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Great Lakes and St Lawrence Cities Initiative supports Federal - Provincial agreement

Tuesday, August 21st 2007 3:20:10pm

Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative welcomes
Federal-Provincial cooperation over Great Lakes

Mayors call for greater municipal role, funding for legacy infrastructure and clean-up

(Toronto, August 16, 2007) In response to the signing of the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative congratulated the Federal and Ontario governments today for their renewed commitment to protecting the Great Lakes.

The Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin outlines targets and funding that guide federal and provincial programs to protect the Great Lakes. “This renewal of federal and provincial funding for Great Lakes programs is an encouraging sign that both levels of government are committed to the protection Great Lakes”, said founding Canadian Chair of the Cities Initiative, Mayor David Miller of Toronto, “We now need a seat at the table for cities to reflect the central role that we play in protecting the Great Lakes.”

The 2007 COA pledges to delist Areas of Concern (AOCs) in Nipigon Bay, Jackfish Bay, Wheatley Harbour, and the St. Lawrence (Cornwall) over the next three years. “Prioritizing funding to delist some of the smaller Areas of Concern and the St. Lawrence makes sense”, said Lynn Peterson, Mayor of Thunder Bay and Vice Chair of the Cities Initiative, “We welcome the provinces $30 million commitment to Hamilton Harbour and look forward to this renewed federal-provincial commitment towards restoration of the remaining 13 AOCs, like the sediment clean up in the St. Clair River and Thunder Bay, and more costly infrastructure upgrades in Toronto, Windsor”, added Mayor Peterson.  

At its recent annual conference, the Cities Initiative called on Canadian and US Governments to establish a Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legacy Fund, to provide municipalities with grants and loans for historical infrastructure challenges including the replacement of leaking pipes, separation of storm and sanitary sewage systems; and the upgrading of remaining primary sewage treatment plants.“Progress on the legacy of contaminated sites and outdated infrastructure in cities around the Great Lakes and along the St. Lawrence is held up by a lack of resources”, said Brian McMullan, Mayor of St. Catharines and Cities Initiative Ontario Regional Chair, “However, with the recent provincial announcement, the financial partnership with other levels of government has been strengthened and so we can now move beyond last century’s problems.”

For more information on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, please go to


For more information, contact:

Nicola Crawhall (Canada)
Deputy Director
Great Lakes and St Lawrence Cities Initiative
Cell: (416) 432-2739

David Ullrich (United States)
Executive Director
Great Lakes and St Lawrence Cities Initiative
Tel: (312) 201-4516