Maude Barlow, National Chairperson for the Council of Canadians, is embarking on an eight-city speaking tour to call on the Ontario government to recognize the Great Lakes as a commons to be shared, protected and managed by those living around them.
The Ontario government will soon be introducing a Great Lakes Protection Act to protect the lakes and improve people’s connection to them.
“Ontario has the potential to be a real leader in Great Lakes protection,” says Maude Barlow, “But with increasing industrial pollution, sewage contamination and other threats, we need a different way of doing things in Ontario.”
The Council of Canadians has issued a statement urging the Ontario government to include commons and public trust principles that would protect the Great Lakes from hydraulic fracturing, nuclear waste shipments, bottled water withdrawals, extensive wetland losses and other threats. The Council is also urging the government to follow through on its campaign promise of allocating $52 million to protect the Great Lakes and uphold international law by recognizing the human right to water and sanitation.
The statement comes on the day of the launch of the Council’s speaking tour aimed at protecting the Great Lakes from private interests and government complacency and restoring more democratic control over them. The tour, Great Lakes Need Great Friends: Protecting The Great Lakes Forever, will visit Toronto (May 15), Hamilton (May 16), Thunder Bay (May 17), Kingston (May 22), Sarnia (May 24), Township of Tiny (May 28), Owen Sound (May 29), and London (May 30).
The statement on the Great Lakes Protection Act is available here.
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