With a glistening Lake Simcoe for a backdrop, Liberal party heavy-weight Chrystia Freeland touted her party's plans to protect the environment in Barrie today.

She promised the Liberals would create a water agency to focus on water cleanup and water issues across Canada. Freeland committed to protecting Lake Simcoe by investing $40 million over four years for its cleanup.

"It is so important for us to step up and protect our beautiful Canadian nature."

Local Conservatives call the announcement a copycat move. "They're copying our plan, two days before the voting starts," claimed Barrie-Innisfil Conservative candidate John Brassard.

Last month, local candidates John Brassard and Doug Shipley announced the Conservatives would reinstate the Lake Simcoe clean up fund and invest $30 million over four years to clean up the lake.

The Lake Simcoe cleanup fund was started back in 2007, under the Harper government.

The 10-year, $60 million funds expired in 2017, and the Trudeau government didn't reestablish it.

Brassard says he and other MPs sent a petition with 1,400 signatures to Ottawa along with a letter to the Minister of the Environment asking to bring the fund back, but nothing changed.

The NDP and Green Party say they plan to create an environmental bill to protect 30 percent of Canada's green land and that they are committed to cleaning the lake.

The Greens have pledged to protect at least 30 percent of waters by 2030 and are committed to improving the water quality of Lake Simcoe.