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GLIN==> Great Lakes Commission Semiannual Meeting May 7-8

Great Lakes Commission Semiannual Meeting in Québec City May 7-8

Shared waters, shared future on agenda

Ann Arbor, Mich. —  The future of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence system and the issues and challenges to be faced will be explored by policymakers and opinion leaders from the United States and Canada when the Great Lakes Commission holds its semiannual meeting May 7-8 in Québec City.

With the theme “Our Lakes, Our River, Our Future,” the meeting will bring together delegates from the member states and provinces of the Great Lakes Commission, as well as other public and non-governmental officials with leadership roles in Great Lakes-St. Lawrence policy development.

“When dealing with the leading policy issues of the day, it’s important to look ahead, to anticipate the problems and opportunities of the future,” said Nat Robinson, chairman of the Commission’s board of directors. “In Québec City, we’ll be working on topics such as demands for fresh water, energy needs, maritime navigation and border security, not only in their present context but also with an eye to how they might play out in the decades to come.”

The Québec City setting, at the famed Château Frontenac, will set the stage for a special look at St. Lawrence River issues and underscore the Commission’s binational character. Major topics to be addressed include the development of a Great Lakes Restoration Plan and the presentation of the Commission’s Great Lakes Program to Ensure Environmental and Economic Prosperity, a set of legislative and appropriations priorities for addressing major regional issues. Commissioners will also consider the adoption of various action items establishing Commission policy on issues including U.S.-Canada border concerns, Great Lakes navigation, Areas of Concern cleanup, energy needs and infrastructure, and more.

Speakers include Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr. (U.S. Navy- retired), administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; William Leary, of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality; Louise Beaudoin; Québec minister of state for international relations; André Boisclair, Québec minister of state for environment and water; Jacques Lacoursiére; historian, author and radio/television reporter; and Janine Ferretti, executive director of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (see agenda for details).

The meeting will be preceded by a series of educational tours and site visits May 5-6. The business meeting will begin at 8 a.m., Tuesday, May 7 and end at noon, Wednesday, May 8. Social events include a reception and dinner, and a tour of the Environment Ministry laboratories Tuesday evening.

Meeting events are open to the public. Media representatives are encouraged to attend; registration fees will be waived for those with media credentials. For registration and program information, call 734-665-9135 or visit https://www.glc.org/SAM2002/ (Important: “https” prefix must be used).

Contacts:  Mike Donahue or Kirk Haverkamp
Phone:  734-665-9135 (office) or
734-646-4638 (cell)
Fax:  734-665-4370
E-mail:  mdonahue@glc.org or kirkh@glc.org

The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Nathaniel E. Robinson (Wisconsin), is a nonpartisan, binational compact agency created by state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great LakesSt. Lawrence region and its residents.  The Commission consists of state legislators, agency officials and governors’ appointees from its eight member states.  Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.”  The Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests.  The Commission offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.