Lake of the Woods listed as a pri­or­ity for On­tario PCs

Kenora Daily Miner and News - - LOCAL NEWS - RYAN STELTER rstel­[email protected]­

On­tario’s en­vi­ron­ment ac­tion plan has been met with crit­i­cism, but Lake of the Woods re­ceives spe­cial men­tion in the re­port.

Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment Rod Phillips un­veiled the plan Thurs­day, Nov 29 at a press con­fer­ence at the Cold Creek Con­ser­va­tion Area north of Toronto. En­ti­tled “Pre­serv­ing and Pro­tect­ing our En­vi­ron­ment for Fu­ture Gen­er­a­tions: A Made-in­On­tario En­vi­ron­ment Plan” the plan gives ex­clu­sive men­tion to Lake of the Woods along­side Lake Sim­coe and the Great Lakes un­der “Pro­tect­ing our air lakes, rivers” sec­tion.

It reads un­der the clean wa­ter “ac­tions” sec­tion, “Pro­tect the qual­ity of the Lake of the Woods by con­tin­u­ing to work with part­ners on re­duc­ing phos­pho­rus that, in ex­ces­sive quan­ti­ties, can cause toxic blue­green al­gae.”

The ac­tion out­lines no specifics and at a re­cent press con­fer­ence Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rick­ford was not able to com­ment on what the new en­vi­ron­ment plan means for Lake of the Woods, yet.

“There will be more de­tails with the en­vi­ron­men­tal plan as we roll it out,” he said. “We’ve just an­nounced it, we’ll be look­ing at im­ple­men­ta­tion, but as I said be­fore the min­is­ter of en­vi­ron­ment and I are fo­cused on strik­ing that right bal­ance.”

Back in Oc­to­ber Phillips vis­ited Kenora with Rick­ford and met with Todd Sell­ers, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Lake of the Woods Sus­tain­abil­ity Foun­da­tion as well as other part­ners in­volved with the lake.

Sell­ers is thrilled the gov­ern­ment of On­tario is treat­ing Lake of the Woods with such high pri­or­ity.

“We now have a clear state­ment that Lake of the Woods is a pro­vin­cial pri­or­ity,” Sell­ers said. “I think that’s a huge step for­ward. It’s re­ally good to have Lake of the Woods back on the map.”

For now it is a wait and see game and Sell­ers said he is look­ing for­ward to flesh­ing out the de­tails on what this en­vi­ron­ment plan means for Lake of the Woods.

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