Transcript: Economic Recovery Via the Great Lakes | Aug 20, 2020

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a forest green blazer over a black shirt, and a golden pendant necklace.

A caption on screen reads "Economic recovery via The Great Lakes. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says IN ONTARIO, AS IN SEVERAL AMERICAN STATES, THE GREAT LAKES REGION IS A MASSIVE ECONOMIC ENGINE. IT GENERATES TRILLIONS IN GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT AND MILLIONS OF JOBS. BUT WITH THE BORDER MOSTLY CLOSED DURING THIS COVID-19 PANDEMIC, THE REGION IS LOOKING FOR HELP TO BOUNCE BACK. WITH US TO LOOK AT THAT: IN ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO: MAYOR WALTER SENDZIK, WHO IS ALSO VICE CHAIR OF THE GREAT LAKES AND ST. LAWRENCE CITIES INITIATIVE...

Walter is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short, receding brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit and a blue shirt.

Nam continues IN OTTAWA: MARK FISHER, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE COUNCIL OF THE GREAT LAKES REGION...

Mark is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit and a white shirt.

Nam continues AND IN MISSISSAUGA, MY OLD 'HOOD: GAIL KRANTZBERG, PROFESSOR OF ENGINEERING AND PUBLIC POLICY AT MCMASTER UNIVERSITY IN HAMILTON...

Gail is in her late fifties, with straight dark hair pulled back. She's wearing a black blazer, red blouse, and silver necklace.

Nam continues WELCOME TO YOU ALL.

Walter says THANK YOU.

Mark says NICE TO BE HERE.

Nam says MAYOR SENDZIK, I'LL START WITH YOU. WHAT IS THE GREAT LAKES AND ST. LAWRENCE CITIES INITIATIVE?

The caption changes to "Walter Sendzik. Mayor of Saint Catharines."

Walter says SO IT IS AN ORGANIZATION MADE UP OF MAYORS FROM BOTH THE AMERICAN SIDE AND THE CANADIAN SIDE, AND PRIMARILY IN ONTARIO AND QUEBEC, AND WE HAVE ABOUT 125 MAYORS THAT MAKE UP THE CITIES INITIATIVE, AND OUR FOCUS IS ON PRESERVING, PROTECTING THE GREAT LAKES BASIN FROM THE GREAT LAKES ALL THE WAY TO THE ST. LAWRENCE.

Nam says MARK, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE GREAT LAKES REGION, WHAT EXACTLY DOES IT INCLUDE APART FROM THE GREAT LAKES?

The caption changes to "Mark Fisher. Council of the Great Lakes Region."

Mark says SURE. WELL, IT'S AN INCREDIBLE REGION. ON THE U.S. SIDE, IT ENCOMPASSES 8 GREAT LAKE STAKES FROM NEW YORK TO MINNESOTA, AND ON THE CANADIAN SIDE IT INCLUDES THE PROVINCES OF ONTARIO AND QUEBEC, AND AS YOU MENTIONED OFF THE TOP, IF YOU WERE TO PUT THOSE JURISDICTIONS TOGETHER, IT WOULD REPRESENT ROUGHLY A 6 TRILLION DOLLARS ECONOMY, U.S. DOLLARS. THAT WOULD MAKE IT THE THIRD LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD, THIRD LARGEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD BEHIND THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA IN TERMS OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY.

Nam says THAT IS A LOT OF DOLLAR SIGNS, AND I WANT TO ASK YOU ALL THE NEXT QUESTION, BUT, GAIL, I WILL START WITH YOU. A LOT OF INDUSTRIES NEED HELP TO RECOVER FROM COVID-19. WHAT'S THE BUSINESS CASE FOR PUMPING MORE GOVERNMENT MONEY RIGHT NOW INTO THE GREAT LAKES REGION? GAIL?

The caption changes to "Gail Krantzberg. McMaster University."

Gail says WELL, EXACTLY WHAT MARK SAID. THIS IS A 6 TRILLION DOLLARS ECONOMY. IT'S WORTH MORE THAN 50 percent OF BINATIONAL TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES. SO WHATEVER HAPPENS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION AFFECTS BOTH NATIONS PROFOUNDLY, AND STIMULUS IN THE WAY OF A NEW GREEN ECONOMY, IF YOU WILL, COULD CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION AND MAKE US A LEADER GLOBALLY.

The caption changes to "For more about Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference go to amo.on.ca or youtube.com/amolasvideos."

Nam says MAYOR SENDZIK?

The caption changes to "Walter Sendzik, @Wsendzik."

Walter says SO IN TERMS OF THE IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE IMPORTANCE OF THE GREAT LAKES, IT'S REALLY DRIVEN BY THE MUNICIPALITIES. LOOK AT THE POPULATION THAT LIVES ALONG THE GREAT LAKES BOTH ON THE AMERICAN AND CANADIAN SIDE. JUST THAT ALONE HAS SUCH AN IMPORTANT IMPACT ON THE NORTH AMERICAN ECONOMY, AND THIS IS WHY INFRASTRUCTURE IS SO IMPORTANT FOR OUR MESSAGE TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, BOTH ON THE AMERICAN AND THE CANADIAN SIDE.

Nam says AND MARK, WHAT ABOUT YOU? WHY SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT BE GIVING THIS REGION MORE MONEY?

The caption changes to "Mark Fisher, @MarkPFisher."

Mark says WELL, I THINK AS GAIL RIGHTLY POINTED OUT, THIS REGION IS NORTH AMERICA'S ECONOMIC ENGINE. I THINK WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE U.S. AND CANADA ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP, WE REALLY ARE TALKING ABOUT THE GREAT LAKES REGION IN MANY WAYS. SO WHETHER WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, YOU KNOW, BUILDING A WORKFORCE FOR THE FUTURE, WHETHER WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE FUTURE OF INNOVATION AND TRYING TO CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT THIS IS THE PLACE TO INNOVATE AS OPPOSED TO THE WEST COAST OR THE EAST COAST, WHETHER IT'S INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE FROM A MULTIMODAL FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM TO WATER INFRASTRUCTURE, YOU KNOW, THIS REALLY IS THE REGION THAT IF YOU INVEST PROPERLY, YOU KNOW, WE'LL DRIVE YOUR FUTURE COMPETITIVENESS, YOUR PROSPERITY, AND YOUR SUSTAINABILITY.

Nam says SO WHENEVER WE ASK FOR MONEY, PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT WOULD LOOK LIKE. GAIL, I'D LIKE TO START WITH YOU.

The caption changes to "Gail Krantzberg, @gailkrantzberg."

Gail says IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS A FEW COLLEAGUES OF MYSELF DID EXACTLY THAT. THE LOCATIONS AROUND THE GREAT LAKES, THERE WERE 43 GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS ON RIVERS AND PORTS AND HARBOURS, AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT INVESTING IN THE HEALTH OF THE ECOSYSTEM, YOU'RE ACTUALLY LOOKING AT ANYWHERE FROM 3 TO 20 RETURN ON INVESTMENT FOR EVERY DOLLAR SPENT ON RESTORING NATURAL ASSETS, BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE DRIVEN TO COASTAL COMMUNITIES. PROPERTY VALUES SOAR WHEN YOU CLEAN UP THE WATERWAYS. BUSINESSES FLOURISH, JOB, EMPLOYMENT FLOURISHES, RETENTION OF EMPLOYEES IS INCREASED BECAUSE OF THE BEAUTY OF THE REGION. SO FOR EVERY DOLLAR INVESTED IN CLEANING UP THESE DEGRADED LOCATIONS, THE AREAS OF CONCERN, THEY'RE CALLED, WE'RE SEEING MASSIVE RETURNS ON INVESTMENT WITHIN THREE TO FIVE TO TEN YEARS. SO IT'S A VERY SMART INVESTMENT IN CLEANING UP THE ENVIRONMENT AND YET CREATING JOBS AND BUILDING THE ECONOMY.

Nam says MAYOR SENDZIK?

Walter says YEAH, WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW IS AN ASK IN FRONT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF CANADA FOR 7 BILLION DOLLARS TO FOCUS ITS INFRASTRUCTURE STIMULUS SPENDING ON WATER INFRASTRUCTURE, AND WHEN WE LOOK AT THAT, WE LOOK AT THE JOB CREATION THAT COMES FROM INVESTING IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE, AND WHEN I TALK ABOUT THAT... WHAT IS DO IT LOOK LIKE? IT'S CLEAN WATER INFRASTRUCTURE, IT'S WASTEWATER INFRASTRUCTURE, AND IT'S THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT IS REALLY UNDERNEATH TOWNS AND CITIES ACROSS ONTARIO THAT BORDER THE GREAT LAKES. AND AS WE REINVEST IN THIS INFRASTRUCTURE, WE CAN ADD CAPACITY. WHEN YOU ADD CAPACITY, THAT MEANS YOU CAN GENERATE MORE COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT, MORE INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENT, AND MORE RESIDENTIAL INVESTMENT. AND THAT COMPOUNDS THAT IDEA THAT WE CAN BE CREATING MORE LONG-TERM JOBS IN ADDITION TO THE SHORT-TERM JOBS THAT COME FROM THE CONSTRUCTION.

Nam says MARK, I'M KIND OF ASHAMED TO SAY THIS ON TV, BUT I WILL SAY IT. I'VE LIVED IN ONTARIO FOR MAYBE CLOSE TO 30 YEARS, AND IN TORONTO FOR OVER 20 YEARS, BUT I'VE NEVER BEEN TO THE SCARBOROUGH BLUFFS UNTIL COVID-19 HIT. AND IT'S SPECTACULAR. AND I FEEL SO LUCKY TO HAVE THIS IN MY BACK YARD. TOURISM TO THE GREAT LAKES, OF COURSE, MUCH LIKE MANY OTHER THINGS, HAS TEAM A HUGE HIT DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. BUT WHEN THINGS START PICKING UP AGAIN, WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL FOR TOURISM GROWTH IN THE REGION CONSIDERING PEOPLE MIGHT NOT BE TRAVELLING OUTSIDE OF THE PROVINCE OR EVEN THE COUNTRY FOR A WHILE?

