Terms of Reference
The Public Interest Advisory Group is responsible for providing
public involvement guidance, consultation and assistance to
the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study Board,
and to periodically report to the International Joint Commission
on its activities, findings and recommendations.
As part of this responsibility, the PIAG will:
- Provide a public liaison function to the Study Board through
Public Interest Advisory Group co-chairs who serve as members
of the Study Board;
- Advise the Study Board on the responsiveness of the study
process to public concerns;
- Advise the Study Board on public consultation, involvement
and information exchange;
- Serve as a conduit for public input to the study process,
and for public dissemination of study outcomes;
- Serve as liaison to and participate in the activities
of Technical Work Groups as Public Interest Advisory
Group members desire.
The Public Interest Advisory Group, in consultation with
the Study Board, will work with grass-roots organizations
and interests throughout the study area and conduct public
participation activities at strategic points in the study
- Identify and utilize local expertise and information;
- Consult with the publics on critical or potentially controversial
study findings before these study components have been finalized
by the Study Board;
- Disseminate plain language information to enhance public
understanding of the causes of problems related to fluctuating
water levels and of the consequences of proposed solutions;
- Identify and consider priorities and preferences of the
publics as alternatives are defined;
- Consult with the publics on Study Board findings, conclusions
and recommendations prior to their adoption by the Study
Public Interest Advisory Group meetings shall be held at
different locations throughout the study area to encourage
public consultation and shall be announced in advance. Use
of both French and English will be normal practice for meetings
held in the Canadian area of the study. Opportunities for
public observers to attend the meetings shall also be announced
in advance, although the Public Interest Advisory Group may
conduct its business in executive session, when necessary.
Public Interest Advisory Group members are encouraged to
participate in the activities of the Study Committees/Teams.
The Public Interest Advisory Group shall consult with the
Study Board, and the Study Staff public affairs personnel
to coordinate all public involvement activities under the
study. Overall coordination shall be the responsibility of
the Study Board . Coordination with the public outreach activities
of the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control,
the Cornwall and Massena Remedial Action Plans and the Lakewide
Management Plan is encouraged to avoid confusion and to better
inform the publics.
The Public Interest Advisory Group shall meet approximately
four times per year.
- Members will receive support for their travel to Public
Interest Advisory Group meetings, but will not be compensated
for their time.
- Secretariat support functions, such as distributing documents\agendas,
organizing meetings and taking minutes will be provided
to the Public Interest Advisory Group by Study public affairs
PIAG members are selected by the International Joint Commission
for renewable, 18- month appointments based in large part
on the following considerations:
- Ability to serve the greater public interest and work
effectively in group settings that include diverse user
- Knowledge of one or more user groups of the Lake Ontario-St.
Lawrence River system and understanding of how they are
impacted by levels and flows;
- Possession of an active network of contacts in Lake Ontario-St.
Lawrence River system user groups and willingness to foster
two-way communications between system users and the study
- Availability to attend a minimum of four Public Interest
Advisory Group meetings per year, read key study documents
and participate in other aspects of the study process. (Alternate
members may be designated to attend additional meetings
on the member's behalf.)
Terms of PIAG members may be renewed with the mutual agreement
of the member and the IJC.