Government of Canada

Government of Canada

March 20, 2008 14:48 ET

Canada's Environment and Fisheries Ministers Celebrate World Water Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 20, 2008) - Canada's Environment Minister John Baird and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Loyola Hearn today issued the following statement celebrating World Water Day 2008, which will be observed on Saturday, March 22.

"Our government is committed to ensuring that Canada's precious water resources are protected now and in the future," said Minister Baird. "Our country is richly blessed with lakes, rivers, streams and oceans that we have a responsibility to protect, and to ensure that our water resources are used wisely, both economically and ecologically."

"Protecting the most sensitive areas of our oceans is a priority for this Government," added Minister Hearn. "We want future generations of Canadians to enjoy and benefit from our marine environment. That is why we have created and invested in our Health of the Oceans initiative which will, among other things, establish four new Centres of Expertise on corals and designate six new Marine Protected Areas."

In just the last year alone, the Government of Canada announced initiatives on protecting Canada's waters through our Action Plan on Clean Water. These include:

- Committing $48 million to help clean up the most pressing Great Lakes Areas of Concern;

- Announcing a strict limit on phosphates in detergents to prevent blue-green algae growth in our lakes, rivers and streams;

- Our intention to bring in tough new regulations banning the dumping of raw sewage, and providing real dollars for improvement in sewage treatment across the country;

- $30 million to help clean up Lake Simcoe in Ontario;

- $18 million to help clean up Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba;

- Creation of the world's largest freshwater marine park, the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area;

- $61.5 million to improve the Health of the Oceans;

- Millions to improve drinking water on First Nations reserves, and

- A restatement of our intention to prevent any export of bulk water outside of Canada's borders.

In addition, our Government has taken decisive action to ensure that all First Nations reserves have access to safe drinking water. Budget 2008 builds on our achievements and further invests $330 million to improve access to safe drinking water in First Nations communities.

World Water Day is an opportunity for all Canadians to reflect on the importance of clean water to us all. All Canadians are encouraged to do their part to protect and preserve our precious lakes, rivers, wetlands and oceans so that we can leave a legacy of clean water for future generations.

For more information about World Water Day please visit the following Web site: www.worldwaterday.org.

(Egalement disponible en francais)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Eric Richer
    Press Secretary
    819-997-1441
    or
    Environment Canada
    Media Relations
    819-934-8008 or 1-888-908-8008
    or
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Office of the Minister
    Joshua Zanin
    Special Assistant, Communications
    613-992-3474
    or
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Phil Jenkins
    Acting Manager of Media Relations
    613-990-7537