The provincial government is taking action to protect one southern Ontario’s largest lakes. Premier Dalton McGuinty announced Friday he will propose an act to safeguard Lake Simcoe.
“The act we are proposing today would ensure that families will continue to enjoy Lake Simcoe for years to come,” McGuinty said when he made the announcement in Barrie.
The new act would:
Raise the bar for sewage treatment standards and set strict limits on pollutants such as phosphorous;
Create governance to deal with environmental issues; and
Promote recreation with protection.
The lake, about an hour’s drive north of the city, is a popular destination for cottagers, tourists, beach-goers and ice fishers alike.
Studies probing a decline in the lake’s fish in the 80s found increasing development and agriculture were filling the lake with excess nutrients.
Plant life increased in the fertile environment and used more of the water’s precious oxygen supply, needed to support fish. Today, Lake Simcoe’s coldwater fishery can’t sustain itself.
David Donnelly of Environmental Defence said if the act became a law, it will bring much-needed regulation to the water body.
Ontario’s Greenbelt, which covers over 725,000 hectares of green space, only protects the lake’s southeastern shores.
“We’re pleased to stand with the Lake Simcoe community … to make sure Lake Simcoe is healthy for generations to come,” said Premier McGuinty.
“Together, we’re moving forward with strong environmental protection that will benefit your family today – and your kids and grandkids for years to come.”