View topic - NWPA (again) under attack by the conservative Government

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PostPosted: November 10th, 2012, 8:00 am 
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http://www.cottagecountrynow.ca/communi ... le/1532977

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Act intended to protect navigation, not environment

ALMAGUIN – Opposition to changes in the Navigable Waters Protection Act could be much ado about nothing.

“You still need to check with source water protection agencies and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans,” said Bill Vrebosch, Mayor of the Town of East Ferris and Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) rural caucus representative. “I think somebody would be very remiss to think they can go ahead and do anything on a waterway. Especially in this day and age of conservation.”

If the proposed changes to the Act are accepted, they would exempt many infrastructure projects on Canadian waterways, including those on the Magnetawan River, from requiring federal approval.

The amendments, which are part of the omnibus bill, would expand the list of low risk works, like minor bridge repairs, that can be pre-approved because they pose very little impact on safe navigation.

According to Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement, negativity surrounding the proposed changes stems from the idea the Act is meant to protect the environment, which he says is incorrect.

“It’s about whether or not the waters are navigable – that’s why it’s called the Navigable Waters Protection Act,” he said. “There are still environmental protections in place.”

As it sits, the Act calls for federal approval of each project located on every waterway nationwide.

Clement said the process is being streamlined by reducing federal involvement in order to cut down on red tape on smaller projects.

“The process was unwieldy because every time a bridge in Kilworthy had to be altered, there had to be a federal review as to whether a boat could still make it under the bridge,” he said. “We think there is too much red tape and municipalities are perfectly able to make these determinations themselves.”

Transport Canada consulted with the provinces and territories prior to the proposed amendments to the Act being introduced in Parliament on Oct. 18. Additionally, technical briefings were held with industry and Aboriginal groups, as well as other interested parties last fall.

Upon receiving notice of the proposed amendments the AMO, which represents Ontario’s 444 municipalities, sent out a release in support of the changes.

Although the amended Act would only actively regulate 162 oceans, lakes and rivers, Transport Canada says it won’t be a free-for-all on those waterways not listed in the bill.

“In those waters that are not actively regulated by Transport Canada, the courts will continue to protect the common law right to navigate,” explained Kelly James, Transport Canada media relations advisor. “The common law protects the right of navigation by treating things placed in water that interfere with navigation as obstructions that can be removed or abated if they cause damage or become a public nuisance. The right of the public to transit all navigable waters is paramount and therefore protected under Canadian law.”

James said the amendments would not diminish the safety of Canada's waterways.

“There are at least nine acts of Parliament governing marine safety, including the extensive safety regime of the Canada Shipping Act,” said James. “Transport Canada will continue to uphold these rigorous navigation safety requirements.”

According to James, the selection process of those waterways to be included was not arbitrary.

“The waterways listed were chosen using data from the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) nautical charts, Statistics Canada data on freight movement, and historical data from the Navigable Waters Protection Program (NWPP) to determine which waterways are most actively used,” said James.

In addition to that data, James said three other criterion were applied: At least part of the waterway must be supporting heavy commercial and/or recreational navigation activity, only the portions that are actively being used are listed as a waterway, and the waters are accessible by ports and marinas in proximity to heavily populated areas.

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PostPosted: November 10th, 2012, 10:10 am 
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Quote:
Transport Canada consulted with the provinces and territories prior to the proposed amendments to the Act being introduced in Parliament on Oct. 18. Additionally, technical briefings were held with industry and Aboriginal groups, as well as other interested parties last fall.


Well since WCA and other interested parties have been registered and where told over a year a ago to watch this page for any new information and updates
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/oe ... u-2983.htm
and to register for the RSS feed....
and not trusting that either, checking almost daily the pages...
(I did take a few holidays)
I would say the politician quoted and their source is full of .......... :evil:
I am also subscribed to automatic committee notice auto email on just about every department.. ( thought they would try to hide any new changes....)
That article is just spewing the Conservatives talking points and propaganda.
All the @#@@ about delays to local bridges and repairs is full of... (more stuff)
None of the groups involved with the past sessions that we were aware about where against those kind of changes.
I am having a very difficult time writing a letter to the conservatives that .......
takes the high road.
The information coming out is so twisted and manipulated that.......(argggggggghhh)
This stuff is like Romney north...
They say it will not affect or navigation rights on minor waters but wont't put it in words or show where other provincial regulations actually cover what they are removing.....
Jeff

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PostPosted: November 10th, 2012, 11:46 am 
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Same news site...

http://www.cottagecountrynow.ca/news/ar ... ry-changes

Quote:
“Status quo” for major Muskoka lakes despite regulatory changes

While changes to a federal water protection law may not affect Muskoka’s major lakes, confusion could be on the way for stakeholders of smaller water bodies, a local boating expert says.

