Natasha Wilson


Protect the Navigable Waters Protection Act
February 17, 2009, 14:23
Filed under: Environment

action“We have a federal government that is attempting to dismantle navigation rights and other environmental regulations in Canada under the pretext of rescuing the economy.” – ispeakforcanadianrivers.ca

The Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) recognizes the importance of protecting Canadian waterways.  The act ensures environmental safe-guards and due process for development projects on our waterways.  Under the terms of the existing act, developers wanting to proceed with projects that interfere with navigation (shoreline development, bridges, dams, piers, etc.) must obtain approval from the Minister of Transport, which triggers an assessment to measure the environmental impacts of the proposed project.

On February 6th, 2009, the federal government announced amendments to NWPA, as a part of the Budget Implementation Act (Bill C-10).  The new act eliminates the need for an environmental assessment for most development projects on Canadian waterways.

This is an environmental issue.  Because the existing act includes a process to ensure a comprehensive environmental assessment, NWPA is one of the pillars of protection for rivers in Canada.  The protection granted to waterways under federal fisheries legislation is weak, and no provincial legislation exists.

Why are NWPA changes being introduced under a Budget Implementation bill?

In an effort to “stimulate the economy” and create jobs, the new act aims to streamline proposed infrastructure projects.  The new act also has little regard for our public rights and the environmental health of our waterways.  Burying these amendments in bill C-10 without public consultation is a shady move on the part of our federal government.  Take action now and encourage the Government of Canada to remove changes to NWPA from the Budget Implementation Act, and instead, bring the issue before the public for appropriate input, consultation and debate.

Take action:

1. Sign an online petition

2. Write your MP

3. Tell others

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3 Comments so far
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