Canadian mayors call on Canadian federal party leaders to protect the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence
Monday, September 22nd 2008 2:14:28pm
Presidential candidates in the United States have already raised the Great Lakes as national election issue
Toronto, Ontario, September 22, 2008 - Mayors representing over 7 million Canadians in Ontario and Quebec issued a letter today calling on the five federal political leaders in the Canadian election to publicly declare their proposals for protecting the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
“Canadian municipalities are spending over $4 billion a year on Great Lakes and St. Lawrence protection,” said Thunder Bay Mayor Lynn Peterson, chair of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. “Given the national and international importance of this massive fresh water resource, it is time we have a substantial commitment from our federal government.”
Canadian members of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative issued the letter a day after presidential candidates in the United States raised the importance of Great Lakes protection in their federal election campaign.
“We are encouraged that, through the activities of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and other organizations, both U.S. presidential candidates are acknowledging the critical importance of protecting this vital resource,” said Toronto Mayor David Miller. “Senator Barack Obama has come forward with his proposal and Senator John McCain has made known his concern for the future of the Great Lakes. It is time our federal party leaders stepped up and made their voices heard."
A report by the Washington-based Brookings Institution concluded that investment in the Great Lakes would result in a 200% return on investment, and would serve as an economic catalyst to an area hard hit by the downturn in the manufacturing sector.
“The protection of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River is essential to the economic wellbeing of Ontario and Quebec and in our relationship with the U.S.,” said Denis Lapointe, Mayor of Salaberry-deValleyfield and board director of the Cities Initiative. “It is a matter of federal importance.”
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a bi-national coalition of 60 mayors that works actively to advance the protection, restoration and promotion of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin. For more information, please visit www.glslcities.org.
For more information, please contact:
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative