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More slash and burn: drastic cuts to Navigable Waters Protection Act

Much like their hatchet job on the Fisheries Act, the federal Conservatives’ Bill C-45 has taken a similar axe to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, among other environmental changes in their latest Omnibus Bill. The protection of the Act will be slashed from all Canadian waters that can be traversed by boat (including canoe or kayak) to a small list of specially named lakes and rivers. The Act is cut down to size and renamed as the Navigation Protection Act to make its new, more limited purpose clear: it is no longer to protect the waters, it is simply to protect navigation, presumably of large powerboats. And no factors other than navigation (such as environmental issues) are to affect permitting decisions: see s. 5. Even the anti-dumping rules have been circumscribed. And the whole Act has been declared inapplicable (along with most other environmental rules) to the new Detroit Bridge.

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