Canadian Federal Great Lakes Program

The Canadian Federal Great Lakes Program provides the framework for working towards Canada's commitments under the Canada-US Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA), which is the key mechanism for protecting water quality and the health of the aquatic ecosystem in the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes Program was first launched in 1989 along with a Great Lakes Action Plan (typically a 5-year plan) to implement the Program's framework. The Action Plan represents the federal commitment for ensuring the sustainability of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem and also provides the funding to carry out these actions.

The Federal Great Lakes Program, led by Environment Canada, is a partnership that includes these other federal departments and one agency:

The Program also provides the federal focal point for cooperation with the Province of Ontario and the following ministries: Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources, and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Canada's activities are integrated with those of Ontario through the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem, which outlines how the two governments will cooperate and coordinate their efforts to restore, protect and conserve the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem. The Canada-Ontario Agreement plays a significant role in meeting Canada's obligations under the GLWQA.

In addition, Canada works with the United States [Great Lakes National Program Office, US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)] to ensure the government meets its GLWQA commitments to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem.