Federal government must act to save Experimental Lakes Area

The Conservative government must act quickly and extend funding to the Experimental Lakes Area or risk important scientific research being shut down while negotiations on the renowned open air lab drag on.

“We had hoped the cabinet shuffle might signal the Conservatives finally understood the importance of the research being done at the Experimental Lakes Area, but it appears that`s not the case,” said NDP Environment Critic, Megan Leslie. “The new Minister of State for Science and Technology and local Kenora MP Greg Rickford has been silent on this.”

Only three days remain before the September 1 deadline for an agreement to transfer control of the Experimental Lakes Area from the federal government to the International Institute for Sustainable Development but no agreement is in sight.

The provinces of Ontario and Manitoba have both offered to help with the $2 million in annual operating costs, but a key obstacle still remaining to an agreement is federal government agreement on the remediation of the site.

“While the new Environment and Fisheries ministers make feel-good re-announcements of money already earmarked from the last budget, they are failing to get an agreement in place to save the world-renowned environmental science being done at Experimental Lakes Area,” added Leslie.