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HISTORY: SAVE BAIE FINE CAMPAIGN, 1984-1990 

entrance-to-baie-fine

entrance-to-baie-fine

It will be necessary to continue an indefinite watch on Frazer Bay Hill, since the silica ore is known to be there, and it could be a magnet to some future quarry development, if opposition is not ready, at any time.

The North Channel Preservation Society is a non-profit incorporation under the laws of the Province of Ontario. It was initially formed in 1984 to organize resistance to the former plans of Falconbridge/Indusmin Mines to quarry silica ore for glass making, from the south shore of Baie Fine, including Fraser Bay Hill, from approximately where A.J. Casson sat to create the original watercolour of the entrance of Baie Fine.

In order to help raise public awareness, and the funds that were needed to finance the campaign to save the mountain, and thus Save Baie Fine, Mr. Casson allowed the Society to produce the Serigraph of the watercolour, and with Paul Gauthier, undertook a leading role in all aspects of the artistic production. A limited edition of 250 Serigraph prints, measuring 20″ x 25″ were offered to the public in 1987.

The campaign received much public attention. There was coverage by local and national media, including radio, television, newspaper and magazines. There were treks to the summit with as many as one hundred supporters at a time making the climb. Television, magazine and newspaper interviews were even given at the summit by members of the Society. Many individuals and groups, including tourist, boating, cruising, cottagers, sportsmen, merchants, First Nation, and all those people who were just concerned with the irreplaceable loss the quarry would have caused, organized and pressured three successive Provincial Governments to prevent the destruction.

In July 1990. Falconbridge Ltd. voluntarily surrendered, without compensation, its mining claims to the areas of the south shore of Baie Fine. Falconbridge executives decided to assure the preservation of the area by surrendering their legal rights on the condition that the Provincial Government of Ontario withdraw the area from staking and prospecting. The provincial government assured Falconbridge that the area was administratively withdrawn from future claims. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Development and Mines.

Though the decision not to issue any new claims was administrative, there is nothing to prevent any future governments from changing it.

It will be necessary to continue an indefinite watch on Frazer Bay Hill, since the silica ore is known to be there, and it could be a magnet to some future quarry development, if opposition is not ready, at any time.