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Barlow calls on Trudeau to protect wetlands in midst of flooding

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to develop a national program for protecting wetlands in Canada. Up to 70% of wetlands in Canada have been lost or degraded in settled areas. Wetlands can help reduce flooding by acting as a buffer. 


(Photo of flooding in Ottawa-Gatineau by Green Living Ottawa)


In a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, federal ministers and provincial and territorial premiers, Barlow says, “From coast to coast, communities in Quebec and British Columbia are battling heavy rains and floods. Wetlands play a crucial role in flood protection by storing floodwaters and helping to control floods.”

She warns, “Climate Change poses an unprecedented threat to those who are most vulnerable and our actions today will have a significant impact on the world of our children and our grandchildren. To address the impacts of climate change, we ask your support in protecting and enhancing Canada’s fresh water resources which are greatly affected by increased evaporation as well as extreme precipitation.”


Barlow calls on the Trudeau government to take four urgent actions:

  1. Develop and implement a “National Program for Management of Canada’s Wetland Reservoirs”;

  2. Accelerate funding to restore and create wetland reservoirs using the Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) especially where this will assist in social, economic and environmental resilience;

  3. Incorporate the ‘No Net Loss’ concept for wetlands within the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act; and

  4. Work with provinces, municipalities and conservation authorities to protect, develop and manage wetland water reservoirs through the authority of the Fisheries Act.

Barlow’s new book, Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis, describes the loss of wetlands and the importance of them. Wetlands including marshes, swamps and bogs protect rainwater from evaporation, reduce flooding, and are critical water reservoirs giving communities economic and environmental resiliency.  


Read Barlow’s letter here