Over the past several months, the federal Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities has been reviewing the Navigation Protection Act, including changes made to it in 2009 and 2012, when it was still known as the Navigable Waters Protection Act. The intent of the review was to ensure that changes made in 2009 and 2012 to narrow the scope of the Act did not compromise the protection of the navigability of Canada’s waterways.

As part of their review process, the Committee invited the AAMDC to provide written input and make a short presentation on the rural municipal perspective related to the Act. The AAMDC’s input focused on the administrative challenges faced by municipalities under the previous version of the Act, which included nearly all waterways in Canada under its jurisdiction, as well as frustrations with delays in approvals and extra costs incurred to design bridges to accommodate navigation that never actually took place. 

After considering the input of stakeholders from the municipal, environmental, and industry sectors, as well as Indigenous communities, the Committee has released their report, A Study of the Navigation Protection Act. The report includes eleven recommendations intended to avoid a return to the over-regulation of navigation characterized by the previous version of the Act, while at the same time improving the processes by which waterways can be added to the schedule of waterways that are under the Act’s jurisdiction.

The Government of Canada is expected to consider which of the Committee’s recommendations to implement in the coming months, and additional consultations are likely to occur in relation to the implementation process.

Enquiries may be directed to:

Wyatt Skovron
Policy Analyst
780.955.4096

Kim Heyman
Director, Advocacy & Communications
780.955.4079

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