Group asks Ontario to protect ground water in Simcoe County
Toronto – A delegation of Simcoe County, Ont., residents recently met with members of provincial parliament to press their case for the urgent need for meaningful protection of the pure water that springs from the Simcoe Uplands Moraine in Tiny Township.
“Genuine interest was shown!” said delegation organizer Erin Archer, a member of the local Waterkeepers group, in a news release. “Brainstorming of new avenues has restored the hope in our water protectors. We’re looking forward to working with MPPs from across Ontario to keep this water pristine for future generations.”
At the beginning of the afternoon session of the Ontario Legislature, Green Party leader Mike Schreiner and member of provincial parliament for Guelph introduced the group from Simcoe County who were seated in the visitors’ and members’ galleries.
Among them were representatives of the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations, the Friends of the Waverley Uplands, Tottenham-water, the Anishinaabe Kweag, the Waterkeepers and AWARE Simcoe.
On Dec. 5 Schreiner plans to bring forward a private member’s bill to protect water within the moraine. The group will press for protection for all moraines like the Simcoe Uplands Moraine, also known as the Waverley Uplands.
The delegation had a half-hour meeting with MPP Ian Arthur (Kingston and the Islands), the New Democratic Party’s critic for the environment and sustainability, who is working with Schreiner on his private member’s bill.
They also met with Progressive Conservative Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop, who is gathering information on the issue.
In 2009, First Nations, cottagers, farmers and residents defeated Simcoe County’s plan for Dump Site 41, Waterkeepers said in the release, which cited aggregate extraction as "the new threat to the water."
The Simcoe Uplands Moraine is attracting increasing scientific interest since tests over more than two decades by William Shotyk, now Bocock Chair for Agriculture and the Environment at the University of Alberta, have found it to be purer than 5,000-year-old Arctic ice cores, the release said.
Several other water experts recently toured the area taking samples, including John Cherry, director of the University Consortium for Field-Focused Groundwater Contamination Research and an adjunct professor in the engineering department at the University of Guelph, and Ian Clark, director of Geochemistry and Isotope Laboratories in the Faculty of Science Earth Sciences at the University of Ottawa.
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