We need a first-class water protection law: Corbett

Our Executive Director, Lois Corbett, spoke with CBC Information Morning Fredericton host Terry Seguin on Tuesday, Oct. 10 about the long saga of getting laws in place to protect water in New Brunswick.

The Department of Environment and Local Government (DELG) released its draft discussion document, A Water Strategy for New Brunswick 2018-2028, on Friday, Oct. 6. You can read Corbett’s statement on the discussion paper and strategy here.

Listen to the full interview with Terry:

Here are some of the things Corbett said during the conversation:

  • “They’re (the DELG) at the stage where they put all the things that we need to protect water — everything from new legislation to education to programs, and all the ingredients in between — on the table and put it out into the public so folks can have a say: Is this enough? Is this plan of action quick enough? Do you think over the longer term it will protect water? So we’re at a turning spot — hopefully this time we’ll get it right and get it done as quickly as we can so we can rest assured that our water and our water resources are protected over time.”
  • “With or without a system that’s perfect in place, efforts (by nonprofit watershed associations, environmental groups, businesses and government) to restore the banks of the Nashwaak, efforts to clean up Belleisle Bay, efforts to look at the Passamaquoddy, for example, all that fantastic work from data collection to protection it still ongoing. What we need now is this layer of legally-protected rights, a new law, that will ensure … that enough is being done and that when the law is broken, that action can happen.” 
  • “We’ve got to get our government to act, and the way we get our government to act to protect water is to tell them we need this written down in law sooner than opposed to later.” 
  • I would say we’re behind the pack (on water protection laws). We’re behind the Northwest Territories, we’re quite a bit far behind Quebec. So we do have some catching up to do. The good thing about being on the catchup line is you can avoid some mistakes that have been made before. So at the end of the day, we can have one of the best, most modern, comprehensive water protection strategies in the country and I think New Brunswickers deserve no less. There is no sense in writing a strategy that’s going to be second best, we might as well write a first class strategy.”