On December 8, Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change did a press conference highlighting Budget 2017 funding related to the Great Lakes, and outlining key priorities and processes moving forward.
As her mandate letter stipulates, she is committed to ‘’Working in collaboration with the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, renewing our commitment to protect the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River Basin and the Lake Winnipeg Basin’’. The Great lakes alone represent 20 percent of the world’s supply of surface freshwater, and provide drinking water for more than 10 million Canadians as well as 25 million Americans.
Their protection is vital as millions of Canadians rely on the lake’s water to satisfy domestic needs. This is why Budget 2017 proposes to provide $43.8 M over 5 years to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to continue to fight aquatic invasive species such as Asian Carp and sea lampreys, starting in 2017-2018. By investing millions of dollars into the Great Lakes, the Government of Canada can ensure a better protection of our waterways and preserve our fisheries, including in the Great Lakes.