Wilson Questions Lack of Action from Liberal Government over Declining Water Levels in Great Lakes
(May 7th, 2013) – MPPs Jim Wilson (Simcoe Grey) and Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North) questioned the McGuinty-Wynne Government over the impact the declining water levels in the Great Lakes is having on their local municipalities.
The declining water levels are economically impacting businesses and tourism along the shores of Georgian Bay.
“Businesses in my riding are being severely impacted as a result of the declining water levels in the Great Lakes,” said Dunlop. “With all time low water levels, Georgian Bay marinas are being forced to dredge their harbours at the cost of tens of millions of dollars. The Liberal government must step up and show leadership to help ensure protection of this valuable resource.”
Without the dredging it will mean that marinas cannot operate and tourism dollars, including those from the Trent Severn Waterway, will not flow this year. This will severely impact provincial coffers.
“This is a serious issue, with serious consequences for business owners and residents in my riding that is being ignored by this Liberal government,” said Wilson. “It’s a situation that needs to be addressed. The Liberals have Great Lakes legislation on the books, why aren’t they looking into this issue?”
Wilson cited the example of Sturgeon Point Marina in Wasaga Beach who has spent $130,000 on dredging over the past two years and has an additional annual loss of $20,000 because of low water levels. He notes that larger boats are having difficulty accessing the Nottawasaga River from Georgian Bay due to this problem.
For the past several months, MPPs Dunlop and Wilson have been working with their Conservative Caucus members through a Great Lakes Advisory Committee. The committee reviews everything from water levels to environmental and natural resources issues to economic development and the impact on municipalities.