CDA/ACB eBulletin
October 2019 / octobre 2019

Canadian Navigable Waters Act comes into force

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On August 28, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced that the Canadian Navigable Waters Act (CNWA) and Major Works Order came into force. 

In turn, the CNWA Common Project Search registry came into force on August 29, 2019, and the Order adding 25 navigable waters to the schedule of the Act will come into force on October 4, 2019.

The new legislation ensures stronger protections for navigation on all navigable waters in Canada so that Canadians can continue to enjoy the right to navigate their boats (whether they are motorized, canoes or kayaks) through the extensive network of waterways across the country.

Through the new Act, Transport Canada will continue to approve works that may interfere with navigation on scheduled navigable waters, and it has created:
• a process to notify the public, which also provides an opportunity for Canadians to engage early before construction begins on any navigable water;
• a new requirement for approvals of major works that significantly impact navigation on all navigable waters;
• a resolution process to address Canadians’ navigation concerns before a work is built on a non-scheduled water, and to review these works when concerns remain unresolved;
• a new tool, called the Common Project Search, a registry where Canadians can search for past, current and proposed works on all navigable waterways;
• a new external submission site where Canadians can determine their obligations before constructing, placing, altering, rebuilding, removing or decommissioning a work and where Canadians can submit an application for approval or notification; and
• processes for including Indigenous knowledge in decisions.

Associated links:
Canadian Navigable Waters Act
Major Works Order
Order Amending the Schedule to the Canadian Navigable Waters Act
Common Project Search registry
External Submission Site


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