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Council celebrates continued funding for the ELA

Photo: Council of Canadians organizer Mark Calzavara at the Experimental Lakes Area.
Photo: Council of Canadians organizer Mark Calzavara at the Experimental Lakes Area.

The Canadian Press reports, “A world-famous research area in northwestern Ontario will remain open thanks to agreements between the provincial and federal governments and the Manitoba-based group that runs the facility. The Experimental Lakes Area was in danger of closing after the federal government said in 2012 that it was considering closing the area to save $2 million per year.”

“The International Institute for Sustainable Development, (a) Winnipeg-based research organization, …says pledges of financial support from the federal, Ontario and Manitoba governments, among others, will enable the not-for-profit non-governmental organization to continue to operate the facility. …The transfer of the facility required separate deals between Ontario and the IISD, between Canada and the IISD, and a trilateral Canada-Ontario-IISD agreement to support an open data policy for scientific research. The three agreements involving IISD were preceded by two bilateral Canada-Ontario pacts.”

The news article highlights, “The Council of Canadians applauded the announcement but said the Harper government continues to abdicate its responsibility for fresh water protection. ‘The Ontario and Manitoba governments are the real heroes for saving the ELA in a time when the Harper government is clawing back fresh water research and environmental legislation, muzzling our scientists and downloading its responsibilities to provincial governments’, said council chairwoman Maude Barlow. The council’s water campaigner Emma Lui said the group is grateful that the research at the ELA will continue. ‘Understanding the human impacts on our watersheds will have untold benefits for generations to come’, Lui said.”

In late-2012 and early-2013, the Council of Canadians wrote the premiers of Ontario and Manitoba urging them to jointly fund the Experimental Lakes Area. For more background on that, please see our April 2013 blog WIN! Ontario and Manitoba to help fund the Experimental Lakes Area.

Today, CBC notes, “Ontario is providing $2 million a year and the Manitoba government is kicking in $900,000 over six years through the institute, which is focused on sustainable development policy.”

Further reading
Council of Canadians celebrates a bittersweet victory for the Experimental Lakes Area