• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

RLSC: What we’re doing and how you can help!

In Barrie
Aug 15th, 2022
Who will take care of Lake Simcoe? A 2022 update on the “Lake Simcoe Under Pressure” Report

From the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition
By Claire Malcolmson

We hope this letter finds you well and enjoying Lake Simcoe!

We all want a healthy lake we can swim in, fish, and enjoy for generations to come. The Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition has been hard at work with our member groups and volunteers to make this happen. If you missed it, we released a report this March which goes into detail about the issues of concern and what should be done to allow the lake to heal.

Simply put, Lake Simcoe cannot withstand the province’s growth agenda. Now, more than ever before, the lake’s health is going to depend on the work we do as advocates and educators.

As you enjoy Lake Simcoe, please take time to give back. 
We are a lean little charity with a great big voice, 29 member groups, connections with plenty of provincial charities, and motivated volunteers and members like you. We focus on improving water quality and protecting our watershed’s forests and wetlands by stopping sprawl and fighting polluting development projects. Our research, planning, coordination with community members and volunteers, and actions all take time and money.

Please donate what you can to help us be a voice for Lake Simcoe.

Over the past year we’ve fought the Bradford Bypass because it will harm water and fish habitat. The province cut the Environmental Assessment for this highway short, meaning they plan to build it in this ecologically sensitive location regardless of the outcomes of many outstanding studies. Can you believe there has been no assessment of the project’s impact on Lake Simcoe, or the cumulative effects on fish and their habitat!? Neither can we. 

That’s why we are continuing to raise awareness and will fight to the end on this file. This year we took our first legal action against Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change for failing to follow the Impact Assessment legislation while turning down two requests for a Federal Impact Assessment of the highway. There should be some news on the legal action this fall.

We also made the case for sustainability in municipal Official Plans for Durham Region, Simcoe County and, particularly, in York Region where we started Stop Sprawl York Region. With partners across the region and province, we are growing a movement and pushing back against the province’s farmland-obliterating sprawl agenda. Why? Because in addition to destroying farmland and other vital green spaces, sprawl is expensive for taxpayers, creates car dependency, and contributes to climate change. Furthermore, sprawl rips up more soil than other forms of housing, which means that every rainfall flushes more polluting sediment into Lake Simcoe.

Moving forward, we are focused on providing solutions to municipal representatives to get them to build denser, more affordable, and more environmentally responsible housing, for all those 30-somethings living in parents’ basements, for the single parents with nowhere to live, and for elders faced with frightening and expensive downsizing options. More dense housing in the suburbs will improve transit, reduce costs, and improve quality of life for all. That’s how we want to “get it done”: fairly and responsibly.

Through our Protect Our Plan campaign, the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition continues to ask the province to finish their review of Canada’s best watershed-based legislation: The Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. The government did the public consultation in 2020 and continues to sit on the results two years later.  We need to make a big stink about this, and we can only do that with your support. It is not good enough for the government of Ontario to simply plan more and more suburbs while ignoring the impacts of sewage (like the proposed Upper York Sewage “solution”), stormwater, and the impacts of road salt on freshwater. Without active resistance to the unsustainable plans for Lake Simcoe, we will get more development than the lake can handle. That is why the RLSC is needed.

This year we continued to innovate in our fundraising by hosting Laugh For Lake Simcoe, starring Brent Butt, at the Orillia Opera House in May. But despite its hilarity and success, and the generosity of many corporate sponsors, we still need to raise $40,000 to meet our budget this year.

Can you please take a moment either to make a donation, or to purchase water protector posters, jewelry and greeting cards on our Donate page?

Five Ways to Make a Tax Deductible Donation

  1. Become a monthly donor using the Small Change Fund’s donation page.
  2. Send an e-transfer to rlscfinance@gmail.com. For a charitable tax receipt, please send your name and address to this email.
  3. Donate by cheque: Rescue Lake Simcoe Charitable Foundation, 120 Primeau Drive, Aurora, Ontario, L4G 6Z7
  4. Donate through PayPal or Canada Helps
  5. Transfer of securities as donation (more info and forms on our website)

Thanks so much for recognizing the need to protect our beautiful Lake Simcoe, and for choosing to partner with us to address it! 

Please contact us with any questions or comments you have at rescuelakesimcoecoalition@gmail.com

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