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NEWS: Scientists seek access to the ELA as talks continue

The Globe and Mail reports, “Scientists who study the effects of pollutants on fresh water say they are being barred from the Experimental Lakes Area and their work is in jeopardy despite Ontario’s promise to put up money to keep it operating.”

The article adds, “The federal Conservative government stopped most scientists from entering the world-renowned freshwater research station in northwestern Ontario at the beginning of April… Two weeks ago, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Ontario would negotiate with the federal government, Manitoba and the International Institute for Sustainable Development … to find a way to sustain the research at the ELA. But the field season should be starting now and it remains off-limits.”

“So five of the researchers wrote on Tuesday to federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield, federal Environment Minister Peter Kent, the IISD and provincial ministers in Ontario and Manitoba asking for access to the site. Diane Orihel, a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta who has been fighting for the past year to save the research station, was one of them.”

The article concludes, “The Fisheries Department said in an e-mail on Tuesday that it would not comment because negotiations about the station’s future are ongoing. The Ontario government said will try to get access to the lakes for the researchers.”

The Council of Canadians began speaking out against the closure of the Experimental Lakes Area in May 2012.