The mayor of Ajax, Shaun Collier, has issued a statement in response to a decision made by the Ontario government that impacts treatment requirements at the Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant.
“Ajax Council is extremely disappointed in the decision by Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Jeff Yurek, to not require tertiary treatment at the Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant (DCWPCP).
The Town, community, and local groups fought tirelessly for more than a decade pressing successive governments and investing significant resources to protect the Ajax waterfront from excessive algae. We will continue to be a strong voice and advocate for our waterfront by working jointly with the Regions of York and Durham as they proceed with the expansion of the DCWPCP and the implementation of the conditions as set out by Minister Yurek.
I have expressed my discontent and dismay regarding the decision directly with Ajax MPP and Minister of Finance Rod Phillips, and pressed upon him to continue holding the Regions accountable. The few conditions outlined in the Minister’s decision are limited in scope, and unfortunately, will not remedy the nuisance algae along our waterfront.
Minister Yurek recognized the Town’s expenditure of significant resources studying our algae issue. Further, he noted that our studies may inform ongoing provincial policy to improve water quality in Lake Ontario, including efforts to reduce algae growth in the Pickering-Ajax nearshore.
We will continue to engage our regional, provincial, and federal partners as well as policy makers on the importance of water quality to the Town, and encourage them to implement best practices for Lake Ontario based on our peer-reviewed science.
Finally, I would like to personally thank everyone who worked relentlessly to date on our algae issue, including our top-notch Town planning staff, our legal and consulting team, non-profit organizations, our incredible residents, Pickering Ajax Citizens Together to Protect Our Water (PACT POW), and successive Ajax Councils.
Ajax is known internationally for its commitment to water quality. This will not change.”