The Liberal government introduced Bill C-69 yesterday that made sweeping changes to Canada’s water, environmental and energy legislation. The long-awaited bill includes amendments on the Navigation Protection Act (NPA), now named the Canadian Navigable Waters Act (CNWA), which was sandwiched in the 412 page bill.
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Transport Canada stated that all navigable waters were protected. But the amendments fall short of what Indigenous nations, environmental groups, residents and other organizations called for during the Standing Committee review which included restoring protections on all lakes and rivers and obtaining free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous nations.
A closer look at the bill shows pipelines and power lines are still exempt from the act and raises questions about whether the act protects all waterways from dam projects.