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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4 March 2021
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Group marks Great Lakes Week
OTTAWA – Earlier today, members of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Group (GLSLG) hosted a virtual event in conjunction with other events being hosted by Canada’s Embassy in Washington (DC), and jointly by the Great Lakes Commission and the US Congress, to mark Great Lakes Week.
Ahead of the meeting, GLSLG Co-Chair Senator Diane Griffin remarked, “I am excited to be doing this kind of work because, while I am not a resident of the Great Lakes Region, I know the value and importance of protecting these resources for the next generation. For too long we have used these resources without considering the long-term implications. Bringing all the Great Lakes partners together in one virtual room is an important step in the right direction. I certainly look forward to the discussion.”
The event, which was attended by multiple members of the Canadian Senate and House of Commons, Members of the US Congress, former US Administration officials, Commissioners representing the International Joint Commission, the Great Lakes Commission, and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (the three formal, binational [Canada/US] Commissions relating to the Great Lakes), and numerous Great Lakes stakeholders, was moderated by the Acting Canadian Consul General in New York, Khawar Nasim.
Members and guests discussed the need for binational cooperation on Great Lakes policy creation and stewardship initiatives, and committed to expanding upon the bilateral relationships that are critical to advancing and constructively addressing issues including: invasive species management; toxins and other harmful pollutants; nutrient levels; beaches and bacteriological contamination; and climate change as it relates to water (including aging infrastructure and high-water levels on the Great Lakes).
Following the session, GLSLG Co-Chair Vance Badawey noted, “Today was intended to be another step forward towards solidifying the genuine partnership needed to properly manage and to protect the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence… and real progress was made. These Lakes are a binational treasure that deserve much better than we have given them in the past, so I am happy to be part of this effort to build back better. Our shoreline communities and our grandchildren will be the benefactors of the work we are doing to keep the Great Lakes great.”
The GLSLG committed to continuing to dialogue with US counterparts, the Great Lakes community, and the three Commissions in the future.
The views expressed in this news release are specific to the Canadian Section of the Canada–United States IPG.
The Canada–United States IPG aims to find points of convergence in respective national policies, to initiate dialogue on points of divergence, to encourage the exchange of information and to promote better understanding among legislators on shared issues of concern. Additional information on the Group can be found at www.parl.ca/CEUS.
For further information:
Grant McLaughlin, Association Secretary
Canada–U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group - 613-944-4238