Feds move closer to establishing Canada Water Agency

Public comments open on creation of agency to ensure modern and equitable approach to freshwater management

The government of Canada is moving forward with and seeking public input on the creation of the Canada Water Agency, a new institution to ensure federal policies and actions across all departments are aligned with its freshwater protection objectives.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, launched public consultations on Dec. 21, 2020. The same day, ECCC Canada published its discussion paper on the initiative, Toward the Creation of a Canada Water Agency.  

The discussion paper explores the role that the Canada Water Agency will play in freshwater management, and how the new agency will modernize federal freshwater leadership to address management challenges that are exacerbated by climate change. 

Public feedback on the discussion paper can be submitted through PlaceSpeak until March 1. Through feedback and discussions generated by the paper, the federal government is looking to identify objectives and priority areas for the Canada Water Agency while avoiding duplication and encroaching on the jurisdiction of provincial, territorial, Indigenous, and municipal governments. 

What New Brunswickers love most about their waterways

New Brunswickers love their rivers, lakes, and streams. Several polls conducted by the Conservation Council show that New Brunswickers value clean, healthy water and consider protecting waterways to be one of the most pressing environmental issues facing our province. 

The creation of the Canada Water Agency could help address some of the freshwater management challenges New Brunswick faces by:

  • Providing a centralized, open, and usable data portal for water quality data 
  • Improving collaborative watershed planning, building capacity for community watershed organizations and resilience in the face of climate change
  • Strengthening transboundary water management 

We are pleased to see the Canadian government taking steps toward the creation of the Canada Water Agency. We’ve attended both the national and Atlantic regional forums held recently and will continue to collaborate with our partners and the federal government to ensure the creation of a Canada Water Agency that takes a modern and equitable approach to addressing Canada’s freshwater management challenges.

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