This week in Ottawa, the House of Commons and the Upper Chamber (fancy speak for the Senate) resume sitting. So where does that leave us with environmental law reform?
We’re grateful for your support in calling for more rigorous environmental laws in Canada.
In June, Bill C-69 passed first reading in the Senate. The proposed Act would amend several important environmental laws from impact assessments to energy regulation to better oversight of developments that impair the flow of navigable waters.
While Bill C-69 is not perfect, effort was made to strike a balance that would improve upon existing legislation. That is why we trust that the Senate will consider the context of the proposed laws and pass the Bill.
To protect Canada’s rivers, lakes, and streams we will be making sure that forthcoming regulations include a robust list of major works i.e. projects on navigable waters that require federal approval before being built. Later this fall, there will be opportunities to comment on this list and the process of expanding the Schedule of Navigable Waters.
Remaining gaps in freshwater protection will need a modern approach to keeping the flow of Canada’s rivers, lakes, and streams in good health.
We expect to see some push back from the petroleum industry, though as Pembina’s Nichole Dusyk notes “Environmental law reform is precisely what industry needs now”.
The Senate needs to hear that groups outside the environmental movement also support the legislation. Know an angler, recreation group, or cottage industry board that can help? Encourage them to write an op-ed in their local paper, or even call their Senator.
You can also help by showing the strong public will to fix Canada’s environmental laws. Post your stories of enjoying navigable waters online using #BillC69 and #LetsFlow
Curious about how a Bill moves through Senate? Check out this guide.