Anonymous on February 26, 2020
1. Do you support Lake Simcoe Watch’s recommendation that the Government of Ontario should develop a plan to reduce Lake Simcoe’s phosphorus pollution to 44 tonnes per year by 2026? If no, do you support the achievement of the 44 tonne per year target by a later date? If yes, please specify the date.
How can we STILL be asking when the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan wasreleased more than 10 years ago! And, STILL the province and local governments have not developed a plan to reduce phosphorus pollution to 44 tonnes per year. Meanwhile those same governments continue to overload this watershed with unwieldy population growth and development. The more roads, the more houses and rooftops, the more exposed soil, more fertilizers/pesticides, the more phosphorous pollution in the form of urban stormwater. I support the reduction phosphorus pollution NOW ... stop dithering and DO IT! I suppose the best way to handle this was TEN YEARS ago, all those politicians should have been told there would be a moratorium on development until the phosphorus reduction plan was hammered out. Since politicians seem to exist on campaign donations from developers, that would have been an incentive for them to get going on this!!
2. Do you support Lake Simcoe Watch’s proposed actions to reduce Lake Simcoe’s phosphorus pollution? If no, please explain why not and outline alternative actions that you believe should be taken to reduce Lake Simcoe’s phosphorus pollution?
OF COURSE, the reduction of Lake Simcoe's phosphorus ought to be the OVER-ARCHING GOAL for all municipalities within the Lake Simcoe Watershed. The lake is not just there for humans -- for thousands of years, it has been there to support many forms of life, and it should be healthy enough to continue doing so. This could go hand in hand with establishing undisturbed areas of forests and wetlands while they are STILL THERE. Put limits on activities that generate phosphorus and other forms of pollutants in the first place. I never understand why politicians are so gung-ho to spend money on bull-dozing the landscape, then paving it, and building cheek-by-jowl developments that will increase phosphorus -- THEN, they want to spend MORE tax dollars on costly new engineering solutions to reduce the phosphorus overload. At least, the developers always get what they want -- but that should NOT be how the 'public service' works.
3. Do you agree that the Development Charges Act should be amended to permit the Government of Ontario and Lake Simcoe municipalities to levy development charges to recover 100% of their costs of reducing Lake Simcoe’s phosphorus pollution? If no, please explain why not and outline how you believe the pollution reduction measures should be paid for.
ABSOLUTELY, the Development Charges Act should be amended to ensure 100% of development charges are paid by developers. This should have been instituted a few decades ago. For too many levels of government, development has become an unquestioned religion -- and the primary source of campaign donations from 'satisfied developers'. This is sad beyond words because of all the nations in the world, Canada could have a sustainable stable economy that serves nature well -- remembering that humans are a part of nature. Humans rely on natural areas, such as forests for recreation, fibre, oxygen, flood control, shade, carbon sequestration, food items, even medicines are harvested from forests, and forests will provide these services for free, as long as they are retained in fairly robust 'natural interdependent communities'. Forests can survive well without humans, but humans cannot survive without forests.
4. Please provide any other comments about Lake Simcoe Watch’s report: Cleaning Up Lake Simcoe: A Discussion Paper.
There have been countless conferences, going back to 1991, that 'discussed' the NEED for watershed planning. I remember one at the Unversity of Trent, and there was another held near Orangeville, attended by keynote speaker, David Crombie. It was held at the Hockley Valley Conference Centre on Oct 22, 1991, and the resulting publication was entitled, "There's Always Someone Downstream", ISBN-0-9696017-0-0. It can be accessed at https://mono.civicweb.net/document/19861 How many times does this exercise have to be repeated, with the same lessons offered, over and over?
When it comes to planning, watershed planning should be the paramount duty for Conservation Authoriities, and the botched-up cross-jurisdictional 'responsibilities' of other layers of government (intent on development primarily) must take a backseat; otherwise, we get this line-up of politicians at the municipal, regional, and provincial levels whose devotion to developers prevents sound planning -- and we end up with degraded landscapes, sprawling overly-standardized conformity, or land-use 'cramming', NOT planning. The natural constraints of the watershed DO MATTER, and the human population must be brought into alignment with ecological constraints. We cannot say we 'value headwater' landforms, then bull-doze them away so developers make a quick buck, while the residents shoulder 30% to 50% of development costs (though the public will never really know about all the subsidies offered to developers and industry). Those costs race ahead of current development, so politicians are always playing catch-up, ensuring that the next generation of taxpayers pay for the current generation -- meanwhile the current generation is paying for the previous 'iteration' of development. On and on the 'game' goes, while debts and deficits at all levels of government continue to spiral out of control -- and this is exactly what is happening here.