Rickford – “This is excellent news”

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KENORA – Greg Rickford is pleased to announce that following his introduction, and debate on Motion 519 in the House of Commons on June 2nd, the International Joint Commission (IJC) announced earlier this week that they will examine and make recommendations regarding the bi-national management of the Lake of the Woods and Rainy River system.

“This is excellent news,” said a delighted Rickford. “I can’t begin to tell you how pleased I am that the two governments have taken quick action which will result in improved water quality for Lake of the Woods and the adjoining water sheds.”

In letters dated June 17, 2010, the Governments of Canada and the United States 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.

Todd Sellers, Executive Director of the foundation, is delighted as well. “We greatly appreciate Rickford’s efforts to champion the cause for bi-national action to protect the water quality of our lake – after all it’s one lake and one watershed shared by two countries.  We are pleased that Greg shares our vision for the future sustainability of our lake based on shared responsibility with international, watershed-based coordination for the long haul,” said Sellers.

Joe Comuzzi, IJC Commissioner, applauded Rickford’s commitment and perseverance noting that one of his first phone calls as Commissioner was from Rickford on this very issue. Comuzzi stated that Rickford “provided me with very good background information, and I commend him on his knowledge of the file and for the work he is doing in Ottawa to bring this issue to a satisfactory conclusion for all the affected residents in Manitoba, Minnesota and Northwestern Ontario.”

This review will complement government activities that foster trans-jurisdictional coordination and collaboration on science and management activities to enhance and restore water quality in the basin. As well it will assist in any future approaches to addressing new and emerging water quality issues and water management needs.

A final report is expected to be released by the IJC 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.