Deal between Think Tank, Ottawa and Ontario Preserves ELA

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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An aquatic biologist, Dr. Diane Orihel, has worked tirelessly to preserve Canada’s world-renowned freshwater research station, i.e. The Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), since it was slated in May, 2012.  The federal Conservative government announced to shut down the facility, which is credited to have provided groundbreaking research into the human impact on ecosystems for more than 40 years, alleging that it no longer meshed with its mandate.

In the start, Dr. Orihel began mobilizing other scientists and eventually gathered thousands of ordinary Canadians to demand its preservation. It has now been almost two years since the fight began, but it finally paid off. The Winnipeg-based think tank, The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD, announced in a statement issued on Tuesday that is has signed three agreements with the federal government and the province of Ontario to assume operation of the ELA. Consequently, it declared that the facility will be preserved and the experiments would resume in time for the spring field season.

In her remarks at the time of announcement, Dr. Orihel stated that “I am just thrilled. I am so happy, I am speechless right now,” because “this was really what we have all been working for – to rebuild a new ELA. Initially, we had hoped to convince the Harper government to reinstate the federal funding for ELA. Basically that was never going to happen and we needed to develop a new solution. So, luckily, the IISD – kudos to them – stepped forward.”

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