International Joint Commission to Hold Hearings on
Great Lakes Basin

OTTAWA, January 3, 2003 - The International Joint Commission (IJC) announced today it will hold a series of public hearings to obtain comment from the public on action taken by governments on the issue of water uses in the Great Lakes basin before reporting to the Governments of Canada and the United States. The hearings are scheduled to take place at the following dates and locations:

January 20, 2003
Metro Hall
55 John Street
Toronto, Ontario
Council Chamber
7 p.m.

January 21, 2003
Drake Hotel
140 East Walton Place
Chicago, Illinois
Michigan Room
3 & 7 p.m.

February 3, 2003
Queen Elizabeth Hotel
900 René-Lévesque blvd.
Montréal, Québec
Room St. Maurice
7 p.m.

The IJC published a comprehensive report entitled Protection of the Waters of the Great Lakes in 2000.   In that report the IJC recommended that it review the issue after three years to provide an update on how matters had changed over that period of time. In late 2000 the governments subsequently agreed.  

In June of last year, the Commission appointed the International Water Uses Review Task Force to assist it in carrying out the three-year review.   The Task Force reviewed the many technical, policy and legal developments that have taken place in the basin and reviewed actions taken by federal, state and provincial authorities to address the issues raised in the Commission’s 2000 report.  

The Task Force has now completed its work and submitted its report to the Commission.   That report is available on the Commission’s web site: (click here for report in PDF format) . Hard copies of the report are also available from either one of the Commission’s offices listed below. The report of the Task Force represents the views and analysis of the Task Force and not necessarily the views of the Commission. The Commission will prepare its report to governments based on its own analysis, the report of the Task Force, and comments received concerning the Task Force report and other related matters.

In addition to the public hearings listed above, the IJC invites all interested parties to submit written comment on this investigation to the addresses below:

Secretary, Canadian Section
234 Laurier Avenue West, 22nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5M1
Fax: 613.993.5583

Secretary, U.S. Section
1250 23rdStreet NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20440
Fax: 202.736.9015

Due to the security clearing of mail, communications with the IJC’s Washington office should be by fax or email to ensure timely receipt. It would be most helpful if written comments were received by February 10, 2003 .

The International Joint Commission is a binational Canada-U.S. 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 in a variety of ways including examining issues referred to it by the two federal governments.

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Frank Bevacqua           Washington , DC            202.736.9024

Fabien Lengellé             Ottawa , ON                613.995.0088

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