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Greens push for strengthened rules to protect drinking water sources

Although maintaining drinking water is the city’s responsibility, the Green Party of Ontario is pushing for stronger rules set by the province to improve watershed protection
Green Party of Ontario candidate for Sudbury David Robinson.

The province isn’t not doing enough to protect drinking water sources such as Ramsey Lake, according to Green Party of Ontario Sudbury candidate David Robinson. 

“We want a hard cap on salt levels,” he said in a media release. “There has to be a red line that the city can’t cross. We have reached a tipping point where health effects get serious.

Although maintaining clean drinking water is a municipal responsibility, Robinson noted that the province sets the rules municipalities must follow.

The salt levels of Ramsey Lake is an ongoing concern that has re-emerged in light of the impending development of the Kingsway Entertainment District. The municipal arena, private casino and hotel project will be located off of The Kingsway within a Significant Groundwater Recharge Area located at the headwaters of Eugene Creek, which flows into Ramsey Lake.

“Salt levels in Ramsey Lake (a major source of our drinking water) recently prompted a notice to doctors from Sudbury and District Public Health,” said Dr. Gary Bota, chair of the Climate and Health Taskforce at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. 

“High salt levels in Lake Nepahwin (along with high phosphate levels) have significantly reduced water clarity over the past five years, potentially reducing property values.”

The Green Party is asking the province to introduce legislation that will require salt levels in lakes to not rise in the future, and Robinson is suggesting a cap and trade system for salt.

Robinson, who has studied cap and trade systems as an economist, said that the province could decide how much salt can be “dumped in any drainage system,” which would limit how much salt the city and business community would use. 

“We stand with the Minnow Lake Restoration Group in demanding action,” local party president Pat Rogerson said in the release. “We oppose projects that will make the problem worse. WE don’t expect developers to solve the problem, but they cannot be allowed to make it worse. They need to be partners in finding solutions.”


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