Liberals to implement $52 million Great Lakes Protection Act if re-elected

By RTT Staff

In a recent press conference, Essex Liberal MPP candidate Ken Schmidt said if the Liberal are re-elected the party will commit to a $52 million plan to protect the Great Lakes.

“Only Ontario Liberals will protect Ontario’s air, land and water and that commitment will mean that the Detroit River gets cleaned up so our region can make full use of these waters,” said Ken Schmidt, Ontario Liberal candidate for the riding of Essex from the LaSalle Rowing Club in LaSalle this morning.

“Our local environment including the Detroit River which connects Lakes St. Clair and Erie is one of the things that make living in our region special and so enjoyable,” said Schmidt.   “Ontario Liberals are the only party taking action to clean up the Great Lakes, which not only means a healthier environment, but also strengthens tourism and creates jobs for families.”

Ontario Liberals will defend Ontario’s precious water resources for future generations with a Great Lakes Protection Act that will be the next chapter in clean water for Ontario. It will also ensure that Ontario keeps its edge as a world leader in clean-water protection.

It’s a $52 million program that will help: Clean up the pollution hot spots identified by scientists, targeting Nipigon Bay, and Peninsula Harbour on Lake Superior, Detroit River, Niagara River, and the Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario as the next priorities.  Better prevent pollution and runoff such as phosphorous from getting into the Great Lakes by working more closely with our regional partners.

Reconnect Ontarians with the Great Lakes in their communities, by promoting recreational opportunities, improving beaches and supporting community programs.

“Freshwater is the most important limiting resource on this planet.  As noted by the recent algal bloom in Lake Erie and the collapse of the food web in Lake Huron, there is still much to be done to protect and conserve the Great Lakes,” said Prof. Doug Haffner,   Senior Canada Research Chair in Great Lakes Research at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Windsor.  “It is critical Ontario continues to lead by example in the management of the Great Lakes by continuing to address areas of concern such as the Detroit River and to limit nutrient runoff while maintaining agricultural production to feed growing populations.  These commitments by the Ontario Liberal Party are essential for the long term health of the lakes and the continued economic development of Ontario.”

“At the LaSalle Rowing Club, our rowers need to be sure that when they do go out to perform in the Detroit River, that the water is clean and poses no health risks,” said Matt Deslippe, President of the LaSalle Rowing Club.  “Provincial governments need to keep Great Lakes protection a priority and I’m glad that an Ontario Liberal one would.”

Since 2003, Ontario Liberals have reduced coal-fired electricity by more than 90 per cent — the equivalent of taking seven million cars off the road.  We have reduced pesticides in our waterways by 80 per cent and permanently protected a combined area of greenspace the size of Great Britain.

Under the last PC government, water inspectors were fired and Ontario earned a reputation as one of the worst places in North America for environmental protection.

Schimdt said The Hudak PCs would take us backwards their $14 billion hole would mean deep cuts to environmental protection, while  the Horwath NDP has turned its back on the environment — their priority would be to subsidize gas-guzzlers and they have consistently failed to support our progressive environmental initiatives like the Endangered Species Act, the Far North Act and the cosmetic pesticides ban.

“We’re building on our strong record of achievement in protecting the environment,” said Schmidt. “This is about making sure our children and grandchildren can enjoy a high quality of life in our community today and for years to come.”

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