• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Peaker plant appeal to LSRCA board

In Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Dec 14th, 2009

By Katharine Parsons
It looks like Canada is being called the “Dirty Old Man” of climate change.  On December 17th , the day before COP15, I am going before the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority Board with Debbie Schaefer of Concerned citizens of King to try to talk them into not allowing the 400 MW peaker plant to be built in the Holland Marsh near the Hamlet of Ansnorveldt on, among other things, a flood plain.
A flood plain that became a lake after Hurricane Hazel visited on October 15, 1954:  7,000 acres under water, tens of millions of dollars worth of damage, the Highway 400 flooded, 3000 people displaced from their homes.
Five municipalities that voted to be “unwilling hosts” for the peaker plant are represented on the board. A recent economic study of the Holland Marsh Growers’ Association pegs the economic contribution from the Marsh at about $1 billion a year.  These people drained a swamp to turn it into the most productive and valuable farmland in Canada, they endured Hurricane Hazel and a myriad of economic hardships.  They survived the Barrie  F-4 tornado that ripped through the Marsh in 1985 and bent the hydro towers like aluminum pie pans; they renamed a road after the twister. 
But this power plant is going to be built in a countryside that three levels of government swore to protect for future generations.   And why?  No one seems to be able to answer that question so we are airing the PSA “A Promise is A Promise” again this week*.  The Children of the Greenbelt will be reminding the members of the government that sit on the LSRCA Board that they expect the Holland Marsh to be protected.  They will be reminding them that the next day on December 18th, the world will be watching Canada in Copenhagen and that they should think a few minutes before they endorse a project that emits 3 tonnes of greenhouse gases – every minute.
At home, all eyes will be turned on these planners and politicians who might be remembered as the enablers of a foolhardy decision, or the ones who had the political courage to show that rarest of qualities: common sense.
Katharine Parsons is the Executive Director of Global Environmental Action Group
If you missed the ‘A Promise is a Promise’ PSA on the news, you can find it at Children of the Green Belt

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