THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN OF CANADA

Great Lakes

Ottawa

June 14, 2002

Rt. Hon. Herb Gray,
Commissioner of the International Joint Commission,
234 Laurier Avenue,
Ottawa, ON
K1P 6K6

Dear Mr. Gray,

Members of the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) have asked me to convey our congratulations to you on your appointment as Chair of the International Joint Commission (IJC). It is indeed a fitting continuation of your outstanding record of service to the people of Canada. Coming as you do from an extremely delicate and easily stressed area of the Great Lakes system, you will have a particularly informed appreciation of the importance of the work done by the IJC.

NCWC has long been concerned about the quality of the water in the Great Lakes and has advocated for their protection from all sorts of degradation at both the Federal and the Provincial levels of government. NCWC members have adopted policy asking for protection of this unique water basin from wholesale commercial exploitation. NCWC members see water as necessary for life as we know it on this planet, which means it is not a resource like any other.

Members recognize that although the volume of water in the Great Lakes system looks to be so large that it is a resource that could be safely exploited, nevertheless, much of the water is there as the living fossil remains of repeated glaciation during the ice ages. Falling water levels over the last decade are seen as a warning sign by our members confirming that this is not an inexhaustible resource.

National Council of Women of Canada (founded in 1893) is a member of the International Council of Women, holds Consultative Status with ECOSOC at the United Nations, and is a participating member of the Organization of American States (OAS/CIM). Members work to implement their mission to improve conditions of life for women, their families and the communities where they live.

With best wishes,

Catharine Laidlaw-Sly
President
National Council of Women of Canada

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