Experimental Lakes Area News Release

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
May 9, 2013  
 
The Thunder Bay Chapter of the Council of Canadians is thankful for the announcement today of a solution which will keep the Experimental Lakes Area open for 2013. This research facility was inexplicably closed by the Federal Government in March of this year.  The Ontario government took up the challenge and began negotiations with the federal government, the Manitoba government and the International Institute for Sustainable Development.  The Ontario government offered bridge funding for 2013 while discussions continued about the ongoing operation of the facility.
 
The federal government in the meantime kept the gates closed and locked and would not allow scientists access to the site to be able to continue their work.  Today’s announcement means that the facility will be open very shortly, science can continue, and the International Institute for Sustainable Development will be responsible for overseeing its operation.
 
The one ongoing concern is that we have no knowledge of what the fate of this facility will be in 2014.  We are assured that discussions are on going, with the determination to see the ELA remain open on a permanent basis.  The Council of Canadians will continue to monitor the negotiations to ensure that they continue, and we will continue to provide information to the public about the results as we are aware of them.
 
We are thankful to our members and members of other local groups who joined us in our rallies to encourage Ontario to take the action it did.  It was the National Council of Canadians who first suggested that Ontario and Manitoba take over the funding for the ELA when the Harper government left the facility in the lurch.  Our members and supporters encouraged us and gave ideas for our letter-writing campaigns and rallies which, we are sure, helped to sway the Ontario government to make the decision it did.
 
We are thankful to the governments of Manitoba and Ontario which , through this announcement, give us hope that democracy really can work.  The functioning of democracy is in grave doubt at the federal level; we need every bit of hope we can get to believe that it can still function.
 
We are thankful to the local media which gave enormous coverage and support to the movement to save the ELA covering everyone’s efforts in this regard. The Chronicle-Journal also weighed in editorially to support the continued operation of the ELA. Such support does not go unnoticed.
 
Again, many thanks from the local Council of Canadians for the broad community support shown for the effort to save the ELA: it worked!
   
Tom Cook
Chair,
Thunder Bay Chapter
Council of Canadians
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