Senator Pam Helming announced that she was joined by Senator Robert Ortt and 10 of their fellow New York State legislators in calling for the U.S. Senate to confirm President Trump’s three U.S. nominees to the International Joint Commission (IJC).
In August 2018, President Trump nominated three members to the IJC, who are tasked with negotiating the water levels of the Great Lakes between the United States and Canada.
“It is imperative for the U.S. Senate to vote on the President’s nominees for the International Joint Commission. We need to fill these positions with representatives from the United States who understand the unique challenges southern shoreline communities face. Every day that goes by without a vote puts our region in danger. We cannot leave the fate of shoreline communities solely in the hands of the Canadian representatives on the IJC and the same individuals who originally approved Plan 2014. We deserve a voice,” Senator Helming said.
Senator Ortt said, “I call upon Senate Majority Leader McConnell to bring forth a vote on the Senate floor to confirm President Trump’s IJC appointees. We must give the appointees ample time to consider what precautionary steps can be taken and to implement preemptive safety measures to protect the homes and businesses along Lake Ontario’s south shore. We have seen the damage and devastation that can occur if Lake Ontario’s water flow is left singularly to Canadian representatives on the IJC.”
Senator Helming and Senator Ortt were joined by Senator Rich Funke, Senator Patty Ritchie, Senator Joseph Robach, Assemblyman Peter Lawrence, Assemblyman Mark Johns, Assemblyman Brian Manktelow, Assemblyman William Barclay, Assemblyman Michael Norris, Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, and Assemblyman Angelo Morinello. Together, they are calling for President Trump’s appointees to be confirmed so that preemptive safety measures preventing the flooding of Lake Ontario may be taken. Two years ago, properties of New York State residents along Lake Ontario’s southern shore were devastated by flooding due to a lack of proper water flow management and Plan 2014 implemented by the IJC.
According to U.S. Army Corps data, Lake Ontario water levels are already higher than average and are currently on pace with levels seen in 2017.