Speaking as a committee member of the Ontario Recreational Boaters Advisory Council, Sandy Currie said it would be “status quo” for 12 Muskoka water bodies despite recent changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act (now known as the Navigation Protection Act), as they have been specifically exempted from the modifications.

Lakes in the region which are exempt from the downloading include Lakes Sparrow, Cain, Muskoka, Rosseau, Joseph, Vernon, Fairy, Peninsula and Mary, along with Lake of Bays. The Muskoka and Severn Rivers are also exempted.

For other lakes in the area, Currie said the changes mean a transferring of responsibility for enforcing the act from federal authorities to local municipalities.

“It’s a downloading of the enforcement, and it’s also a downloading of what I think, is the permission side,” he said. “It’s a downloading of all the administrative aspects of the act onto the municipal government.”

According to information provided to the media from Transport Canada, lakes were chosen for exemption based on a number of factors, including data from the Canadian Hydrographic Service (which gathers data for nautical charts and publications), Statistics Canada on freight movement, and information from the Navigable Protection Program’s database on which waterways are most actively used.

Though it is a common misconception that the act deals with boating safety, Currie said the act actually governs what can constructed in, on, under or over a navigable body of water.

Transport Canada’s website defines navigable water as a body of water that, in their natural state, can float a vessel, “and any other body of water created or altered for the benefit of the public, as a result of the waterway assigned for public use.”

Traditionally, works around navigable waters were regulated by the federal government.

But with the changes, Currie says it appears that residents, developers or contractors looking to do construction projects around one of the non-exempted lakes will be dealing solely with local municipalities in the future. For projects concerning exempted Muskoka Lakes, Currie foresees no change.

“If Lake Muskoka is one of those lakes that is exempted … what that means is nothing changes,” he said. “If you want to build a bridge or whatever, you fill out a form, you go to Sarnia, which is where (Transport Canada’s Ontario) offices are, and you say ‘please can I?”

Parry Sound – Muskoka MP Tony Clement said changes to the act are meant to trim red tape around development.

“The process was unwieldy because every time a bridge in Kilworthy had to be altered there had to be a federal review as to whether a boat could still make it under the bridge,” he said. “We think there’s too much red tape, and municipalities are perfectly able to make these determinations themselves.”

Clement went on to say that the Federation of Canadian municipalities has supported the changes, and that they also felt there’s too much red tape in the current process.

“That’s where the impetus for this came from, from municipalities,” he said.

Currie, however, questions whether municipalities are adequately prepared to deal with the changes.

“None of us know when the enforce date of this regulatory change is going to be, but let’s imagine that the enforce date was today,” he said. “If you walked into the (municipal) offices as a homeowner, property owner or developer and said ‘hey, I understand you guys are responsible for this now…’ the guy’s going to stand there and look like a deer in the headlights of your car.”Currie also said the federal government hasn’t taken steps to consult with the Ontario Recreational Boaters Advisory Council before announcing the changes, which he said has been a traditional practice in the past. He did, however, say that future talks with the federal government are already in the works.

“We have asked for this topic to be a major feature of our upcoming January meeting,” he said. “We’ve asked Transport Canada to arrange for someone from their headquarters staff in the navigable waters protection administrative system to provide us with the background information and the actual text of the proposed changes, and then make a presentation to us and have a discussion with us in January.”

This newspaper approached the Muskoka Watershed Council and the Muskoka Heritage Trust for comment on whether the changes mean the removal of environmental protection for smaller waterways. However, their representatives declined, saying their organization’s mandate is to serve in an advisory role only.

