Press Release: Government of Canada
Responds to IJC’s Recommendations On Great Lakes Water
Posted on Environment Canada (www.ec.gc.ca) on October
OTTAWA, Ontario, October 21, 2005 – The Honourable Stéphane
Dion, Minister of the Environment, today announced the
release of Canada’s Response to the Recommendations in
the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) Twelfth Biennial
Report on Great Lakes Water Quality.
“The sustainability of the Great Lakes is an important
Government of Canada priority through the implementation
of Project Green, the broad environmental vision that
links Canada’s economic competitiveness and prosperity
to a sustainable future,” said Minister Dion. “Many actions
have taken place to address the concerns raised by the
IJC and the Government of Canada is committed to continued
action for the preservation of this invaluable resource.
The Great Lakes are the source of drinking water for millions
of our citizens and vital to the agricultural and industrial
sectors in Ontario.”
“The IJC has an important role to play in the management
of Canada-United States transboundary water issues and
Canada appreciates the advice the Commission provides
to governments through their Great Lakes biennial reports,”
said Foreign Affairs Canada Minister Pierre Pettigrew,
who transmitted the Canadian response to the Commission.
Mercury reduction programs have had considerable success
in reducing all forms of mercury. Canada is also taking
steps to deal with aquatic invasive species issues in
all Canadian waters, including the Great Lakes, and is
committed to addressing invasive species in co-operation
with the U.S. and the IJC. Canada will continue to work
with the provinces and its U.S. partners to further improve
the conditions in the Great Lakes so that human health
The terms of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
(GLWQA) also require the governments of Canada and the
U.S. to undertake a comprehensive review of the operation
and effectiveness of the Agreement following every third
IJC biennial report. This requirement was formally triggered
with the release of the IJC’s 12th Biennial Report on
September 13, 2004.
The GLWQA, a model of binational co-operation for more
than 30 years, established shared objectives and a framework
for domestic and co-ordinated binational action. The current
GLWQA review provides an opportunity to ensure the Agreement
continues to be a visionary statement that will guide
not only governments, but also members of the Great Lakes
community, in the continued protection and restoration
of the Great Lakes.
This fall, the IJC will hold public meetings in seven
Canadian communities and seven U.S. communities to gather
input on the review of the GLWQA. The IJC’s report on
its findings from these public sessions will be used by
Canada and the U.S. in their comprehensive review of the
Agreement, which will commence by March 2006.
Project Green is a set of policies and programs aimed
at supporting a sustainable environment, healthy population
and competitive economy. It addresses environmental and
competitiveness issues for the 21st century, including
measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to increase
fuel and energy efficiency and to increase Canadian and
foreign markets for environment technologies, which can
drive our economy and protect our environment and health.
Through Project Green’s policies and programs, Canada
can set an international example by developing effective
model solutions for the long-term health of the planet.