Saturday, February 21, 2009

Navigable Waters Protection Act

A few weeks ago one of our KNL members drew attention to the work of a parliamentary committe that had ended up recommending changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act(NWPA).

MEC has raised it again so Newfoundland paddlers and Canadians in general can respond. The vote is Monday.

The concern is that the changes would remove environmental protection and reduce access to some public waterways.

Basically the changes would create a class system for Canadian navigable waterways, granting the Government discretionary authority to identify waterways deemed worthy and those thought unworthy of federal protection.

Waterways declassified would not be subject to the existing NWPA requirement that all works impacting navigable waters undergo an approval process. It could be a disaster for some Newfoundland waterways that are well utilized by local paddlers and outdoor recreational enthusiasts.

These changes would appear to be an unnecessary form of deregulation and would according to Will Amos staff lawyer for u Ottawa ecoJustice - undermine the governments public trust duty to protect Canadians' right to navigate waterways in a fair and transparent manner.

This does not look like a good piece of legislation and would likely have negative impacts for anyone using waterways that government types haven't seen or utilized.

It would be a good idea to email your MP.

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