Brockville – Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark says he’s disappointed the International Joint Commission (IJC) has failed to act
on his request to give Ontario municipalities a voice on the International Lake Ontario- St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB).
Clark made the request in a January 8, 2020 letter to the IJC’s Canadian and U.S. co- chairs Pierre Béland and Jane Corwin. The letter followed a decision by the IJC to add a Canadian municipal representative from the Province of Quebec.
“While I applaud the move to give municipalities a seat at the table, I was disappointed to learn that the Canadian municipal LOSLR representative is from the Province of
Quebec. I take nothing away from the qualifications of the current appointee. However, I respectfully suggest that the devastating spring floods in the upper St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario region in 2017 and 2019 should have made it a priority to appoint the Canadian municipal representative from Ontario.”
Although the IJC indicated in a response to the media that they would explore the suggestion, Clark said he has had no follow up from the agency.
“This is an urgent situation, given that the ILOSLRB is making decisions now that will affect our ability to mitigate the risk of flooding this spring,” said Clark. “I believe it’s
critical that a municipal representative from the communities affected is an active participant in that decision-making process.”
Clark said he’s appealing to municipal councils in the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario basin to pass a resolution in support of his call for representation from the area.
“The IJC needs to hear loud and clear that communities impacted by the flooding want a seat at the table and I hope councils will join me in making that happen,” said Clark. “Residents, businesses and municipalities all suffered extensive damages as a result of the flooding in 2017 and 2019. As we prepare for the possibility of high water again this spring it’s unacceptable that we’re left on the sidelines when it comes to decisions about water-level management,” said Mayor Corinna Smith-Gatcke of the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands. “There is no time to waste and I want to thank MPP Clark for pushing to give us that voice on the ILOSLRB. I look forward to discussing a supportive resolution with my council.”