Tracey urges the government to address the health of the Great Lakes

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the Great Lakes are the largest surface freshwater system on the Earth, and the health of the Great Lakes in my riding of Essex are in serious danger. Last September, Lake Erie saw a dangerous growth of algal bloom that landed on the shores of Colchester, closing it down for an entire week to the public.

These bacterial blooms produce a toxin which is extremely harmful to swimmers, boaters, and local wildlife.

Because of this crisis, the member for Windsor West and I held a tri-level round table with researchers from the University of Windsor, who expressed the need to work diligently to restore and protect the Great Lakes.

Today, the International Joint Commission, in their first triennial assessment of progress under the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, called on the government to set specific timelines and targets for making critical improvements.

It is imperative we take immediate action to avoid additional harm and contamination.

That is why I have asked the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Essex is surrounded by Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. The health and vitality of our Great Lakes are instrumental to our sustained growth, environmental stability, and safe drinking water in our region.