Carruthers Creek conflict continues as Oshawa MPP wades in

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Published November 15, 2021 at 4:55 pm

Oshawa MPP Jennifer French has again added her voice to the choir calling on Queen’s Park to add the headwaters of Carruther’s Creek to the Green Belt.

Talk of such a move goes back to the 2018 provincial election when Ajax MPP Rod Phillips proposed the addition in a debate. However, no move was made after the election, which saw Phillips elected and given the Environment portfolio.

Phillips was later appointed Finance Minister, a highly influential position he held until resigning his post after breaking public health orders for a Christmas vacation to the Caribbean island of St. Bart’s at the peak of the pandemic. He was reshuffled into cabinet as Minister of Long Term Care the following June.

Meanwhile, ongoing talks for a new hospital in Durham re-energized talks to protect the headwaters. Studies like the Carruther Creek Watershed Plan indicate an increase in flooding between 77 percent to as a high as a 113 per cent in some areas, if the land is developed.

Concerns over this led Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, accompanied by local politicians such as French, Regional Councillor Joanne Dies and representatives from Mississaugas of Scugog Island to Ajax in an early campaign stop.

Like Phillips three years prior, Horwath announced that if elected she would include Carruther’s Creek in the Green Belt.

Two weeks later, Phillips reiterated his position from 2018 saying in a Facebook post much of the public supports protecting the headwaters, saying, “I support the idea of putting the Carruthers Creek Headwaters into the Greenbelt.”

French then released a statement of her own after she felt her questions were, “brushed off” in question period today.

“The Ford Conservatives are refusing to listen to the people of Durham who are calling for the protection of Carruthers Creek Headwaters,” French said. Those folks all know that if we allow the Carruthers Headwaters to be paved over, we will see Durham homes flooded again and again.”

“Rod Phillips, the MPP for Ajax, broke his promise to get this done. And today, Doug Ford’s ministers brushed off our questions, and refused to make any commitments.”

The Ontario Government has already expanded the Green Belt to include areas of Clarington.

 

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