Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Canadians Act Like Great Lakes Neighbors: Can The Waukesha County Chamber Of Commerce Do The Same?

Canada is about to set aside a record number of acres to preserve forests.
This will help reduce greenhouse emissions and clean the air, with benefits working their way south to the US, and planet-wide.

There's a lesson here for folks right here in SE Wisconsin, where bashing the Canadians is something of a habit, as some politicians, and groups like the Waukesha Chamber of Commerce, erroneously have accused the Canadians of lying in wait to block Waukesha's access to Lake Michigan.

The Great Lakes are a shared resource.

More to the point, Canadians do not have a vote on, or a veto over, any diversion application forwarded by New Berlin, Waukesha or any Wisconsin or US community.

What Canada is doing, through forest preservation, is helping us all to enjoy a life-giving resource: clean air.

The same is true of water: if it's managed on a truly regional (The Great Lakes region, not the Waukesha-Milwaukee SMSA) and international scale, we all benefit.

The least the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce could do is correct its erroneous web posting that contains the false, wierdly-jingoistic claim that a Waukesha diversion would require the approval of a foreign power's two provinces that border the Great Lakes.

From the Chamber's website is this part of a resolution it has adopted, and which should be corrected or just plain withdrawn:

"WHEREAS, the proposed compact includes many positive features, allowing decisions regarding local water usage to be vetoed by any one of the CGLG members is cause for serious concern. Currently, the compact allows for regional review of many of the compact’s provisions directly impacting Waukesha County. For example, as Waukesha looks to divert water for its community needs, such a diversion would require the unanimous approval of all eight states and the two Canadian Provinces.

"THEREFORE, on behalf of the current businesses and residents of our county, and with respect to future growth, The Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce asks that the legislature not approve any Great Lakes Compact that places the authority for granting or denying water diversions for Waukesha County in the hands of another state or country. While a well thought-out plan balancing the conservation of an invaluable regional resource with the needs of growing counties like Waukesha is essential, an approved compact must include a fair and equitable process for reviewing Great Lakes water diversion requests, not allowing a sole governmental authority veto power."

The Canadian role in such diversion applications' review is advisory only, a known and much-repeated fact, and will help preserve the Great Lakes for Waukesha residents and tens of millions in the US and Canada who share in that responsibility.

1 comment:

Meg & Dave said...

All I can say is... Wow.

It wreaks of a spoiled 6 year old with some kind of independance complex. Someone is going to have to wake up and realize that they are part of a community. When we live in communities, intentional or not, we have to work together. Independance is juvenile.

Hasn't anyone read the 7 habits?!? Didn't think so.