• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

RLSC: It’s summer!

In Barrie
Jun 23rd, 2022

By Claire Malcolmson, Executive Director, Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition

Dear Lake Simcoe Lovers,

Summer is upon us! Finally, it’s time for swimming and all the best that Lake Simcoe has to offer! And we still have lots of advocacy to do. We need you to use your voices at the municipal level, and if you can and are committed to progress, consider running for Council this fall! While RLSC can’t support a slate of candidates, we KNOW how important decision-making is at the municipal level. Land use planning for the next 30 years, doubling the population of the Lake Simcoe watershed is nothing to sneeze at. It’s the most significant threat we’ve ever faced.

In this newsletter

  1. Official Plan Updates and Opportunities for Engagement
  2. Action Alerts
  3. RLSC Success, News, and Opportunities
  4. Just For Fun! 
  5. Support Our Work


1. Official Plan Updates and Opportunities for Engagement

Simcoe County

1. Simcoe County Open House, Tuesday June 21, 4:30 – 6 PM via Zoom 

Simcoe County is presenting some more information about their Official Plan and planning to 2051. Learn more and register here.

2. Public Meeting​​​, Tuesday, June 28 at 10:00 AM via Zoom

To participate in the meeting by providing a five-minute pre-recorded video presentation or a five-minute live virtual presentation, pre-registration is required by no later than noon on Friday, June 24th, 2022.

To pre-register, please refer to the following Public Meetings P​articipa​tion Instructions.

Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition will delegate to Council on the 28th focusing on the Growth Plan Natural Heritage System (NHS) map. You may recall that we got Innisfil to support our requests to Simcoe County for adding lands to the province’s Natural Heritage map, which has higher levels of protection and is more complicated to re-zone than the County’s greenlands designation. Success! 

Greenwash alert Oro-Medonte! Unfortunately, in Oro-Medonte, Council said they would follow up with our requests, then only asked for a few of the areas we recommended for inclusion, hid the document (we got it through a freedom of information request) and gave Simcoe County no rationale for the inclusion of these areas. Fail! Only one of the areas we recommended for inclusion in Oro-Medonte has been added to the NHS by Simcoe County – and it’s the area that young star Nari Hwang suggested – Shellswell Park at 118 Lakeshore Rd W. (We haven’t given up, by the way! Here’s the letter we sent to Oro-Medonte this month.)

York Region

Last Thursday, we took a different tack and protested instead of delegating to York Region Council. Thanks to all who came out! It resulted in some great media coverage.

What’s the problem, you ask? The plan is to bring in 7,785 acres, or 12 square miles, into the urban boundary over the next 30 years.  Here’s a blog about Council opposition to the Official Plan.

The next opportunity for delegations is June 30. We want a lot of delegations from new people, so if you’ve been waiting, this is it. They will vote to approve their Official Plan on the 30th, and as it stands, the majority are supporting the removal of protected lands from the Oak Ridges Moraine (ORM) to develop. This is a first, and a serious, attack on the Greenbelt/ORM, if only as an extremely dangerous precedent that would embolden other municipalities that want to develop on the Greenbelt. This is what you call the thin edge of the wedge.

If you want to get involved, send us an email at stopsprawlYR@gmail.com. Learn more at www.StopSprawlYR.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Durham Region

Oh, this is a sad tale. Despite truly the best efforts of volunteers, community members, and staff, Council approved the land needs plan that the developers developed and pedalled. The one that hadn’t been part of the public consultation and is very sprawly. It is well summarized in this letter to the editor:

“This plan, simply described as the BILD Scenario throughout the May 25 meeting, was opposed by the region’s planning staff as well as by over 90 per cent of the citizens who submitted spoken or written presentations. Planning staff told councillors that the BILD scenario will make it difficult or impossible for the region to meet its climate goals, its goals for affordable housing, or its goals for efficient public transit.” (Source)

These old Councilors and Mayors who do not care for your future need to go.

Learn more at Stop Sprawl Durham and find out why BILD concerns us here.

2. Action Alerts

1. Save The Oro Moraine – Protect its water, forests, wetlands and farmlands

You can read more and sign the petition here.

2. Sign to protect the purest water in the world!

The groundwater below the Simcoe Uplands near Waverley in Simcoe County has been tested for three decades and is the purest water known to science. But it is threatened. Many actions to protect it are taking place. One is petition e-3867 on the House of Commons website

This is a national treasure! Join our cross-Canada campaign to save this water for future generations: A vital contribution to the protection of this precious resource is your signature on the petition by June 30! Please share this message.  More info

3. RLSC Success, News, and Opportunities

Volunteers Needed
This summer, we’re going to some concerts, farmers’ markets, and festivals to meet new friends and spread the gospel of taking care of Lake Simcoe. You don’t need to be an expert to help – we can train you. We are looking for two volunteers for outreach at:

  • Mariposa, July 9, 11 AM – 3:30 PM 
  • Farmers markets in Sutton, Sundays 9 AM – 2 PM
  • Carrotfest in Bradford West Gwillimbury August 19 – 20

Fundraising Success
Thanks to our incredible volunteer team, media, and everyone who came, our Laugh for Lake Simcoe fundraiser earned us $10,000! And we have decided that we will do it again. Anyone with an interest in teamwork and event organizing, please contact us to get involved for another hilarious fundraiser next spring.

Summer Interns
We have hired two summer interns, Alessia and Georgia. Alessia Mole is a graduate student from York University who is analyzing our audiences and figuring out how we can reach more people to be even more effective. Welcome, Alessia!

We also bought a subscription to the Grant Advance fundraising portal and are exploring new options for fundraising from charitable foundations. Doing the heavy lifting will be Georgia Poletes, a recent graduate from Dalhousie University and a resident of Brock Township. You may have met her at our RLSC group leader fundraising brainstorm session last week or at the spring protest at Mulroney’s office in Holland Landing. We can’t wait to see what Georgia will do for us.

4. Just For Fun!

  • Waterparks opening up in Orillia and Barrie!
  • It’s pollinator week, June 20 – 26: Please plant what they want! Learn more at the pollinator website where you can find eco-region guides to pollinator plants.


5. Please support our work

You can make a donation through our Small Change Fun Project, or through one of the options on our website. Thank you!

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