OTTAWA, March 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's Environment Minister, the
Honourable Peter Kent, issued the following statement on World Water
"The United Nations first declared March 22, World Water Day, in 1993.
It is as relevant as ever in 2013. Today, we are encouraged to reflect
on the importance of our water resources globally, and how to protect
them. Each and every day, water lies at the centre of our well-being,
and is critical to our transportation needs and many recreational
"'Water cooperation' is the theme for this year's World Water Day. The
Government of Canada cooperates with many partners domestically and
internationally, from coast to coast to coast, to address water issues.
"The Great Lakes provide drinking water to 8.5 million Canadians and
help facilitate $180 billion in trade every year between Canada and the
United States. To manage the risk to this essential water system, we
collaborated with the United States to update the Great Lakes Water
Quality Agreement, recently embarking on the first step—the $16 million
Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative. It will help to address the complex
problems of nearshore water quality and ecosystem health in the Great
"We continue to support clean-up efforts in Lake Simcoe, renewing
funding with $29 million over the next five years to restore
populations of native fish and wildlife by improving habitats.
"We are also addressing issues at Lake Winnipeg. Last summer we launched
the $18 million investment of Phase II of the Lake Winnipeg Basin
Initiative. Our goal is to restore its ecological health, reducing
pollution from sources such as agriculture, industry and wastewater.
"Working together, Canada and Alberta have made good progress through
the Joint Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring. Scientists and
technical experts are implementing major enhancements to water
monitoring in the Athabasca River and the surrounding region's bodies
of water as one of the key components described in the Joint Plan.
"Our work continues along one of our major ecosystems and trade
corridors. In partnership with Quebec, the St. Lawrence Action Plan
will ensure more progress with agricultural, urban and industrial
clean-up initiatives; biodiversity conservation; and improving the
health of natural habitats affected by contaminants in the river.
"Water management remains a shared responsibility. The Government of
Canada recognizes that individuals, organizations and communities are
involved in the stewardship of our waterways. We appreciate that
Canadians have, in fact, made valuable contributions—some with the help
of federal funding programs, such as EcoAction.
"Our health and that of our environment and economy is inextricably tied
to the health of our waterways. The Government of Canada is making the
viability of our water resources for future generations a priority."
SOURCE: Environment Canada
For further information:
Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Director of Media Relations
Office of the Minister of the Environment
Environment Canada's Twitter page: http://twitter.com/environmentca
Environment Canada's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/environmentcan
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