View topic - NWPA (again) under attack by the conservative Government

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PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 6:30 pm 
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Here is a link to the Bill C-45 :evil: :evil:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/110425519/C-4 ... h-Act-2012
Much easier to read after you down load the document.
Do not know where the NWPA part is, it will take some hunting and the politicans are having a hard time finding stuff and meaning.... :o :evil:
Here is the Green party's take
http://www.greenparty.ca/media-release/ ... ble-waters
More to come I am sure :roll: :doh:
Jeff

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PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 8:23 pm 
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From what I can tell, for starters, they removed any protection from all smaller water bodies in Canada. That's revolutionary!

For the water bodies that are deemed navigable (about 200 - I didn't count) they rewrote protection, and they gave the minister the power to exempt certain projects from that protection (e.g. the new bridge at Windsor over the Detroit River).

This is not the Canada I chose as my home - this is one big construction site. As a country, we have forgotten the value of nature. Too bad.

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PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 9:00 pm 
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Erhard, in the CBC report I heard on the radio today, looking after the smaller water bodies would be up to the provinces and provincial laws. I haven't confirmed this in any other news report.

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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 5:07 am 
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The Provinces - eh?! Sure, let's get one patchy set of protection rules across the country.

Protection that is not built for the needs of what's to be protected - but for the needs of whoever needs to get a project going, how much clout they have and how much money the jurisdiction has for enforcement.
In Ontario, the MNR will get the responsibility as the know they can shrug off any failing because of lack of money, and MOE will politely decline, out of habit.

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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 9:18 am 
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You're right, downloading the oversight to the provinces usually means a looser set of provincial regulations... in the last Omnibus bill, the change was made to simply environmental assessments in a similar way to the NWPA. The feds would do EAs for major developments and the provinces would oversee smaller ones with no duplication in individual developments going on between feds and provinces.

Wrt to provincial powers, if there is an election this spring after McGuinty's leaving, this creates the possibility that Hudak takes power along with all the anti-environment measures he's promising... more cuts to government red tape, cuts to staff and services, privatization, reducing provincial EAs, eliminating McGuinty's boreal forest protection initiative. Maybe the block-Hudak antidote will be to vote NDP, although the past effects of Bob Rae during the 90s may eliminate any chance of that happening, so we''ll have to see who the next Liberal convention yields as a leader.

In this Omnibus bill, there are further changes to the federal Fisheries Act and the federal EA act that weaken environmental regulations further.

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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 11:50 am 
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[quote="frozentripper"]Maybe the block-Hudak antidote will be to vote NDP, although the past effects of Bob Rae during the 90s may eliminate any chance of that happening, so we''ll have to see who the next Liberal convention yields as a leader.

quote]

The 90's are long gone...as a teacher, I have no problem supporting the NDP...they seem to be the last line of defense against corporate control of our province. The Liberals are anti union ( and no, the teachers are not just upset about a pay cut...ask a teacher what the real issues are with Bill 115 if you aren't familiar), the Conservatives are both anti union and anti environment....who does that leave?

I think that if Ontario has any sense at all, we will vote NDP this time around...

Just my 2 cents worth!

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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 3:48 pm 
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well, even as a life-long capitalist, ex-banker, and long-time small-business owner/manager, my next vote is definitely goin' New Democrat..... :)

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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2012, 12:40 pm 
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Harper Government has made changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act removing protection for the majority of Lakes and Rivers in our County. There are only 62 rivers and 93 lakes on the Bill C-45 list.

This link is a bit easier to navigate than the scribid link from above:
http://parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Pub ... Id=5765988

The Navigable Waters Protection act was put in place to protect our historic right to navigate millions of lakes, rivers, streams etc. with out being impeded by pipelines, bridges, powerlines, dams, mining etc...

I am also closely following the Fisheries Act changes there is word that the FA will only apply to known fisheries- I wonder if this list may also be adapted for that purpose as well (but that's just speculation).

Check out the list- add your lakes and rivers to the list.
http://elizabethmaymp.ca/is-your-lake-safe

Edited to Add:
Just found this article from the Vancouver Sun about the NWPA changes- for more info:

PUBLICATION: Vancouver Sun
PAGE: B3
DATE: 2012.10.19


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

New federal water protection law a sham, First Nations group says; Legislation will replace Navigable Waters Protection Act first introduced in 1882

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Harper government is proposing to stop one of Canada's oldest laws protecting bodies of water across the country.

The changes, introduced as part of a 443-page budget implementation bill tabled Thursday in Parliament, would replace the Navigable Waters Protection Act, first introduced in 1882, with a new Navigation Protection Act covering a list of 97 lakes, 62 rivers and the three oceans on Canada's coasts.

