Canada and Ontario Seek Further Great Lakes Cleanup Success
Toronto, Ontario – March 31, 2000. The Government of Canada today announced its intention to negotiate with Ontario on a new Canada-Ontario agreement to continue joint efforts to cleanup and protect the Great Lakes, the world's largest freshwater resource.
"The Government of Canada remains strongly committed to the cleanup, protection and rehabilitation of the Great Lakes" said Environment Minister David Anderson. "A new agreement will enable us to refocus our efforts and work more closely with our partners to find effective solutions to improve the quality of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem, and the health of Canadians."
While the 1994 Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin ends March 31, 2000, the federal government remains strongly committed to the Great Lakes and has agreed to work cooperatively to coordinate federal and provincial activities to clean up, protect and conserve the Great Lakes, so as to ensure that progress continues uninterrupted.
Moreover, the Government of Canada announced in Budget 2000 an additional $8 million annually to continue its part to clean up areas of concern in the Great Lakes Basin. This program will focus on 16 key areas including the Hamilton Harbor, Severn Sound, Detroit River (Canadian side), Niagara River (Canadian side) and Bay of Quinte. This significant investment provides the necessary federal leadership for enabling affected communities to see restoration plans move towards completion.
"Communities, municipalities, industries, public interest groups and concerned individuals have worked together with us to implement the current and previous Canada-Ontario agreements to improve the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem and through their efforts, the Great Lakes are cleaner now than they have been in 50 years" stated Minister Anderson. "I am confident that we can maintain the momentum and through a renewed Canada-Ontario Agreement ensure continued progress towards our goal of a healthy, prosperous and sustainable Great Lakes Basin."
Minister Anderson also noted the U.S. interest to continue with Great Lakes clean-up.