Mark says GREAT QUESTION. WE DID SOME RESEARCH A COUPLE YEARS AGO ABOUT THE GREAT LAKES TRAVEL AND TOURISM ECONOMY, AND WHAT WE FOUND IS WHILE WE HAVE A SIZABLE INDUSTRY HERE, YOU KNOW, BASED ON GLOBAL BASELINES AND PARAMETERS, WE WEREN'T NECESSARILY COMPETING I THINK AS WELL AS WE COULD BE WITH OTHER GLOBAL PEERS AND JURISDICTIONS. THAT WAS A WEAKNESS AT THE TIME. WE FOUND THAT MOST OF THE TRAVELLERS ARE ACTUALLY DAY-TRIPPERS AND REGIONAL. SO WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING TO A LOT OF POLICYMAKERS IS THAT OUR WEAKNESS HAS NOW BECOME OUR STRENGTH DURING THE PANDEMIC BECAUSE PEOPLE DO WANT TO STAY CLOSE TO HOME, THEY DO WANT TO EXPERIENCE I THINK THE GREAT LAKES, AND WE NEED TO BE SHOWING THEM EVERY OPPORTUNITY, YOU KNOW, WITHIN A THREE, FOUR-HOUR, FIVE-HOUR DRIVE, THESE GREAT DESTINATIONS AND EXPERIENCES THAT THEY CAN GET TO, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY WITH THE BORDERS CLOSED, IT'S A BIT MORE COMPLICATED. WHETHER YOU'RE A U.S. TRAVELLER TRYING TO EXPLORE THE GREAT LAKES STATES OR PEOPLE IN ONTARIO AND QUEBEC ARE WANTING TO EXPLORE PARTS OF CANADA IN THIS REGION THEY'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE, THERE'S JUST SO MUCH BEAUTY WITHIN SUCH A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, A SHORT DRIVE, I SHOULD SAY. SO I SEE THERE'S A HUGE OPPORTUNITY THERE, BUT WE HAVE TO PROMOTE IT AND MARKET IT THE RIGHT WAY AND GET PEOPLE OUT VISITING THE LAKES AND VISITING THESE GREAT DESTINATIONS.

Nam says MAYOR SENDZIK, AS A MAYOR, IS THAT AN EXCITING PROSPECT, TO THINK THAT PEOPLE... YOU KNOW, YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO GET SOME OF THOSE TOURISM DOLLARS?

Walter says WELL, LOOK, ST. CATHARINES IS IN THE HEART OF NIAGARA, RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO NIAGARA FALLS, AND WE CAN SEE THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 HERE IN THE NIAGARA COMMUNITY. AND NIAGARA FALLS IS THE... THE TOURISM SECTOR HAS TAKEN A SIGNIFICANT HIT DUE TO COVID-19, AND WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT IS HOW DO WE REBUILD OR HOW DO WE ENHANCE OUR NATURAL ASSETS? SO PEOPLE ARE ATTRACTED TO NIAGARA FALLS, BUT NIAGARA IS ALSO BETWEEN TWO GREAT LAKES, LAKE ERIE AND LAKE ONTARIO, AND SO WE'VE GOT TWO SHORELINES AND I THINK MARK IS CORRECT. IF WE CAN HARNESS THIS RIGHT, IF WE CAN REINVEST JUST IN THE TOURISM ASPECTS THAT SUPPORT AND SHOWCASE OUR GREAT LAKES, WE'LL GET MORE PEOPLE COMING IN TO OUR REGION TO EXPLORE ALL THE NATURAL BEAUTY THAT WE HAVE TO OFFER.

Nam says THE NEXT QUESTION I WOULD LIKE TO ASK GAIL AND MARK FISHER. FLOODING HAS BEEN A MAJOR ISSUE ALONG THE GREAT LAKES. WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE ON THAT FRONT WHEN INVESTING IN THAT AREA? GAIL, I'D LIKE TO START WITH YOU.

Gail says OH, THAT'S A TERRIFIC QUESTION AS WELL. WITH THE CHANGE IN CLIMATE, WE'RE SEEING THESE FLASH FLOODS. WE JUST HAD ONE A FEW DAYS AGO HERE IN ONTARIO. AND IT'S CAUSING BACKUP OF SEWERS INTO PEOPLE'S BASEMENTS AND VERY... HUGE DAMAGE. BUT THERE ARE WAYS OF CONTROLLING THE STORMWATER FLOODS BY USING GREEN SOFTENING NEARING, IF YOU WILL. RAIN GARDENS. BIOSWALES. AND WHAT WE DO WHEN WE SOFTEN OUR SURFACES, WHEN WE LET THE RAIN COME BACK DOWN INTO THE GROUND, WE LESSEN THE FLOODING POTENTIAL. SO ANYTHING THAT WE DO THAT ENHANCES WETLANDS ABSORBS THE WATER. ANYTHING WE DO WITH SOFT GREEN ENGINEERING FOR... LIKE I SAID, BIOSWALES OR DETENTION PONDS, STORMWATER PONDS, RAINWATER HARVESTING OFF OF OUR ROOF, I MEAN, THAT'S FREE WATER, RATHER THAN USING TREATED WATER, WHICH IS ELECTRICALLY EXPENSIVE OR ENERGY INTENSIVE. SO ALL OF THE THINGS THAT COULD IMPROVE THE WAY THAT WE ABSORB WATER INTO OUR GROUND ACTUALLY CREATES HABITAT, CREATES NATURAL SYSTEMS, CREATES AMENITIES, WETLANDS ARE HUGE BIRDERS' PARADISE. SO THERE ARE WAYS OF INVESTING IN GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE. WE HEARD THE MAYOR TALK PREVIOUSLY... BOTH MY COLLEAGUES TALK ABOUT GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE, AND I WOULD LIKE TO EMPHASIZE GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE, THAT SLOWS DOWN THE WATER, LETS IT SOAK INTO THE GROUND, AND PREVENTS THAT DEVASTATING FLOODS...

