PARRY SOUND - Canada’s waterways should be a little safer.
Wednesday night, the Transboundary Waters Protection Act passed a third reading. The act strengthens provisions, creates new powers for inspection and enforcement, introduces new penalties for violators and protects the country’s water from bulk removal outside of Canada.
Tony Clement, Member of Parliament for Parry Sound - Muskoka, voted in favor of the act along with the Conservative government.
“In Parry Sound-Muskoka water is a resource that sustains us and defines us, and I fully support the need for us to preserve and protect our freshwater,” said Clement. “From the shores of Georgian Bay to the magnificent rivers, lakes and even the smallest ponds we find across our region, Parry Sounders and Muskokans and all Canadians see our water as an intrinsic part of who we are.”
Transboundary waterways are ones, like the Red and Columbia River, that flow across the border. Boundary waters, like the Great Lakes, are already protected against bulk removals under existing regulations.
The act is for waters under federal jurisdiction as provinces have their own regulations for the waterways under their control.
“This bill ensures that our waters are well protected, that Canada’s freshwater will remain in Canada supporting healthy ecosystems and communities,” said Clement. “The people of Parry Sound- Muskoka can rest assured that our Conservative Government, working hand-in-hand with provincial have strong protections in place to protect waters under their jurisdictions from schemes or projects to remove them in bulk.”
The act arrives on the heels of the Georgian Bay in Crisis meeting held among the region’s community leaders. The result of that meeting was a resolution sent to provincial and federal governments requesting action on a number of issues around the declining water level of Georgian Bay.
Jamie McGarvey, mayor of Parry Sound, said he’s happy to hear the act passed its third reading.
“It’s certainly a step in the right direction,” said McGarvey. “I’m pleased it was brought forward in the House of Commons and our MP did support it. Bulk removal of water is one of those issues we did discuss at the water levels meeting.”