OTTAWA- The recent decision by the Harper government to terminate the famed Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) research facility is jeopardizing key scientific studies, such as the world’s only major study on nanosilvers, and it’s potential to alter the ecological balances of lakes.
“The science conducted at the ELA impacts not only the environment but our daily life,” says NDP Fisheries & Ocean’s Critic Robert Chisholm (Dartmouth-Cole Harbour). “We are talking about closing a research facility that is doing one-of-a-kind research on the effects of antimicrobial agents, found in our household cleaners, on our ecosystem.”
Nanosilver, an antimicrobial agent, is currently added to over 300 commercial products, and is released into our rivers and lakes through discharge of municipal and industrial wastewaters. The ELA facility is the only place in the world where the effects of nanosilver and other contaminants can be studied at a whole ecosystem level.
"Fishers rely on organizations like the ELA to provide crucial information about the impact of toxins on fish and fish habitat," said Phil Toone, Deputy Fisheries and Oceans Critic (East Coast)." Our fishers' livelihood is already under threat. The closure of the ELA is yet another blow. Where will it end?”