Nam says SORRY. CAN YOU GIVE US AN EXAMPLE. WHAT WOULD GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE LOOK LIKE?

Gail says SO INSTEAD OF HAVING A PIPE GOING FROM YOUR ROOFTOP INTO A SEWER AND THEN MAYBE OVERFLOWING SOMEWHERE, YOU PUT THAT PIPE INTO A CONTAINER THAT YOU THEN STORE THAT RAINWATER AND USE IT FOR IRRIGATION ON YOUR PROPERTY. OR IF YOU HAVE A PAVED PARKING LOT, YOU PUT IN POROUS PAVERS WHICH ALLOW THE RAIN TO GO THROUGH INSTEAD OF RUNNING OFF ASPHALT OR CONCRETE, IT ACTUALLY GOES INTO THE GROUND AND RESTORES GROUNDWATER RECHARGE AND LESSENS THE AMOUNT OF WATER RUNNING OFF OF HARD SURFACES AND GOING INTO, AS I SAID, INTO OUR BASEMENT.

Nam says MAYOR SENDZIK?

Walter says I'M GOING TO BUILD ON WHAT GAIL WAS TALKING ABOUT. WE HAD A GREAT EXPERIENCE, AN UNFORTUNATE EXPERIENCE, BUT A GREAT EXAMPLE OF WHAT HAPPENS DURING A FLOOD. WITHIN 45 MINUTES IN ST. CATHARINES, RIGHT CLOSE TO LAKE ONTARIO, WE HAD THE MOST AMOUNT OF RAINFALL IN 45 MINUTES IN THE HISTORY OF OUR CITY. IT FLOODED OUT 500 HOMES. AND WHEN THE ENGINEERS WERE LOOKING AT THE CAUSE OF THIS, ONE OF THE CAUSES WAS BECAUSE THE HIGH WATER OF LAKE ONTARIO, THE DISCHARGE PIPE OF STORMWATER INTO LAKE ONTARIO WAS NOW BELOW ACTUALLY IN THE WATER, WHEREAS PREVIOUSLY IT WOULD BE ABOVE THE WATER BASED ON ITS CONSTRUCTION WAY BACK, YOU KNOW, 25, 30 YEARS AGO. SO THIS PIPE WAS NOW IN THE WATER BASED ON THE HIGH WATERS OF LAKE ONTARIO. SO ALL THAT WATER COMING THROUGH OUR SYSTEM THAT WOULD TRADITIONALLY GO INTO LAKE ONTARIO AS STORMWATER WAS THEN BACKED UP, AND THAT WAS ONE EXAMPLE OF HOW WE'VE GOT TO COMPLETELY REENGINEER THAT OUTTAKE PIPE TO BE ABOVE THE WATERS OF LAKE ONTARIO, AND THEN WE HAVE TO LOOK AT WAYS TO DIVERT, AS GAIL WAS TALKING ABOUT, A LOT OF THAT RAINWATER THAT'S COMING OFF THE ROOFS AND THROUGH OUR ROAD SYSTEMS. SO THESE ARE HARDENING NEARING PROJECTS THAT ARE GOING TO COST A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF MONEY, BUT IF WE DON'T DO IT NOW, THE INSURANCE COVERAGE ON THESE HOMES IS GOING TO BE UNAFFORDABLE. IT'S JUST A CASCADING IMPACT. THAT'S WHY WE'RE SAYING ACCELERATE THE INVESTMENT IN WATER-BASED INFRASTRUCTURE TO TRY AND PUSH BACK AT THESE EXTREME EVENTS AND TRY AND MAKE OUR COMMUNITIES MORE RESILIENT AND MORE SUSTAINABLE AS WE FACE CLIMATE CHANGE.

Nam says BECAUSE THE BENEFITS WILL BE TEN-FOLD IN THE FUTURE.

Walter says VERY MUCH. VERY MUCH.

Nam says WHEN WE TALK ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES, MARK, WHAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR OTHER SECTORS DO YOU SEE IN THIS REGION?

