Parliament: Will Canada’s lakes and rivers remain unprotected under weak Transport Committee recommendations?

On Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 in Parliament, Question Period

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, in the Liberal platform, it was promised that there would be action on the changes that Stephen Harper made in the omnibus budget bills, particularly the elimination of the Navigable Waters Protection Act. In fact, their platform said, “We will review these changes, restore lost protections, and incorporate more modern safeguards.” Unfortunately, the transport committee came to egregiously weak conclusions, recommending, essentially, keeping in place the Harper regime. Can the Prime Minister commit to restoring protections to Canada’s navigable waters?

Justin Trudeau – Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as a government, and personally as a paddler, we are committed to promoting Canada’s sustainable economic development while maintaining a safe transportation system and the protection of our lakes and rivers. Therefore, absolutely, we will consider all input from the independent House of Commons committee on transport, from the public, from indigenous peoples, from provinces and territories, and from a broad range of stakeholders including industry and marine-protection groups. This is something that we feel passionately about and are glad to be moving forward on.

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  • Anne

    The Navigable Waters Protection Act was passed when Canada was a new country. Over the years it acquired layers of environmental protection for lakes, rivers and oceans. The Harper government erased all that in 2012. To add to that blow the Liberals are backtracking on their promises to restore the original Act. Our waterways are too crucial to be treated with such disregard.

  • John K. Jeglum

    The PM’s response was the kind one would have expected from Harper and his ilk. It is nice to hear Trudeau is a paddler, but his answer belies that he is keeping the door open for pipelines, diversions, movement of ships and barges, and the like. I fear this answer is all we will get for now, at least until there is a stronger body of popular opinion to shame him into it. We must keep his answer as one of the several important promises that he has reneged on, and use effectively during the next election. AND, we need more Greens at the federal level to support you and the other environmentalists among us.

  • John Fefchak

    And our new Manitoba Conservative government is in the process of bombarding the province with 80-100 more hog barn factories and weakening water protection for the benefit of the Hog Industry. HogWatch Manitoba is being revitalized.

  • D Jackson

    Whoops more heckling…and wow, he had the answer to your question written down…that’s cheating…so much for “from the heart”

    The first words out of his mouth after the paddler nonsense were “Promoting Canada’s economic and sustainable development” ..sounds like typical Liberal patter and another broken promise which seems to developing into a habit…perhaps Mr. Trudeau should have that checked out by his boss.

    It was a good question Elizabeth, and kudos to you for your never ending commitment and perseverance… and for putting up with just another politico that apes his answers from a sheet of paper written by who knows who.

    No surprises here.

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