Mathyssen Tables Bill to Protect the Thames River

OTTAWA – In a move designed to urge the Conservatives to reverse reckless changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, MP Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) tabled a bill to protect the Thames River.

“Shamefully, the Conservatives decided to gut environmental protections, leaving our lakes and rivers vulnerable to attack,” said Mathyssen. “Our waterways in Southern Ontario are at risk of unbridled and unregulated development, putting a number of at risk species and environmentally significant areas in further jeopardy, threatening traditional sport and First Nations community fishing, and the priorities of municipalities and Canadians last. Londoners deserve better.”

Mathyssen’s bill calls for Heritage protection for the North Thames, Middle Thames and Thames Rivers. Changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act by the Conservatives means that fewer than two percent of Canada’s waterways are protected – located disproportionately in Conservative ridings in Muskoka.

"Canada’s lakes and rivers are a public resource that must be protected for future generations. The Canadian Heritage Rivers are iconic symbols of our Canadian history, culture and identity,” said NDP Environment critic Megan Leslie (Halifax). “Despite the Conservatives’ short-sighted legislation which will benefit their friends and have a detrimental impact on the environment, the NDP is determined to do everything in our power to protect them.”

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