Senator Bob Runciman - Ontario - Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes
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RUNCIMAN APPLAUDS APPROVAL OF WATER LEVELS PLAN

OTTAWA, Dec. 8, 2016 – The adoption of a new plan to manage water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River is good news for the environment and for tourism in the Thousand Islands, Senator Bob Runciman said today.

The International Joint Commission announced today that Plan 2014 – a much-studied, but long-delayed plan to restore more natural variations in water levels – has been adopted and will be implemented starting next month.

The approval comes after nearly two decades of study, costing some $20 million. The final plan had broad public support, but sat for two and a half years awaiting approval from the federal governments of Canada and the U.S.

“This is a good day for Eastern Ontario,” Runciman said.

“I was beginning to worry that hopes for a better water levels management plan would be dashed yet again as month after month went by and Plan 2014 continued to gather dust,” said Runciman, who has advocated for many years for a change to the existing management plan, in place for nearly 60 years.

“This new plan will be better for wetlands – in fact, it will be the second-largest wetlands restoration in the history of North America. And I’m excited that it offers a longer boating season along the St. Lawrence, by maintaining more water in the upper St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario in the fall,” Runciman said.

The IJC says there will be trade-offs for recreational boating in the upper St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario. The benefits of a longer boating season most years will be offset by occasional years when low water levels are liable to hurt boaters during peak season.

“I’ve always thought this plan strikes the right balance,” Runciman said. “There is no question the environment is the big winner, but it will also benefit tourism and hydro-electric power generation, while posing no threat to shipping.”

For more information, please contact:

Barry Raison

Director of Parliamentary Affairs, Senator Robert Runciman’s Office

(613) 943-4020 or barry.raison@sen.parl.gc.ca

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