GATINEAU, QC, April 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, Canada's Minister of the
Environment, the Honourable John Baird, made the following statement in
response to recent media reports of trilateral negotiations between Canada,
Mexico and the United States on bulk water exports and diversions.
"The Government of Canada has no intention of entering into negotiations,
behind closed doors or otherwise, regarding the issue of bulk water exports.
Canada has restrictions in place to prohibit bulk removal of water, including
diversion, backed by serious fines and/or imprisonment. Canada is committed to
protecting water in its natural state and to preserving the integrity of
ecosystems, and will continue to do so."
Most Canadians and their governments have expressed deep concerns about
bulk water removals for the purposes of export. Concerns were also expressed
that the removal of large quantities of water may cause irreparable ecosystem
harm and increase vulnerability to the effects of climate change.
In Canada, responsibility for water management falls under several orders
of government. Canadian provinces and territories have the primary
jurisdiction over most areas of water management and protection and they have
adopted statutes, regulations or policies that prohibit bulk water removal for
the purposes of export from provincial and territorial waters.
Canada has restrictions in place through the International Boundary
Waters Treaty Act (IBWTA) and its regulations, prohibiting the bulk removal of
water from the Canadian portion of boundary waters, like the Great Lakes and
St. Croix basins. This prohibition is an effective means of minimizing the
spread of pollutants, invasive alien species and pathogens.
The government of Canada will continue to work toward protecting water
and preserving our natural ecosystems.
(Egalement offert en français)
For further information:
For further information: Eric Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of the Environment, (613) 697-8079; Environment Canada Media
Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008