Mark says WELL, I THINK OBVIOUSLY BEYOND THE ENVIRONMENT SECTOR THAT WE'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT, WATER TECHNOLOGY OBVIOUSLY IS AN IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THAT CONVERSATION AS WELL. BUT, YOU KNOW, THIS IS A REGION WHERE WE PARTICULARLY THINK ABOUT THE AUTO SECTOR, MANUFACTURING, BEING SUCH A DOMINANT FORCE, AND IT IS. THROUGH THE AUTO PACT WE CREATED THE AUTO CLUSTER, WHICH IS STILL THE WORLD'S BIGGEST CENTRE, HUB, FOR AUTO PRODUCTION, RESEARCH, AND DESIGN. BUT THERE'S A LOT GOING ON IN THIS REGION IN TERMS OF AEROSPACE AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY. THERE'S LOTS GOING ON IN THIS REGION IN TERMS OF AGRICULTURE, AGRIFOOD. NATURALLY ONE WOULD LOOK OUT WEST AS BEING THE EPICENTRE OF THE FOOD ECONOMY. I WOULD ARGUE THAT, YOU KNOW, THERE'S A LOT HAPPENING IN THE GREAT LAKES, BOTH IN TERMS OF FOOD SCIENCE BUT ALSO THE IMPORT/EXPORT OF FOOD PRODUCTS ACROSS THE BORDER, SO THERE'S GREAT POTENTIAL THERE. YOU KNOW, THINKING ABOUT THE PANDEMIC, WE HAVE SOME OF THE WORLD'S BEST MEDICAL RESEARCH FACILITIES, LIFE SCIENCE COMPANIES HEADQUARTERED IN THE REGION. SO I THINK WE COULD BE LEADING THE CHARGE IN TERMS OF FINDING A SOLUTION TO THE PANDEMIC AND OTHER LIFE SCIENCE AND HEALTH CARE CHALLENGES. CLEAN ENERGY. AGAIN, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE FORGET THAT THIS IS QUITE A SIZABLE ENERGY REGION AND HUB FROM NUCLEAR TO HYDRO TO RENEWABLES. AGAIN, I THINK WHETHER IT'S OUR UNIVERSITIES AND INDUSTRY WORKING TOGETHER, WE COULD BE A FORERUNNER FOR I THINK SOME OF THE EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR MAKING THAT CLEAN ENERGY SHIFT IN THE REGION. SO THERE'S A LOT OF EXCITING THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING IN THE REGION, AND I THINK FOR US AS AN ORGANIZATION, WE'RE TRYING TO THINK THROUGH FOR BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT, YOU KNOW, HOW BEST WE CAN DO THAT, BECAUSE WHEN WE DO WORK ACROSS SECTORS AND BORDERS, WE CERTAINLY WILL BE MORE PROSPEROUS AND COMPETITIVE AND SUSTAINABLE AS A REGION, AND I THINK THAT THAT'S A POSITIVE THING. WE DO LIVE IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY, AND IT'S TIME THAT WE STARTED THINKING AND ACTING AS A REGION, YOU KNOW, IN THAT GLOBAL COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT AND MARKETPLACE.

Nam says AND WITH SO MUCH BEAUTY THERE AND TOWNS, I'M GUESSING TOO IT'S A BIT OF A BALANCING ACT. SO HOW THEN DO YOU BALANCE THE NEED FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION?

Mark says GREAT QUESTION. SO YOU WILL NOT FIND MANY COMPANIES, PARTICULARLY LARGE COMPANIES, IN THE GREAT LAKES, WHEREAS IF I THINK ABOUT DOW OR PROCTER and GAMBLE, OR SC JOHNSON, WHO ARE ALL HEADQUARTERED HERE, 3M, I THINK THEY'VE LEARNED SOME LESSONS IN THE PAST AND THEY HAVE EMBEDDED SUSTAINABILITY IN EVERYTHING THEY DO. YOU THINK ABOUT PLASTICS, AND WE COULD HAVE A WHOLE SHOW JUST ON PLASTICS, BUT I KNOW A LOT OF COMPANIES ARE REALLY TAKING THE CHARGE AND TRYING TO END PLASTIC WASTE BUT ALSO TO TRY AND CREATE MORE CIRCULARITY IN THE ECONOMY. REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, A PHRASE COINED BY POLLUTION PROBE 30, 40 YEARS AGO. WE'RE STILL STRUGGLING TO DO THAT. A LOT OF OUR VALUABLE WASTE STILL GOES TO LANDFILL. SO I THINK COMPANIES ARE REALLY WANTING TO BE AT THE FOREFRONT OF THIS SUSTAINABILITY CONVERSATION AND REALLY HELPING CREATE JOBS AND COMPETITIVENESS BUT DO THAT IN A SAFE AND SUSTAINABLE WAY AND PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT. BACK TO GAIL'S POINT ABOUT THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT. IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN BUFFALO, IN CLEVELAND, IN DETROIT THROUGH THOSE MASSIVE INVESTMENTS IN THOSE AREAS, IT'S NOW CREATING A RESURGENCE OF GROWTH IN THOSE CITIES, AND SO THIS IS AS MUCH A SMART ENVIRONMENTAL PLAY AS IT IS AN ECONOMIC PLAY. WE FULLY SUPPORT THAT.

