06/09/2017 12:49 EDT

Canadian Senator Picks Fight With New York Governor Over Record Water Levels

The water is high — and so are tempers.

A Conservative senator has accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of “spreading falsehoods” over rising water levels in Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River.

Bob Runciman made the comments in the Senate on Thursday — just over a week after Cuomo blamed a joint U.S.-Canada commission for adopting a plan known as Plan 2014 that brought in new regulations to return the waterways to their natural highs and lows.

Sen. Bob Runciman (left) accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of riling Americans with “falsehoods” over rising water levels. (Photo: Senate of Canada/Getty Images)

“That flooding and the damage it has done has opened the door to politicians who opposed Plan 2014 to claim falsely that the record flooding is the result of the plan being implemented,” Runciman said.

Some Republicans are calling on President Donald Trump to intervene, whose possible involvement irked the Canadian senator.

“Their false claims of blame have been supported by no less than the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo,” he continued, making a reference to the governor’s accusation the U.S.-Canada commission “blew it.”

Runciman said, “This is the worst kind of political distortion and misrepresentation.”

The senator noted heavy snow melt, record rainfall and runoff all contributed to record water levels. Lake Ontario has been the highest it’s been since 1952.


Last week, Cuomo blasted the International Joint Commission for making a “series of blunders” in implementing Plan 2014 in January after 16 years of study.

“I understand that they have a lot of concerns that they have to deal with, and they’re dealing with Canada and Montreal and St. Lawrence,” Cuomo said last week. “I represent the people of New York. And the people of the state of New York are getting the short end of the stick.”

Adoption of the wetlands reclamation project suspended a water regulation system that has been controlling Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River levels since 1958.

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