SHAW: ON WORLD WATER DAY IT’S TIME TO CLEAN UP LAKE SIMCOE

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Sandy Shaw (Hamilton West - Ancaster - Dundas), NDP Official Opposition critic for Environment, Conservation and Parks, tabled a motion today calling for the immediate implementation of a protection strategy to clean up Lake Simcoe.

“As our largest inland lake, Lake Simcoe collects a high amount of storm runoff that has a huge impact on the water’s health”, said Shaw. “Phosphorus in the runoff creates algae – which throws the whole system off balance. Once this beloved lake is damaged, it’ll be hard to get it back. That’s why we need to act now to protect it”.

Shaw’s motion calls for three key solutions, including: 

  • Implement the 2008 Lake Simcoe Protection Act with a target of reducing phosphorus loads to 44 tonnes per year by 2030 
  • Evaluate the future environmental impacts of the proposed Bradford Bypass and accompanying sprawl on Lake Simcoe and its tributaries in terms of water quality 
  • Begin work on a phosphorus reduction facility before the end of 2024 

“I am calling on Doug Ford to join the Ontario NDP and immediately fund the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, a strategy that already exists to protect Lake Simcoe,” said Shaw. “It’s a common-sense solution that would keep Lake Simcoe clean for all who visit and enjoy this vital watershed. Tomorrow is World Water Day – let's celebrate it by protecting Lake Simcoe for generations to come.”  

World Water Day 2024 will take place on March 22.  

Background 

  • In the 1980’s, the Lake Simcoe Environmental Management Strategy was formed 
  • In 2008, Ontario passed the Lake Simcoe Protection Act to further reduce phosphorus levels. The Ford government has yet to execute this plan. 
  • The Auditor General’s 2023 State of the Environment in Ontario report flagged Lake Simcoe as a being at particular risk due to high levels of phosphorous and road salt.

Quotes

Penny Trumble, of Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nations

“We are lake people on Georgina Island, our name is Ashunyun shining waters. For generations our people have respected this water as it is our life. I stand here today with pain in my heart watching Ashunyun die. Our waters are dull, our fish are sick we can no longer gather our food in the winter as the lake no longer freezes. The effects of this are damaging to us, our four-legged friends, our crawlers, and our flyers. The ground is toxic to grow our food. It is time to stop talking. Now is the time for action.”

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