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ARCHIVED - Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem - Draft for Public Comment

A Brief History…

In the late 1960s, the Canadian and United States governments began negotiating what would become the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, also know as GLWQA, of 1972. That Agreement commits Canada and the United States to the protection of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Great Lakes.

For almost 30 years now, COA has been an important mechanism for ensuring the coordinated and cooperative efforts of the Governments of Canada and Ontario in addressing issues of environmental restoration, protection, and conservation in the Great Lakes Basin.

At the same time, the governments of Canada and Ontario began working on the first Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin System, commonly know as COA. The first COA was entered into primarily to control discharges of phosphorus in municipal sewage. Subsequent COAs focused on chemical pollution and runoff from both urban and agricultural lands and remediation of degraded areas known as Areas of Concern . The new draft COA continues this trend by focusing on priority issues within the Great Lakes Basin.

The first COA came into effect in 1971 as means for Canada to meet its commitments to the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. COA was renewed and revised in 1976, 1982, 1986, extended in 1991 and renewed 1994.

Although much was accomplished under the previous COA s, there is more to be done. The new COA will build on the strengths of the previous agreements and will focus on current challenges in the Great Lakes basin. While the aim of COA A is to coordinate the action of the governments of Canada and Ontario, these two levels of Government alone can not achieve the vision of a healthy, prosperous and sustainable Great Lakes Basin. The engagement and effort of all levels of government, the private sector, community groups, and individuals is required.

About the New COA

The draft Canada-Ontario Agreement outlines how the two governments will cooperate and coordinate their efforts to restore, protect and conserve the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem. It builds on the actions taken through previous Agreements, and focuses on priorities for future action.

The new COA has two components:

  • A main Agreement that establishes the general foundation for federal-provincial cooperation in the Great Lakes basin and will remain in place as long as required. It will includes key elements such as: a shared vision statement; a common purpose; principles that would guide the Agreement and pursuant Annexes; administrative details; and, a commitment to develop Annexes.

and,

  • Pursuant Annexes to address specific environmental or management issues. Initially four Annexes have been developed: Harmful Pollutants; Lakewide Management; Monitoring and Information; and, Areas of Concern. Annexes contain specific goals and results, as well as an articulation of what each level of government will do to achieve these goals and results.

This new Canada-Ontario Agreement is flexible, accountable and responsive.

Public Comment Period…

The governments of Canada and Ontario are inviting residents to comment on the draft 2001 COA . To facilitate public comment:

  • The draft Agreement will be published in the Canada Gazette as well as here on the CEPA Registry.
  • The draft 2001 Agreement and Annexes are available on Environment Canada’s Green Lane.
  • The documents are also available on the Government of Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights Registry at http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/ebr/welcome.htm
  • The Green Lane also includes a Public Comment Workbook to assist public comment.
  • Residents who don’t have access to the Internet or would like more information about COA, can contact the Government of Canada at 1-800-0-Canada.
  • Comments can be mailed to COA Public Comment, Regional Director General’s Office, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Downsview ON M3H 5T4. You can also send your comments by e-mail to coa@ec.gc.ca or by fax at (416) 739-4781.

Agreement

Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (47Kb PDF)

Annexes

Monitoring and Information Management Annex to the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (29Kb PDF)

Areas of Concern Annex to the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (42Kb PDF)

Harmful Pollutants Annex to the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (51Kb PDF)

Lakewide Management Annex to the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (41Kb PDF)

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