East Gwillimbury Candidates
However, the Government of Ontario has not funded or implemented a plan to reduce Lake Simcoe’s phosphorous pollution to 44 tonnes a year. Lake Simcoe’s phosphorous pollution has instead gone up by 30% since 2009. (To learn more about how we can reduce Lake Simcoe’s phosphorous pollution to 44 tonnes a year, please read our Cleaning-Up Lake Simcoe report.)
Responses to the question:
Do you believe that Lake Simcoe’s municipalities should formally request that the Government of Ontario promptly fund and implement a plan to reduce Lake Simcoe’s phosphorous pollution to 44 tonnes a year by 2030?
Mayor Virginia Hackson
The health and quality of Lake Simcoe is very much a priority and I do support having provincial funding to reduce the phosphorus levels in Lake Simcoe,.
Having served on the Board for the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority for over 20 years I am very aware of the importance of keeping this Lake healthy and the need to have all levels of government at the table.
In November, East Gwillimbury Council passed a resolution to support moving forward with the Holland Marsh Polder Phosphorus Recycling Facility, notwithstanding the “paused” status of the broader Upper York Sewage Solutions Project.
Having all municipalities engaged in the protection of Lake Simcoe will provide a louder voice at the provincial level.
James R. Young
From my previous experience as Mayor of East Gwillimbury, and York Region’s representative on the Lake Simcoe Conversation Authority, the information, solutions, and cost-analysis is quite in-line with the actions needed to address the phosphorus pollution issues facing Lake Simcoe. I believe that the Province of Ontario should take the lead role in providing the dollars needed to meet the targets outlined within the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. It should also be the responsibility of the municipalities/regions surrounding Lake Simcoe to take responsibility and not only build more funding into their development charge by-laws toward phosphorus reduction, but also to take more aggressive actions in the recommendations provided (e.g., permeable parking lots, storm water retentions, cisterns, etc.).
In the past term of council, I have supported the motion that called on the province to implement a phosphorus recycling facility. As well, I made a motion, at the time of the last federal budget, requesting that Lake Simcoe receive greater funding for initiatives that would aid in its cleanup. I am proud to support efforts to keep Lake Simcoe pristine.
The protection of our environment is critical to sustaining our health, community and economy.
As a past Secretary of the Environmental Advisory Committee, we constantly looked for ways to increase awareness, educate the community and encourage good environmental stewardship. We would need strong partnerships across all levels of government to ensure care of all of our natural environments is a priority.
Municipalities and the Federal government have invested, so too should the Province, especially since they are the level of government who established the threshold.