mercredi 4 mars 2009

Senators: Protect Canada's Waters

Tell the Senate not to leave us up the creek without a paddle.

Dear Hon. Senators

RE: Separate Navigable Waters Protection Act changes from Bill C-10

I am writing to urge you to support removing Part 7 from Bill C-10 and treating it as a separate piece of legislation. Part 7 makes substantial amendments to the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) that are unrelated to budgetary matters, and were rushed through without adequate stakeholder consultation.

When we protect public access to waterways in Canada, we are also protecting the natural environment of those waterways. We understand that it is important to initiate infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy, but we should not use that as an opportunity to dismantle safeguards put in place to protect Canada’s environment.

In fact, these hasty changes to the NWPA will have serious repercussions for the recreational navigation, ecotourism, fishing, and hunting sectors of our economy, none of whom were consulted about these amendments.

Including non-budgetary items in Bill C-10 has and will continue to slow down the process of passing the budget. Removal of non-budgetary items, such as the amendments to the NWPA included in Part 7, would both allow for these issues to be dealt with separately in greater depth and expedite the process of passing the budget. Given the current economic crisis, the best way forward is to separate Part 7 from Bill C-10.

The public right of navigation pre-dates Confederation. It is a part of our history and our heritage. It also needs to be part of our future.

Please separate the proposed amendments to the Navigable Waters Protection Act from C-10, the Budget Implementation Act, so we can get on with the budget. It’s the best way forward for the environment, the economy, and democracy.

Sincerely,

Paul Malouf
(source: Sierra Club Canada)

CC: Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff

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