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Support for the Proposed Great Lakes Protection Act

Archived Backgrounder

Support for the Proposed Great Lakes Protection Act

February 18, 2015

"When you ask people about Ontario's greatest assets, inevitably Ontario's lakes, beaches and parks are mentioned. As we strive to grow the tourism industry in Ontario, a safe and clean Great Lakes is an important asset to attract international visitors to discover Ontario. The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario is pleased to participate in the discussion about protecting the Great Lakes for Ontarians and the millions of visitors we welcome annually, now and in the future."

- Beth Potter, President and CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario

"Ontario is home to all of Canada's Great Lakes, so it is vital that we get it right for the economy, environment and the community. I am pleased to see a new initiative to protect the Great Lakes is proposed. Improving the health of our unique Great Lakes and St Lawrence River basin needs an integrated, co-ordinated, watershed approach. The 1600 kilometre Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is a reflection of what can be done when we work together."

- David Crombie, Founding Chair, Waterfront Regeneration Trust

"A strong and effective Great Lakes Protection Act has the potential to reaffirm a provincial commitment to setting and meeting targets for the long term protection and restoration of the Great Lakes-St Lawrence waters. As a uniquely watery jurisdiction, Ontario has both the incredible legacy, and the obligation, to steward the waters of the Great Lakes basin for the continued prosperity of our communities, and for the restorative powers of our lakes and rivers."‎

- Terry Rees, Executive Director, Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations

"People all across Ontario are motivated to get involved in protecting the Great Lakes. Targeting priorities that communities identify in their part of the Great Lakes and having tools to address those issues together is a great step forward. Linking different decisions so that they all move Great Lakes protection in the same direction is a great innovation in our approach to protecting the lakes."

- Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director, Canadian Environmental Law Association

"Mississauga is home to a celebrated waterfront. Our city's historic and charming communities of Lakeview and Port Credit are situated right on Lake Ontario. Protecting our Great Lakes will help safeguard Mississauga's natural environment, elevate the quality of life for residents, generate economic development opportunities, and help us plan for future growth and new urban developments. Mississauga is just one of many Ontario municipalities that will benefit from greater stewardship of Ontario's Great Lakes."

- Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie

"The Great Lakes, which 80 per cent of Ontarians rely on for drinking water, are finally getting the attention they need. Ontario is stepping up to the plate by making safe drinking water and a healthy lakes ecosystem a priority. We look forward to working with all parties to clean up toxic pollution, protect wetlands, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and reduce harmful algal blooms."

- Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence

"The City of London supports a responsible watershed based approach to managing and protecting the Great Lakes and other water sources. This proposed legislation is very important because it provides a framework to protect our Great Lakes for generations to come."

- Mayor Matt Brown, City of London

"Great Lakes wetlands not only provide continentally significant habitat for large numbers and species of migratory waterfowl they are critically important to the health, economy and climate change resiliency of Great Lakes communities. Ducks Unlimited Canada commends the Province on its commitment to the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act and the goal of preventing the net loss of wetlands."

- Lynette Mader, Manager of Provincial Operations - Ontario, Ducks Unlimited Canada

"The proposed Great Lakes Protection Act is a catalyst for change, and we are excited to see it moving forward. Protecting beaches, cleaning up harbours, halting pollution, and improving drinking water standards will benefit businesses and individuals on both sides of the border. Ontario's leadership will be applauded for recognizing that people still believe in Great Lakes where every person can safely go to a beach, drink from a tap, or catch a fish."

- Mark Mattson, President, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper

"Our activities on the land impact the health and sustainability of the Great Lakes which we depend on, daily, for our drinking water, livelihoods and social well-being. As local watershed practitioners, the recognition of the connections between the Great Lakes and their watersheds is supported."

- Kim Gavine, General Manager of Conservation Ontario

"Shoreline Great Lakes municipalities stand to benefit directly from the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act. This act is the first of its kind in Ontario to directly address local water quality problems in the Great Lakes."

- Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs, past chair of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative

"The Georgian Bay Association is encouraged by the Ontario Government's commitment to protect the Great Lakes in order that their waters are swimmable, fishable, and drinkable. As we understand the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, it will empower grass roots organizations and communities to work together toward this goal. It will provide latitude to address regional stresses and set regional targets for improvement. We strongly endorse this approach and look forward to working with government when they implement this legislation."

- Bob Duncanson, Executive Director Georgian Bay Association

Why We Need to Protect the Great Lakes 

 "The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region, which comprises the provinces of Ontario and Quebec as well as eight American states, is undeniably one of the most important regions in the world. With an annual GDP of roughly $5.2 trillion, it represents the fourth largest global economy and accounts for over half of the total trade in merchandise between Canada and the United States. The region is also home to some of world's most unique ecosystems and supplies approximately 21 per cent of the world's freshwater. Because of these attributes and the region's vastness, we must work collaboratively - across sectors and across the border - to find sustainable pathways that help preserve our environment in the Great Lakes while building a strong economy. Ontario can lead the way!"

- Mark P. Fisher, President and CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region 

 "Seen from space, the Great Lakes appear as sparkling jewels strung across the center of North America. The Great Lakes are astonishingly rich, and represent social and economic wealth that is immeasurable and irreplaceable. I believe it is our collective privilege to regenerate and protect their excellence. "

- Dr. Gail Krantzberg, Professor and Director, Centre for Engineering and Public Policy, McMaster University, Hamilton

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