Report from Parliament Hill:
Diving deeper to protect freshwater
Bob Nault, MP, Kenora Riding
Our region is recognized for its many lakes, rivers, watersheds and basins, spanning international borders. Ranking amongst the Great Lakes as one of the largest suppliers of freshwater, Northerners well understand how precious this resource is, not only for recreational purposes, but also as an economic driver. This summer the importance of freshwater has been both acknowledged and supported in a number of ways.
Earlier this August, the Government of Canada announced more than $480,000 to Grand Council Treaty #3 and the Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation to protect and enhance water quality in the Kenora riding.
The Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation project will receive $251,450 over 4 years to develop a water coordination program to create knowledge sharing networks, increase public engagement collaboration, and build capacity for organizations and groups working on nutrient reduction for the Lake of the Woods Basin.
The investment of $232,000 over 3 years for the Treaty #3 Watershed Management Plan will allow them to develop an engagement and decision-making framework in line with Anishinaabe culture and Manitou Aki Inakinogawiin (Great Earth Law). This approach combined with western science, will protect the land and water of Treaty #3 for future generations in each of the 28 First Nations of Treaty #3 Territories.
Going back to the summer of 2016, the Government of Canada restored funding to the world-renowned IISD – Experimental Lakes Area research facility through a $1.7 million investment. And again this summer, we committed another $4 million so scientists can continue to improve our understanding of human impacts on the environment.
In the summer of 2016, we also invested $5.5 million in Lake of the Woods to undertake scientific studies to enable us to work collaboratively with the US on a binational science plan. Just this past week, during the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board Meeting held in Kenora, I met with scientists and officials from both Canada and the US to discuss the next steps to bring all we have learned into action.
I believe it’s pretty clear to everyone that investing in the conservation of freshwater is an investment into our future well-being. The scientific research performed here helps shape policy both in Canada and around the world. It also plays a role in bolstering our economy through commerce, trade, and tourism.
We all share this body of water and we have an obligation to protect it for our children and grandchildren. I am confident that by working together, we will get the job done.