In 1882, the Government of Canada passed the Navigable Waters Protection Act, stating that no-one could block, alter or destroy any water deep enough to float a canoe without federal approval. In 2012, the Conservative government dismantled that law, now allowing large corporations building pipelines or other industrial projects to bypass this step.
These changes in reducing federal oversight demonstrate further deterioration of Canada’s environment, leading to poorer habitats for our aquatic life. Without adequate protection from large-scale industrial development, these lakes, rivers and streams face the threat of having their fish ecosystems destroyed.
The Act once protected 2.5 million lakes and rivers across the country. In its current incarnation? Only 159. That is the removal of legal protection for over 99 per cent of Canada’s lakes and rivers.
These changes affect Canadians across the country. The pristine waters that help sustain Indigenous communities, that provide livelihoods for people who fish and provide recreation for families and visitors have been sold off.
Tourism and fishing are both important drivers to the Canadian economy. This decision has all but deemed them to be unimportant to the government instead selling the people who rely on them down the river in favour of big oil and power companies.
We are calling on our leaders to take action to secure the future of Canada’s waterway and reinstate the protection of lakes and rivers from coast-to-coast-to-coast to ensure they can be enjoyed by Canadian families for centuries to come. [Click here] to send a message to Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna must make this a priority for the new government.
Protect our environment. Protect our economy. Protect our fish.