Simcoe County delegation at Queen’s Park to advocate for the world’s purest water
Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner with some members of the Simcoe County delegation in his Legislature office. -AWARE Simcoe photo
News release from Waterkeepers
A delegation of Simcoe County residents attended proceedings at the Ontario Legislature yesterday and met with MPPs to underscore the urgent need for meaningful protection for the uniquely pure water that springs from the Simcoe Uplands Moraine in Tiny Township.
“Genuine interest was shown!” said delegation organizer Erin Archer, a member of the local Waterkeepers group. “Brainstorming of new avenues has restored the hope in our water protectors. We’re looking forward to working with MPPs from across Ontario to keep this water pristine for future generations.”
At the beginning of the afternoon session, Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner (MPP for Guelph) introduced the group from Simcoe County who were seated in the visitors’ and members’ galleries.
Among them were representatives of the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations, the Friends of the Waverley Uplands, Tottenham-water, the Anishinaabe Kweag, the Waterkeepers and AWARE Simcoe.
“Here we go again,” said Linda Chernecki of AWARE Simcoe. “It’s the battle of Site 41 all over again. Who can believe that we are experiencing an even more dire threat this time around because we stand to lose the very “lungs” that give us this pure water!”
In 2009, First Nations, cottagers, farmers and residents were finally successful in defeating Simcoe County’s plan for Dump Site 41. Aggregate extraction is the new threat to the water.
In a meeting yesterday, Schreiner explained that on December 5, 2018 he will be bringing forward a private member’s bill to protect water within another moraine. The group will press for protection for all moraines like the Simcoe Uplands Moraine, also known as the Waverley Uplands.
“It fills my heart with joy to be with other water protectors, and to witness how water literally connects us,” said Deb Brown of the Waterkeepers. “Today at Queen’s Park our group included 17 people from all over Simcoe County as the pure water of the Alliston aquifer affects us all.”
The delegation had a productive half-hour meeting with MPP Ian Arthur (Kingston and the Islands), the New Democratic Party’s critic for the environment and sustainability, who is working with Schreiner on his private member’s bill.
They also met with Progressive Conservative Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop, who is gathering information on the issue.
The Simcoe Uplands Moraine is attracting increasing scientific interest since tests over more than two decades by William Shotyk, now Bocock Chair for Agriculture and the Environment at the University of Alberta, have found it to be purer than 5,000-year-old Arctic ice cores.
Several other water experts recently toured the area taking samples, including John Cherry, director of the University Consortium for Field-Focused Groundwater Contamination Research and an adjunct professor in the engineering department at the University of Guelph, and Ian Clark, Director of Geochemistry and Isotope Laboratories in the Faculty of Science Earth Sciences at the University of Ottawa.