The Government of Canada has launched public consultations to help establish the new Canada Water Agency and improve freshwater management across Canada.

“Canadians want a future with cleaner air and cleaner water for their children and grandchildren,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of environment and climate change. “Establishing the Canada Water Agency will help to identify, better coordinate, and address various issues relating to freshwater in Canada.”

“It’s an important part of Canada’s plan to build a cleaner, stronger, more resilient economy, with good, secure jobs now and into the future,” added Wilkinson. “I encourage all Canadians to take part in these consultations to help shape the Canada Water Agency.”

Water challenges such as droughts, floods, and deteriorating water quality are intensifying, due in large part to climate change. Canadians are seeing these costly impacts first-hand in their communities, across the country. The Government of Canada is establishing the Canada Water Agency to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean, and well managed. The Canada Water Agency will be established in close collaboration with provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, and other partners.

“Canadians know the importance of protecting our natural bounty of lakes, rivers, and other freshwater systems,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food. “Farmers need a reliable supply of quality fresh water to produce high-quality food for our country and for export around the world.

“This agency will be designed to complement and work in collaboration with initiatives already underway at the provincial, territorial, and local levels,” added Bibeau. “We encourage Canadians and agricultural stakeholders to make their voices heard as part of these important consultations.”

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The discussion paper launched on December 17, 2020 seeks Canadians’ input to help identify freshwater priorities for the federal government and build on the federal government’s existing activities to enhance freshwater management, while avoiding duplication and respecting areas of provincial and territorial jurisdiction. The Government of Canada will host a virtual national freshwater policy forum in January 2021 and a series of regional forums in February 2021 to provide further opportunities for Canadians to participate in discussion-paper consultations.

“Through the Canada Water Agency, our government is looking to strengthen collaboration between the federal government, the provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, and other partners to find the best ways to safeguard our freshwater resources for generations to come,” said Terry Duguid, parliamentary secretary to the minister of environment and climate change (Canada Water Agency). “Robust consultations are an important part of this process, and I look forward to the input from Canadians.”

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