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Restoring Great Lakes to Protect Ontario's Future

Archived News Release

Restoring Great Lakes to Protect Ontario's Future

McGuinty Government Makes Great Lakes Protection Top Priority

Ontario is introducing legislation today that, if passed, would ensure cleaner Great Lakes that are protected for the future. 

Ontarians rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water, food, electricity, transportation, and recreation. Studies show that population growth, and emerging issues including new chemicals of concern, invasive species, pollution and climate change, are stressing the Great Lakes.

The proposed Great Lakes Protection Act would, if passed, provide new tools to restore and protect the lakes. The act would create a council to identify priorities and recommend actions to address them. The province would also provide grants to help community groups undertake improvement projects to protect their part of the Great Lakes.

Protecting and restoring the Great Lakes is part of the McGuinty government's plan to enhance quality of life for Ontario families and ensure a strong, green economy for future generations.

Quick Facts

  • More than 80 per cent of Ontarians get their drinking water from the Great Lakes.
  • Ontario's commercial Great Lakes fisheries are worth $200 million annually.
  • Ontario's Great Lakes basin contains 40 per cent of the country's economic activity.
  • The Great Lakes hold one fifth of the world's surface fresh water resources.
  • About 98 per cent of Ontarians live within the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence basin.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Ontario relies on the Great Lakes for our strength and success. The McGuinty government is acting today to protect our lakes and restore them to environmental health.”

Jim Bradley

Minister of the Environment

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