Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative’s Calls on Government of Canada to invest $100 Million a year for ten years to protect the Great Lakes.
St. Catharines ON – February 14, 2020
Today, St. Catharines, Ontario Mayor, and the GLSLCI Treasurer, Walter Sendzik, presented before the Government of Canada Pre-Budget Consultations regarding the Great Lakes. Mayor Sendzik asked that the Government of Canada work with their Provinces, Municipalities, and other stakeholders to create a new national program that would fund $100 Million CAD each year, for ten years, to protect the Great Lakes. The program is similar to the American Great Lakes Restoration Fund.
“We are encouraged that the Government of Canada is starting to look at water issues across our country. Although we are behind our American colleagues who have a dedicated $320 Million USD (or approximately 390 Million Canadian) a year to the Great Lakes Restoration Fund, we would like to have a formal national program to protect 87% of North Americans fresh water. The Great Lakes are threatened from toxic algae blooms, invasive species, and the dramatically changing water levels that erode our shoreline. These issues jeopardize the environment and economy of the Great Lakes,” says Mayor Sendzik.
Following the 15 recommendations of Action Plan 2030, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative asks that the Federal Government dedicate 100 Million a year for ten years to protect the Great Lakes. This could easily be part of the new Water Agency that was mentioned in the Minister of Environment’s mandate letter. Canadian Mayors are eager to work with the Federal Government to protect our natural resources.
“I would like to thank Niagara Center MP, and Chair of the House of Commons Transportation, Infrastructure, and Communities Committee, Vance Badawey, for hosting this pre-budget consultation with a focus on the Great Lakes. It is through important dialogues like today that local governments can partner with federal and provincial governments to bring about real change across the entire region, " states Mayor Sendzik.
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a binational coalition of 131 U.S. and Canadian mayors and local officials working to advance the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The Cities Initiative and local officials integrate environmental, economic and social agendas and sustain a resource that represents approximately 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater supply, provides drinking water for 40 million people, and is the foundation upon which a strong regional economy is based.
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