Navigable Waters Protection Act: 'Environment' Disappears Overnight From Web Description Of Federal Bill

Posted: Updated:
Print Article
NAVIGABLE WATERS PROTECTION ACT
The word "environment" was suddenly deleted from a federal government website that described Conservative proposals to change the law protecting Canada's navigable waterways. | Alamy

OTTAWA - The word "environment" was suddenly deleted from a federal government website that described Conservative proposals to change the law protecting Canada's navigable waterways.

The Navigable Waters Protection Act is being altered as part of the government's latest omnibus budget bill.

The proposed changes would make the Act apply to fewer bodies of water than before, in a bid to make the system more efficient.

The opposition parties say the move will further weaken environmental protection — and they say the proof is on the web.

The NDP pointed out on Tuesday that the government's own "Frequently Asked Questions" about the Act posted on the Internet stated that the changes reflected the government's "ongoing concern towards maintaining the safety of public navigation and the environment."

It also referred to companies potentially constructing "dangerous works in navigable waters."

But by Wednesday, that section of the Transport Canada website had been altered to remove the reference to the environment and the dangerous works. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair called the deletion "Orwellian."

"It's Orwellian, they made their website disappear. ... They want to make the environment disappear. We're going to stand up and protect the environment," Mulcair said during a House of Commons speech on the omnibus budget bill, C-45.

Transport Minister Denis Lebel said the original content on the website was a mistake.

"The Transport Canada website always specified that the Navigable Waters Protection Act was designed to protect navigation rights for all Canadians. That has not changed," said Lebel.

"The department reviewed the website and the erroneous information was pulled from the web."

Also on HuffPost:

Who Do We Trust On The Environment?
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

How navigable waters and environmental protection flow together

Feds remove water protection from historic law

Second omnibus bill: pipelines no longer "obstacles" in navigable waters

Navigable waters: The Conservatives sneer in the House while ignoring First ...

Navigable waters law gets on course with modern needs

October 23: Businesses and Water

Omnibus bill changes anger water keepers

Waterways changes in budget bill seen as eroding protections