KENORA – The Chairman of the International Joint Commission, the Hon. Joe Comuzzi continues to make sure that Northwestern Ontario is on the IJC’s agenda. In letters dated June 17, 2010, the Governments of Canada and the United States have asked the International Joint Commission (IJC) to examine and make recommendations regarding the bi-national management of the Lake of the Woods and Rainy River system and the IJC’s potential role in this management.
“We are pleased that the Governments of Canada and the United States have initiated this review of the management of transboundary issues in the Lake of the Woods and Rainy River basin,” said Irene Brooks, U.S. Section Chair of the International Joint Commission.
“The IJC is a strong proponent of seeking solutions to transboundary environmental challenges at the watershed level and will be guided by this approach in carrying out this assignment,” stated Joe Comuzzi, Canadian Section Chair of the International Joint Commission.
This review would serve to complement government activities that foster trans-jurisdictional coordination and collaboration on science and management activities to enhance and restore water quality in the basin. It would also contribute to any future approach to addressing new and emerging water quality issues and water management needs. A final report is expected to be released by the end of 2011. In the meantime, the IJC will make periodic reports to the governments that will include plans for engaging with federal governments and relevant provinces, First Nations, tribes and states, as well as the wider body of stakeholders and the public.
The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.