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Old 07-05-2005, 08:45 PM   #1
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Great Lakes Diversion Limits Water Down Canada's Rights, Critics Say

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FROM: CANADA.COM NEWS NETWORK WEBSITE - NATIONAL NEWS SECTION


_http://www.canada.com/news/national/story.html?id=c0336fec-04ec-424f-914a-88e
157349aa0_
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Great Lakes Diversion Limits Water Down Canada's Rights, Critics Say
Cassandra Szklarski Canadian Press

Thursday, June 30, 2005


TORONTO (CP) - A proposal to significantly limit water diversions from the
Great Lakes falls far short of protecting Canada's precious fresh water and
excludes aboriginal rights to the watershed, critics said Wednesday.
The tentative deal, to be released Thursday by the Ontario government and
obtained in advance by The Canadian Press, imposes limits on diversion projects
in Ontario, Quebec and seven of the eight Great Lakes states, but fails to
protect Canada's sovereignty over the basin.
Environmental lawyer Steven Shrybman said the proposals allow U.S. states to
unilaterally license water diversion without the consent of the provinces or
Ottawa.
"It's important for Canada to defend its sovereignty with respect to
diversions of whatever scale and however they're defined," said Shrybman.
First Nations in the Great Lakes areas are furious at being excluded from the
process, and passed a resolution Wednesday to take "any and all means" to
defend their claim.
"We have a primary right to assert our jurisdiction over the lakebeds ... to
ensure that they are protected, that they are kept clean and that we will be
part of the decision-making process," said Grand Council Chief John Beaucage
of the Union of Ontario Indians.
Beaucage, who represents 43 First Nations, said to expect legal action that
would claim entitlement to the entire Great Lakes watershed.
Most of the limits placed on water diversion in the proposal target rural
communities, which view the lakes as a potential source of drinking water as
they struggle with dwindling and increasingly polluted waterways.
The rapidly growing populations of the thirsty American southwest eye the
Great Lakes as a new source of water. Ontario's London and Kitchener also hope
to fill their public water systems through a pipeline directly connecting them
to the lakes.
Ontario's environment critic Marilyn Churley complained the plan allows
communities straddling the basin to divert unlimited amounts of water to their
taps.
"The question is, where will it stop?" said Churley, a New Democrat.
"Eventually, when other communities are in need of new water sources, will further
exemptions and exceptions be allowed?"
Ontario's Liberal government has said it won't let unlimited amounts of water
be taken, but that doesn't guarantee future governments will do the same,
Churley said.
The draft agreement would regulate new diversion projects totalling on
average more than 379,000 litres a day in a 90-day period - a threshold several
times lower than Ontario's current limit. The province or state providing the

water would also have to notify all other lakeside provinces and states.
Massive diversion projects totalling more than 19 million litres per day
would require approval from the U.S. states, but not from Canadians, Shrybman
said.
And for the first time, the deal imposes widespread environmental and
conservation conditions to protect the ecosystem.
"They're tough standards for anyone to meet," said Sarah Miller of the
Canadian Environmental Law Association.
She hopes the tougher terms will force communities to come up with rigorous
conservation practices to cope with water shortages instead of turning to the
Great Lakes, which contain 18 per cent of all fresh water on the planet.
The new limits are tougher than a previous proposal that Ontario refused to
sign last year with Quebec, and the U.S. Great Lakes states - Illinois,
Indiana, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Seeing concrete results from the deal will be a long way off, since the
lakeside states have yet to reach consensus.
Indiana reportedly remains the single holdout - and ongoing negotiations
could cause provisions to be changed or lost altogether.
Miller estimated it would be another 10 years before the terms take effect,
noting they must first pass all eight legislatures in the U.S., plus Congress,
and then there's a five-year implementation window for many of the
provisions.
The draft proposals will be sent out for 60 days of public consultations this
summer.
The Canadian Press 2005
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Old 07-05-2005, 09:28 PM   #2
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I am telling you....I greatly fear water diversion to the SE U.S. one day..for profit....water will be seen as just one more resource to be exploited...
What a situation we have reached in Michigan!!!! importing GARBAGE!!! from Ontario...and soon likely to export water!!! WTF??? is there NO limit to greed???
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Old 07-05-2005, 09:31 PM   #3
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Water is already seen as a resource to be exploited... where you been? LOL!
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Old 07-05-2005, 09:37 PM   #4
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Yes, but not in the quantities to come! Believe me, I know about the greed and wall street way when it comes to our 'shepherding' our resources! And SO FAR...the Great lakes have not been diverted in large volume...SO FAR!!!!
Here in Mich/Ontario we have a LARGE part of the WHOLE world's fresh water...and we have succeeded in polluting it...and changing the ecosystem with alien species and loss of original species...
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Old 07-05-2005, 10:13 PM   #5
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you got a point there
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