Ottawa, ON – Since the planned shuttering of the Experimental Lakes Area half a year ago there have been many controversies and rumors swirling around this world renown research facility. Recently, the Coalition to Save ELA has been informed that the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans is on the verge of transferring the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) to a private sector operator. They claim that is action is being taken under a veil of secrecy and at a time when Parliament is not in session.
Rumors can often be true, especially in this case since Manitoba Conservative MP Joyce Bateman, in a letter to a constituent sent on June 2, made this offer clear. She stated that the government’s plan is to transfer ownership of ELA to a university or private business. “This facility will be very attractive to them, especially given recent investments, and the federal government is committed to offering a transfer of ownership for a nominal fee of $1,” she wrote, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.
In response to the impending sale of the ELA to a private owner, today the Coalition called upon the Canadian Minister of the Environment, Mr. Peter Kent, to take immediate action to stop his government from committing a grave error that would have dire consequences for Canada’s ability to secure the health of our lakes and the sustainability of our freshwater resources.
“The ELA is the only freshwater research facility capable of providing the necessary science to address the serious environmental challenges we face in Canada, now and in the future”, explains Diane Orihel, Director of the Coalition to Save ELA. “Unless ELA remains funded by the federal government and staffed by public service scientists, the ELA will cease to serve the interests of the people of Canada, and our ability to protect our lakes and rivers will be diminished.”
Twitter: @SaveTheELA, #SaveELA