Canada Water Agency

Photo of a person paddling a canoe.

What we’re doing

On June 28, 2021, Sault Ste. Marie City Council approved the formation of a Task Force to explore this potential opportunity. The Task Force is developing a pitch to bring the Canada Water Agency to our community, which will incorporate community feedback published in a local ‘What we heard’ report. Learn more at: cwassm.ca.

The Task Force consists of internal City staff and external Stakeholders, including:

City Staff
Tom Vair, Deputy CAO
Rick Van Staveren, Director Economic Development
Travis Anderson, Director Tourism
Kathleen Heymans, Manager Business Development
Emily Cormier, Sustainability Coordinator

External Partners
Mayor Christian Provenzano
Corey Gardi, City Councillor
Elaine Ho-Tassone, Project Coordinator with the Lake Huron Collaborative
Paula Antunes, Freshwater Researcher and Consultant
Ryan Namespetra, Natural Environment Coordinator with Sault College

We want to understand your perspectives regarding having the Canada Water Agency in Sault Ste. Marie, as well as your priorities and values for ensuring a water secure District of Algoma. Your input will help guide the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s proposal to the Federal Government.

Join a community discussion or submit your feedback or questions to cwaproject@cityssm.on.ca.

Why Sault Ste. Marie

We are the Heart of Canada’s Freshwater
  • Nestled in the Hub of the Great Lakes Region, Sault Ste. Marie is located mid-way across Canada and next to own of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, Lake Superior.
Indigenous partnerships
  • Named after it’s freshwater, Baawaating, meaning “Place of the Rapids” is centrally located in the traditional Ojibwe territory. The City has engaged with our indigenous communities and partners to build support and bring indigenous voice to our proposal development.
City Leadership  
  • The City is committed to supporting freshwater research and conservation.
  • SSM has completed a GHG Emissions Reduction Plan and is continuing its commitment to climate action through the implementation of the plan! 
An ecosystem of freshwater research
Sault Ste. Marie is home to a cluster of innovative and leading freshwater and natural resource research, including:
  • Sault College’s School of Natural Environment 
  • Algoma University’s School of Life Science and the Environment
  • The Sea Lamprey Control Centre
  • The Great Lakes Forestry Centre, part of Natural Resources Canada
  • The Ontario Forest Research Institute, part of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry 
International and Regional Collaboration
Being a border City, Sault Ste. Marie freshwater researchers collaborate internationally with ease. Algoma University faculty have partnered and collaborate regularly with Lake Superior State University’s faculty at the Centre for Freshwater Resources and Education.

Algoma University and other community stakeholders are a part of the Lake Superior Living Labs Network (LSLLN), a regional network. The LSLLN works collaboratively to co-create innovate solutions to sustainability challenges in the Lake Superior Watershed.
Plus, Sault Ste. Marie has collaboratively monitored and managed the St. Mary’s River. For example, through the Bi-national Public Advisory Committee (BPAC)
 
A centre for innovative clean economic growth
  • A traditional industrial steel town, Sault Ste. Marie’s business community has been a leader in clean economic growth. Earlier this year Algoma Steel announced its new electric arc project that will enable the company to create the greenest steel in Canada.
Truth and Reconciliation 
  • The City has been active and engaged in TRC. The Mayor leads the Bawaating Advisory circle. The Bawaating Advisory Circle was established as a way for engagement and dialogue to take place between Sault Ste. Marie leadership and our Indigenous communities. The advisory circle is another positive step forward on the path to local reconciliation.
  • Algoma University is developing Canada’s first Truth and Reconciliation hub. Mukqua Waakaa’igan, the Anishinaabemowin name endowed to the new cultural facility. The facility will promote the Calls To Action and provide a space to showcase indigenous cultures in Canada.
Community Support and Engagement
  • Water is a way of life in SSM. Our beautiful region offers endless beauty and activities centered around our freshwater.

FAQ 

What is the Canada Water Agency?
The Government of Canada is establishing a Canada Water Agency to improve freshwater management across the country. The location of the office has not been determined.

How will the host City be determined?
The Government of Canada has not outlined a formal process for selecting a Canada Water Agency location yet.
We are working to position SSM as a competitive and ideal candidate for the Canada Water Agency location and preparing a Proposal for the Agency.

How is SSM preparing a proposal?
On June 28, 2021, Sault Ste. Marie City Council approved the formation of a Task Force to explore this potential opportunity. The Task Force is developing a pitch to bring the Canada Water Agency to our community, which will incorporate community feedback that will be published in a local ‘What we heard’ report by November 1, 2021.
The City of Sault Ste. Marie has partnered with the Lake Huron Collaborative’s Dr. Elaine Ho-Tassone to lead a series of community discussions. We have scheduled eight events, four of which are online and four of which will be held in-person. To find out more information visit the online form here.

Who is on the Task Force?
The Task Force consists of internal City staff and external Stakeholders. The official Task Force membership includes:

City Staff
Tom Vair, Deputy CAO
Rick Van Staveren, Director Economic Development
Travis Anderson, Director Tourism
Kathleen Heymans, Manager Business Development
Emily Cormier, Sustainability Coordinator

External Partners
Elaine Ho-Tassone, Project Coordinator with the Lake Huron Collaborative
Corey Gardi, City Councillor
Paula Antunes, Freshwater Researcher and Consultant
Ryan Namepetra, Faculty with Sault College

Why SSM?
Centrally located within the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world, the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s plentiful natural assets, cultural diversity, and local expertise that reaches beyond borders, make it an ideal location for such an Agency. Learn more (link to SSM Value prop points)

How can I get involved? 
Join a community discussion or submit feedback through our online form.

We want to understand your perspectives regarding having the Canada Water Agency (or an office of it) in Sault Ste. Marie, as well as your priorities and values for ensuring a water secure District of Algoma. Your input will help guide the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s proposal to the Federal Government.
 
If you have more questions or comments, send us an e-mail at cwaproject@cityssm.on.ca.

Contact Us

Phone
705-759-2500

Email
info@cityssm.on.ca

Fax
705-759-2310

TTY
1-877-688-5528

Location
99 Foster Drive
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
P6A 5X6