• News
  • June 11, 2013

Restoring Great Lakes To Protect Ontario's Future

McGuinty government makes Great Lakes Protection top priority

Ontario is introducing legislation that, if passed, would ensure cleaner Great Lakes that are protected for the future.

Ontarians rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water, food, electricity, transportation, and recreation. Studies show that population growth, and emerging issues including new chemicals of concern, invasive species, pollution and climate change, are stressing the Great Lakes.

The proposed Great Lakes Protection Act would, if passed, provide new tools to restore and protect the lakes. The act would create a council to identify priorities and recommend actions to address them. The province would also provide grants to help community groups undertake improvement projects to protect their part of the Great Lakes.

Protecting and restoring the Great Lakes is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to enhance quality of life for Ontario families and ensure a strong, green economy for future generations.



"Being both the Minister of Natural Resources and MPP for the great riding of Thunder Bay-North Superior affords me a special privilege and unique responsibility to help care for Ontario’s Great Lakes system. The introduction of the Great Lakes Protection Act would catapult Ontario into the global spotlight as a leader in Fresh Water Management Systems. My ministry plays a key role in ensuring that the Great Lakes Basin waters and the aquatic ecosystems, habitats and species they support remain healthy, abundant and sustainable. We, in Thunder Bay, have a close connection with the Great Lakes; being situated on the northern tip of Lake Superior. This proposed legislation will further empower our residents and local businesses to take an active role in protecting and restoring the health of our Great Lakes so that they are drinkable, swimmable and fishable for generations to come." -- Michael Gravelle, Minister of Natural Resources and MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North

"We want all Ontarians to help us protect the Great Lakes. I encourage everyone to help by joining local efforts to clean up our beaches, shorelines or lakes."-- Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan

"Ontario relies on the Great Lakes for our strength and success. The McGuinty government is acting today to protect our lakes and restore them to environmental health."— Jim Bradley, Minister of the Environment


More than 80 per cent of Ontarians get their drinking water from the Great Lakes.

Ontario’s commercial Great Lakes fisheries are worth $200 million annually.

Ontario’s Great Lakes basin contains 40 per cent of the country’s economic activity.

The Great Lakes hold one fifth of the world’s surface fresh water resources.

About 98 per cent of Ontarians live within the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence basin.

Read the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act
Learn about the proposed Great Lakes Strategy

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