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Old 02-12-2009   #1
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 78
PSA: Canadian Govt. ending navigation rights

This was originally posted on the Professor Paddle website.

Wonder if the Minister of Transport is a boater, if not how the hell would they know what's navigable or not? Smells like $.

If you enjoy boating in Canada or have any hopes of heading up there your favorite creek or river may be closed off one day.

Send an email - Save a Creek.

Hi all,
I received this from some Kootenay boaters who are doing some good work up there. I haven't followed this as closely as I should have been. If you are interested in creeking or any kind of boating(other than sail or power) in BC, for that matter, you should read this, fire up the keyboard, and fire off some emails to some of the folks in Ottawa listed at the end of the email.

From: Canadian Rivers Network <>
Date: February 8, 2009 6:07:14 PM PST (CA)
Subject: URGENT ALERT Government poised to erase navigation rights


On Friday February 6, 2009, the federal Conservative government
introduced its Budget Implementation Act (BI Act).

This Act is in fact an omnibus bill that introduces a series of sweeping
legislation changes, including amendments to the Navigable Waters
Protection Act (NWPA).

The proposed amendments to the NWPA will permanently erase the public
right of navigation in Canada and will have serious consequences for the
environmental health of Canadian waterways.

Under the proposed new NWPA, waterways in Canada will only be considered
navigable under the sole discretion of the Minister of Transport.

The proposed new NWPA also gives the Minister of Transport sole
discretion to determine whether or not any proposed project (“work”) on
a Canadian waterway will have an impact on navigation.

The proposed new NWPA grants the Minister of Transport the authority to
change, at any time, the criteria used to assess whether a waterway is
navigable, or whether a work or type of work may interfere with

The four named works (bridges, booms, dams, and causeways), added to the
NWPA in 1883 because these structures, by their very nature, interfere
with navigation…have been removed.

The government has introduced these changes to the NWPA without
consulting with:

- First Nations
- Paddling organizations
- The outdoor tourism industry
- Cottage associations
- River advocacy groups
- Anglers and hunters
- Anyone who uses Canadian waterways for business or recreation

Our position is:

- the NWPA would benefit from a comprehensive review and amendments to
modernize and streamline administrative processes
- this government does not have a mandate to erase the public right of
navigation in Canada
- these changes to the NWPA will diminish free access to our natural
environment for all Canadians
- these changes to the NWPA will damage Canadian waters
- the government is acting irresponsibly and radically
- the government is not acting in the best interest of Canadians

Canada was discovered, explored and developed through the navigation of
our waterways. The public right of navigation a fundamental part of what
it means to be Canadian.

The Government of Canada, under the pretext of helping the economy, is
erasing our right, our history, our heritage.

There is something you can do—raise your voice.

1) Inform yourself and others: Copy and paste this message into an
email or a facebook message to your friends and encourage them to take
action. We can be effective by working together. Every letter, every
phone call, and every email will help.

2) Tell the government you care about Canada’s waterways and that you
do not support the proposed amendments to the NWPA or the elimination of
the public right of navigation in Canada.

Send an email to the people listed below and express your concerns about
the use of the Budget Implementation Act to make sweeping changes to
legislation that is intended to protect Canadian waters and the rights
of Canadian citizens.

Insist that no changes to the NWPA be made before a full and
comprehensive public consultation process occurs.


National Manager, Navigable Waters Protection Program, David

Minister of Transportation, John Baird:

Minister of Environment, Jim Prentice:

Opposition transportation critics:

Opposition environment critics:

Opposition water critics:,

And don’t forget your own MP. You can find your MP through this link:

For more information on this issue, please visit:

Canadian Rivers Network

PaulGamache is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2009   #2
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
thats horse shit; should we email everyone?
caspermike is offline   Reply With Quote

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