Date: July 24, 2013
For Immediate Release
The Thunder Bay Chapter of the Council of Canadians would like to make citizens aware that the negotiations about keeping the Experimental Lakes Area open are not making progress, according to an article in today’s Globe and Mail.
We were elated in June when the Province of Ontario announced that it would provide interim funding for the science research centre after the Federal Government stopped its funding. Funding was essential to maintain the integrity of ongoing scientific experiments at the Lakes. There were negotiations announced among the Province of Ontario, the Federal Government and the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Manitoba to look for a permanent way to keep this crucial facility functioning. The Province of Ontario was clear that their funding was temporary, intended only to keep the ELA operating until a permanent solution could be found. The IISD was included in negotiations as a possible long-term operator.
The Council of Canadians has been concerned about the state of these negotiations since June, and has written letters to all concerned parties asking for updates on the status of negotiations. To date, we have had no reply to any of our letters. We do know that the federal government, which still has control of the ELA, will close the facility permanently on Sept. 1st if negotiations are not successfully completed.
We would hope that all people who are concerned about the future of the Experimental Lakes Area will contact their MPs, MPPs , Prime Minister Harper and Premier Kathleen Wynne. These representatives of ours need to know that we are not pleased at the lack of progress, and that we care about the ELA. We would hope that an announcement of the successful completion of negotiations will be made by mid-August. If this is not the case, citizen action will have to be swift and decisive.
Tom Cook, Chair
Thunder Bay Chapter Council of Canadians