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Government of Canada Announces Proposed Regulations to Experimental Lakes Area Research Activities

Upholds the commitment to facilitate the continued operation of the facility

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 02/14/14 -- The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced that the proposed Experimental Lakes Area Research Activities Regulations have been published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 30-day public comment period, ending on March 16, 2014. This next step in the process is in keeping with the Government of Canada's commitment to transition the Experimental Lakes Area to a third party.

When finalized later this spring, these regulations would authorize the new operator to continue scientific research at the Experimental Lakes Area. Conditions in this new regulatory framework will ensure adherence to sound scientific practices and minimize environmental impacts to provide for the long term protection of the lakes.

Following the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding announced on September 2nd, 2013, negotiations to establish a new operator for the Experimental Lakes Area are ongoing between the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the Government of Canada (led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada) and the Government of Ontario. The three parties committed to ensuring that definitive agreements are finalized with a prospective operator of the Experimental Lakes Area by March 31, 2014.

Quick Facts

--  The Experimental Lakes Area is a unique, world-class facility for
    conducting whole-lake ecosystem experiments and can provide significant
    contributions to scientific knowledge of freshwater ecosystems. 
    
--  The Government of Canada is undertaking remediation activities related
    to past experiments at the Experimental Lakes Area in order to fulfill
    our commitments. Important remediation work has already taken place,
    including localized soil clean-up, fuel tank restoration and asbestos
    removal. 
    

Quotes

"Over the past year, our Government has been leading negotiations to secure a new operator for the Experimental Lakes Area in order to continue the valuable scientific work that has been conducted at this facility. We are pleased to provide this update on the steps we've reached to ensure a new operator better suited to performing whole-lake experiments will be in place. We remain committed to ensure the transition the ELA to a new operator by March 31, 2014," said the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State for Science and Technology, and FedNor, and Minister responsible for the Ring of Fire.

"I am very pleased with the measures our Government has taken to ensure the Experimental Lakes Area is prepared for IISD to assume operations. Our Government has followed through its commitment to leave the ELA in a good condition. With the IISD's renowned breadth and depth of expertise, I expect the worldwide potential of the experimental lakes area research will be harnessed and surpass the already significant contributions of the facility," said Joyce Bateman, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre.

Associated Links

- News Release - Experimental Lakes Area to Remain Open

- Backgrounder - Remediation at the Experimental Lakes Area

- Frequently Asked Questions - Experimental Lakes Area Transitional arrangement post September 1, 2013

Internet: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Follow us on Twitter! www.Twitter.com/DFO_MPO

Contacts:
Frank Stanek
Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-990-7537

Sophie Doucet
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-992-3474

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