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August 28, 2014
 
 

FLOW Release Blue Paper on Water Governance

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FLOW Canada – the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) an independent group of water experts from across Canada that encourages government action to protect our critical freshwater resources has released a new research report The Blue Paper: Water Co-Governance in Canada  The report emphasizes  fundamental linkages and connections between all types of water and all levels of government, and the need to work collectively to ensure that water resources are protected and shared equitably for humanity and the environment for present and future generations. According to the report Canada’s water governance scheme is fractured, inequitable, and unaccountable; and that part of this weakness stems from the failure to engage Indigenous peoples in the decision-making process.

This Blue Paper proposes a new water governance scheme for Canada. The report critically examines the current state of water governance in Canada, with a special focus on the role of Indigenous peoples. It identifies eight criteria necessary to establish good water governance, drawing from examples of success in other areas, with the aim of recommending a new approach to power and resources distribution between Canada and Indigenous peoples.

The proposal for a more national approach to water governance is not new, and the federal government certainly has legislation and programs that attempt to address national water issues. With a strong emphasis on indigenous people, the proposals provided by FLOW are certainly interesting. However, the constitution delegates responsibility for many aspects of environmental protection and water governance to provincial and regional authorities. Without major constitutional reform and/or a deep level of inter-jurisdictional cooperation national water governance at this level is likely impossible.

 

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