June 30th, 2016 - 3:55am

WINDSOR – Reacting to the news of the federal government listing microbeads as a toxic substance under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) was the next step in an outright ban. NDP M.P. Opposition Critic for the Great Lakes Brian Masse  (Windsor West) wished all Canadians a Happy Canada Day.

Masse first raised this issue in June of 2014 with the International Joint Commission, then subsequently with (then) Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukak.  This advocacy in partnership with stakeholders from both industry and the environmental activist community led to the unanimous passage of an NDP motion drafted by Masse in the House of Commons to add microbeads to the toxic substances under the EPA.

Today’s announcement is the legal culmination of the campaign to address the microplastics problem in our Great Lakes led by the NDP and Masse: “The addition of microbeads to the toxic substances list under the Envrionmental Protection Act is a wonderful Canada Day gift for all Canadians.  This victory piggy backs off previous victories on gun boats and petcoke and Invasive Carp.  We still have much work to do keep our Lakes Great but today’s announcement is a significant victory that will help further protect and preserve the Great Lakes one of our most precious resources.”

Masse acknowledged the contribution of the range of stakeholders involved in the campaign: “What this story tells is that when the industry, environmentalists and policy makers team up anything is possible.”