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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2012, 3:18 pm 
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I don't know if this can be thwarted? But... http://www.ndp.ca/help-protect-our-lakes-and-rivers


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PostPosted: December 7th, 2012, 7:51 pm 
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Done.
A giant step backwards
I am surprised no on in Canada posted first.

http://www.fortmcmurraytoday.com/2012/1 ... ction-list

More than surprised..appalled.


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PostPosted: December 9th, 2012, 4:51 pm 
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:(
The response from politicians to groups and individuals was more than appalling.
The resp0onse from the opposition (except E. May but no one is listening to her) was less than lip service.
And the refusal of the big enviro kids to take off their gloves and fight is even worse.
They have been that way since the start of this :evil: :evil:

And then ong of the big enviro kids has the nerve to phone for money Friday night..... :evil: :evil: :evil:
(too bad we don't have any wet noodle icons..)
That's all I can say about that....
Jef

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2012, 10:41 am 
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Was making an observation and hope to get some comments from you all in Canada. First, I'm from the states...Montana to be exact. Was surprised to see NO mention of Harpers removal of over 2 million lake and rivers from federal protection. Last week Canada supposedly had about 2.4 million protected and now only about 85....so a loss of 99.9%
I read this in the paper and felt it was the worst environmental travesty ever to happen on the planet. Was also curious as to no mention by anyone on this site (at least I didn't see where this topic was mentioned).
What happened?
Seems Harper is so far from "Conservation"--the root of the word Conservative-Conserve etc.. What was he thinking? To me this is a huge loss to your country and how people perceive Canada. The massive wilderness, lakes, and rivers are such a symbol of your identity. It was those resources that provided the wealth of growth of your country from the days of the fur trade. I think Alexander Mackenzie, Peter Pond, and Dave Thompson would be rolling over in their grave after this move. Maybe I'm wrong, but seems like with this move there will be a huge loss to these symbols to corporate greed, more tar sands production and Hydro Quebec type destruction to more rivers drowned out to dams.
Maybe I'm misinformed...would love to hear what you all think from a paddlers standpoint. How come this wasn't plastered all over myccr site when I felt this was the worst environmental move in our planets history. Maybe I'm way wrong.
Thanks
Nm

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2012, 10:56 am 
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Thread here

http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 21&t=40588


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PostPosted: December 10th, 2012, 12:29 pm 
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I've merged the new thread started by paddletothesea with the most recent thread on this topic.

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2012, 8:14 pm 
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The waterkeepers group was most vocal,
Other big enviro kids were awol,
Still too worried about their tax status to put up the good fight.
And they have been that way from the start of this in 2008,
and that is really sad.
Jeff
Ps
and I don't know how many others also tried to get letters to the editors in various papers, but I suspect I was not the only one trying,
Can't fight if your hands are tied behind your back and those that say they are in your corner are holding a rope.
Bitter.........

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PostPosted: December 14th, 2012, 10:42 am 
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http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/a-c ... -c-45.html


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PostPosted: December 17th, 2012, 6:14 am 
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THANK YOU Woodenkayak guy!!!!!!!!!!!

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PostPosted: December 22nd, 2012, 8:49 am 
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It would seem to me that there might be some opportunity for a "strategic alliance" with First Nations in the Idlenomore movement, who are also protesting changes to the NWPA and other aspects of the Omnibus bill.

Kinguq.


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PostPosted: December 22nd, 2012, 9:41 am 
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This could be a rats nest for the moderators.... In order to have some sort of strategic alliance with the First Nations, by siding with the Idle No More movement, wouldn't one have to agree with all of their viewpoints regarding all of the issues being demonstrated against(e.g. treaty problems, funding, natural resources, development)? I'm not sure how such an "alliance" would be structured, but I suspect it would be most appropriate coming from personal support rather than some sort of canoeing community partnership. I don't see how members of this MYCCR community could possibly agree. The Idle No More movement is like an omnibus movement by itself.


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PostPosted: December 22nd, 2012, 1:09 pm 
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I am willing to side with anyone who is against the changes made by the conservatives. What they did is disgusting.

No kidding not everyone will agree with everything the natives are protesting (and that goes both ways...) But if they are against these NWPA changes I will gladly support them. There is very little to me that is more important than preserving OUR Canadian wilderness.

I'm disgusted by our government and they are shaming all of us now.

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