York Region calls on province to let LSRCA oversee Lake Simcoe Protection Plan - By Jessica Owen, via NewmarketToday.ca

Friday Apr 09th, 2021


York Region is calling on the province to give the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority the power to oversee implementation of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan.

That was one of eight key recommendations York Region has put forward to the Ontario government in its engagement process to determine whether the plan needs to be updated or amended. The recommendations put forward by the region were received for information by councillors during their committee of the whole meeting on Thursday.

“The Lake Simcoe Protection Plan has been a necessary tool to improve the health of the watershed but results to date have not met expectations,” noted Erin Mahoney, commissioner of environmental services with the region, in her memo to council.


“While phosphorus levels have decreased over the last 10 years, one of the most significant barriers to achieving the goals of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan is the continued focus on point sources like wastewater treatment facilities,” she said.

Mahoney wrote that the phosphorus reduction strategy was introduced in 2010 to help achieve these goals. The strategy included a focus on wastewater treatment facilities, cutting regulated phosphorus outputs from these plants in half and reducing their loading by more than one tonne since 2009.

“However, wastewater treatment facilities only account for two per cent of the total annual phosphorus loading to the lake. Non-point sources like agriculture and urban stormwater represent the vast majority of phosphorus inputs to Lake Simcoe,” she wrote.

“For the plan to succeed, it’s vital to shift future actions to tangible, time bound and resourced work to reduce these non-point sources,” Mahoney said.

According to correspondence sent to the province by York Region in February and considered during their committee of the whole meeting this week, staff made eight key recommendations to the province to consider when updating the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan:

  1. Accelerate measurable phosphorus reductions in Lake Simcoe by focusing on the most impactful and cost-effective actions to address non-point sources;
  2. Develop, fund and commit to a time-bound implementation plan for reducing phosphorus;
  3. Make governance changes to the Lake Simcoe coordinating committee to facilitate an adaptive management approach to implementation;
  4. Give Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority the authority and tools required to effectively lead implementation and monitor the effectiveness of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan;
  5. Convert some policy areas within the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan to designated policies that mandate action;
  6. Align the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan with recent changes to provincial land-use plans, including the Provincial Policy Statement, Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and balance with requirements under A Place to Grow;
  7. Clarify how municipalities can comply with both legislated growth targets and wastewater servicing restrictions systems under the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan;
  8. Focus on addressing the impacts of invasive species like mussels on the watershed and infrastructure for the next 10 years.

Since launching a 75-day public review of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan in December, the province has been engaging with local partners and residents to determine if the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan needs to be amended or updated. During the public review period, the province held two virtual events: a town hall on Feb. 11 and a science event on Jan. 28.

Based on the engagement and the findings from the review, the minister of the environment, conservation and parks will consider making amendments to the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan by the summer of 2021.


David Hillesheim Apr 11, 2021
LSRCA is a pathetic excuse for an authority. Can’t even manage the lands and streams they already have 🤬

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