“More than $80 million dollars from the province of Ontario and the federal government have been spent on Lake Simcoe’s rehabilitation since 2008. Those critical investments have helped naturalize some shorelines, restore some wetlands, and reduce phosphorus loads from agriculture, sewage treatment plants, and urban sources.”
“The Environmental Assessment (EA) that was finished in 2002, predates the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, Greenbelt Plan, or any climate targets and commitments. The EA concluded there would be severe impacts to stormwater and groundwater and required upgrades to important studies on groundwater protection, archaeological resources, and stormwater management if the project were to be pursued. Proceeding without the required studies could mean that underground water that feeds wells in the area could become contaminated with salt and other pollutants from cars and the road.
Stormwater that becomes contaminated puts pollution into an already stressed Lake Simcoe, a source of drinking water and fish. No federal fish impact study has been done and no federal permits have been obtained.”
On May 31, Barrie Council declined to support the proposed Bradford Bypass, and instead passed a resolution asking the province to do a comprehensive impact assessment on Lake Simcoe and those vulnerable watersheds and inflows into Lake Simcoe and to consider alternative routes.
The Lake is a given – it is already there and is living. The Highway is only a desire.
Unless MTO’s engineers can build and operate this proposed highway without causing further harm to Lake Simcoe, the highway should not be built. The Lake cannot handle any additional pollution. In fact, unless we significantly reduce the current levels of pollution, the lake and every living organism in it will die.
Environmental Assessment Approvals require the Proponent (MTO) to prove the project is genuinely needed, they have considered all lessor environmentally intrusive alternatives and none are acceptable. It is this highway or nothing! If it is nothing, we will have to continue to put up with the problem the highway is intended to solve.
Given the choice Lake or this Highway, we choose Lake!
However, as stated elsewhere, we strongly believe there are reasonable, significantly less environmentally intrusive, alternatives that need to be considered.