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?
Frank A. Sebo
The good health of Lake Simcoe is vital to the good health of our residents and to the quality of life we all enjoy.
Protecting it is of paramount importance.
Phosphorous and salt are two of the biggest threats to the health of Lake Simcoe.
It has been 13 years since the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan was released by the Province.
Now, in 2022, our communities are continuing to grow and the pressures on our precious Lake Simcoe are many.
As Mayor of Georgina, I will insist that Georgina does everything it reasonably can to reduce its own impacts on Lake Simcoe and our three rivers. I will implore upon both the Provincial and Federal Governments to
provide funding and take swift action. Not only with regards to phosphorous pollution, but also the very real need to find alternatives to the use of salt on our highways, roads and parking lots. We are literally over a third of the way to having a salt water lake!
I will continue to work with the L.S.R.C.A. and all parties with an interest in protecting the health of Lake Simcoe, including our area’s traditional water protectors the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation.
A collaborative effort is needed. Georgina will, most certainly, be there. Our future, Lake Simcoe’s future
depends on it.
So many residents use the lake for swimming, fishing and recreation. It should be a jewel of the community carefully preserved for generations and it is saddening that there are failings in keeping its ecology to a higher standard. As Mayor of Georgina I would be realistically limited from a political stand-point but louder voices from elected officials do have an impact and as a frequent user of Lake Simcoe myself I will do my part.
I;ve done some due diligence on this and there are existing methods to removing the phosphorous from sewage. It wont take much but political will..
In February 2021 at the Council meeting on the 24th our Council passed a motion that included the following “That the Council of the Town of Georgina requests the Province to revise the Phosphorus Reduction Strategy to create a time bound plan and the associated budgets to achieve the 55% phosphorus pollution reductions to no more than 44 tonnes per year as soon as possible”. This was during the staff report that provided comments to the 10 year Review of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. This motion was moved by Councillor Neeson and I fully supported it. So to answer your question as Mayor of Georgina I have already made a similar request to the Province.
Also later in 2021 at the September 15th meeting we passed a motion by Councillor Neeson that requested the Province support the funding of the Holland Marsh Phosphorus Recycling Facility that would assist in removing phosphorus from the Holland River prior to it entering Lake Simcoe. We were pleased to have the Province announce earlier this year that they would commit $24 Million over the next thre years for this project. The Federal government had already committed $16 million toward the estimated $40 million project. This facility could remove approximately 5 tonnes of phosphorus per year. It is my commitment to continue to work with the Province, the Region and the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority to see this facility a reality.
I will further commit to working with other municipalities around Lake Simcoe to pass motions similar to the one we passed in February 2021 in requesting the Province revise the Phosphorus Reduction Strategy to create a plan and budget to achieve the 55% phosphorus pollution reductions to no more than 44 tonnes per year by 2030. There is power in numbers and voices to be heard.
All levels of government have to make Lake Simcoe a priority. While some efforts have been made, we need to go much further to protect our lake for generations to come.
The UYSS remains controversial (at least 13 years), with no resolution in sight. The Holland Marsh Phosphorous Removal Facility is necessary and would be a major step toward reaching the 44 tonnes per year target.
Reading through the lake Simcoe clean up plan sounds like it is an uphill battle. Residence and developers wont want to pay the extra taxes but if something drastic isn’t done now the health and the quality of the lake are going to continue diminishing. I have spoke to many constituents about the quality of the lake and it is a real concern that they would like addressed.
By the sounds of things I like the idea of what they are doing in Lake Erie regarding smarter more modern agricultural techniques. Crop stripping, cover crops and crop rotation are relatively inexpensive and it appears that it makes a significant difference for the amount of phosphorus that makes its way back into the lake, I like this idea and I like the idea of it being implemented.
Regarding the storm water, I had no idea that street sweeping and sidewalk sweeping would make such a difference if they are scheduled more frequently. I like the idea of increasing frequency, it helps out with the phosphorus in the lake and ensures that the town doesn’t look too shabby in between sweepings. It also seems like it[s a relatively low expense to get multiple benefits.
