06/06/2012 01:52 EDT | Updated 08/06/2012 05:12 EDT

Great Lakes Protection Act Introduced By Ontario Liberals


TORONTO - A bill aimed at cleaning and protecting the Great Lakes is being introduced today in the Ontario legislature.

The governing Liberals want to bring in the Great Lakes Protection Act, which they say would ensure the lakes can continue to be used for clean drinking water, electricity and recreation.

Environment Minister Jim Bradley says the public will be invited to comment on a strategy for the lakes' ecological health that the province will post.

The act would establish a Great Lakes Guardians Council, chaired by the environment minister and including other ministers, municipal representatives, First Nations members, people from the agriculture sector and scientists.

Bradley says the council would identify provincial Great Lakes improvement priorities and direct resources.

The act would also establish a Great Lakes Community Action Fund, which would provide $1.5 million in the first year to community groups for projects that would benefit the lakes.