Canadian Throne Speech Commits Federal Government to Great Lakes Program Renewal and the IJC

Release: Immediate
Contact: Nick Heisler, (613) 794-8198

Ottawa, October 6, 2004 - The first Throne Speech of the Paul Martin's newly elected government emphasized the importance of the environment as an international issue, saying that the government "will continue to pursue multilateral and bilateral approaches to what are ultimately global challenges." The Speech committed to work with the United States and through the International Joint commission to meet these challenges.

The Right Honourable Herb Gray, Chair of the International Joint Commission, "The government has made a historic commitment to international cooperation on international and global environmental issues. The future of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River now are a major part of this government's agenda. The Commission is prepared and uniquely equipped to help the government find solutions to the environmental challenges that we face."

"For example," said the Speech, "[the Government] will work with the United States and agencies like the International Joint Commission on issues such as clean air, clean water and invasive species. In 2005, the Government will bring forward the next generation of its Great Lakes and St. Lawrence programs, underscoring its commitment to protect and preserve these internationally significant shared ecosystems."

In a section that discussed the Kyoto Accord, building sustainable development in decision making and improving the commercialization of environmental technologies, the Throne Speech provided strong evidence that the Martin government would take a leadership role in building an international approach to the environment.

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