Mr. Speaker, the Great Lakes, which straddle the border between Canada and the United States, have played a major role in the development of both countries. In fact, the Great Lakes basin contains 18% of the world's surface fresh water and almost a third of the Canadian population lives around it.
In order to prevent and resolve disputes between the two countries, the International Joint Commission is a vital part of the Canada-United States management of this shared environment. Consequently, the governments of both countries have asked the IJC to conduct a review of the Great Lakes water quality agreement through public consultation. There is a growing consensus that the agreement should be revised to reflect advances in science and new challenges to the integrity of the Great Lakes ecosystem.
On behalf of my constituents and all citizens of the Great Lakes, I welcome and applaud this decisive action by Canada and the United States to continue the process of restoring the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes.