• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Petition calls for reinstatement of Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund

In AWARE News Network
Feb 13th, 2023
Online petition can be signed until April 1; ‘We are privileged to live in such a beautiful place and have access to the unique natural resource,’
BarrieToday Staff
A satellite view of Lake Simcoe.

Barrie-Innisfil member of Parliament John Brassard is pleased to sponsor House of Commons Petition E-4278 to reinstate the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund and protect the watershed for future generations.

The e-petition, open for signatures until April 1, was initiated by local advocate Zoe Bystrov, founder of Youth for Lake Simcoe. Click on this link or visit this website  to sign the petition and support Lake Simcoe before April 1. Five hundred signatures are needed for Brassard to table the petition in the House of Commons for a government response.

“We are privileged to live in such a beautiful place and have access to the unique natural resource, Lake Simcoe,” Bystrov said. “The lake and its watershed are vital to our community, not only as a source of drinking water, but as a place where people come to relax, spend time with their families and friends and enjoy various water activities.

“Being on my paddleboard last summer, it broke my heart to see litter such as CDs, plastic bags, yogurt containers, and even an old tire floating in the water and accumulating along the shoreline. Litter fills our lake with microplastics and other substances which are potentially not safe.”

Petition E-4278 demands the reinstatement of the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund, a successful initiative created by the former Conservative government. With $59 million, Conservatives supported over 200 local grassroots projects between 2007 and 2017 and produced tangible results including phosphorus reduction, improvements in lake water quality, and increases in native fish species populations.

The Liberal government refuses to act on their 2019 election promise to reinstate funding. As Barrie-Innisfil member of Parliament, Brassard has relentlessly advocated for Lake Simcoe in the House of Commons and immediately after the 2019 election he and fellow area Conservative MPs wrote a letter to the prime minister and environment minister demanding they make good on their election promise to provide $40 million over four years.

“It was inspiring to see the success the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund had on the health of the Lake Simcoe watershed led by dedicated local groups and volunteers who want to maintain a healthy Lake Simcoe for generations to come.” Brassard said.

Brassard continued: “A healthy and sustainable Lake Simcoe is important to the entire region of central Ontario as a source of drinking water, economic opportunity, recreation and tourism. That’s why I encourage everyone in central Ontario and beyond to sign Zoe’s petition and pressure the Liberal government to immediately reinstate funding for programs that will restore shoreline habitats, clean up contaminated sites and reduce wastewater discharges.”

In 2021 Bystrov won the Ernie Crossland Young Conservationist Award from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority for her work with Youth for Lake Simcoe, a strong youth voice.

“Zoe’s determination and passion for Lake Simcoe are inspiring and I am thrilled to be working with her on this tremendously important cause,” Brassard concluded.

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