After four years of service, the Hon. Joseph Comuzzi’s term as Canadian Chair of the International Joint Commission ended on Jan. 14, 2014. His tenure at the Commission capped a quarter century of service to the people of Canada. As chair, Comuzzi showed his passion regarding issues important to people along the Canada-U.S. boundary, especially First Nations and Metis.
Commission highlights during Chair Comuzzi’s term include:
- A reference on governance in the Lake of the Woods-Rainy River resulted in the establishment of a new International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board, which involved for the first time significant local memberships, including First Nations, Metis and Tribes.
- A new Lake Osoyoos Order for the Zosel Dam was finalized.
- Reports were submitted to governments to help them address issues of flooding in the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River watershed and the Souris River basin.
- Extensive hearings were held in 2013 on a proposed new approach for the regulation of water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
- The 15th and 16th Biennial Reports on Great Lakes water quality were released, as was a draft of the Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority (LEEP) report, with recommendations to reduce algal blooms in Lake Erie.
- Blockages to alewives in the international section of the St. Croix River were removed.
- The International Upper Great Lakes Study concluded, resulting in important recommendations to the governments regarding management of water levels.
Mr. Walker, a Commissioner since June 6, 2013, was a previous Commissioner from 1992-1995.
He has been a practicing lawyer, a financial services business owner, and a former politician having served as City Councillor for five years, an MPP for 12 years and a Cabinet Minister in Ontario for seven years.
He and his wife Harriet make their home in Toronto.