OTTAWA, Ontario – In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Conservative Ontario MPs expressed concern and asked for action to mitigate seasonal flooding in their ridings.
All of their ridings are touched by either the Great Lakes or St. Lawrence River or other regional lake or body of water.
“We write you as concerned members of the Conservative Ontario Caucus to bring to your attention the growing concerns that our constituents have with the inevitable flooding that is facing many communities across the province,” the letter to the Prime Minister reads.
Communities along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River experienced various degrees of flooding during the spring and summer of 2019.
“My constituents here locally often face the opposite challenge of low water levels between the Iroquois and Moses Saunders Dam in Cornwall, but it is equally harmful to shorelines, property values, tourism and our environment,” said Eric Duncan, Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.
“The one thing that is very clear to me as a new Member is that there is no coordinated response with all the federal departments that are impacted, let alone with provincial and municipal contacts. This is a real, tangible way we can get answers to help address this issue and take real steps. I am committed to not just complaining about the situation, but finding ways, to lessen the impacts for tens of thousands of residents and businesses in Ontario and Quebec,” added MP Duncan.
The International Joint Commission (IJC), the international governing body that manages water levels in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River have deviated from their normal management plan throughout early 2020 to deal with anticipated flooding.
“Ice conditions along the St. Lawrence may continue to limit flows over the next few weeks of winter. High outflows will continue to be released to the extent possible in response to the high waters. This action will continue to increase levels in Quebec, and also draw down water levels on Lake St. Lawrence, where extremely low water levels are expected to return,” reads an IJC statement.
On Friday, March 6, the Raisin Region Conservation Area (RRCA) released a Flood Outlook Statement warning that local flooding was possible due to rising temperatures and rain.