Fraser River. Photo: Anne Lazarevitch/flickr
Fraser River. Photo: Anne Lazarevitch/flickr

Local activist and chair of the Kamloops Council of Canadians Anita Strong is calling on the Trudeau government to keep its election campaign promise to “restore lost protections” to water by immediately restoring the protections eliminated from the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA).

“The Prime Minister made a promise during last year’s federal election campaign to restore federal protections for lakes and rivers,” said Strong. “Mr. Trudeau hasn’t kept that promise and needs a firm reminder.”

“Every Lake, Every River: Restoring the Navigable Waters Protection Act,” a report recently released by the Council of Canadians, highlights how the current Navigation Protection Act is having a negative impact on local economies, Indigenous peoples’ rights, and waterways from coast to coast.

“Prime Minister Trudeau is greenlighting projects including the Site C dam, the Pacific Northwest LNG project, and the Muskrat Falls dam without adequate review of the damage that might be done to waterways,” said Strong. “Canadians voted for change and it is disappointing to see Trudeau continue Harper’s policies.”

The Council of Canadians is calling on the Trudeau government to restore and enhance the NWPA by:

⦁  Updating the NWPA so that all lakes, rivers, and waterways are fully protected.

⦁  Reinstating and strengthening federal scrutiny of large pipelines and power lines under the NWPA and assessment of waterways under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

⦁  Holding public consultations and independent expert panels and incorporating feedback to strengthen the NWPA.

⦁  Consulting with Indigenous peoples and incorporating the obligation to obtain free, prior, and informed consent into the NWPA so that Indigenous treaty and water rights are respected and a nation-to-nation relationship is truly established.

⦁  Implementing strict safeguards for waterways within the framework of the United Nations-recognized human right to water and sanitation.



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