Anonymous on February 16, 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.
I agree that something needs to be done, however, I do not believe that it is the sole responsibility of the G of O to develop and implement a plan. Other agencies and governments also need to be involved. For example:
The Federal Government has a huge stake in agricultural industry, particularly, overseeing treaties and agreements that benefit Canada as a whole. That said, however, they should be involved in the crop management ideas put forward in the paper, perhaps even leading the efforts in this regard. I’m sure many other water resources throughout the country would benefit as well as Lake Simcoe.
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority also needs to share their knowledge and experiences to help pull a plan together. In all likelihood they would be partly responsible for ensuring the proposals are met, through the issuance of permits and monitoring the implementation.
Local governments would have a stake, since the Feds and Ontario would download the cost and implementation efforts. I don’t believe this should happen, however, it is the reality of the current government system. Local government involvement then increases local taxpayer dollars and they take the brunt of the impact.
The farming community is obviously going to be the primary target for impact. The help they will require will be in education and finance. I believe this should be a Federal initiative since it would reap benefits across all the country’s water resources.
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?
I think that groups like Lake Simcoe Watch have a role, however plans and implementation efforts are surely a government responsibility.
LSW carries no authority to create, implement or enforce any legally binding strategies thus should refrain from trying to do so. Instead, their efforts should be in assisting in the funding of these important projects; on focusing on how to implement the projects, not just saying this is what needs to be done; working with municipalities and governments, not just pointing out their shortcomings.
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.
Development Charges are in place to pay for the provision of necessary infrastructure to accommodate growth, not schemes to prevent pollution.
Like the successful recycling programs now in place, education of the public in how to reduce phosphorus pollution is key. Perhaps instead of LSW producing an expensive report, they could have used the funds to create a swale planting, or help a few people who can’t afford to connect their septic system to the municipal sewer system.
4. Please provide any other comments about Lake Simcoe Watch’s report: Cleaning Up Lake Simcoe: A Discussion Paper.
It is a good report and informative. But efforts need to be put into being part of the solution, not just reporting on the problem.