Ontario premier: Growing public concern hasn't helped Great Lakes
Published on wcax.com on June 17, 2007
TORONTO (AP) - Growing public awareness about the environment has done little to ease the plight of the Great Lakes, where an absence of federal leadership threatens to leave these resources irreparably damaged.
That's according to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
A recent report by Environment Canada and the US Environmental Protection Agency paints a mixed picture of the lakes, acknowledging partial success in cleaning up over the last 30 years but also revealing new problems -- some of which likely can't be fixed.
Experts say it will be almost impossible to eradicate the 300 non-native species that have invaded the Great Lakes basin, and new chemicals are being identified in the waters all the time.
McGuinty called on Ottawa to spearhead a meeting of Canadian and American federal, provincial and state officials.
Aaron Freeman, policy director for Canada's Environmental Defense, says his country has been lagging behind its American counterparts in cleaning up the Great Lakes and it's time the federal government stepps up its commitment.
Although the water quality is improving, Lake Ontario is the only 1 of the five lakes to be rated "poor" for its levels of contamination.