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Proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, 2013

In June 2012, the province introduced a proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, 2012 (Bill 100), which did not proceed when the Legislature prorogued.  The province is now reintroducing the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, 2013 (Bill 6) and extending the public consultation period to April 26, 2013.  The government will continue to consider input to the bill through the legislative process.

The proposed Great Lakes Protection Act is intended to, among other things:

  • help protect and restore the Great Lakes so they stay drinkable, swimmable, and fishable;
  • recognize First Nations communities’ spiritual and cultural relationship with water;
  • recognize the importance of traditional ecological knowledge;
  • include a non-derogation clause consistent with other pieces of legislation such as the Lake Simcoe Protection Act and the Clean Water Act; and,
  • establish a Great Lakes Guardians’ Council to provide a forum for Great Lakes Ministers, municipal representatives, representatives of First Nations and Métis communities, and representatives from environmental organizations, the scientific community, industrial,  agricultural, recreational and tourism sectors and others.

Minor changes to the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, 2013 have been made to align the proposed Act with Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy released in December 2012, and to correct minor legislative drafting errors. In addition, the preamble wording has been changed to recognize that ”Aboriginal communities within the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin have important connections to the Basin: First Nations maintain a spiritual and cultural relationship with water and the Basin is an historic location where Métis identity emerged in Ontario.”

The Ministry offered a variety of opportunities for engagement throughout the summer and fall and would like to continue to engage with First Nations and Metis communities on the proposed legislation to ensure that their priorities are reflected in our work together to restore and protect the Great Lakes.

The Ministry will consider all comments received on the previous proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, 2012 proposal and on Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy, alongside all comments received on the Great Lakes Protection Act, 2013, such as through a number of upcoming engagement sessions on Great Lakes matters, as the proposed Act moves through the legislative process. If you have already provided comments, you do not need to resubmit your comments. The province looks forward to working with all of its partners and those who live, work and play in the Great Lakes as the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, 2013 proceeds through the legislative process.

Please visit the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website at: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/home.do for further details on the legislative process.

For information on the proposed Act, please visit the Ministry of the Environment’s website at: ontario.ca/environment, and the Environmental Bill of Rights website at: http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/ where you can search registry number 011-6461 for the proposed Act.

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Red Sky Métis Independent Nation™ members who wish to provide input or discuss the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, 2013 are invited and encouraged to do so by contacting the office at 807-623-4635 or via email to susan@rsmin.ca

 

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