Nov 16, 2004

Ontario Wants New Deal on Great Lakes Water

Ontario will not sign an international deal limiting how much water can be diverted from the Great Lakes unless changes are made to better protect the basin, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay said yesterday.
Ramsay says the province made its decision after meeting with the native peoples, farmers and the public.
Ontario has been working on the draft agreement with eight Great Lakes states and Quebec since 2001. It is now conducting a 90-day public consultation on the agreement, called the Great Lakes Charter Annex.
The Charter Annex would be a binding agreement for lake diversion and conservation once it is signed by all 10 provinces and states and the two national governments.
Ramsay says he wants to reconsider the wording before getting back to the table in January.
Ontario would like the same veto over water diversion projects as the eight state governors get under the agreement, he says.
He says there's not enough power in the agreement to stop huge diversions of Great Lakes water to elsewhere in the U.S.