Lake Simcoe Water Quality and Cold Water Fishery
According to the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, to improve the water quality of Lake Simcoe (e.g., reduction of weeds and algae blooms) and to protect our cold water fishery (e.g., lake trout and whitefish) Lake Simcoe’s annual phosphorus loading must be reduced by 40% to 44 tonnes per year.
Streams that are affected by runoff (e.g., fertilizers, manure) from urban, rural and agricultural areas are responsible for more than half of Lake Simcoe’s phosphorus loadings. Dust from construction sites, pits and quarries and agricultural lands is another major source of phosphorus.
Woodlands and wetlands help to regulate water quality by filtering out contaminants and absorbing excess nutrients before they reach the Lake. The loss of woodlands, wetlands and natural shorelines has led to increased phosphorus loadings into Lake Simcoe.
Unfortunately, the Government of Ontario’s phosphorus reduction strategy does not have a work plan to actually lower Lake Simcoe’s phosphorus loadings to 44 tonnes per year.
For more information please see: www.ontario.ca/page/lake-simcoe-phosphorus-reduction-strategy.
Lake Simcoe’s Forests, Wetlands and Meadows
According to the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, at least 40% of Lake Simcoe’s watershed area should consist of high quality forests, wetlands and meadows.
At present, approximately 39% of Lake Simcoe’s watershed consists of natural cover. Unfortunately, much of this land is too fragmented and therefore does not provide high quality habitat and migration corridors for animals, birds and plants.
Respecting Our Right To Be Heard
In 2017 the DG Group sought permission (a Section 28 permit) from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) to destroy the Paradise Beach-Island Grove Provincially Significant Wetland in the North Gwillimbury Forest.
The LSRCA refused to establish a process for receiving and reviewing submissions from citizens who believe that the wetland should be preserved. This is contrary to the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice.
Making Growth Pay for Growth
Currently, development charges do not recover all of a municipality’s additional capital costs for new infrastructure (e.g., roads, water, sewage) to service new residential and commercial developments. As a result, our local taxes are continuously being raised to subsidize the costs of servicing new developments.