Tell the Canadian government not to gut Navigable Waters legislation, and protect navigation rights and the health of Canada's waterways.
Under the guise of the 2009 Budget Implementation Act, the federal government has introduced amendments to the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) that will have negative impacts on both navigation and the environment.
The NWPA mandates that, if someone wants to build something in, on, around, under, or over a navigable waterway, an assessment of the impacts on navigation and an environmental assessment need to be done first.
The NWPA was originally enacted in 1882. It is one of Canada’s oldest pieces of legislation, and there is no doubt that it needs to be modernized—however, in the name of “cutting red tape” to speed up the building of infrastructure projects and stimulate the economy, the government is introducing changes that were recommended by a committee that didn’t consult Canada’s paddling, environmental, or First Nations communities.
The heritage right of navigation predates confederation, and Canadians consistently rank the environment as one of their top issues of concern. These changes to the NWPA are simply unacceptable.
There is something you can do—raise your voice! Spread the word, and tell the government you care about Canada’s waterways. For more information and how to take action, please see www.ispeakforrivers.ca .
1. The proposed amendments to the NWPA as per the 2009 Budget Implementation Act are simply unacceptable as is.
2. There is no such thing as a "minor water" in Canada when it comes to our rights to navigate and environmental significance.
3. There is no such thing as a "minor work" if it interferes with navigation on a waterway in Canada -ie: bridges, causeways, dams, and booms.
4. To avoid bureaucracy but protect waterways at the same time, hire more assessment staff instead of giving full discretion to the Minister of Transport
5. The NWPA should be modernized separately from the Budget, and with fair public consultation! Let's make this transparent and do it right!