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GLIN==> Ontario and Québec join Great Lakes Commission

Ontario and Quebec join Great Lakes Commission

Ann Arbor, Mich.--Officials of the Great Lakes Commission today
announced a new state-provincial alliance that will advance
environmental protection, resource management and economic development
efforts in the binational Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River region. The
Governments of Ontario and Quebec have accepted Associate Member  status
in the Commission which, for the last 45 years, has focused primarily on
the U.S. portion of the system. This new alliance -- unique to North
America -- allows senior officials from the eight states and two
provinces to jointly develop policy, undertake projects and share
resources while pursuing environmental and economic goals.

“A true state/provincial partnership is the only effective way to
protect and manage this shared, binational resource,” stated Commission
Chair Irene B. Brooks. “We applaud Premiers Mike Harris and Lucien
Bouchard for their initiative and welcome them to the Great Lakes
Commission.” Each province will appoint delegates to the Commission who
will participate in the organization’s information sharing, policy
research and regional advocacy functions.

“A world class resource demands a world class institution,” notes Dr.
Michael J. Donahue, Commission executive director. “States and provinces
have a primary stewardship responsibility for the resource, and this new
alliance will lead to more efficiency and effectiveness in our
individual and collective management efforts. It will also have benefits
for our partnership with the U.S. and Canadian federal governments,
other regional organizations and all with management responsibility for
the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River region.”

Provincial leaders hailed the new alliance as well, recognizing
potential environmental and economic benefits to their jurisdictions and
the entire region. "Managing our shared resources effectively and
protecting the environment are very important to the people of Ontario,"
Premier Mike Harris said. "We welcome the opportunity to achieve these
goals by strengthening Ontario's partnership with its Great Lakes
neighbors through our associate membership in the Commission." Quebec's
Premier Lucien Bouchard stated that his government was "honored" to
accept Associate Member status. He added, "I want to assure the Great
Lakes States of Quebec's support and cooperation in developing an even
stronger partnership in the future."

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., the Great Lakes Commission was established by
U.S. state and federal law. Associate membership for Ontario and Quebec
was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.”
Quebec endorsed the Declaration last May, and Ontario more recently.
Current Commission priorities, among many others, include cleaning up
toxic “hot spots,” promoting sound decision-making for water use and
consumption, redeveloping brownfields, encouraging sustainable land use
practices, and promoting water-based recreation and maritime commerce.

Contact: Dr. Michael J. Donahue
Phone: 734-665-9135
Fax: 734-665-4370
E-mail: mdonahue@glc.org

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