THUNDER BAY – “Ontario recognizes the Experimental Lakes Area as a world-renowned freshwater research facility that contributes to our growing knowledge of ecosystem health and informs our stewardship strategies. I am pleased that our government is working with the federal government towards the goal of sustaining operations at this unique natural resources laboratory,” commented David Orazietti, Minister of Natural Resources.
Thunder Bay area MPPs Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle are pleased with the announcement.
“A uniquely significant location in the Northwest, the ELA has for years provided vital science and research opportunities and certainly as MPP for Thunder Bay Superior North it was essential I highlight this tremendous contribution. I had the opportunity to meet with a number of constituents who shared strong feelings on the issue and I’m extremely pleased we are working with partners to keep the facility operational in 2013 and while a long term solution is found,” states Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay Superior North
“The Great Lakes Area is a unique facility that has produced invaluable scientific research for decades. A lot of people throughout the Northwest were concerned about the GLA’s potential closing. I was as well. I’m glad that our government is playing an active role with other levels of government to find a solution that will allow the GLA is able to continue its work,” added Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay Atikokan
Ontario and Manitoba Support ELA
The federal government, and Kenora MP Greg Rickford remain silent on efforts to save the Environmental Lakes Research facility. Rickford’s last comment on the ELA was an announcement of funding for the facility. The MP from Kenora announced, “The Experimental Lakes Area is known world-wide as Canada’s most innovative freshwater research centre. Our Government recognizes that a strong economy is one that harnesses new knowledge and innovation. That’s why we are investing in projects like this one — helping to establish Canada as a leader in knowledge creation, and attracting the jobs and growth that go with it”.
Manitoba Enacts Legislation
Manitoba will be the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce legislation that would protect essential habitats for endangered plants and wildlife, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh said, marking Earth Day 2013 on Monday.
“The destruction or loss of habitat leads to plants and wildlife becoming threatened or endangered,” said Mackintosh. “This new legislation will allow us to better protect an ecosystem at risk, rather than only identifying the threatened or endangered species found in it.”
The Manitoba government will introduce legislative amendments that would create the endangered species and ecosystem act. The proposed act would be the first legislation in North America to allow the listing of ecosystems as endangered or threatened and protect them on provincial Crown land.
Provinces seen importance of research
The Ontario and Manitoba governments are stepping up to support the Environmental Lakes Research facility in Kenora. In a statement issued this morning from the Ontario is working collaboratively with the federal government, the Government of Manitoba and other partners to keep the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) operational in 2013 and ensure sustained longer-term operations.
Ontario will provide operating support and work toward an agreement with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and other partners so that the important science conducted in the ELA can continue.
Environmental Lakes Area is a one-of-a-kind, freshwater research region in northwestern Ontario that attracts scientists from across Canada and around the world.
The important science and research performed in this area informs our pollution reduction strategies, our understanding of climate change and how we can protect our lakes and rivers here in Ontario, across Canada and around the world.