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PACT POW tells province ignoring Ajax’s algae plague threatens credibility of proposed Great Lakes Protection Act

Friday, September 25th 2015 4:13:10pm

News Release

September 25, 2015

On September 24, Pickering Ajax Citizens Together to Protect Our Water (PACT POW) delivered a strong message to the provincial committee reviewing the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act (Bill 66): “Save the Ajax Waterfront”.

Committee members, including Vice-Chair Ajax-Pickering MPP Joe Dickson, heard from PACT POW Chair, Ajax Councillor Joanne Dies on the need for immediate action to address the algae covering the Ajax Waterfront and nearshore.

Further, PACT POW stressed if the province is serious about Bill 66 and protecting the Great Lakes, they must impose a limit on the Duffin Creek Sewage Treatment Plant that will virtually eliminate the release of the soluble reactive phosphorus driving explosive algae growth in Lake Ontario at Ajax.  

PACT POW believes that should the Premier and Minister of Environment and Climate Change not address Ajax’s algae issue, they will be in contradiction of their very own Bill 66. Ultimately, saying one thing and doing another.  

“PACT POW is 100 percent correct! The province cannot jeopardize the credibility of Bill 66 by ignoring Ajax’s algae infestation. Without strong regulatory action on the Ajax waterfront, I am forced to believe that Bill 66 is only window dressing and the province is not committed to revitalizing our Great Lakes. ”

- Mayor Steve Parish, Town of Ajax

“Scientific study conducted along the Ajax-Pickering waterfront has proven that Soluble Reactive Phosphorus (SRP), discharged from the Duffin Creek Sewage Treatment Plant, is the cause of the nuisance algae.”

“We need the province to set a specific target for SRP for the Lake Ontario nearshore waters now, and we need Minister of Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray to apply SRP limits specifically on the Duffin Creek Plant, now, as an immediate, permanent solution to the algae problem, because we have a problem now.”

“Minister Murray has an opportunity to do this immediately, in his response to PACT POW’s Part II Order Request, as well as Requests filed by the TOWN OF AJAX, NGO’s and almost 100 Ajax and Pickering residents regarding York and Durham Regions’ deficient Duffin Creek Sewage Plant Outfall EA and Environmental Study Report.”

“Action on the Ajax Waterfront would send a strong message of support for Bill 66 and the need for strong policies and regulations on nutrient loadings, essential to preventing further degradation of the Ajax shoreline and our future water quality. We need to turn back the tide. MPP Dickson knows the Duffins Plant outfall and explosive algae growth are HUGE ISSUES in our community … He promised during the last election to champion an immediate solution to this problem.”

“To make Bill 66 stronger, the Minister must also monitor and report on SRP concentrations and establish a Phosphorus Reduction Strategy for Lake Ontario’s nearshore waters.”

“Bill 66 is exciting news and a step in the right direction but we have to make sure we implement consistently and that we all -- including the Ajax Waterfront -- can benefit from this legislation.”

To view live coverage of PACT POW’s presentation to the Standing Committee on General Government, please visit www.twitter.com/pactpow. For more information on the Save Our Waterfront campaign, visit www.saveourwaterfrontnow.com.

PACT POW acknowledges the Town of Ajax for their support of the on-going Save Our Waterfront campaign.


Media Contact:
Rachael Wraith, Town of Ajax, 905-619-2529, ext.3325