Gutting of Navigable Waters Protection Act Not About Transportation, But Pipelines: NDP
October 22, 2012
OTTAWA – Tucked away in the 450+ page ‘budget’ bill, the Conservatives placed a bombshell for Canada’s rivers and lakes. Pipeline crossings across our waterways will no longer be reviewed, effectively ending the time-proven safety mechanism put in place by the Navigable Waters Protection Act.
Today, NDP Transport and Infrastructure Critic Olivia Chow challenged the Conservatives about the guttting of this crucial piece of legislation. The answer was indeed telling: Harper and his buddies are not concerned about environmental protection. A sad day for Canada’s waterways.
Ms. Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, instead of working for Canadians, this monster budget bill protects the oil pipelines and puts our pristine lakes and rivers at risk. These changes are not about transportation at all. They are about the Conservatives’ refusal to protect the environment. They need to get their priorities straight and put the water back in the Navigable Waters Protection Act.
Will the minister come to the committee and defend his decision to change a water protection act to a pipeline protection act?
Hon. Steven Fletcher (Minister of State (Transport), CPC):
Mr. Speaker, the member is making up acts. This act is dealing with navigation. This piece of legislation has always, and remains, to be about navigation and only navigation. It has nothing to do with the environment. There are other pieces of legislation that are focused on the environment. This one is focused on navigation. I can help you navigate through the legislation if you wish.