OTTAWA – After decades of neglect, New Democrats are calling foul on the Conservatives failure to address dramatically fluctuating water levels in the Great Lakes basin. Transportation, municipal infrastructure, tourism and ecosystems throughout the area have all suffered and the NDP are calling for action.

 “In the shipping industry alone vessels can lose up to 270 tons of cargo for every inch of water the lakes drop. We almost lost the Chi-Cheemaun ferry service because of low water last year,” said NDP MP Carol Hughes (Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing). “On top of this, sensitive wetland areas are particularly vulnerable. With Lake Huron and Michigan reaching their lowest monthly recorded level since 1918, it’s clear that the time to act is now”

 Last December, the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development passed a motion to study the Great Lakes but refused to study courses of action to address water levels.

 “It’s disappointing that rather than reviewing our options, Conservatives are going to continue to ignore the issue,” said NDP critic for the Great Lakes, Brian Masse (Windsor West). “Once again, New Democrats are taking the initiative and fighting to keep our lakes great. That’s why we’re calling on Canadians to petition the government to review options to address Great Lakes water levels.”

 For more information on the petition, visit: http://petition.ndp.ca/great-lakes