The federal government is spending $1.7 million over the next two years on environmental research at the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), the northwestern Ontario scientific facility once threatened with closure by the former government. Kenora Liberal MP Bob Nault announced $850,000 in annual, short-term funding for the former federal facility.
The additional $850,000 a year is on top of an existing Fisheries and Oceans Canada contribution of $250,000 toward the ELA’s annual budget, which now stands at $3.6 million.
Along with funding from the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba, the ELA obtains its remaining $450,000 in annual funding from private sources. Matt McCandless, executive director of IISD-ELA, said the diversity of funding sources places his organization on more stable financial footing.
The ELA encompasses hundreds of lakes in a rectangle of Crown land between Ontario Highway 17 and Dryberry Lake as well as a field station on the north shore of Boundary Lake.
It is the only place in the world where scientists conduct whole-ecosystem experiments on near-pristine lakes in order to obtain results that can not be obtained via single-variable laboratory research.
During the federal election campaign in 2015, the Liberal Party promised to “make new investments in Canada’s world-leading IISD Experimental Lakes Area.”