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Wilson pushes province to fund Nottawasaga River dredging

(December 8, 2016) The province should approve and pay for dredging at the mouth of the Nottawasaga River before freeze-up, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson told the Liberal Government during Question Period on Thursday.

The mouth of the river has filled with sediment, and that's made boat passage between the river and Nottawasaga Bay virtually impossible. This includes vessels operated by first responders.

But worst of all, if there's a heavy thaw next spring, and the mouth of the river is restricted, ice could accumulate there and form a dam that potentially causes river water levels to rise. This would cause flooding up-stream, impacting hundreds of people.

The Town of Wasaga Beach has earmarked $100,000 for dredging, money they shouldn't have to spend.

"Mr. Speaker, Wasaga council would like to know: Why is the municipality faced with footing the bill for dredging when the river is a provincial responsibility?" Wilson asked during Question Period.

But Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Kathryn McGarry did not answer Wilson's question.

She also disputed the need to dredge the river, saying her ministry has determined there is no imminent threat of flooding. She added that before any future dredging can take place environmental studies will need to be completed.

But Wilson said local officials state the work needs to happen now. He added it's a preventative measure that will protect area homes from spring flooding.

Still, the minister held her ground and repeated there is no immediate threat to the community.

"If that changes then we'll certainly be out there to reassess that," she said. "We'll continue to work with the town providing advice, guidance and support during the required environmental assessment that's at work already."

To watch the full exchange in the house, click on the link.


For more information call:
Michael Gennings
Office of Jim Wilson, MPP for Simcoe-Grey
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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