Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thanks to all of the witnesses today for coming.
I apologize for my funny appearance. I'm grateful for the technology that allows me to do this from home, as I recover from my little eye surgery today. I want to say don't worry to my friends on the committee. I'll be back in person on Thursday.
My question's going to be related to the “What We Heard” report, which was the document entitled, “Toward the Creation of a Canada Water Agency”. It's about public and stakeholder engagement.
I'm mostly preoccupied with freshwater protection and conservation from a human and animal health perspective, which obviously includes agriculture and food security. I also want to give a shout-out to farmers and agricultural workers across our country.
Participants highlighted in that “What We Heard” study the need for more baseline data at a watershed scale to support assessments of new development proposals. They also told us that more research, monitoring and modelling is needed to anticipate and track climate change and other threats to freshwater quality, quantity and the health and functioning of ecosystems. This is particularly around fresh water, including floods and drought prediction.
On other panels we've explored the fact that here in Ontario we have the benefit of conservation authorities, which is a unique model in Canada that might be replicated precisely to learn from best practices and reduce some redundancies. Would any of the panellists today like to comment on similar science-gathering groups or agencies, or even a specific conservation authority in your region that has done some particularly exceptional work as it relates to human and animal health in fresh water?