I like the idea of ensuring that all new developments (within reasonable access to the town sewer system) are hooked up to town services to avoid individual septic tanks, especially the closer they are to the lake.
Shifting the costs from the residence to the developers is also a no-brainer in my opinion. The developers shouldn’t be off the hook for the increased population and ensuing pollution that comes with development and an increased population.
We need to come up with a plan. This issue will not go away on its own.
Dr. Allison Cain
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Words without action are meaningless. Lake Simcoe is part of our home and deserves to be promptly funded with a proper action plan to reduce phosphorous pollution by at least 44 tonnes by 2030.
Yes, I believe that Lake Simcoe municipalities should formally request the Government of Ontario promptly fund and implement a plan to reduce Lake Simcoe phosphorus pollution to 44 tonnes a year by 2030.
Further, if elected, I will support the development of programs, budgets and policies that will reduce the number of urban stormwater, support agricultural best practices, update septic systems practices, and increase high-quality naturalized areas adjacent to Lake Simcoe’s watercourses.
While I am very pleased with the 24 million dollars of funding the Government of Ontario committed to the Holland Marsh Phosphorous Recycling Facility. We have a moral obligation to provide for a healthy lake ecosystem. Our winter and summer fishing, tourism and having a lake we can ensure out safe for our residents to swim in depends on it.
I have demonstrated this commitment by authoring and bringing forward the following motion on February 24th, 2021, which passed and states as follows:
RESOLUTION NO. C-2021-0051
Moved By Councillor Neeson
“That the Council of the Town of Georgina requests that the Province of Ontario revise the Phosphorus Reduction Strategy to create a time bound plan and the associated budgets to achieve the 55% phosphorus pollution reduction to no more than 44 tonnes per year as soon as possible.”
“That the Town Clerk forward a copy of Report No. DS-2021-022 and Council’s resolution to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Region of York, the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, all other Lake Simcoe watershed municipalities, all MPP’s of Lake Simcoe watershed municipalities, the Premier of Ontario, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the leaders of the Progressive Conservative, Liberal and NDP parties”.
Similarly, I co-lead a broad coalition of concerned members of the watershed community, environmental groups and members of Council to bring the federal and provincial governments together to fund Lake Simcoe’s first Phosphorus Recycling Plant – to be located in the Holland Marsh and operated by York Region.
I believe I have the experience, skill and legitimacy to continue to this consensus based approach to make real gains for Lake Simcoe, Georgina and the broader watershed community.
Sincere thanks to Lake Simcoe Watch and its allied agencies for your advocacy, dedication and sacrifice for the work that you do. I look forward to our continued work together in the months and years ahead.
Lake Simoce is the jewel of our community, I support reducing phosphorous pollution.
Thank you for sharing this report. As I am out speaking with folks the lake and rivers in Georgina are a huge area of focus.
This should be at the forefront as I believe Lake simcoe is one of our greatest assets! As part of a larger ecosystem that needs our protection for future generations to come.
I firmly believe the Ontario government should live up to its commitment to lower phosphorus levels in Lake Simcoe. I spent much of my boyhood days on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, and I have seen first hand the ecological damage done to that lake by high phosphorus levels. We must protect this natural jewel for future generations. “Water is the driving force of all nature” – Leonardo da Vinci
As a councillor in the Town of Georgina I would be asking the province and the Region to fully fund the Art Janes Pumping Station phosphorus filtration and start construction. I would also be looking at how the Town of Georgina Improving stormwater runoff through the reduction of phosphates being used and then traveling into Lake Simcoe. In addition to this I would be looking at ways we can reduce the amount of salt used on our roads, sidewalks, and consumer areas.
Dale Kerr Genge
The phosphorus removal plant in Holland Landing needs to be completed as soon as possible.
Thank you to Lake Simcoe Watch for all the work you do!