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NEWS: NDP introduce legislation to protect waterways in Conservative ridings

The Canadian Press reports, “The New Democrats say changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act contained in a pair of Conservative omnibus bills last year left most lakes and rivers without legal protection against unfettered development. …(So they are) introducing a round of private member’s bills aimed at restoring environmental protections to lakes and rivers. …They say their bills will restore those protections and require environmental assessments before development is allowed.”

The article notes, “A first batch of bills introduced in April dealt with protections to what are known as Heritage Rivers, but the second group deals with lakes and rivers in Conservative-held ridings. …The NDP says it is acting on complaints its MPs have heard from people in Conservative ridings about the lack of protection.”

While there are many lakes and rivers in Conservative ridings that are now unprotected, the Ottawa Citizen has reported, “90 per cent of all the lakes that are earmarked for continuing federal waterways protection have shoreline in Conservative ridings. Just 27 per cent of the lakes are contiguous with NDP or Liberal ridings. …While the ocean and river shorelines are adjacent to many ridings and provinces across the country, the protected lakes are unevenly distributed, with most falling in Ontario cottage country and the B.C interior — areas of mostly Conservative representation. The budget bill names 68 protected lakes in Ontario but only four in Quebec.” The Winnipeg Free Press noted, “Analysis found almost nine in 10 of the waterways that remain protected are in Conservative ridings.”

For more, please read:
NDP tables second wave of legislation to protect lakes, rivers
NEWS: Pipeline industry called for changes to Navigable Waters Protection Act
NEWS: Navigation Protection Act has last hearing today
NEWS: Harper legislation guts protection for waterways
Changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act impacts First Nations Treaty rights and paves the way for more pipelines