January 7, 2006

Martin announces $1-billion water cleanup
by CBC News

A Liberal government would invest $1 billion over 10 years to clean up major waterways in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba, Paul Martin announced on Saturday.

He said the program would tackle toxic hot spots along the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, which together make up the world’s largest fresh-water ecosystem.

Part of the money will be spent to reduce pollutions such as nitrogen and phosphorus in Lake Winnipeg.

The initiative announced in Montreal would “preserve the great heritage that we must pass on to those who will come after us,” the Liberal leader said.

The 10-year strategy includes:

  • $500 million to restore degraded and threatened areas across the entire region of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, including Montreal’s Technoparc and Hamilton Harbour.
  • $100 million to identify and address current and growing ecological threats due to population growth, invasive alien species and new substances such as pharmaceuticals.
  • $200 million for scientific research to better understand the effects of human activity, alien species and climate change on these ecosystems.
  • $120 million to revitalize Lake Winnipeg and reduce pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus.
  • $80 million to establish the best practices for other key watersheds.”The prime minister has the duty to think of the needs of future generations,” Martin said. “That’s why we held the UN Conference on Climate Change last month in Montreal.”He said Conservative Leader Stephen Harper would renege on Canada’s commitment to the Kyoto agreement on the environment.

    “With the environment, as with so many other issues that matter to Canadians, it comes down to a question of values,” Martin said.

    “Stephen Harper seeks to move us toward a society in which we fend for ourselves, a Canada that would turn away from its shared responsibilities on global warming and the environment.”