The Senate Committee should be concerned with the sweeping changes the amendments to the Navigable Waters Protection Act have on environmental protection and government decision-making in Canada. This was the message Lake Ontario Waterkeeper presented to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources in Ottawa on May 7, 2009.
In the presentation, Waterkeeper requests the following issues be investigated during the Senate committee hearings and in its ensuing report:
- Where did the pressure to change the Navigable Waters Protection Act originate? Who shepherded them through the unusual legislative process?
- Who are Transport Canada’s “clients”?
- Independent, rigorous environmental assessments are becoming increasingly rare in Canada. What role do/will the changes to the Act play in this trend?
- Do Canadians still have the right to navigate freely on the nation’s waterways?
- Who was consulted about the changes to the Act? When? How?
- Who should be consulted about future changes to the Act? When? How?
- What processes will ensure transparency and accountability when decisions are made under the new Act (including the creation of regulations)?
The Senate committee is conducting a review of the new Navigable Waters Protection Act and will release a report to the public by mid-June, 2009. Committee hearing transcripts are now being made available online here.
Listen to Living at the Barricades.
This is the third time Lake Ontario Waterkeeper appeared before a federal Senate committee to speak on the changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act. On this week’s Living at the Barricades, hosts Krystyn and Mark hit the road to Ottawa and discuss concerns with the new Act. Along the way we'll hear from Petitcodiac Riverkeeper Tim Van Hinte, Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown, Friends of the Kipawa River President Peter Karwacki, Water Matters Executive Director Danielle Droitsch, and Canadian Outdoors Network President Bob Bailey.
Music on this week's show:
Sigur Rós - Sæglópur (Lost at Sea)
Al Green - Take me to the River
The Violet Archers - End of Part One