Nam says AND I WANTED TO ASK GAIL AND MAYOR SENDZIK THAT SAME QUESTION: HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE NEED FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION? I'LL START WITH YOU, GAIL.

Gail says YEAH, THAT DIALECTIC DOESN'T EXIST. WE THINK WHEN WE INVEST IN THE ECONOMY, THE ENVIRONMENT SUFFERS. WE INVEST IN THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE ECONOMY SUFFERS. THAT'S A FALLACY. THE TWO GO HAND IN HAND. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT, PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO BE WHERE YOU WANT TO SET UP YOUR BUSINESS. SO IF YOU INVEST IN THE ENVIRONMENT AND IMPROVE THAT QUALITY, PEOPLE WANT TO STAY THERE AND WORK THERE AND PLAY THERE AND INVEST THERE. AND IF YOU HAVE A STRONG ECONOMY, TO MARK'S POINT, THE NOTION OF THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE REALLY IS THE BUSINESS MANTRA OF THE 21ST CENTURY. IT IS MAKE SURE THAT YOUR PEOPLE ARE HEALTHY AND SAFE AND SOCIALLY SECURE. MAKE SURE THAT YOUR ECONOMIC GROWTH IS STRONG AND VIABLE AND YOU HAVE JOBS FOR PEOPLE. AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT AT THE SAME TIME SO PEOPLE ARE HEALTHY AND THEY HAVE A JOB. IT ALL GOES HAND IN HAND. AND THERE IS NO DO WE WANT TO INVEST IN ONE OR THE OTHER? BOTH ARE SYNERGISTIC AND BUILT ON THE STRENGTH OF EACH OTHER.

Nam says MAYOR SENDZIK?

Walter says FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW THEY GO HAND IN HAND. WHAT MUNICIPALITIES HAVE TO DO IS WE HAVE TO CORRECT SOME OF THE PAST ACTIONS OF INDUSTRY AS WELL. SO THAT'S WHERE THE BURDEN GETS SHIFTED TO THE LOWER TIER MUNICIPALITIES AND THAT'S WHY WE'RE ASKING THE FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS TO STEP UP ON SOME OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE SO THAT WE CAN CORRECT THOSE PAST, THOSE PASTS THAT BUSINESSES HAVE MADE. WHAT I'M EXPLAINING HAMILTON. YOU LOOK AT HAMILTON, ST. CATHARINES, WE'RE INDUSTRIAL CITIES. SO SOME OF OUR WATER COURSES HAVE BEEN POLLUTED WITH HEAVY METALS. AND SO WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO WORK TO CLEAN THOSE UP, AND IN DOING SO, WE CAN UNLOCK THE ECONOMIC POTENTIAL THAT GOES ALONG WITH, AS GAIL WAS TALKING ABOUT PREVIOUSLY, UNLOCKING THAT ECONOMIC POTENTIAL FOR AREAS THAT HAVE TRADITIONALLY BEEN INDUSTRIAL AREAS AND THAT GOES AGAIN TO PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT AND IT GOES TO PROTECTING OUR WATERWAYS AS WELL.

Nam says A YEAR AGO, NONE OF US COULD HAVE IMAGINED WHAT LIFE IS LIKE AND I KEEP HEARING PEOPLE MAKING JOKES, 2020, WELL, 2020. WE'RE FINDING OUT A LOT OF INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19. AND, GAIL, WHAT'S BEEN AN OUTCOME TO THIS PANDEMIC RELATED TO THE GREAT LAKES THAT YOU'D LIKE TO SEE FURTHER EXPLORED?

