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Is Canada willing to take the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence protection as seriously as the Americans?

By Nicola Crawhall      

To kick-start this process, the collaborative partners are calling on Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to create an Independent Panel of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Stakeholders with representation from cities, industry and the environmental sector from Quebec and Ontario.

A delegation of mayors, environmental organizations, business associations, and conservation, habitat and fishery advocates, is in Ottawa this week to propose a new collaborative approach to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and to promote it with other federal ministers and elected officials of every political stripe. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Ask any advocate: it’s hard to get people whipped up about Great Lakes and St. Lawrence protection unless rivers burn before their eyes, as the Cayuhoga River did back in 1969. Yet, when the Trump administration threatened to eliminate all funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative earlier this year, something remarkable happened. The region’s congressional representatives—Republicans and Democrats alike—stood shoulder to shoulder to defend the annual US$300-million budget. More surprising still, many voices rose up on the

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