Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today tabled a new bill, the Transboundary Waters Protection Act, which proposes protection of Canadian water by strengthening prohibitions on bulk removal of Canada’s water outside the country.
“This important legislation makes it clear that we are not in the business of exporting our water. Canadian water is not a commodity. It is not for sale,” said Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment.
The new act would strengthen existing protections by bringing waters within federal jurisdiction under a more comprehensive prohibition against bulk water removals. Rivers and streams that cross international borders would now receive the same protection already in place for waters, such as the Great Lakes, that straddle them.
The Act would give the federal government new powers of inspection and enforcement and introduces tough new penalties for violations, including fines of up to $6 million for corporate violations. The bill offers unprecedented federal protection against bulk water exports while respecting provincial constitutional jurisdiction.