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GLIN==> Ontario Invites Public Comment on Proposed Annex To Great Lakes Charter

News Release: Dec. 14, 2000
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Ontario Invites Public Comment on Proposed Annex To Great Lakes Charter

Natural Resources Minister John Snobelen expressed mixed reaction to the
release of Annex 2001, a proposed amendment to the Great Lakes Charter of
1985.  The Annex was released by the governors of the eight U.S. states
bordering the Great Lakes.

"Elements of the proposed Annex 2001 are certainly a step forward in
strengthening the Great Lakes Charter," Snobelen said.   "However, we have
noted some areas of concern that we need to discuss with the governors."

Annex 2001 would retain water management authority in the Great Lakes Basin,
establish a common standard to review proposed water uses, and strengthen
information as the foundation for decision-making.

While pleased that Annex 2001 seeks to promote conservation and careful use
within the basin, Snobelen pointed out that two provisions related to
diverting water could result in negative effects on the Great Lakes.

"We need to make sure that the cumulative results of small-scale diversions
are considered," Snobelen said.  "Ontario continues to support the approach
of the International Joint Commission that there be no net loss of water
from the basin."

The International Joint Commission also calls on the provinces and Great
Lakes states not to permit any removal of water from the Great Lakes Basin
that would endanger the integrity of the basin ecosystem.

"We are eager to discuss Annex 2001 and to see to it that the spirit of the
Great Lakes Charter - which is to conserve, protect, restore and improve the
waters of the Great Lakes Basin - is maintained," Snobelen added.  "Given
the release of the Annex, Ontario encourages the public to make their views

Ontario is a signatory to the Great Lakes Charter and has demonstrated
critical leadership through a Water Taking and Transfer Regulation that
prohibits the transfer of water out of the Great Lakes Basin and other major
water basins in the province.

People who wish to express their views on Annex 2001 should contact the
Council of Great Lakes Governors directly by e-mail at cglg@cglg.org, by fax
at (312) 407-0038, or by mail at:

Annex 2001 Comments
Council of Great Lakes Governors
35 East Wacker Drive, Suite 1850
Chicago, IL  60601

Members of the public can send copies of their comments to Natural Resources
Minister John Snobelen, by e-mail at minister@mnr.gov.on.ca, by fax at (416)
314-2450, or by mail at:

Annex 2001 Comments
Ontario Minister of Natural Resources
6th Floor, Room 6641, Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, ON  M7A 1W3

- 3 0 -

Brett Kelly
Minister's Office
Toronto (416) 314-1100

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