Canada is a country woven together by the lakes and rivers that span the land from coast-to-coast-to-coast. It is in these waters where we have learnt to swim, paddle and to fish. But much more than that, waterways across the country form a key pillar for community, economic, and physical health.
In 2012, changes made to one of Canada’s oldest laws, the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) eliminated protection for over 99% of Canada’s waterways. After the changes, just 64 rivers, 97 lakes, and the three oceans were protected from development that restricts their navigability.
In February 2018, the federal government introduced Bill C-69 and a new Canadian Navigable Waters Act. The new legislation does once again require approval for major works on navigable waters—which is an improvement. But, the Act still stops short of protecting the environmental, social, and cultural value of all navigable waters.
Bill C-69 is not perfect, but it does greatly improve protections for navigable waters in this country. The bill is currently before the Senate for approval, but the oil and gas industry is lobbying to kill this needed environmental law reform.
You can help ensure that no waters are left behind!