For immediate release: December 1, 2017

Statement from Environmental Defence’s Ashley Wallis on today’s lacklustre federal Great Lakes funding announcement

Toronto, Ont. – Today’s announcement that the federal government has committed almost $45 million over five years to support the Great Lakes is welcomed. However, this funding is well below what’s necessary to restore the health of the lakes.

The Great Lakes face numerous threats including chemical contamination, increasingly severe and sometimes toxic algae blooms, untreated sewage, and the rapidly growing threat of plastic pollution. While it’s good to see that the Great Lakes were recognized in the federal budget, approximately $9 million in annual funding is not enough to ensure the lakes are protected for current and future generations.

Recently, it was announced that the federal U.S. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative would continue through 2018, providing $300 million for one year to support restoration projects on the U.S. side of the lakes. This stands in stark contrast to today’s Canadian federal announcement. If the U.S. is spending $300 million per year to restore the lakes, Canada should be spending at least $30 million a year to keep pace in a per capita way.

Our government must do its part to address the numerous threats to the lakes, including providing sustainable funding which recognizes not only the importance of the region but also the magnitude of the problems it faces.

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.

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For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Jennifer Mayville, Environmental Defence, 905-330-0172 (cell); jmayville@environmentaldefence.ca