Protecting Canada’s watercourses: new bill doesn’t do it says advocacy group

The Liberal government of Prime Minister is proposing amendments to the Navigable Waters Act but critics say it changes little or nothing in terms of protecting lakes and river ecosystems PHOTO: Charles Rex Arbogast/The Associated Press

Protecting Canada’s watercourses: new bill doesn’t do it says advocacy group

Share

The federal government is proposing changes to the “Navigable Waters Act” which regulates development projects that have an effect on navigable waters.

The 30 pages of changes were placed within the 416 page proposal called Bill C-69. Many people have expressed concern over the amendments to the Act which they say does little to protect Canadian waters.

Emma Lui (M.A) is the Water Campaigner with the NGO- Council of Canadians.

Listen

The Council says the new proposals to protect water courses in Canada don’t change much and don’t provide enough protection to nearly enough lakes and rivers.

Emma Lui, Water Campaigner for the advocacy group, Council of Canadians

The recently tabled Bill C-69 would govern the reviews of proposed tar sands pipelines, mines, hydroelectric dams and transmission lines.

A Globe and Mail article notes,“scientists and advocates worry there is no clear guidance under which projects would be turned down because of environmental impacts”.

Emma Lui notes that the proposal allows the minister of environment or possibly the federal cabinet would have the discretion to declare a project to be in the national interest and approve it, regardless of the findings of the impact assessment review, and could do after the project has begun.

Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui highlights, “The amendments to the Canadian Navigable Waters Act fall short of what Indigenous nations, environmental groups, residents and other organizations called for during the Standing Committee review which included restoring protections on all lakes and rivers and obtaining free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous nations. A closer look at the bill shows pipelines and power lines are still exempt from the act and raises questions about whether the act protects all waterways from dam projects.”

She also notes Bill C-69:

  • 1- does not provide the modern safeguard of protecting water beyond human use.
  • 2- maintains a schedule of navigable waters, that it’s unclear which waterways are on that schedule, and that waterways can even be removed from that schedule.
  • 3- gives the minister the power to approve an activity (including an unauthorized dam to be used for fracking) after it has begun.
  • 4- puts the onus on the individual to protect a waterway not listed in the schedule in the dispute resolution process.
  • 5- mentions a public registry without specifying what information would be required for it thus undermining public participation in the process.
  • 6- does not include modern safeguards as promised by the Liberals during the October 2015 federal election.
  • Lui says there are still many aspects about the implementation of the Act until it actually comes into force and measures applied.
Share
Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Environment, Politics

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*