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NEWS: Harper legislation guts protection for waterways

Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui points out that there are at least 31,752 lakes in Canada, according to Natural Resources Canada. Today, the Harper government introduced legislation that says a list of just 97 lakes, 62 rivers and 3 oceans will be ‘protected’ under a new Navigation Protection Act. This will make it easier for companies to get approval on projects that would harm waterways such as tar sands extraction, mines, dams, pipelines, and interprovincial power lines. Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation says, “I am seriously concerned this is an indication of corruption in our current government. I hope there will be a public outcry that echoes our sentiment. After all, we all share the responsibility to protect mother earth.” The Muskeg River (threatened by the tar sands) in Alberta is not on the list of ‘protected’ waterways. Neither is the Margaree River (a National Heritage River) in Nova Scotia (see photo). News reports on this can be read at http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/10/18/pol-navigable-waters-protection-budget-bill.html and http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/national/federal+water+protection+sham+opposition/7411964/story.html.