Jobs and Growth Act, 2012 (Bill C-45)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. parliamentary secretary for her remarks. However, I think she has missed some of the most egregious parts of the bill.

I want to ask her why the government felt it was necessary to gut the 1882 Navigable Waters Protection Act, which was never mentioned in the March 2012 budget, by removing protection for navigation rights that Canadians have had for over 130 years? Why was it necessary to remove those? They have not been blocking jobs and growth in the economy. They have been ensuring that the millions of Canadian lakes and the thousands and thousands of Canadian rivers, now reduced to 62 rivers and 97 lakes, received some protection from our navigable waters constitutional jurisdiction of the federal government.

Shelly Glover: Mr. Speaker, as my colleague pointed out, this is an act from 1882. This is an act that is supposed to concentrate on navigation and commercial shipping. Under our newest bill, we are going to change the name from Navigable Waters Protection Act to the Navigation Protection Act. Why are we doing this? It is because it was designed to protect navigation. It was designed specifically to create jobs and to help make sure that when we are regulating things, for instance, the construction of bridges, making sure shoreline construction moves ahead, that we have some measures in place to allow that to happen in a timely manner.

We have a number of other bills that cover off environmental concerns. We have a number of other bills that cover off other scenarios that have been mentioned by the opposition. However, members need to focus on what this bill is about. The intent of the bill is about navigation and commercial shipping, point final. That is what it is about. That is why we are going to focus on it.

The common law covers every single other lake and river that the hon. member is concerned about. She can rest assured that we have taken care of business. Common law is going to apply, as well as the Navigation Protection Act, so that everything is covered.