Feds need to enforce, not just promote,
Great Lakes water protection
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
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
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
"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,
Canadians: (613) 233-4487 ext. 234; (613) 795-8685 (cell);