Great Lakes Commission: Québec and its partners mobilize
Members of the Québec delegation: Eve Joseph, Secrétariat au transport maritime et à la mise en valeur du Saint-Laurent; Eric Marquis, Québec Government Representative in Chicago; Louise Lapierre, Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs; and Marc Gagnon, Fednav Group
The semi-annual meeting of the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) was held in Washington, D.C., on March 5 and 6. The goal of the GLC is to promote concerted action on various issues related to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin.
- Water management
- Aquatic invasive species
- Maritime commerce (estimated at $34 billion a year, with over 225,000 jobs on both sides of the border)
- Sustainable development and climate change
The issue of Great Lakes water levels, which are at historic lows in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan and well below average in Lake Superior, as well as the advancement of solutions to combat the Asian carp were major concerns of the participants.
The GLC standing committee on economic development, of which Québec is very active member, held a working meeting on the sidelines of the meeting in Washington, D.C.
The participants also attended information sessions on the Obama administration’s priorities with respect to the management of the Great Lakes given, among others, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. Democratic Congresswomen Louise Slaughter (NY), who is Co-chair of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, was one of the featured speakers.
GLC goes to the Capitol
An informal meeting was also held in the Capitol with eight members of the U.S. Senate and Congress, including Democratic Senator Carl Levin (Michigan), who will soon be introducing major legislation, the Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection Act, co-sponsored by his Republican colleague, Mark Kirk (Illinois).
The GLC is, for Québec, an invaluable lever for promoting its interests in North America on concrete issues related to water management. Its effectiveness relies on the bipartisan consensus that prevails in the Midwest on these issues.
Relations between Québec and the United States
Great Lakes Commission