Canada backs Québec measures to ban water exports

The Canadian Government last week welcomed the announcement that the Government of Quebec plans to introduce legislation on temporary measures, to prohibit large-scale removals of freshwater from the province.

Canadian Environment Minister, David Anderson applauded the decision, and said: “We all share a common interest in protecting our fresh water. I look forward to working with Quebec and all other provinces and territories this fall towards an agreement for a Canada-wide Accord to prohibit bulk water removals, including removals for export, from Canadian watersheds.”

For its part, the Government of Canada intends to support the Accord within its own jurisdiction. Canada plans to introduce amendments to the International Boundary Water Treaty Act in Parliament this autumn. These amendments will prohibit removals of freshwater from boundary waters such as the Great Lakes.

The International Joint Commission’s interim report, which was released on August 18th, included the recommendation to institute a six month moratorium on bulk water removals from the Great Lakes Basin. The Government of Canada asked all provinces and territories last February to prohibit bulk water removals, including for export while a Canada-wide Accord is being developed.

“Safeguarding our precious water resources for future generations is a key priority for Canadians,” added Minister Anderson. “An effective and sustainable solution can only be achieved if each government does its part and adopts a common approach.”

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