The Government of Canada is reviewing
the Navigation Protection Act (NPA)
, which regulates and authorizes the development of infrastructure that may interfere with the navigation of Canada’s waterbodies. The NPA replaced the previous Navigable Waters Protection Act
in 2012. The NPA concentrated the application of federal regulation on a schedule
of 162 of Canada’s busiest navigable waterways, while the previous regulation required federal approval for development that could impeded navigation on any waterway that could conceivably be navigated by a watercraft. For information on the NPA, click here
As part of their campaign platform, the Liberal Party of Canada committed to reviewing the NPA and other changes made to federal environmental legislation by the previous government. The NPA will be reviewed by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans
and Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
. The details of how the public and stakeholders can submit feedback to the process are not yet available. The AAMDC will share the input process with members when more details are released.
The AAMDC appreciates the important role that federal navigation protection regulations should play in balancing development, the right to navigation, and the environmental protection of Canada’s waterways. However, for many AAMDC members, the previous Navigable Waters Protection Act
caused a significant administrative burden on municipalities building bridges or culverts over relatively small bodies of water with little or no practical navigation value. AAMDC members passed a resolution in 2015
that endorsed the opting out of all municipally-managed bridges on non-scheduled waterways from federal regulation under the NPA.
The AAMDC looks forward to providing input to the federal government about the importance of considering the administrative burden that the regulation of all water bodies may have on rural municipalities, many of whom pride themselves as being environmental stewards and protecting Alberta’s water bodies.
In addition to the review of the NPA, the Government of Canada will also be seeking feedback on federal environmental assessment processes, fish habitat protection, and the composition and mandate of the National Energy Board. The AAMDC will provide more information on all of these consultative processes as they become available.
Enquiries may be directed to:
Director of Advocacy and Communications