Brighton calls on feds to change how water levels are managed on Lake Ontario

Water levels on Lake Ontario have eclipsed levels seen in the 2017 flood. The Municipality of Brighton is now asking the federal government and International Joint Commission to come up with a new plan on how water levels are managed on the lake. Mark Giunta reports.

The Municipality of Brighton is saying enough is enough when it comes to flooding. The community has been dealing with severe flooding in two of the last three springs.

The municipality’s council is now calling on the federal government and International Joint Commission (IJC) to change its plan on how it manages water levels on Lake Ontario.

“I believe there’s a four foot differential between both plans,” said Brian Ostrander, mayor of the Municipality of Brighton. “It’s significant. All you have to do is go down to our lakeshore to see how significantly different it is.”

READ MORE: Brighton residents brace for Lake Ontario flooding

The 1958DD plan was scrapped by the IJC and replaced by Plan 2014, which is aimed at restoring the health and diversity of coastal wetlands.

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It allows for the lake to have more than a metre more water in it than the previous plan. The water is let out at Cornwall.

“We’re not letting enough water out of the lake,” added Ostrander. “I’m not suggesting we need to flood Montreal, that would be inappropriate. But we do know Montreal is not in a state of concern right now, but we are.”

Our emails to the IJC for comment weren’t returned.

READ MORE: Water levels on Lake Ontario in Cobourg rise above 2017 flood level

Elgin Street resident Richard Chase is dealing with flooding on his property once again this spring.

For the second time in three years, he will need to make an insurance claim.

“Last time, it came around $20,000-to-$25,000 damage when they were finished,” said Chase.

Chase says he will raise his home up to stop this from happening again.

“We had a flood like this when I was six and then nothing until 2017.  I’m 73 now and we’ve had two major floods in three years.”



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