As has been widely reported, the second omnibus budget bill has been tabled in Parliament (Bill C-45). Part of the Bill is aimed at amending the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) to focus its regulatory application on impacts on prescribed navigable waters (listed in a schedule of the Act) as opposed to all navigable waters. The NWPA has been viewed as having significant environmental value due to the fact that it preserves the intactness of our water ways by preserving navigation rights.
The Government has been cited as saying that the narrowed scope in Bill-45 should not be of concern as the non-scheduled water ways are protected by other federal and provincial laws. This however raises an interesting legal question: Can provinces authorize impacts to navigable waters? Navigation is part of the federal jurisdiction under the Canadian Constitution (at s.91(10)).
Read “Navigable waters may be litigable waters if Bill C-45 passes” on the ELC blog.
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