Ottawa Journal (September 08 – September 12, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P.
Our lakes and our rivers are critical threads in the economic fabric of this country. They have shaped communities and they have been a way of life for generations of families.
So, when something threatens that way of life and that economic engine, we can’t sit idly by.
Asian carp presents that threat. It is an invasive species that has devastating potential. Unchecked, they could create a serious imbalance in our waters by competing for the same food and resources that native species, like our famous perch, need to survive.
I am very pleased that the Harper Government, as part of our focus on jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity, is taking further preventative action now. We announced that a new, state-of-the-art lab has been opened in Burlington, Ontario and it will be dedicated to specific research and activities to keep Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.
Until now we’ve had to send samples and information to the United States. Now, with facilities right here in Canada, we can get results in a matter of hours, rather than days or weeks.
Employees from the new facility will also now be conducting routine early detection inspections in high-risk waterways and starting this summer.
Although there is no current evidence of any Asian carp in the Canadian Great Lakes, we need to do what is required now.
Our efforts remain focused on blocking Asian carp migration, stopping people from bringing them here, early detection – and immediate removal if ever they are located.
As the MP for Dufferin-Caledon, I know very well how important this issue is – and how we must do whatever we can to protect our recreational and commercial fisheries. That is why I am very proud of this next step in our Government’s support in the fight against Asian carp, which is part of our commitment of $17.5 million over five years to protect Canada’s Great Lakes from the threat of Asian carp.