In this issue:
North Gwillimbury development threatens wetlands and forests
A new development being proposed for the south shore of Lake Simcoe will have a large impact on one of the watershed’s largest forested areas. Metrus Developments proposed Maple Leaf Estates will turn a core part of North Gwillimbury Forest in the Town of Georgina into a large subdivision. Metrus is relying on a 28-year-old planning approval for a mobile home park to pave the way for its new plans for more than 1,000 detached homes.
The proposed development would disrupt a provincially significant wetland and destroy critical forest cover at a time when the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan calls for increasing forest cover in the watershed. It would also isolate the Arnold C. Mathews Nature Reserve, created through the vision and generosity of local residents.
A local residents group – the North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance – has formed to oppose the development and has just launched an action-oriented website.
photo credit: the WAVE project
Concerning: Upper York Sewage Solution
A high tech sewage treatment plant has been proposed for northern York Region, to flow into Lake Simcoe, to treat the waste from mostly new urban growth to the year 2031, about 150,000 people.The level of treatment for this sewage treatment plant will be far more restrictive than anything else in the province, and will release very little phosphorus, the nutrient most negatively affecting Lake Simcoe.
Yet concerns remain, because phosphorus isn’t the only thing that hurts Lake Simcoe.
Among other things, people are worried about the health impacts of all the toxins in wastewater from pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Impacts on people and wildlife in the rivers and Lake Simcoe are basically unknown, and the province does not set standards for the treatment of pharmaceuticals and personal care products.
Earlier this month the Chippewas of Georgina Island Georgina Island First Nation publicly criticized the project for not notifying the First Nation when plans changed and discharging waste water into Lake Simcoe became the “preferred alternative” over piping through the Oak Ridges Moraine and into Lake Ontario.
Just a few days ago York Regional Council, including Georgina Mayor Rob Grossi, delayed sending a report to the Province about its progress on the Environmental Assessment, worried that it would “imply tacit approval of something about which there remains many concerns”. According to a story in YorkRegion.com ultimately it will be council’s decision whether or not to proceed with the project.
This winter the Upper York Sewage Solution team will be looking for suitable and willing sites, and presenting the results. It is imperative that the environmental impacts on rivers and the lake are the number one consideration.
The next opportunity to learn about this proposed project is January 3rd, 2012:
At TUESDAY TALKS!
UYSS Project Office
1195 Stellar Drive, Unit 1
Drop in 6 p.m and 8 p.m.
North Gwillimbury Forest, Georgina, Cooks Bay
EVENTS - Aware Simcoe
Swamped by Sprawl?
There’s a better way to build healthy communities! By 2031 the population of Simcoe County, Orillia and Barrie is expected to have grown by about 250,000 people. This will impact our air and water quality, our health, our lifestyles and our tax bills unless our municipal councils take care to build healthy communities within ecological limitations.
Panel discussion: Options for living in the 21st century
Claire Malcolmson of Environmental Defence
John Stillich of the Sustainable Urban Development Association
TBA of the Midhurst Ratepayers Association
Saturday, January 21, 2012
9:30 a.m. -12:30 a.m.
Community Centre, 8527 County Road 10, Angus ON
From the East or the South: From Hwy 400, exit at Hwy 90. Go west to Angus. Continue along Mill Street to County Road 10. Turn left. Park in Nottawasaga Pines parking lot.
From the North: Take County Rd. 10 south to Angus. Turn right along Mill Street to where it rejoins County Rd. 10. Turn left. Park in Nottawasaga Pines parking lot.
From the West: Take Hwy 89 to County Road 10. Turn left and go to Nottawasaga Pines parking lot.
Telephone: 705-435-5167 (John)
Refreshments and Home Baked Goodies Provided
All welcome! Bring a Friend
Lake Simcoe Facebook Page
Join our “Protect Lake Simcoe” Facebook page (not group) to get action alerts and news.
Over the past year, you've been instrumental in helping to create a world Canadians are proud to pass on to their children. From removing toxins from personal care products and building Canada's clean energy sector, to protecting our lakes and waterways and enhancing Ontario's Greenbelt; we couldn't have done it without you.
Thank you for being a part of inspiring change. Here's to a healthy and happy holiday season from all of your friends at Environmental Defence.