island.  It is from a report submitted by the Pigeon Lake Cottagers Association and shows the future problems that will occur if Mattamy is allowed to build what will be an exclusive development.  You can imagine how expensive these lots and houses will be and they will not reflect those developments you have seen springing up in Halton, Milton, Pickering, Bracebridge and Ottawa (well, at least parts of Ottawa).  No, there won’t be lineups like the recent Milton opening.  These will be sold to those in a rather rich financial bracket who will have the power to control what happens there and cause some of the future problems to occur.

Regarding the environmental damage that will occur, the local councils and Mattamy have been warned.  But, like the South Fork Fishing and Hunting club, Mattamy’s arrogance and power will see it through, unless our current economic problems cause them to back down – maybe forever.

Should we trust Mattamy and their advisers on the impact this development will have on Pigeon Lake and environs.

Remember, Mattamy is the company that builds on land recently fertilized with human waste, contrary to accepted environmental policy; builds illegal berms in the Ottawa area – berms that can cause environmental damage; are known to put illegal (code) wiring into homes; builds homes that have leaking basements in the Bracebridge area after not building according to environmental issues; and, a plethora of other issues that show a lack of concern for the environment and the health, both physical and financial, of those buying their homes. 

Should we allow them to build on Boyd Island and assume some stewardship for the future health of Pigeon Lake.  Based on their past record, I say not. 

Here is the list of potential problems predicted by the Pigeon Lake Cottagers Association.  With the donations already in place, I assume politically Mattamy will get what they want – they already got an extension on their plan.  For those voting in November, check the donation records to see who Mattamy has given money to and check how they vote.  Is there any correlation?

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