Transport Minister Denis Lebel suggested that the changes could ease the burden on companies seeking approval on new industrial projects such as oilsands development or mining extraction.

For example, under the existing law, Transport Canada had urged Shell Canada to provide more information about a proposed "diversion" of the Muskeg River for a new oilsands project.

While this process would continue, future project approvals on that river or many others would not be subject to a review under the new law unless Transport Canada expands its list of protected bodies of water.

"All projects that are actually in the middle of the (approval) process must be held to the existing rules," said Lebel at a news conference. "The day when this new law comes into force, it will be another thing."

A First Nations group promptly slammed the proposed changes, suggesting that it was giving industry a green light to destroy vital waterways in its community, violating existing treaty rights in Canada.

"I am seriously concerned this is an indication of corruption in our current government," said Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. "We hope there will be a public outcry that echoes our sentiment. After all, we all share the responsibility to protect mother earth."

Transport Canada said it was prepared to revise the list, which records the Atlantic Ocean as number 97 on a list of 100 oceans and lakes.

Previous changes introduced to the same law in the last major budget legislation removed pipeline projects from its scope.

Lebel said other environmental laws would still apply to assess potential impacts of projects, but that the changes, endorsed at his news conference by the Federation of Canadian municipalities, would remove excessive administrative delays on minor projects such as boat docks for cottages on lakes.

"Over time, the scope and application of a law that was designed to protect navigation has expanded to the point where it now applies to brooks, streams, ditches," said Lebel, noting that 80 separate assessments were done for docks on a single lake near Edmonton. "So now, even the most basic foot bridges over small streams still require pages of paperwork, even when the stream is clearly not used for any kind of boating."

He added that the existing law also slows down the building of bridges and repairs to the old ones.

But Green party leader Elizabeth May suggested Lebel was misleading Canadians, since previous changes to environmental laws introduced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government have already largely removed federal environmental oversight on industry. "The destruction of the Navigable Waters Protection Act and renaming it the Navigation (Protection) Act is part of a consistent pattern of Stephen Harper trying to remove constitutional authorities for the environment," May said at a news conference. "Harper clearly does not believe the federal government should be responsible for environmental protection. So they are trying to rewrite history."

But May said the changes would also give the minister more powers to crack down on abandoned vessels in the water.

The legislation would also provide for new fines or penalties for some offences.

The new budget bill also proposed to make some corrections to its predecessor from the summer, which introduced a new regime for assessing the environmental impacts of industrial development.

A spokesman for Environment Minister Peter Kent said most of the changes were "technical" in nature, along with the correction of a "loophole" that "came to our attention."

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities also issued a similar statement of support of the federal government's proposed overhaul of the Fisheries Act last spring, which removed protection of fisheries and gave the government new tools to "authorize" water pollution.

But municipalities in the federation later adopted a motion demanding that the government withdraw the proposed changes for further analysis of the consequences.

The last budget implementation law, adopted in July eliminated about 3,000 federal environmental assessments and was slammed by economists, environmental groups and opposition critics for weakening existing laws.

The previous legislation also gave the government new tools to investigate environmental groups, weaken protection of endangered species and limit public participation in consultations and reviews of proposed industrial projects.


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PostPosted: October 29th, 2012, 11:19 pm 
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I found this online. It kind of puts the proposed changes in laymans terms which helps me...these government reports can be hard to read.

The Navigable Waters Unprotection Act
Posted by admin on October 25, 2012 · Leave a Comment

By David@Sixthestate.net

Continuing Sixth Estate’s fall 2012 budget coverage, which began with a look at what appears to me to be some appalling chicanery in the MP pension “reform” scheme, I thought it would be nice to look at the end of the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Symbolic of the shift in emphasis by this government, the Navigable Waters Protection Act is technically no more. Henceforth it will be known as the Navigation Protection Act, which, you will note, is not quite the same thing, is it?

More to the point, and quite incredibly, the Navigation Protect Act reduces its scope from covering all bodies of water (lakes, rivers and oceans) that you can move a boat along, to just those bodies of water that appear on a special list maintained by the Minister of Transport. That list now appears as Schedule 2 of the Budget, and, incredibly, it contains just 97 lakes and 62 rivers, in addition to the three oceans. According to Wikipedia, Canada has about 32,000 lakes that are larger than 3 square kilometres. So obviously there is a great deal of legislative carnage here.

Of course the whole thing is out of order, since it’s not by any stretch of the imagination a budgetary measure and therefore cannot be included in a budget bill. There may even be a challenge to the Speaker on the subject, but since the Speaker of Parliament — one of the most sacred offices in the history of Parliamentary democracy — is now a far-right-wing, under-educated, 33-year old insurance broker, don’t expect any challenge to the Harper regime from that particular corner.

