June 2, 2020

Boating Ontario has been granted a ‘Seat at the Table’ in the International Joint Commission’s Public Advisory Group, a committee of 16 members from both Canada and the United States. This group’s role is to support an in-depth review of Plan 2014 which is the plan used to regulate outflows of Lake Ontario. “We are very proud to represent Ontario’s marine industry in this review period and look forward to the discussions. Fluctuating water levels have long been one of the key challenges for our sector and a commitment to balanced meaningful solutions is the answer. Having a seat at the table is an awesome first step towards being a part of the solutions.” said Boating Ontario CEO Rick Layzell.
 
The Public Advisory Group will help the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management (GLAM) Committee to determine ways that regulation of water levels might be improved by contributing knowledge about water level impacts and input on the assessment methods used in the review. Public Advisory Group members will also help to facilitate a two-way dialogue between the GLAM Committee and affected interests and constituencies. In addition to the work being done by the Public Advisory Group, the GLAM Committee will also seek broader public comment on the expedited review.
 
A two-phase approach to the review of Plan 2014 was initiated by the GLAM Committee in February 2020. The first phase of the expedited review, expected to last approximately 18 months, focuses on providing information to the IJC’s International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board (Board) during this ongoing period of near-record high inflows to Lake Ontario from Lake Erie.
 
The second phase will look at how Plan 2014 addresses extreme high and low water levels over the longer term. The GLAM Committee is responsible for providing the data, information and tools needed to support the Board in decisions on whether it should recommend adjustments to the plan. Changes to Plan 2014 would need to be approved by the IJC and agreed to by the Governments of Canada and the United States.
 
Nominations to the Public Advisory Group by the GLAM Committee were requested by the IJC following the implementation of funding for phase 1. Public Advisory Group members represent all the interests and regions affected by water levels and flows on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The Public Advisory Group will be fully involved with the deliberations in the expedited review.

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