Sault Ste. Marie wants national water agency located here

Sault Ste. Marie will ask for help from Batchewana and Garden River First Nations to transform our city into a national water-keeper. 

At the urging of Ward 5 Coun. Corey Gardi, City Council agreed Monday to try to persuade the federal government to locate a new Canada Water Agency here.

In last week’s Speech from the Throne, the government announced: “When the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration was closed by a previous government, Canada lost an important tool to manage its waters. The government will create a new Canada Water Agency to keep our water safe, clean, and well-managed. The government will also identify opportunities to build more resilient water and irrigation infrastructure.”

“I challenge anybody, anywhere in the country, to tell us that we aren’t as deserving for many reasons as any other place in the country,” Coun. Gardi told his fellow councillors on Monday night.

The following is the full text of the resolution approved by City Council:

Canada Water Agency

Mover: Councillor C. Gardi
Seconder: Councillor L. Vezeau-Allen

Whereas for centuries the Great Lakes, its fresh water and the bounties it has provided have been a precious resource for the Indigenous people of this area; and

Whereas the banks of the St. Marys River have been a meeting place for Indigenous peoples for centuries; and

Whereas the Great Lakes are the world’s most vast and well-known bodies of fresh water; and

Whereas Sault Ste. Marie is situated on the St. Marys River, at the heart of the Great Lakes, between Lake Huron and Lake Superior; and

Whereas fresh water and these Great Lakes have been so historically significant to the city and surrounding area; and

Whereas Sault Ste. Marie has a proven track record for providing world-class study and research through centres and institutes including the Ontario Forest Research Institute, the Great Lakes Forestry Research Centre and the Invasive Species Centre; and

Whereas Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, on behalf of the federal government announced the establishment of a new Canada Water Agency during the Speech from the Throne Wednesday, September 23, 2020;

Now, therefore, be it resolved that Mayor Provenzano communicate with both chiefs of Batchewana First Nation and Garden River First Nation about pursuing this opportunity for our area and working together to showcase our unique history and environment to the federal government;

Further, be it resolved that Mayor Provenzano on behalf of City Council and the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie pen a letter to Prime Minister ; Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson; and Member of Parliament Terry Sheehan expressing interest in establishing the new Canada Water Agency here in Sault Ste. Marie, outlining the unique aspects of our community and surrounding area which make us an excellent location for this agency.

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