Justin Trudeau recommits to water law reform

Justin Trudeau recommits to water law reform

 Justin Trudeau re-commits to water law reform

Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press Trudeau said his government’s priority is reforming the law regulating the use and development of water in Canada.

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, reiterated on Wednesday his commitment to reform the legislation surrounding the use of water, while formalizing the establishment of the headquarters of the new Canada Water Agency in Winnipeg, Manitoba .

Mr. Trudeau said his government's priority is to review the law regulating the use and development of this natural resource in Canada.

“The threats and realities facing our environment have changed since [the law] was written in 1970,” he said at a press conference Wednesday in Manitoba's capital.

“Updating this legislation is about ensuring we have the tools to work with provinces and territories to protect and restore shared waters,” Prime Minister Trudeau added.


He did not specify what changes will be made to the Canada Water Resources Act.

The current act provides a framework for cooperation with the provinces and territories regarding the conservation, development and use of Canada's water resources.

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The reform of the legislation also aims to reflect the new realities surrounding fresh water in Canada, in particular the effects of climate change and the importance of the rights of indigenous peoples.

“We have already taken unprecedented steps to safeguard our waters here in Canada. While less than 1% of our marine and coastal areas were protected in 2015, that area has grown to over 14% today. But there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Mr. Trudeau.

Modernizing the law will be one of the missions of the future Canadian Water Agency, which the Prime Minister has formalized the stand-up on Wednesday. Mr. Trudeau did not specify in which area of ​​Winnipeg the organization will be located or when it will be operational.

The federal government's budget tabled earlier this year provided funds for the creation of the agency and suggested that its head office be established in Winnipeg.

The new organization must therefore benefit from an envelope of $85.1 million over five years and $21 million per year thereafter.

In a news release, Ottawa said more details on the agency's priorities and mandate will be known soon. It also mentions that “draft legislation will be introduced by the end of 2023 to establish an autonomous body that will report to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change”.

More of the revision of the Water Resources Act, it is at least established that the new agency will also have to lead the implementation of the main measures provided for in the Action Plan on fresh water.

This program includes an investment of $420 million over 10 years for Great Lakes protection initiatives.

Mr. Trudeau also noted that Budget 2023 contains over $750 million, a significant portion of which will support work to monitor, assess and restore important water bodies over the next ten years. /p>

The St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes are among the areas that will benefit from these investments.

Before making the water protection announcement on Wednesday, Mr. Trudeau met in the morning with Aboriginal students from a high school. He was to attend a public meeting that evening.