Marc Garneau, Canada’s minister of transport, announced that the Canadian Navigable Waters Act and the Major Works Order have come into effect.

The new legislation restores lost protections on all navigable waters in Canada so that Canadians can continue to enjoy the right to navigate their boats (whether they are motorized boats, canoes, or kayaks) through the extensive network of waterways across the country.

“Our government had a clear goal when it introduced the Canadian Navigable Waters Act, which is to restore lost protections on waterways,” said Marc Garneau, minister of transport. “Today, we fulfill our commitment. Through this legislation, we address interferences to navigation while protecting Canadians’ right to navigate on Canada’s vast network of navigable waterways.”

Through the new Act, the Government of Canada has created a:

  • New requirement for approvals of major works, such as large dams, that significantly impact navigation on all navigable waters.
  • Process to notify the public, which also provides an opportunity for Canadians to engage early before construction begins on any navigable water.
  • Mechanism where the Minister of Transport can address obstructions on any navigable water.
  • Directive to take into consideration the cumulative impact on navigation of multiple projects on a waterway.
  • Resolution process for reviewing navigation concerns and works, such as a bridge, when concerns remain unresolved in navigable waters not listed in the schedule (the official annex of the legislation).

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