• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Maple Lake Estates Loophole is not just bad policy — it’s illegal

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In Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Dec 3rd, 2013
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From North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance

The Maple Lake Estates (MLE) Loophole is “simply illegal and bad policy” according to the legal opinion submitted to the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) by Leo Longo, Senior Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP on behalf of the North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance (NGFA).

According to Mr. Longo, even the LSRCA staff’s proposal to change the Loophole’s wording from “shall” to “may” permit development on provincially significant wetlands would still be both illegal and bad policy.

The good news is that there “is no legal impediment which prevents the requested repeal” of the MLE Loophole, as put forward by the NGFA. Furthermore, Metrus Developments cannot judicially challenge the repeal of the MLE Loophole by the LSRCA. In short, the LSRCA has the full legal authority to eliminate the MLE Loophole at its December 13th board meeting.

This would save the North Gwillimbury Forest and ALL the provincially significant wetlands in the Lake Simcoe watershed – forever.

The MLE Loophole would appear to give Metrus Developments automatic approval to build a 500 acre, 1000+ unit mobile home park development on a provincially significant wetland in the North Gwillimbury Forest in the Town of Georgina.

None of the LSRCA’s five neighbouring Conservation Authorities permit large scale developments that would destroy a provincially significant wetland. On May 13, 2013, the David Suzuki Foundation, Ontario Nature, Environmental Defence, the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, AWARE Simcoe and the North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance asked the LSRCA to eliminate the MLE Loophole.

The LSRCA will be voting on our request at its December 13th board meeting.

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