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Great Lakes Article:

Feds need to enforce, not just promote, Great Lakes water protection
CNW Telbec
Published January 11th, 2004


OTTAWA, Jan. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The Council of Canadians asserts that actions, not words, are needed from the federal government to protect the Great Lakes from imminent diversion threats and affirm Canada's jurisdiction over these shared waters.

Today, the federal government released a statement that does nothing but reaffirm its position as an outsider in the negotiation of the protection of the Great Lakes. Moreover, the government's statement is significantly weaker than when it first expressed opposition to the Annex in 2001.

"International waters are a federal responsibility," says Sara Ehrhardt,
National Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians. "But our government has done nothing concrete to prevent what may be the greatest threat facing the Great Lakes."

While the federal government's statement "encouraged" that the Annex ban water diversions on both sides of the border, it made no commitment to stop the Annex from endangering the Great Lakes. Although Canada has essentially banned water diversions, there is nothing in place to prevent the US from diverting water without limit under the Annex agreement.

"Already, Waukeshaw, Wisconsin is trying to use the Annex process to
divert water from the Great Lakes Basin," says Ehrhardt. "If this happens, the floodgates will be opened, and neither Canadian provinces nor the federal government can stop the US diversions."

"Our federal government has to take action to make sure that water
diversions are stopped on both sides of the border."

Today and tomorrow, the Great Lakes Governors, Ontario and Quebec are holding negotiations on the Annex 2001 in Chicago. In allowing these
negotiations to continue, the federal government has refused to assert its
jurisdiction to protect the Lakes.

The Council of Canadians is asking citizens to phone, fax, or email the
federal government to express their concerns and to demand action to stop the Great Lakes Annex.

For further information: Laura Sewell, Media Officer, Council of
Canadians: (613) 233-4487 ext. 234; (613) 795-8685 (cell);
lsewell@canadians.org

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