The Canadian federal government will spend $43.5 million over five years to establish a Canada water agency to coordinate more than 20 federal groups, departments and agencies that now help regulate freshwater in the country.
Another $8.7 million in ongoing funding is planned.
Other investments in water resources include $44.9 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, and $9 million ongoing to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to support the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Transboundary water bilateral coordination by Canada and the U. S. will target invasive sea lamprey control. Fisheries management and Great Lakes research will be funded.
Environment and Climate Change Canada will receive $19.6 million in 2022-23 to sustain its freshwater action plan. Pollution cleanup efforts in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, Lake Winnipeg, Lake of the Woods, Fraser River, Saint John River, Mackenzie River and Lake Simcoe will be supported.
Environment Canada will receive $25 million over five years to support the Experimental Lakes Area, a natural laboratory of more than 50 small lakes and their watersheds set aside for scientific research in a sparsely populated area of northwestern Ontario.
Nearly 20 per cent of the world’s surface freshwater is found in the Great Lakes, the source water for more than 51 million people in North America.
The Great Lakes directly generate more than 1.5 million jobs and $60 billion in wages annually. The area is home to more than 3,500 plant and animal species, some of which are found nowhere else on Earth.
There are many details to work through on the creation of the agency, which will be overseen by Environment and Climate Change Canada.