Greens Horrified by Harper Conservatives’ Plan to Privatize Globally Respected Research Area

Today in Question Period, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Randy Kamp, confirmed that the Experimental Lakes Area ( is to be sold off to private interests. 

Independent MP, Bruce Hyer, Thunder Bay-Superior North asked:   “Mr. Speaker, two years ago the Conservative member for Kenora crowed about the importance of new dollars for the Experimental Lakes Area. He stated:

‘The Experimental Lakes Area is known world-wide as Canada’s most innovative freshwater research centre. …we are investing in projects like this one — helping to establish Canada as a leader in knowledge creation…’

Will the member for Kenora fight for the research centre that he bragged about recently or just allow his party to toss those investments and his credibility into the Experimental Lakes?”

In response Kamp said: “Mr. Speaker … we are looking forward to facilitating a transfer from this particular facility to a private organization.”

“This is truly shocking,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, MP Saanich-Gulf Islands.  “The Experimental Lakes Area has contributed immensely to our understanding of freshwater ecosystems.  Since 1968, a group of small lakes 250 kilometres east of Winnipeg has provided a unique opportunity for study. 

“The changing chemistry of lakes from acid rain, phosphates, decreased stratospheric ozone leading to greater UV and the impacts of climate change have all been studied. These impacts have been examined not only separately, but it relation to each other. This body of knowledge and ability to continue assessing impacts is critical to science,” said May.  “It is reckless to threaten our access to such critical work.”