Media Release

Twelve Million Dollars for Water Protection a Start

Nov 18 2004

Toronto - Ontario Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky and Ontario Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay today announced 12.5 million dollars in funding for watershed based source protection in Ontario. Funds are directed to conservation authorities and municipalities to hire expert staff, enhance information management, initiate public outreach, complete watershed based water budgets, and to do further groundwater studies in areas across the province."Funding is critical to the actions necessary to protect Ontario’s drinking water at source," stated Theresa McClenaghan, counsel with the Canadian Environmental Law Association. "It’s a start in building the necessary capacity where it will be needed. In the long run Ontario will have to ensure that there is a sufficient on-going funding source to sustain source protection approaches in the province."Watershed based drinking water source protection was one of the fundamental recommendations of Justice O’Connor arising out of the Walkerton Inquiry. Source protection is essential to keep pathogens and other contaminants out of Ontario’s sources of drinking water.CELA counsel Theresa McClenaghan sits on the province’s Implementation Committee on source protection to advise the Minister of the Environment with respect to needed new implementation and funding tools for source protection. The province’s two advisory committees on source protection will give the Minister their reports by November 30th, 2004 and CELA hopes that the province will introduce source protection legislation in early 2005.- 30 -For more information: Theresa McClenaghan, CounselTel.: 416-960-2284 ext. 218 Cell: 519-757-5266 E-mail: mcclenaghan (at) execulink.comDarryl Finnigan, CELA’s Water CampaignerTel.: 416-960-2284 ext. 224 E-mail: water (at) cela.ca