Article by Elizabeth May, Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada from the Toronto Star Sep 17/04
I am personally concerned about any attempts to further divert water from the Great Lakes watershed - water levels oscillate a fair amount in this watershed and they are the greatest sources of fresh water in the world. We must not fool around with large ecosystems that we do not fully understand
Hands off Great Lakes
Are the Council of Great Lakes Governors planning
to sell out our water?
As an environmentalist with more than 30 years of activism under my belt, I am generally not vulnerable to complacency. But if there is any area of environmental concern I tend to feel is well in hand it is the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes have a strong governance structure. The International Joint Commission, a binational agency created by the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty, has been a voice for conservation, for cleaner water, reducing pollution, and for the ecological integrity of the lakes.
There are serious issues of ongoing pollution of the lakes that engage Sierra Club volunteers on both sides of the border. No one could be complacent about the issue of Great Lakes pollution. But there was, I thought, no chance that anyone would suggest selling off Great Lakes water.
The IJC and the Canadian federal government have clear, unequivocal positions against any diversion of water from the Great Lakes Basin. I thought that meant no diversions would take place. I was wrong.
For the last few years, something called the Council of Great Lakes Governors and Premiers have been developing a plan for diversions.
They call it the Implementing Agreement for Annex 2001. You have probably never heard of it. It was placed for public consultation on July 19 with a deadline for comments within 90 days — Oct. 18.