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Say announcement comes following bipartisan push
Congressmembers Brian Higgins (NY-26) and Bill Huizenga (MI-04) welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement – following bilateral discussions – that Canada will make a $420 million ($306 million U.S.) investment in the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes.
“The Great Lakes are a resource both nations share, and it is incumbent on us all to invest in its health and future,” Higgins said. “Canada’s commitment, combined with the major investments made by Congress, will deliver economic and environmental returns for generations to come.”
Huizenga said, “This increased funding commitment to help preserve and strengthen the Great Lakes is a welcomed announcement from our neighbors in Canada. I was proud to lead this bipartisan request for increased funding with Congressman Higgins, and I am glad our Canadian friends answered our call. Protecting the Great Lakes has strong bipartisan support in Congress, and I am glad to see increased bilateral support between the United States and Canada to preserve these international waters as well.”
Trudeau outlined the commitment in a statement released and remarks made during President Joe Biden’s visit to Canada. He is quoted as saying, “To further protect the Great Lakes, a source of pride for Canadians and Americans alike, Canada is investing an additional, historic $420 million, as part of our renewed joint commitment to preserving and restoring these iconic waters and ensuring the resiliency of the communities and people that depend on them.”
Higgins and Huizenga serve as co-chairs of the Canada-United States Interparliamentary Group and are members of the congressional Great Lakes Task Force.
Earlier this month, the members led a bipartisan letter urging Biden to “highlight the importance of this binational resource, the investments needed to restore and protect the Great Lakes during your official visit to Canada,” and to underscore the “shared commitment that both our nations must uphold to support the Great Lakes.”
During the House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken committed to Huizenga that the Great Lakes would be a priority in bilateral discussions.
In recent years, Congress has committed around $300 million annually for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, with plans for a record $3.125 billion commitment between 2022-26. By comparison, the Government of Canada previously committed a total of $32.97 million (U.S.) between 2017 and 2022.