Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

On Sunday October 16, 2011, Team Ontario Nature will be taking part in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

The team is training hard and will be representing everyone who loves nature in Ontario by running and walking in one of Toronto’s largest charity marathons.

Team Ontario Nature says: "Together, we will raise awareness and money to protect Ontario’s wild species and wild spaces.

To support Team Ontario Nature, please go to their sponsorship page by clicking on this link.

Eighty of Canada's best chefs are planning to cook up a storm to help Stop The Mega Quarry.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, 80 chefs from Nunavut to Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia will descend on a small Ontario farming community south of Collingwood to help put a stop to a proposed mega quarry project that would obliterate thousands of acres of high yield, Class 1 farmland.

The prospect of turning so much prime cropland close to the GTA into stone has got food safety, sustainability and sovereignty advocates on the rocks.

The event, known as FOODSTOCK, promises to live up to its '60s era

inspiration, with an anticipated crowd of 20,000 people in attendance.

Celebrated chef Michael Stadtländer — whose nearby Eigensinn Farm and

Haisai Restaurant have become internationally celebrated gourmet

destinations — is heading up the event together with the Canadian Chef's


FOODSTOCK is a pay-what-you-can event featuring gourmet dished

prepared by 80 of Canada's top chefs, including Jamie Kennedy and

Canoe Restaurant's Andrew Walsh. There will also be music by the likes of

Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy, Sarah Harmer and a host of others, as well as

scientist headliners speaking in opposition to the proposed mega quarry.

The mega quarry proposal in question was put forward this spring by the

Highland Companies, a Canadian corporation created by Boston-based

hedge fund the Baupost Group. The proposed quarry would:

• be Canada's largest open pit quarry at 2,316 acres

• require extraction of 600 million litres of water per day,

affecting the watersheds of southern Ontario rivers

• obliterate thousands of acres of high yield, Class 1 farmland made

up of Honeywood Silt Loam, a specialty soil now producing many kinds of

vegetables in addition to approximately 50% of the GTA market for


FOODSTOCK will take place on on Sunday, Oct. 16, from 11:00 to

5:00 at the Frenchs' farm just west of Highway 124 at Conover, Ontario,

north of the 20th Sideroad.

For complete details, visit

Ontario Nature, one of the province's most prominent conservation organizations, held a Rally for Nature at Queen's Park Wednesday, Sept. 21, where the organization announced its Charter for Biodiversity.

More than 6,000 people across Ontario have signed onto the charter, asking the provincial government and all candidates running in the October election to stop the ongoing loss of biodiversity in Ontario.

Speaking at the Rally for Nature were Tim Grant of the Green Party, Rosario Marchese with the NDP and Sarah Thomson of the Liberal Party in addition to Caroline Schultz, executive director of Ontario Nature. Each candidate described what actions their party would take on behalf of endangered species and important habitats.

Over the past two centuries, southern Ontario has lost more than 70% of its wetland habitats, 98% of its original grasslands and approximately 80% of its forests. More than 200 plant and animal species in Ontario are now classified as species at risk. Habitat loss and degradation, invasive species, pollution and over-consumption of natural resources drive the decline of biodiversity, understood as the variety of all life on earth.

"As a society, we cannot allow the ongoing degradation of Ontario's important landscapes, plants and animals," Schultz said. "The health of our population depends on the health of our ecosystems. We need decision makers to take meaningful steps towards the conservation of our woods, water and wildlife."

The Biodiversity Charter for Ontario outlines 10 ways the province can stop the loss of wild species and wild spaces by 2020. These steps include supporting the establishment of a network of natural areas across southern and eastern Ontario; adopting an approach to conservation so that common species remain common; and reducing the release of contaminants through meaningful implementation of the Toxics Reduction Act and the Toxics Reduction Strategy.

Courtesy Ontario Nature

In a few weeks, Lake Simcoe area residents have the opportunity to tell the Ontario Liberal government what we think of their environmental stewardship, and whether we think another party would do any better in power.

What questions would you like to ask the candidates in the Lake Simcoe area?

Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and they will be posed to the candidates in ridings around the Lake Simcoe Watershed.

Great Lakes United says plans that would have expanded shipping in the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes have been scrapped.

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