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Council passes motion to reduce phosphorus pollution in Holland River, Lake Simcoe

Motion will be debated on Sept. 17 in Georgina
Neeson Scott Holland River (1)
Councillor Scott’s motion to expedite phosphorus recycling passes Bradford Council.

Last night, The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury Council unanimously passed Coun. Jonathan Scott’s motion to reduce phosphorus pollution in the Holland River and Lake Simcoe by calling on York Region to expedite planning and construction of the proposed Holland Marsh Phosphorous Recycling Facility.

The motion also called on the provincial government to help fund the project.

The facility would reduce phosphorous runoff into the Holland River and Lake Simcoe by up to 40 per cent, protecting the Lake's watershed from algae growth, which will better protect the region's aquatic habitat, increase ecosystem biodiversity, and proect drinking water sources. 

“I’m thrilled our Council showed our commitment to environmental sustainability by passing this motion unanimously,” said Coun. Scott. “This facility is vital to protecting the health of our watershed, and improving the Lake’s habitat, which is critical to sustaining our tourism and recreational industries, as well as reaching our commitments under the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan.”

"I think it's a win-win for everybody," said Deputy Mayor James Leduc, who said he was looking forward to the motion carrying through the province. "To me, this is a project that should have been looked at a long time ago."

Coun. Peter Ferragine who is also Vice-Chair of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority also supported the motion, noting the organization is "constantly looking for ways to reduce phosphorous in our water system and protect the lake" and that the facility's ability to reduce phosphorus by 40 per cent is a positive. 

"I think this is important for the protection of our lake, and I hope other municipalities will support this," added Coun. Raj Sandhu. 

Mayor Rob Keffer thanked Coun. Scott for bringing the motion forward. 

"It is important, it is a good project, and the health of Lake Simcoe is very important to the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury and area municipalities," he said. 

An identical copy of the motion will be debated on Sept. 17 in Georgina, sponsored by Coun. Dave Neeson, and will be discussed this week by the East Gwillimbury environmental advisory committee, which is chaired by Coun. Loralea Carruthers.