The sign at Kitchissippi Point on the Ottawa River seemed particularly apt early last spring. The message is part of a permanent display to show how once, more than 10,000 years ago, the Ottawa Valley was completely under water.
In Ottawa, the member of Parliament for Ottawa South, David McGuinty rose in the House of Commons to introduce a private member’s bill calling for the creation of an Ottawa River Watershed Council. The legislation calls for a major study on how the various levels of government could “take the management of the Ottawa River watershed to the next level,” and is modelled on such initiatives as the Fraser Basin Council in British Columbia, as well as the Red River Basin Commission that includes both Canadian and American members.
Canadians need to “revamp our thinking when it comes to managing the way we do business and the way we relate to something as essential as a watershed,” McGuinty told the Commons. “It is an incredible opportunity for Canada, not just in the context of the Ottawa River watershed but right across the country.”
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