Anyhow, more to the point, I thought it would be nice to look at the list of lakes and rivers to see what we’re going to lose protection of. Today we’ll do the rivers; tomorrow, we’ll do the lakes.

Both lists are a shambles. They’re not in alphabetical order. They don’t define river or lake (is a river just the main stem running all the way back to the source? Does it include tributaries?) Even more absurdly, that list of “rivers” doesn’t actually include 62 rivers. Some of the “rivers” are actually canals. Some of the canals are listed more than once. The Trent Canal is listed four times (#32, #35, #40, and #43), covering different segments.

Most importantly, this is obviously an absurdly short list of rivers. Leaving aside the virtual absence of any surveillance north of the 60th parallel in the future, there’s also the obvious question of just how many rivers are going to be entirely unprotected going forward. The Conservative drafters clearly live in Ontario. Nine of the 62 “rivers” aren’t rivers at all: they’re canals. The list also includes some short streams you’ve probably never heard of (because they’re hidden in rural southern Ontario), like Stevens Creek. The drafters also took pains to protect a puddle in the middle of Ottawa called Dow’s Lake.

But the most obvious way to show the shortcomings of this bill, I think, are to look at the major rivers, not the minor ones. (After all, a navigable waters law ought to cover both.) Wikipedia says there are 47 rivers in Canada that are at least 600 kilometres long. 30 of the 47 longest rivers in Canada do not appear on the new list of protected rivers; many of these are in the North, which, with the exception of the Mackenzie River and the Yukon River, the Harper regime appears to have simply written off. The unprotected major rivers include the following:

1.Albany River
2.Attawapiskat River
3.Back River
4.Churchill River (Manitoba)
5.Churchill River (Newfoundland)
6.Coppermine River
7.Dubawnt River
8.Eastmain River
9.English River
10.Riviere Grande
11.Great Whale River
12.Hay River
13.Horton River
14.Kazan River
15.Kokosak River
16.Liard River
17.Milk River
18.Nelson River
19.Nottaway River
20.Peel River
21.Pelly River
22.Riviere Pend d’Oreille
23.Porcupine River
24.Red Deer River
25.Rupert River
26.Saskatchewan River (below the confluence of th eNorth and South)
27.Severn River
28.Slave River
29.Stewart River
30.Thelon River
Those, plus somewhere around 99.9% of rivers in Canada, are no longer considered navigable or protected by the Government of Canada. And some of the others are important too: in B.C., for instance, of the significant rivers, the Fraser, Columbia, and Skeena are protected, but the Nass, Stikine, Nechako, and Liard are not. There also appear to be no protected waterways left on Vancouver Island or the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Which is good news if you want to build a dam, or a bridge, or a pipeline, or just about anything else. A pipeline, for instance, across a bunch of rivers in northern B.C.

Link - http://backofthebook.ca/2012/10/25/the- ... -act/8205/

I'm too upset to comment right now other then that I have hopes and dreams of paddling these rivers and someone wants to take that away. Sure thats my selfish reason...then we can also discuss the environmental impact of this which is huge. But thats all for tonight other then I hate this government...are they even Canadian?

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PostPosted: October 30th, 2012, 7:08 am 
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Feeling screwed, eh...?!

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PostPosted: October 30th, 2012, 8:34 am 
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Quote:
Both lists are a shambles.


No surprise there... one might be a little "surprised" (to put it mildly) at how loose and unqualified the decision-making is at times on environment and development.

Just to restate, the unlisted waters should fall under provincial oversight for protection, not that that's going to be any improvement.

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PostPosted: October 31st, 2012, 10:34 am 
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The Ottawa Citizen has been running a series of interesting articles on how

90% of all lakes that are to be "protected" have shorelines in conservative ridings.

among the 12 lakes in Ontario- they are held along Tony Clements riding.


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PostPosted: November 1st, 2012, 5:46 pm 
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Here's some stuff Cheryl Gallant (con) said in the house the other day in regard to the Petawawa and Bill c- 45
http://openparliament.ca/debates/2012/1 ... gallant-1/
http://openparliament.ca/debates/2012/1 ... nt-1/only/
too bad she didn't consider the other run of river hydro projects with similar concerns...
Jeff
edit of yeah, that and put into writing that we actually have the right to access all the "non" protected rivers...

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PostPosted: November 6th, 2012, 2:41 pm 
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:(
It was given 2hrs to discuss thousands of waterways...
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2 ... rings.html
:(

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PostPosted: November 6th, 2012, 9:22 pm 
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It's amazing how we are allowing the erosion of our rights. It's the age where commerce runs a de facto dictatorship of the country.

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