New Democrats make final attempt to safeguard environmental protections before tomorrow’s vote on C-45

OTTAWA – On the eve of the vote on the Conservatives’ budget bill, the NDP moved a new motion to protect our lakes and rivers.

Bill C-45 seeks to transform the Navigable Waters Act and remove most environmental protections from almost all of Canada’s lakes and rivers, including London’s Thames River.

"I have certainly heard from individuals and organizations in London concerned about the consequences of removing the Thames from the Navigable Waters Act. For several years now, re-development along the Thames in the city’s core, and protection of environmentally sensitive areas along the watershed has been a prominent component of discussions around the future of London. The Navigable Waters Act protection ensures that the Thames has adequate protection from a ‘free-for-all’ which could have potentially serious consequences for the environmental and economic sustainability for our community” says Irene Mathyssen (NDP MP, London-Fanshawe) 

“If Bill C-45 is adopted, 99.9% of Canada’s rivers and 99.7% of its lakes will no longer be protected and less than a third of lakes, with heritage significance, will receive adequate protection,” said NDP Environment critic Megan Leslie (Halifax). “When we note that 90% of the lakes that this bill will protect are located in Conservative ridings, we have to wonder who this government is working for.”

The NDP hopes the protection of lakes and rivers will remain unchanged.

“In order for our motion to be accepted, we must get unanimous consent from the House,” added Leslie. “We hope the other parties will set partisanship aside and vote for a better future and with healthy waterways for future generations.”