Toronto, ON -- The Great Lakes Protection Act Alliance - representing six environmental groups - is delighted that Ontario Minister of the Environment Jim Bradley re-introduced the Great Lakes Protection Act today as the new government’s first legislative agenda item.
“We’re thrilled that the Great Lakes are a priority for the government,” said Sarah Winterton, Acting Executive Director, Environmental Defence. “Improving protection for the source of drinking water for 80 per cent of Ontarians and protecting our shorelines and beaches is the right thing to do, and we urge all parties to work together to pass a strong Act.”
The bill was first introduced June 6, 2012, but died on the order table when the legislature was prorogued. Next, the bill will be debated, and amendments considered by an all-party committee.
On this Earth Day I am urging you to take a moment and help us fight for the protection of people living downstream of the Tar Sands. The health and well-being of these downstream communities, including Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan, has been sacrificed at the altar of economic-growth-at-all-costs.
About five years ago, residents of Yarmouth and surrounding areas joined together and formed the Tricounty Watershed Protection Association to stop the pollution being caused by mink farms at the headwaters of the Meteghan, Sissaboo and Tusket rivers. The Department of Environment conducted water tests in 10 lakes and 75 kilometres of the Tusket River for three consecutive years. The final water test results concluded that the mink farms were the probable cause. The government cancelled further water tests and no action was taken, despite the protests from citizens and environmental groups.
The Great Lakes Section of Sierra Club Ontario is hosting meetings on Wednesday May 29 at the Kortright Centre(Major Mac and Pine Valley Drive) from 7:30pm to 9:30pm and on May 30 at the Rec Plex in Wasaga Beach from 7pm to 9pm.
Learn about the Great Lakes water level crisis. Sierra Club has a policy supporting the need for responsible restoration of Lakes Michigan Huron levels to pre 1962 St. Clair River navigation conditions.
“We know that the government isn’t looking out for our safety so we are turning to people throughout the province to let the public know what’s really going on,” said Don Bester with the Alberta Surface Rights Group. “Hundreds of spills happen every year and still this government does nothing. We had three major spills last month alone. How many more have to happen before the government finally acts?”
According to the Energy Resources Conservation Board in 2010 there were over 600 spills and leaks from energy related pipelines in Alberta. Two of the last three major spills were undetected by the company but instead, were reported by third parties.