The Ontario government is encouraging all interested individuals and groups to participate in an online public survey on plans to protect and improve Lake Simcoe before the consultation period closes on March 3, 2021.
Since launching a 75-day public review of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan in December, the province has been engaging with local partners, Indigenous communities, and residents to help determine if the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan needs to be amended or updated.
“The response we’ve received from the public so far has been extremely informative and helpful,” said Andrea Khanjin, parliamentary assistant to the minister of the environment, conservation, and parks. Khanjin is also the MPP for Barrie-Innisfil. “For those who care about the health of this vital lake and its watershed, I strongly urge you to share your ideas, thoughts, and suggestions before the engagement period closes, so that we can all contribute to the protection of Lake Simcoe for generations to come.”
The province has held two virtual events during the public review period, including a town hall on February 11, 2021 and a science event on January 28, 2021.
More than 290 people attended the town hall to share their thoughts and feedback on the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. They also heard from ministry staff on the current health of the watershed, the progress to date on efforts to protect and restore the lake, and the process to review the plan.
The science event brought together over 150 science partners, Lake Simcoe committee members, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to share knowledge and research on protecting the ecological health of Lake Simcoe and its watershed.
The event included 17 presentations from organizations such as the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Western University, and St. Lawrence River Institute on topics ranging from the status of aquatic life, trends in water quality, and watershed management in Lake Simcoe.
Members of the public can continue to take part in the review of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan by completing an online public survey or providing a written submission to LakeSimcoe@ontario.ca until March 3, 2021. More information is available on the Protecting Lake Simcoe webpage.
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.