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Support for Ontario's Action to Protect the Great Lakes

Archived Backgrounder

Support for Ontario's Action to Protect the Great Lakes

"The majority of people in Ontario live within the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin and this act will help protect them from pollutants. Getting toxics out of our environment requires ongoing government leadership. That's why the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario looks forward to continuing to work with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and other partners to eliminate toxics and ensure Ontarians have the right to know about toxics within their environment."

- Dr. Doris Grinspun, Chief Executive Officer, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

"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, safe and clean Great Lakes are important assets 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

"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 grassroots 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

"Millions of Ontarians depend on the Great Lakes to drink, work, and play. With the passage of this act, the Great Lakes are finally getting the attention they deserve, and communities will get the tools they need to help ensure these important bodies of water are protected for current and future generations."

- Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence

"Great Lakes wetlands not only provide continentally significant habitat for large numbers and species of migratory waterfowl, but 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 Great Lakes Protection Act and the goal of preventing the net loss of wetlands."

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

"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, Conservation Ontario

"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

"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. Congratulations to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change on the passage of Great Lakes Protection Act. It establishes, and encourages every Ontarian to be a part of, an integrated, co-ordinated, watershed approach to the protection and restoration Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin. It injects new momentum into initiatives like the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, now linking 75 communities from Québec to Grand Bend and set to expand to Sault Ste. Marie."

- David Crombie, Founding Chair, Waterfront Regeneration Trust

"We are pleased that the Great Lakes Protection Act has passed. As an organization of medical doctors, we think about the many ways in which human health can be adversely impacted by the chemical and biological agents that can enter our water systems."

- Kim Perrotta, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

"I am very pleased to see a new policy tool introduced to help safeguard, restore and protect Ontario's portion of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin. This is an important step in the protection of these bi-national waters."

- David Sweetnam, Executive Director, Georgian Bay Forever

"A sustainable and healthy future for our water resources requires the commitment, and action on the top priority issues. By establishing targets and timeframes within the Great Lakes Protection Act, Ontario has set the stage to meet their obligations to the long term protection and restoration of the Great Lakes-St Lawrence basin. The continued prosperity of our communities, so inextricably tied to water, will require Provincial leadership along with the commitment of every Ontarian to keep our lakes great."

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

"The Great Lakes of Ontario play an essential role in the health and vitality of the cities and towns that dot their shorelines across the province. Here in Burlington, Lake Ontario is essential to our community, serving as our primary source of drinking water and a recreation site for residents of all ages. It is considered one of our most precious environmental features. The importance of clean water in Lake Ontario cannot be overstated. We must ensure future generations can both benefit from and help protect Lake Ontario. We are its stewards."

- Mayor Rick Goldring, City of Burlington

"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."

- Mayor Bonnie Crombie, City of Mississauga

"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

"The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region, which comprises the provinces of Ontario and Québec as well as eight American states, is undeniably one of the most important bioregions and economies in the world. With an annual GDP of roughly USD$5.8 trillion, it represents the third 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 surface 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

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