Click the audio player to hear my interview with John Bennett, Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada, about the federal government’s proposed changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Bennett explains why so many people and organizations, including the musicians Sarah Harmer, Gord Downie and Feist as well as Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown and Mountain Equipment Co-op, are speaking out against the government’s proposed changes to Navigable Waters legislation.
Sarah Harmer appeared on Parliament Hill last week to join with those raising concerns about the Harper government’s second omnibus budget legislation C-45, which includes changes that will limit federal protection for waterways to only 62 rivers and 97 lakes. Last week the CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada’s largest recreational and outdoor supply company, told a Senate committee studying the changes that many Canadians relate to the outdoors through their recreational use of water. They fear the changes will affect their ability to use lakes and rivers, however small, for outdoor activities. The government says it has chosen to protect only the busiest waterways in Canada that meet specific criteria for navigation. However, Bennett and a growing chorus of vocal critics say the changes will decimate environmental protections for the vast majority of Canadian waterways.
Right click here to download the interview.