Gail says SO, INTERESTING. YOUR VIEWERS MAY OR MAY NOT KNOW THAT IF ANYBODY HAS COVID-19, THEY RELEASE VIRUS PARTICLES IN THEIR FAECES THAT GETS INTO THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT. SO IF YOU ARE NOT BEING TESTED OR IF YOU'RE ASYMPTOMATIC, YOU MAY VERY WELL BE STILL PASSING THE FAECES THROUGH INTO THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT. SO IF WE MEASURE VIRUS PARTICLES IN WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS, IT GIVES US A REALTIME AND MUCH MORE ACCURATE PICTURE OF WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE PANDEMIC HERE IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION. AND IN FACT IN THE CITY. OR EVEN IN A NEIGHBORHOOD. SO IF YOUR CITY IS OPENING INTO PHASE 3 AND ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU SEE A SPIKE IN THE COVID-19 SENSORS THAT WE CAN DETECT IN WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS, IT'S AN ALERT THAT SOMETHING IS GOING WRONG AND YOU CAN GO INTO THE SEWER SHED, IF YOU WILL, UPSTREAM, AND SAMPLE WHAT'S GOING INTO THE SEWERS AND SEE, OH, IN THIS COMMUNITY, IT'S HIGH. IN THIS COMMUNITY, IT'S LOW. WELL, WHAT'S GOING ON IN THIS COMMUNITY? MAYBE THERE'S A BUNCH OF SCHOOLS THAT OPENED. MAYBE THERE'S A LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY IN THAT REGION. AND THEN YOU CAN START TAILORING HOW YOU DEAL WITH THE SPREAD OF COVID VERY SPECIFICALLY. AND FOR CITIES PARTICULARLY ENTERING INTO THIS NEW PHASE, PHASE 3 OF OPENING, IT'S A POWERFUL TOOL TO ENABLE YOU TO OPEN SAFELY. IN FACT, EVEN ONCE WE HAVE THE VACCINE, HOW LONG MIGHT WE STAY IMMUNE? AND IF PEOPLE ARE NOT BEING TESTED BECAUSE THEY DON'T FEEL SICK, WE CAN STILL DETECT WHETHER THE COVID IS GOING UP OR DOWN FOR THE LONG TERM. AND THIS ACTUALLY MEANS... TALKING ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE... IT'S NOT CHEAP TO DO THIS. BUT IT'S ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS. AND SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'RE DOING, WE HAVE A TEAM AT MCMASTER WHO IS PUTTING TOGETHER A CONSORTIUM OF WASTEWATER OPERATORS ACROSS ONTARIO, TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS THEIR ABILITY, WHAT IS THE ABILITY FOR REMOTE COMMUNITIES TO DO THIS? WHAT IS THE ABILITY OF FIRST NATIONS TO DO THIS? IS THERE AN EQUITABLE ABILITY ACROSS THE BOARD FOR ALL MUNICIPAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS TO ACTUALLY TRACK COVID? AND IF IT'S NOT, THEN WE NEED FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL INVESTMENT IN THAT INFRASTRUCTURE TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE.

Nam says WOW. IT IS INCREDIBLE TO THINK ABOUT ALL THE WAYS THAT EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED. I WOULD NEVER HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT. SPEAKING OF CONNECTED, WE KNOW OUR NEIGHBOURS TO THE SOUTH ARE IN AN ELECTION YEAR, AND CONSIDERING THIS REGION IS BINATIONAL, MARK, HOW IS IT AFFECTED BY WHAT'S GOING ON SOUTH OF THE BORDER, INCLUDING PRESIDENT TRUMP'S RECENT DECISION TO RESTORE A 10 percent TARIFF ON CANADIAN ALUMINUM IMPORTS?

Mark says WELL, I'LL TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE GOOD, BAD, AND UGLY AS IT RELATES TO THE UNITED STATES. YOU KNOW, BACK TO MAYOR SENDZIK'S POINT OF VIEW ON INVESTING IN THE ENVIRONMENT. I WOULD SAY THAT OVER THE LAST TEN-PLUS YEARS, THE UNITED STATES, AND THIS IS A BIPARTISAN EFFORT, THEY'VE INVESTED WELL OVER 2.2, CLOSE TO 3 BILLION DOLLARS NOW OVER 10 YEARS TO CLEAN UP AND PROTECT AND RESTORE THE GREAT LAKES. CANADA IS NOT INVESTING ANYWHERE NEAR THAT AMOUNT OF MONEY, AND THAT'S WHY WE, OUR ORGANIZATION, ALONG WITH MAYOR SENDZIK'S ORGANIZATION, GREAT LAKES FISHERIES COMMISSION ASKED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO STEP UP AND COMMIT 2.2 BILLION DOLLARS OVER 10 YEARS TO GET BACK ON TRACK AND I THINK TO MAKE THOSE INVESTMENTS THAT WILL PROTECT OUR GREAT LAKES FOR THE FUTURE. SO THAT'S ONE POINT. IN TERMS OF THE POLITICS OF THE REGION, THE GREAT LAKES STATES GENERALLY ARE THE DECIDERS IN THE ELECTION. I DON'T SEE THAT BEING ANY DIFFERENT THIS TIME AROUND. YOU KNOW, THESE STATES HAVE BEEN HARD HIT BY UNCERTAINTY AROUND WHAT WAS HAPPENING WITH NAFTA, OBVIOUSLY WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW WITH TARIFFS. YOU KNOW, THE MANUFACTURING BASE IN THIS REGION IS REALLY WHAT PRODUCES THE PRODUCTS THAT PEOPLE USE RIGHT ACROSS NORTH AMERICA. SO JUST LOOK AT ALUMINUM AND WHIRLPOOL AND APPLIANCES. YOU KNOW, THESE ARE INTEGRATED SUPPLY CHAINS THAT ARE GOING TO HURT EVERYBODY. THE TARIFFS DON'T MAKE SENSE AND EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT. BUT AS YOU SAID, WE ARE GOING INTO AN ELECTION YEAR AND THE PRESIDENT, I THINK, FOR WHATEVER REASON, IS GOING TO USE EVERY TOOL IN HIS TOOL BOX TO CONVINCE AMERICANS THAT HE'S THERE FOR AMERICA, BUT I THINK PEOPLE HAVE TO WISE UP AND REALIZE THAT, YOU KNOW, THE TARIFFS, WHEN THEY'RE APPLIED BY ANY COUNTRY, USUALLY DO MORE HARM TO THEIR LOCAL INDUSTRIES AND CITIZENS THAN THEY DO TO THEIR TRADE ALLY. IN THIS CASE, THEY'RE VERY BEST ALLY IN CANADA. AND MOST OF THEIR ALUMINUM HAS TO COME FROM CANADA BECAUSE THEY JUST DON'T PRODUCE ENOUGH. SO WE ARE CERTAINLY FRUSTRATED BY SOME OF THE ACTIONS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE ON THE U.S. SIDE, PARTICULARLY AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL. WE DON'T KNOW WHY CONGRESS HASN'T STEPPED UP AND STEPPED IN. THEY DO HAVE THE AUTHORITY OVER INTERNATIONAL TRADE. I THINK THEY'VE GIVEN THE PRESIDENT A LOT OF DISCRETION ON THIS ISSUE. AND THEN AT THE SUB-NATIONAL LEVEL, OBVIOUSLY WE'RE HEARING FROM GOVERNORS AND MAYOR, LIKE MAYOR SENDZIK AND HIS COUNTERPARTS, THEY WANT TO DEEPEN THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH ONTARIO AND QUEBEC AND CANADA BECAUSE WE'RE THEIR NUMBER ONE TRADING PARTNER. AND IF THAT RELATIONSHIP DOESN'T WORK, THEIR COMMUNITIES DON'T WORK, THEIR BUSINESSES DON'T WORK, AND THAT'S JUST NOT WHAT THEY WANT. SO WE WANT TO, OBVIOUSLY IN AN ECONOMIC AGENDA THAT IS PROGRESSIVE, THAT IS MODERN, THAT'S GOING TO TRY AND GET MORE OUT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP, AND WE'RE HOPEFUL THAT WE CAN GET THERE WITH MORE COLLABORATION AND CONVERSATIONS ACROSS THE BORDER IN KEY SECTORS.

