As both places have robust water technology sectors, Israel and the Canadian
province of Ontario should combine forces in bringing innovation to nations in
water crisis, a minister from the province stressed on Tuesday.
opportunities to join forces to provide water solutions to third countries who
need water,” Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s economic development, trade and employment
minister told The Jerusalem Post in an interview that day.
with the Post on the grounds of the Water Technology and Environmental Control
(WATEC) Exhibition and Conference, organized by the Israel Trade Fairs Center
and Kenes Exhibitions company. He came to the exhibition with a delegation of 10
businesses from the Ontario region.
Although Ontario and Canada in
general have copious amounts of freshwater, the province and country have not
remained complacent and are eager to share their technological knowhow with less
fortunate portions of the world, Hoskins stressed.
“We often refer to it
as a blue economy,” he said. “I think that having the Great Lakes and an
abundance of freshwater has almost given us a responsibility to develop
technology and reach out to more portions of the world that are more
Although Canada has an enormous water supply, there are
still remote communities that do not have easy access to clean water, which has
necessitated the development of innovative technologies, Hoskins explained.
Meanwhile, the oil and gas sector has also caused the country to face water
challenges related to these industries, he added.
Israel has the same
forward way of thinking as does Ontario in the water sector, and Hoskins
expressed confidence that the two would be able to make a positive impact by
assisting third parties in developing their water sectors
“Water security is incredibly important to any country, but the
opportunity to export is also a tremendous economic opportunity as well,”
Not only are such efforts profitable, they also can drift
into the humanitarian sector – providing help to those in need. A lifetime
humanitarian, Hoskins spent a decade as a medical doctor and humanitarian in
war-torn regions of Africa, and later went on to found the War Child Canada
charity with his wife, Dr. Samantha Nutt.
“From early on in my career, I
became aware of how important access to adequate quantities of clean water is,”
he said. “The gap is getting worse, and in the years and decades ahead I think
that water is going to become an even more challenging issue for many
communities around the world.”
As far as cooperation among Israeli and
Ontario water firms and businesses in general are concerned, Hoskins stressed
the fact that already a tremendous amount of collaboration exists between the
two. In particular, he cited an ongoing partnership between Israel’s national
water supplier Mekorot and Canadian firm Real Tech Ltd., which produces
absorption measuring instruments to identify organic contaminants.
here to support our businesses, build those partnerships, see ways that Israel
and Ontario, Israel and Canada, can work together, whether it’s bilateral or on
other jurisdictions,” Hoskins said.
Although his delegation to Israel is
primarily from the water sector, Hoskins himself has also met with government
officials, business leaders and social enterprises while here.
also met with team members of Access Israel, an organization that he explained
is doing remarkable work creating employment opportunities for people with
disabilities – something that he is also focused on in Ontario.
brought me here is water, but the purpose of the trade mission is broader than
that,” he said. “I think we’ve got great potential to use that friendship to
develop even stronger business and economic ties.”