Gord Brown congratulates IJC on plan approval

December 08, 2016

Ottawa – Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, today congratulated the International Joint Commission on its new Plan 2014 for water level regulation on the Upper St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. The plan was approved by both the Canadian and United States governments today.

“It has been over 20 years since water levels became a major concern in the 1000 Islands, especially for marinas,” explains Brown. “This new plan will alleviate the highest of the high water levels and will also level out the lows.

“It means that in most years there will be more water in the fall for boat haul out and a slightly extended season,” he explains.

The plan includes deviation triggers which allow the regulators to manipulate levels if those levels deviate from the plan.

For example, when water levels hit the bottom 10 percent of the average lows for any particular time, the regulators can take steps to maintain or increase levels.

Likewise when they hit the top two percent of the average high, they can take steps to reduce the level. 

“This is great news for marinas in the 1000 Islands,” says Brown.

In the 1990s as water levels dropped in the fall, the former Plan 57 did not allow the regulators to manipulate the water flow to try to increase water levels.

The new plan also aids the environment and by and large addresses concerns of riparians, although property owners along the south shore of Lake Ontario may see some continued flooding that will have to be alleviated with better structures.

“It is a detailed, costly plan, and it has been a time consuming plan,” notes Brown.

Following extensive lobbying efforts in the mid to late 1990’s by marinas and other users, governments on both sides of the border committed $20 million dollars to a plan review in 2000. Plan 57 had been in place since the waterway opened and had never taken recreational boating and marina usage into account. A potential new plan was rejected several years ago and the new Plan 2014 was introduced over two years ago.

The new Plan 2014 will take effect beginning in January 2017.