Earth Day Rally Demands Stop to Destructive and Costly Provincial Decisions that worsen climate change and community affordability
The Earth Day rally will be at MPP Caroline Mulroney’s office | Patrick Bales for NewmarketToday
Simcoe County – Local community advocates from across Simcoe County and York Region will be gathering outside of MPP Mulroney’s constituency office on Saturday, April 23rd to demand that Mulroney and the Ford government start making decisions to create healthy, affordable communities while protecting water, farmland and nature.
Margaret Prophet, Executive Director of the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition, “What we have seen so far from a policy perspective is a license to destroy. From encouraging sprawl to highways in the Greenbelt with no real plan to protect Lake Simcoe or our climate, this government is setting a destructive and costly agenda for Ontario. Sprawl and highways won’t make our communities cheaper or reduce traffic congestion. Sprawl makes traffic, housing costs, air pollution, and water quality worse. Instead of investing in our healthcare, affordable housing or education, our tax dollars are being used to promote profoundly irrational, destructive development.”
A main concern for many of the local residents is the future health of Lake Simcoe. Studies have shown that the lake could exceed toxic levels of salt within 37 years which would have a large impact on the fishability and swimability of the lake. Two new highway proposals – the Bradford Bypass and a 404 extension to highway 12/48 – pose great threats to the lake’s future.
“Lake Simcoe is not being protected adequately by the province. Their plan to add over 70 km of 400 series highways within its wetlands and forests demonstrates that the lake we love is a mere afterthought to sprawl. The lake won’t be able to handle the additional salt or phosphorus loads. You’re either supporting the lake or supporting the highways. I support Lake Simcoe because I know how important it is to our communities, our economies and wellbeing.” says Claire Malcolmson, Executive Director of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition.
Organizers stress that this is a peaceful, family friendly gathering of like minded community members who want to protect and preserve a good way of life for everyone and resist the idea that the only way forward is to destroy.
The rally will be held from 1-2:30pm at 45 Grist Mill Road, Holland Landing. Organizers are optimistic that the messages they’re sending will be heard by politicians and their electorate, especially with the upcoming election.
Bill Foster, Chair Forbid Roads Over Green Spaces says,“The polling is quite clear, putting highways through the Greenbelt is unpopular. People in the area really care about protecting farmland, their water and Lake Simcoe. This popular opinion should be used by our elected officials to create or support good public policies. Governments at all levels need to take care of our communities and their future food and water security. We need to make our communities healthier and more affordable. What we are getting now is unsustainable sprawl. I hope that once Ontarians realize this, they will overwhelmingly voice their opinions at the ballot box to demand the changes we need to achieve a prosperous future.”
For media inquiries please contact:
Claire Malcolmson, Executive Director, RLSC
Margaret Prophet, Executive Director, SCGC
Bill Foster, Founder – FROGS
About: The Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition is a lake-wide member-based organization that provides leadership and inspires people to take action to protect Lake Simcoe. www.rescuelakesimcoe.org
About the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition www.simcoecountygreenbelt.ca: The Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition is a diverse coalition of 35 organizations from across Simcoe County and the province calling on local and provincial leaders to better protect our water resources, green spaces and farmland through smart growth and sustainable policies including expansion of the Greenbelt into Simcoe County.
About F.R.O.G.S: FROGS is an association of East Gwillimbury residents that came together in 1993 to fight the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) proposed new Bradford Bypass controlled access highway. The government’s apparent zeal to resurrect this highway on an expedited basis, combined with the apparent lack of awareness of this highway amongst most of our neighbours, has caused us to reconstitute FROGS. Our objective is to add our voice to the many environmental groups in southern Ontario who are fighting this unnecessary, obsolete highway in the hope that eventually reason will prevail and this highway will once again be stopped. www.frogs.ca