Protect the ELA and Ontario’s Water: Open Letter to the Premier

Dear Premier Wynne;

We have an opportunity in Ontario right now, to make a difference that will ensure we continue to have clean water today, and for our kids and their kids.
The federal government is slated to shut down the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) in northern Ontario on March 31. I’m calling on your government to take over operations of ELA research facilities. Ontario already owns the 58 ELA lakes. Investing $2 million per year is a small price to maintain a world-class research facility that benefits our health, environment and economy.
Almost 1500 Ontarians have responded to the Green Party’s call to have Ontario take over the ELA by writing Finance Minister Sousa a letter.
Research at this facility has produced critical information that helped save our lakes from algal blooms and acid rain. As we face the ever increasing effects of climate change, research that helps us understand how to keep our water clean is more important than ever.
While I understand the ELA is normally a federal responsibility, this world-class facility is too essential to close. By keeping the ELA going – even for a few years while negotiating with the federal government to take it over – Ontario will benefit. 
Research conducted at the ELA:

  1. Provides us information that will improve and maintain the health of our water systems. 
  2. Allows us to take a prevention first approach: it’s common sense to invest in research to maintain the health of aquatic resources than to have to backtrack and address future problems.
  3. Brings world renowned scientists from around the world to Ontario. 
  4. Supports research efforts at our universities, providing a place for professors to conduct their research and a training opportunity for students. 

Ontario borders on four Great Lakes. We have over 250,000 lakes, rivers and streams.  We have rich groundwater resources. All of this fresh water needs to be protected.
No one can predict the next threat to our water. But we can predict the ELA will be vital to the scientists working on tomorrow’s challenges.
The Prime Minister refuses to protect Canada’s water, but you can step in before it’s too late.

Mike Schreiner
Leader, Green Party of Ontario