August 5th, 2021 - 2:56pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 5, 2021
MASSE CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO FULFILL BILATERAL OBLIGATIONS AND FUND THE GREAT LAKES UNDER THE CONVENTION ON GREAT LAKES FISHERIES
(WINDSOR, ON) – Today, Windsor West MP and NDP Great Lakes Critic, Brian Masse, called on the Government to respect the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries and commit to Canada’s funding obligations as per the Convention in a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Marc Garneau, and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan.
Masse wrote, “Since the inception of the Convention in 1955, Canada is obligated to fund 31% of sea lamprey control and 50% of the costs associated with the science, fishery management and administration. The United States government is responsible for the remainder of this funding. Unfortunately, Canada is failing at meeting our obligations under this binational agreement and is only contributing $9.54 million of the $19.44 million that we should be spending. This is unacceptable.”
The Convention established the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in 1955 and they have worked tirelessly to ensure that Canada is meeting their obligations under the Convention. In the 1980’s, the Government of Canada moved the fiduciary responsibility for the Convention to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans from Foreign Affairs and Canada not been meeting their obligations, leaving it up to the United States to fund more.
“Similar to the International Joint Commission and other bilateral conventions, the United States has left their funding responsibility with the Department of State. It’s time for Canada to do the same – move the responsibility back to Foreign Affairs and take responsibility for fulfilling our responsibilities under the Convention,” Masse stated. “Funding for the Great Lakes was left out of Budget 2021 entirely and this call is an opportunity for the Liberals to take action and protect our water.”
Masse regularly works with Great Lakes organizations to tackle the many issues in the Great Lakes from water levels, to invasive species, toxic algae and pollution. His motion to ban microplastics passed in Parliament in 2014, as well as his work to ensure that invasive carps were eviscerated when caught.
A copy of Masse’s letter is below.
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