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Red Deer Chapter raises awareness about protecting every lake and every river

Members of the Council of Canadians’ Red Chapter used colourful signs at their City Hall to help raise awareness about the lack of water protections for 99 per cent of Canada’s lakes and rivers.

Chapter members held up signs at local landmarks that read “Every Lake, Every River” to highlight their concerns about gutted federal water laws.

In an article in a local paper, Chapter Chairperson Christopher D’lima, said protecting water is something everyone should care about.

“We feel that clean water connects us all,” says D’lima. “We use it for cooking, cleaning and especially for drinking as well as our fisheries and all that. To have healthy fish, we obviously have to have clean water.”

He said we all have a shared responsibility to ensure that clean water is available for everyone.

“We do believe however that folks are definitely more interested in environmental concerns and this has been increasing radically according to what the polls say. People are definitely more concerned, but the process takes a while. Bringing this to the consciousness of folks every now and then by having these little signage things helps a lot.”

Under Bill C-69, the Canadian Navigable Waters Act creates two categories of “protected” waterways. It maintains the schedule of now 97 lakes, 64 rivers and 3 oceans that the former Harper government created. But it also creates a confusing second category of protected waterways. The schedule implies the short list of waters have automatic protections while the remaining 99% of lakes and rivers across the country do not. It is essential that every lake, river and watershed be clearly protected.

The Red Deer Chapter is one of many Council of Canadians chapters across the country helping to raise awareness and build public pressure that will push the government to reinstate legislative protections and ensure that water laws in Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Regrettably, the Trudeau government recently fast-tracked Bill-69 that does just the opposite, leaving waterways vulnerable.

Read more about the Council of Canadians’ Every Lake Every River campaign.