What We Heard - Canada Water Agency Task Force Community Discussion Report now available

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

The Sault Ste. Marie Canada Water Agency Task Force has published the What We Heard Report from a series of community discussions summarizing the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s Canada Water Agency Initiative. The report is available on the project’s website at: cwassm.ca.
In 2021, the City collaborated with Lake Huron North’s Program Coordinator, Dr. Elaine Ho-Tassone to design and facilitate a series of community discussions regarding the Sault Ste. Marie Canada Water Agency. In total, ten in-person and virtual discussions were held between August 24 and December 11, 2021. Over 200 participants representing perspectives in local organizations, Indigenous persons, youth (ages 15-24) and the general population participated in the discussions.  

Community response towards the project was positive with many participants reiterating Sault Ste. Marie’s ideal location for the Canada Water Agency. The ecosystem of freshwater research and innovation, the City’s strategic location in the hub of the Great Lakes, strong Indigenous relationships and partnerships contributed to community members and stakeholders agreeing that Sault Ste. Marie has all the facets required for a successful Canada Water Agency.

In addition, Dr. Elaine Ho-Tassone compiled a list of ten strategic recommendations for the project moving forward. Among them citing the importance of focusing not just on the central and strategic location to the Canada-U.S. border, but also, the vast freshwater expertise, including a federal and provincial research centre and three post-secondary institutions - including one of only nine Indigenous post-secondary institutions in Canada. Dr. Ho-Tassone also highlighted the importance of building genuine and collaborative Indigenous partnerships throughout this project.  

The community discussions were done in preparation for the development of a final bid expected to be initiated later this year. The project team is also developing a promotional video that will be released to correspond with the final proposal. Community members can stay up to date on Sault Ste. Marie’s Canada Water Agency Initiative by visiting the project’s website at www.cwassm.ca. Those interested in submitting feedback may do so by emailing CWAProject@cityssm.on.ca.  
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