Nam says FASCINATING DISCUSSION. THE TIME GOES BY VERY FAST. I HAVE MAYBE TWO MINUTES LEFT. BUT I WANTED TO GET YOUR INSIGHTS FROM ALL OF YOU ON THIS LAST QUESTION: HOW MUCH MONEY IS ACTUALLY NEEDED TO SEE SOME OF THE ECONOMIC GROWTH WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT? MAYOR SENDZIK, I'D LIKE TO START WITH YOU.

Walter says SO FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE, LOOKING AT WHAT THE MUNICIPALITIES HAVE OUTLINED AND THE ONES THAT WE SURVEYED, WE'RE LOOKING AT ABOUT 7 BILLION DOLLARS TO INVEST IN WATER-BASED INFRASTRUCTURE. THAT WILL CREATE JOBS. IT WILL STIMULATE THE ECONOMY. AND I THINK MOST IMPORTANTLY IS IT BUILDS SUSTAINABILITY BACK INTO ALL OF OUR MUNICIPALITIES ALONG THE GREAT LAKES, AND THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT INVESTMENTS WE CAN MAKE FOR THE FUTURE SUSTAINABILITY OF OUR COMMUNITIES. SO THAT'S WHERE THAT 7 BILLION DOLLARS COMES FROM.

Nam says MARK?

Mark says NESTLED WITHIN THAT IS THE ASK WE MADE TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF 2.2 BILLION DOLLARS OVER TEN YEARS TO SUPPORT THE GREAT LAKES. THE FUTURE OF WORK, INNOVATION, THOSE INVESTMENTS ARE PRICELESS, RIGHT? NOW IS THE TIME TO DO IT AS PART OF OUR ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND TRY TO DO THAT WITH OUR NEIGHBOURS TO THE SOUTH.

Nam says AND GAIL?

Gail says I CAN'T ADD A BETTER NUMBER THAN THOSE TWO NUMBERS. BUT I CAN EMPHASIZE THAT IF WE'RE COMING OUT OF A RECESSION AND WHAT WE NEED IS JOB CREATION, THEN THOSE JOBS NEED TO BE IN THE AREA WHERE MY TWO COLLEAGUES HAVE SAID WHERE IT'S A SUSTAINABLE SYSTEM. SO THOSE JOBS ARE NOT ABOUT BUILDING MORE HIGHWAYS, THOSE JOBS ARE ABOUT BUILDING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS, INNOVATIVE WATER TECHNOLOGY, I COULD NOT EMPHASIZE THAT MORE ESPECIALLY WITH THE COVID UMBRELLA OVER US. SO ANYTHING THAT CREATES JOBS IN A GREEN WAY, THAT PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT, IMPROVES SOCIAL WELL-BEING IS BADLY NEEDED AND IN THIS REGION, GIVEN THE POPULATION DENSITY OF THE REGION, IT WOULD BE A GREAT BOON TO BOTH NATIONS.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

Nam says THANK YOU SO MUCH. WE'VE RUN OUT OF TIME. WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR INSIGHTS AND YOU TAKING THE TIME TO SPEAK WITH US TONIGHT. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Mark says THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

Walter and Gail say Thank you.

Watch: Economic Recovery Via the Great Lakes