FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                        December 19, 2003

Conservation Ontario Named to Government's Source Protection Implementation Committee

NEWMARKET - Conservation Ontario is pleased to participate in the government's recently announced 21 member committee responsible for source protection implementation. Peter Krause, Chair and Richard D. Hunter, General Manager will represent Conservation Ontario.

"The creation of this committee is an important step in implementing a number of the key recommendations made by Justice O'Connor in the Walkerton Inquiry," said Mr. Krause. "As well, this move follows up on the more recent report of the Watershed-Based Source Protection Planning Advisory Committee."

Conservation Ontario will represent Ontario's 36 conservation authorities in the committee's deliberations. Source protection has been identified as the first important barrier to preventing contamination from entering Ontario's drinking water system. Justice O'Connor suggested a significant role for Conservation Authorities in the development of source protection plans.

"Source protection guards the public's health by ensuring that there is a safe and adequate supply of drinking water," said Mr. Krause. "Establishing this committee is a critical part of beginning this protection."

Mr. Krause applauded the government's decision to place a one-year moratorium on new and expanded water-taking permits. "It is critical that we assess how much water is available in our watersheds as well as how much is currently being used. This needs to be backed up by good science, proper monitoring and adequate analysis," he said. "The moratorium, as outlined by the Minister, provides some time for us to achieve a better understanding of the impacts and implications of new and expanding withdrawals of water."

"We are pleased to see the government move forward on source water protection," said Jim Kelleher, LTC General Manager. "We are fortunate to have two local individuals on the committee who understand the water taking and source protection issues."

Conservation Authorities are responsible for managing Ontario's water resources on a watershed basis and continue to work with other partners such as all levels of government, industry, landowners and other environmental groups to ensure that the public is protected and provided with safe drinking water.

- 30 -

For more information, please see Conservation Ontario's website:

Or contact:

Peter Krause (Chair) or Richard D.Hunter (General Manager)         Local Contact:

Conservation Ontario                                                                  Jim Kelleher, General Manager

P.O. Box 11, 120 Bayview Parkway                                            Lower Trent Conservation

Newmarket, ON L3Y 4W3                                                           613-394-4829

(Cell phone) 905-717-0617 (D.Hunter)

(Office Tel) 905-895-0716 (P.Krause/D.Hunter)