Nix $715M sewage plant; reduce Lake Simcoe phosphorus pollution first by 50%
Deputy Premier Christine Elliott
‘This failure of leadership to protect the lake is simply unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue’
Letter from Jack Gibbons, Lake Simcoe Watch to to NewmarketToday
Mayor John Taylor and the Region of York are asking Premier Ford to approve the Upper York Sewage Solutions Project, which will dump more phosphorus pollution into Lake Simcoe.
In 2009, the Government of Ontario released its Lake Simcoe Protection Plan which calls for a 50-per cent reduction in Lake Simcoe’s phosphorus pollution to protect the lake’s cold water fishery and to reduce algae blooms and weeds.
Unfortunately, 10 years later, the Region, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada have still not developed a plan to achieve the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan’s 50-per cent phosphorus pollution reduction target.
This failure of leadership to protect the lake is simply unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue.
Therefore, the Region of York should not be allowed to spend $715 million to dump more pollution into Lake Simcoe until our elected leaders have developed a plan and a budget to reduce Lake Simcoe’s phosphorus pollution by 50 per cent by 2026 and have fully consulted with the Georgina Island First Nation.
Proposed sewage plant debate fires up – Upper York Sewage Solutions project still in limbo
by: Kim Champion Newmarket Today
The stalled $715 million Upper York Sewage Solutions project could soon rev up now that it has caught the attention of Newmarket-Aurora MPP and Deputy Premier Christine Elliott.
Considered leading-edge and a first of its kind in Canada, the Regional Municipality of York’s proposed and funded new wastewater treatment facility in East Gwillimbury has so far faced a nearly three-year delay over strong opposition from the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation.
Located just off the southern shore of Lake Simcoe, the First Nation band leadership outright rejects the region’s sewage plant proposal as it stands based on concerns about how the development may impact the health of its members along with its constitutionally protected Indigenous rights to fish and hunt, among other things.
Georgina Island First Nation environmental and bylaw coordinator Brandon Stiles says the government’s duty to consult has been “inadequately executed” and the First Nation will continue its opposition to the project.