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Letterhead for Ontario Ministry of the Environment.  Includes logo and mailing address.

The Honourable Peter Kent
Minister of the Environment
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
10 Wellington Street, 28th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3

Dear Minister Kent:

            Re:      Extension of Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem

            I am writing to confirm our mutual agreement to extend the term of the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem to June 24, 2012, the maximum extension permitted under federal law, and to add new commitments to the Agreement in support of our efforts to protect the Great Lakes.    

            The current Canada-Ontario Agreement is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2011.   Article XI permits Canada and Ontario to amend the Agreement by an exchange of letters.  On behalf of our respective governments, we have agreed to amend the Agreement by extending its term to June 24, 2012, and to add new commitments to the Agreement in support of our efforts for the protection of the Great Lakes during the extension.  The amendments are set out in the Appendix attached to this letter.  We have agreed that the effective date of the amendments will be March 31, 2011. 

            Since 1971, Canada and Ontario have worked together under a series of Great Lakes agreements that have guided our efforts to improve the water quality and aquatic ecosystem health of the Great Lakes Basin and contributed to meeting Canada’s obligations under the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (“GLWQA”).  Canada and the United States are currently negotiating amendments to the GLWQA to strengthen and modernize the agreement to address existing and emerging threats.  It is now evident that the GLWQA amendment process will not be completed prior to the scheduled expiry of the Canada-Ontario Agreement.  We recognize that our respective governments must continue to work together under the Canada-Ontario Agreement framework and that our efforts to restore, protect and conserve the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem continue without interruption.  Accordingly, we have agreed to the extension of the current Canada-Ontario Agreement and to the new commitments set out in the attached Appendix.   

            The Government of Ontario pledges to work together with the Government of Canada under the existing Canada-Ontario Agreement, and to negotiate a new Canada-Ontario Agreement expeditiously so that a new Canada-Ontario Agreement will be in effect on or before June 25, 2012.  In our view, there should be no gap between the expiry of the existing Canada-Ontario Agreement and the commencement of a new Canada-Ontario Agreement.   

            The Great Lakes are vital in supporting our environment, our economy, and our society.  Ontario appreciates Canada’s continued commitment to protect and improve our shared Great Lakes.    

Sincerely,

 

John Wilkinson
Minister

 

And on behalf of:

Linda Jeffrey, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources
Carol Mitchell, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs         

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