Canada-Ontario Agreement on the Great Lakes (2020 Draft) – Seeking Public Input
Posted on: July 16, 2019

Canada is addressing threats to Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health and is working with partners and the public to protect this vital shared resource.

Today, the governments of Canada and Ontario released a draft of a new Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health to coordinate actions to protect water quality in our Great Lakes. To help develop this new Agreement, Canada and Ontario are seeking input from the public. The draft Agreement will be available for public comment between July 5 and September 4. A final agreement is expected in 2020.

The new draft Agreement is designed to advance action on key challenges facing the Great Lakes, like tackling harmful and nuisance algae in Lake Erie and cleaning up the Great Lakes Areas of Concern. It also includes actions for improving wastewater and stormwater management and reducing pollution, including a new focus on road salt and plastic pollution, and ongoing issues like invasive species and climate resilience. The new draft Agreement will also take the next steps to enhance engagement with First Nations and Métis communities and will include a new focus on fish consumption.

Canada and Ontario have a long history of working together to improve conditions in the Great Lakes. Since 1971, federal and provincial agencies have cooperated under a series of Canada-Ontario Agreements (COA).

COA provides a 5-year work plan for how Canada and Ontario will work together to restore and protect the Great Lakes. It also describes how they will implement provisions of the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The 2014 COA expires in December 2019.

Canada and Ontario have negotiated a draft 2020 COA. The draft agreement includes commitments related to the following priorities:

  • nutrients
  • harmful pollutants
  • wastewater and stormwater
  • discharges from vessels
  • Areas of Concern
  • lakewide management
  • aquatic invasive species
  • habitat and species
  • groundwater quality
  • climate change impacts and resilience
  • from awareness to action
  • First Nations and the Great Lakes
  • Métis and the Great Lakes

All interested parties are invited to read the draft 2020 COA and provide comments.

Associated Links

Comments or questions on the proposed draft should be submitted to the Great Lakes National Program Office, Environment and Climate Change Canada at, or via mail at the address below, by September 4, 2019.  

Great Lakes National Program Office
Environment and Climate Change Canada
4905 Dufferin Street
Toronto ON M3H 5T4
Government of Canada

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