Toronto, ON – On April 21-22, a regional body composed of Ontario, Quebec and eight U.S. states will meet to discuss Waukesha, Wisconsin’s proposal to divert water outside of the Great Lakes basin.

The meeting will be the last chance for Canadian provinces to weigh in on the fate of the application before the final vote by the Great Lakes Compact Council in May. If the plan is approved as is, it would set a dangerous precedent for future water diversion proposals from other communities outside of the Great Lakes basin.

Environmental experts are available to speak about Waukesha’s water diversion proposal, what it would mean across the region if it gets the green light, and why Ontario should oppose it.

WHAT: April 21-22 Regional Body meeting to review Waukesha, Wisconsin’s diversion request

WHO: Natalija Fisher, Water Program Manager with Environmental Defence

Jacqueline Wilson, Counsel, Canadian Environmental Law Association

WHEN: Phone and in-person interviews in Toronto from April 19-22.

To date, Waukesha’s diversion request has seen broad opposition on both sides of the border. Out of the 11,200 public comments received by the Regional Body, a total of 99 per cent (and 100 per cent of the Canadian comments) either opposed or expressed concerns about the request. On this side of the border, First Nations, NGOs, and 15 municipal governments are amongst those voicing opposition.

In a recent technical review of the application, the Ontario government also pointed out significant problems with the proposal, which have not been addressed. The Regional Body meeting would be an opportunity for the province to echo these concerns and oppose the diversion.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

About THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ASSOCIATION (cela.ca): CELA is a non-profit, public interest organization and legal aid clinic established in 1970 to use existing laws to protect the environment and to advocate for environmental law reform.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jen Mayville, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 228; 905-330-0172 (cell) jmayville@environmentaldefence.ca

Jacqueline Wilson, Canadian Environmental Law Association, 416-960-2284, ex 7213; jacqueline@cela.ca