Navigation Protection

About the Review

In 2012, omnibus budget legislation included changes to various pieces of federal legislation that apply to the review of projects, which included amendments to the Navigable Waters Protection Act (including its renaming to the Navigation Protection Act).

The amendments to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, which came into force in 2014, concentrated the application of the Act on 162 of Canada's busiest commercial and recreational navigable waterways by introducing a list of Scheduled waters (i.e., oceans, lakes and rivers).

The Government of Canada has promised to review the recent changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, restore lost protections and incorporate modern safeguards.

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, along with the Minister of Transport, asked Parliament's Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans and the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to examine recent changes to the Fisheries Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act and to hear from Canadians.

As an independent and public forum, the parliamentary committee has heard from witnesses and invited experts. You may visit the Committee’s web page and also watch/listen the Committee meetings on the parliamentary web channel.

Have your say!

Listening to the experience of Canadians is at the core of this review.

In September 2016, the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities agreed to devote approximately eight (8) meetings to conduct the study and report on the changes to the Navigation Protection Act that came into force in 2014, with a specific focus on:

  • The environmental and sector impacts of the changes;
  • The impact of the changes on the long-term viability of commercial and recreational utilization of Canada’s waterways;
  • The cost, practicality and effectiveness of the changes when gauged against the environmental, business and recreational function of Canada’s waterways; and
  • The efficiency of the changes when viewed holistically, from a user perspective, with other Acts that collectively impact upon users.

The Committee launched a site for submitting written briefs by December 7, 2016, and all Canadians were encouraged to share their views through this forum. Please consult the Standing Committee’s website for more information on its study.

Although the comment period to the Committee has now closed, Transport Canada will continue to seek and consider input from the public until January 30, 2017.

A series of fact sheets have been developed to provide additional background information to help you better participate in the conversation and share your views:

Other ways we are engaging stakeholders

Provinces and Territories

  • We are working with our provincial and territorial partners through the Canadian Council of Deputy Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety. A Working Group has also been established, to ensure on-going communication with the provinces and territories throughout the review.

Indigenous groups

  • As part of the Government of Canada's commitment to renewing our relationship with Indigenous peoples, Transport Canada will work with Indigenous groups to ensure that their concerns are heard and taken into account by the Department. A participant funding program was open to applications between August 23 and September 23, 2016, and funding has since been allocated to support participation in this phase of the review.

Key dates and activities

  • Fall 2016
    • The Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is studying the changes to the Act that came into force in 2014.
    • Views may be shared with the Minister of Transport and Transport Canada until January 30, 2017.
  • Early 2017
    • Transport Canada will continue to seek and consider input from the public.
    • Upon completion of its study, the Standing Committee will table its findings in Parliament.

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