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MEDIA RELEASE

For Release: May 16, 1997

Contact Frank Bevacqua Washington, D.C. (202) 736-9024
Fabien Lengellé Ottawa, Ontario (613) 995-0088

International Joint Commission Examines Red River Flooding

(Ottawa/Washington.) May 16, 1997. Chairmen of the United States and Canadian Sections of the International Joint Commission (IJC) will visit the Red River basin this weekend as they begin to look for ways to lessen the disastrous effects of flooding, should it ever happen again.

Leonard Legault, Chairman of the Canadian Section, together with Tom Baldini, Chairman of the U.S. Section, will fly over the flood zone and make stops in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Grand Forks, North Dakota; and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, on Sunday and Monday, May 18-19.

"We want to begin immediately with a first-hand look at the situation." said Mr. Legault. "But, this is only the beginning of the beginning. The number of things that need to be looked into and worked out will require time and careful thought, and the views and experience of many others."

"As we all know, floods do not respect international boundaries," said Mr. Baldini. "The International Joint Commission will seek consensus on what is best for the watershed as a system, rather than focusing on its individual parts."

The governments of both Canada and the United States are preparing to ask the IJC to address the issue of flooding in the area, as was announced last week.

The International Joint Commission is a binational Canada-United States organization established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. It assists the governments in managing waters along the border for the benefit of both countries.

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